Inside Politics

NDP to pitch study on independence, accountability of Auditor General

The New Democratic Party is hoping to resurrect an all-but-forgotten collective plea from Canada's parliamentary watchdogs to examine the "independence and accountability" of their respective offices -- including, but not limited to the appointment process. 

Later today, the government operations committee will consider the following motion, which was submitted last Thursday by NDP MP Malcolm Allen:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee study and hold public hearings as soon as possible, and no later than June 1, 2013, on a letter dated September 12, 2011 addressed to the Chair of the Committee from the Officers of Parliament regarding their independence and accountability; and that the proposed study would focus solely on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, pursuant to the mandate of the Committee.

Some background: The above-referenced letter was reportedly dispatched to all three House oversight committees -- Government Operations, Ethics and Public Accounts -- with each chair charged with considering embarking on the proposed investigation under the parameters of his or her committee's mandate. 

Fast forward a year and a half to now, and it appears no such studies have begun -- and that, it seems, is what has inspired this seemingly out-of-the-blue motion from the NDP, who want to revive the discussion outside the closed-door confines of agenda discussions, where, presumably, the outstanding request has come up at least once or twice.

Of course, there's no guarantee that today's discussion will take place in public, since all it takes is a non-debatable motion to go in camera to drop the curtain of parliamentary secrecy.

In any case, I'll let you know what, if anything, transpires. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's the full text of the original letter: 

2012-09-12 - Letter to committees by CBCPolitics

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