07/15/2014 07:28 EDT | Updated 09/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Royal BC Museum $50K budget cut after unapproved bonus payment

The Royal BC Museum in Victoria is facing a $50,000 budget cut — almost the exact amount of the signing bonus given to their new CEO when he was hired in 2012.

A signing bonus of $53,000, including relocation expenses and other perks were given to Jack Lohman when he was hired away from his post at the Museum of London.

The hiring incentives — which also included three round trip business class flights to the U.K. per year — were given to Lohman as part of a recruitment package on top of a $161,000 base salary.

But, according to Finance Minister Mike de Jong, the museum broke the rules by failing to get the added incentives approved, and so the province will effectively fine the institution $50,000 through a budget cut, and has insisted that Lohman's free tickets home be cancelled.

RBCM board chair Suromitra Sanatani says the board believed the added compensation was needed to hire a candidate of Lohman's calibre, and they thought they were in compliance with the existing reporting rules.

"Its unfortunate," Sanatani says, "Because [Lohman] wants to do good things, and the museum is taking a hit because of that."