Tuesday, March 31, 2009

But that was then...

She used to be someone's best friend, how times have changed. Auditor General Sheila Fraser weighs in with a critical report on government appointments to "commissions, boards and tribunals"and the reaction is predictable. Fraser found delays in appointments to fill board positions, a lack of communication regarding appointments, re-appointments, replacements and a lack of consultation with the board bodies themselves, a key ingredient to creating successfully governed entities. The Privy Council Office reacted and Fraser discloses it:
Fraser's focus once again on the matter apparently rankled the government's upper echelon.

"Officials of the Privy Council Office have expressed their view that aspects of our audit report go beyond the auditor general's mandate and encroach on the exercise of discretion by ministers and (the cabinet)," Fraser said.

"We are satisfied that the findings in our report fall entirely within the mandate of the auditor general."
Echoes of the attack on Kevin Page by the Conservative members of the Finance Committee last week attempting to portray him as exceeding his jurisdiction in terms of the information he was conveying (his questioning of the government's asset sale predictions of $10 billion in revenues) and his requests for documents from the Finance Department.

The independent officers of accountability are clearly personae non gratae for Conservatives these days. (The PCO is not as independent as we'd like to think.)

Another troubling aspect of the AG's report, here.