Monday, March 23, 2015

British Columbia Auditor General Fired

Coralee Oakes

VICTORIA – Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, has released the following statement in response to a recommendation received from the Audit Council for the Auditor General for Local Government:

“Under the Auditor General for Local Government Act, I am required, as the minister responsible, to seek the Audit Council’s recommendation regarding the removal of the auditor general for local government. Pursuant to its mandate under the act, the Audit Council considered my request and subsequently issued a recommendation and resolution to remove the auditor general for local government.

“The auditor general for local government’s obstruction of an intended review of her office has created an intolerable situation that compounds the unstable work environment and lack of performance from that office.

“I believe removing the auditor general is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the office.

“Accordingly, I have therefore recommended to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that the auditor’s appointment be rescinded.

“The Audit Council will be recommending a qualified person to be appointed as acting auditor general for local government, pursuant to the act, for government’s consideration.”

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3 comments:

  1. submitted by Janet Irvine:
    When the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government was established, I read that a local government whose operation was the subject of a performance audit, aka 'value for money' audit, was NOT obligated to act on the recommendations made in an AGLG report. It was up to local governments to decide whether – and how – to act on the recommendations.

    I would imagine that the AGLG would likely find itself faced with the added challenge of some local governments being more co-operative than others.

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  2. Doug Routley MLA26 March 2015 at 15:25

    First, the title of the post is misleading. The BC Auditor General was not fired and cannot be fired by the government. The BC Auditor General is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly and is chosen, as well as replaced after the expiry of their term, by a committee of government and opposition MLAs.

    The establishment of the AGLG was unanimously opposed by the BC Union of Municipalities. Not because they rejected the idea of audit, but because the position is not independent of government. As we see in this case, the government can fire the auditor and thus, it is not independent.

    When the Premier brought the idea forward, it was widely seen as a "look over there", diversionary tactic. We, as opposition, demanded that the existing Auditor General of BC be tasked with the job of auditing the government. One of the core jobs of the AGLG was to uncover duplication and waste, when in fact, the AGLG itself is wasteful duplication. the Auditor General is an existing, widely respected office with all the capacity necessary to deliver on the tasks.

    Tragically, the Premier's pet project has blown up in her face and after $5.2 million produced only one audit when 18 were expected, the government has fired the AGLG and now faces incalculable legal costs defending that action. Added to that, the Premier now reveals that she is considering moving the responsibility to the Auditor General's office, as we implored her to do two and three years ago.

    So, you had a review of the AGLG, a review of the review and now a firing of the Auditor for resisting an audit of the auditor. If it weren't such a calamitous waste of resources in a province with the highest poverty levels in Canada, thousands of children with special needs being ignored in school, seniors in abominable care and so on, it would quite simply be a farce.

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  3. "First, the title of the post is misleading. The BC Auditor General was not fired and cannot be fired by the government. " .................... "As we see in this case, the government can fire the auditor and thus, it is not independent." ????????????

    ReplyDelete

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