Ash Sahi’s False Credentials

January 18th, 2015

“I’m calling about one of your Access to Information filings, there’s a problem with some of your requested data.”  This civil servant had a gift for understatement.  The problem?  “This, ...this ‘Ash Sahi’, we don’t know who this is.”  Understatement indeed, that’s quite a problem.

You see, Ash Sahi is the CEO of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and, according to CSA, Sahi was formerly the Director of Industry and Trade at Industry Canada.  How can records officials at the Federal Government not know who Ash Sahi is?  How could he fit under their radar?

“I can find no record of anyone by that name, or individually by that first or last name, having been employed by the Federal Government.”  Wow.  “Are you quite sure” we asked.  Indeed they were sure.

We pointed out that as Director of Industry and Trade there should be plenty of evidence of his time at Industry Canada.  Its not like he was working in the mailroom, at the director level he would be seen by dozens, if not hundreds, of people in Government.

Then we noted that Sahi was also the Special Advisor to the Privy Council.  Perhaps the HR database is segmented?  Would record of his time in Government be found in a broader search?  The records office advised that they had already done a global search, not a segmented one, but they promised to run the Sahi search a second time.

To cut a long story short, the second search produced the same result.  According to records officials of the Federal Government, Ash Sahi has never been employed, directly or as a consultant, anywhere in the Federal bureaucracy.  His credentials are false, they were made to make him look bigger.

That’s awfully interesting, because Sahi’s civil service experience was supposed to lift his credibility, vaulting him into executive respectability and justifying his ascension to the lofty role of CEO.  But if the Government is right that his credentials were falsified, then his stature is diminished in business and his standing is lowered among his peers.

So who made the claim?  Well, publicly, it was Anthony Toderian, a man of impeccable credibility, whose public statements qualify as incredible, in every sense of the word.  Yet for all his equilibristic qualities, Tony Toddy isn’t going to just make stuff up, at least not stuff this big.  And Sahi’s heightened credentials were even published by CSA in the Globe and Mail.  So it appears that the powers above Ash Sahi, being the Board of Directors, likely believed at the time that Sahi’s credentials were legitimate.

Due diligence in hiring a new CEO is the responsibility of the Board of Directors and, bluntly, they didn’t do much due diligence because they clearly missed the glaringly obvious.  Its starting to look like the Board set the bar pretty low and Sahi got in underneath it. 

Performance-wise, Sahi has been a non-stop disappointment.  As we noted previously, Ash Sahi lacks discernment.  Rather like his Board, Sahi conducted no due diligence whatsoever before launching his lawsuit against PS Knight Co.  He can’t seem to fathom that private ownership of public law isn’t compatible with democracy.

As a result of his various and fundamental shortcomings, compounded in being notoriously small minded and short tempered, having his lilliputian fiefdom brought low by his short sighted mismanagement, his years in office were cut short, truncated to nearly half the size of his predecessor’s, by a board bothered by his pint sized performance. 

But the board’s got nothing to brag about either.  When one considers the scale of the difficulties at CSA and the evidence of false reporting, false certifications, the fabrication of safety test results, the CSA’s eight year-long counterfeiting program, their suspiciously peculiar financial reporting including outrightly false financial filings (coming soon to RestoreCSA!) and the marvellously massive reporting irregularities ubiquitous in their organization, and now the revelation that Sahi somehow got into the executive suite on false and unchecked credentials, it becomes clear that the auditing function of the Board of Directors has been alarmingly deficient in recent years. 

In this context, RestoreCSA is exceedingly pleased to announce that we have successfully hounded another CSA official from office.  The Chairman of the Audit Committee of the CSA’s Board of Directors has resigned effective January 31st.  Given his responsibilities, and therefore his liabilities, it shouldn’t be surprising that this director felt it wise to leave jump ship while he still could.  In three months therefore, we have forced two of the CSA’s top three executives from office and forced two board vacancies including a committee chairmanship.  We’re quite pleased.

So, do you see a pattern here?  Seriously friends, if the CSA is comfortable with document falsification throughout their Agency, why would they be bothered by credentials falsification by their CEO?  If anything, they’re sorry they’ve been outed, they’re not sorry for their conduct.  We’re seeing a pattern of lawlessness, of complete disregard for ethics, integrity, and the rule of law.  And this is Canada’s product safety regulator.  And that’s a big problem.

Cleaning up the CSA is a tall order.  While shrimp savvy Sahi is now jockeying for some other small job, RestoreCSA is still working this big case, we’re still standing.  We’ll be here in the months to come, to help pick up the pieces of this broken regulator and restore the reputation and the service of this Agency of Canada.