Former New Brunswick auditor general Michael Ferguson is going to be appointed to the federal role, CBC News has learned.

Ferguson was comptroller general for New Brunswick before being appointed auditor general in 2005. He left the job almost a year ago to become deputy minister of the provincial Finance Department.

Ferguson was very critical of the provincial Liberal government's financial management practices when he was auditor general.

Former federal auditor general Sheila Fraser's term expired last May. Her deputy, John Wiersema, has been acting auditor general.

Former Finance Minister Norman Betts said Ferguson is a good choice.

"Mike has the ability — as good auditor generals should have — the ability to take the deep dive when needed to be on a particular program, or a particular issue, but also the ability to step back to the big picture, and kind of the broader fiscal responsibility issues, and that's a characteristic that will serve him well in Ottawa," Betts told CBC News.

Betts said Ferguson's previous experience as provincial auditor general left him well-trained for the federal role.

"Mike brings all of the things an auditor general should bring. He brings credibility, he brings independence, he brings experience," Betts said.