OTTAWA — The federal conflict of interest and ethics commissioner says Trade Minister Mary Ng broke the rules when her office awarded a contract to one of her friends.

Commissioner Mario Dion released a report today after the federal Conservatives filed a complaint back in the spring, raising concerns over the fact that Ng’s office awarded media training contracts to the firm Pomp and Circumstance.

The firm was co-founded and run by Amanda Alvaro, a friend of Ng’s.

Dion says the minister did not recuse herself from decisions to award the contracts, in violation of conflict of interest laws.

The commissioner says “there is simply no excuse for contracting with a friend’s company.”

In a statement posted to Twitter, Ng says she accepts “full responsibility for her actions” and should have recused herself.

The Canadian Press