BC’s Auditor General says the 2022 surplus would be $6.5 billion higher if government followed Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards. The surplus would have been $8 billion had government also eliminated fossil fuel subsidies.
Sadly, the people of BC have been badly served by financial watchdogs who are paid to protect us. Perhaps the removal of Auditor General John Doyle some years ago was a blunt lesson. Of course, being dependent on government for year to year funding is also an effective leash. Make the politicians unhappy? They will remember when its time to establish the office budget.
“Government watchdogs are supposed to have teeth, not wear muzzles,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “It’s difficult to imagine that any successor to John Doyle will not read the writing that was written on the wall with this decision: if you want to be reappointed don’t do the job of Auditor General too well.”
Ms. Bellringer is another highly paid failure. She did not protect taxpayers by examining for fraud when warning signals had been issued. Auditors have access that citizen watchdogs do not. She had a responsibility to thoroughly investigate deceptive practices. Having failed, she complains that Darryl Plecas didn’t ask her to redo her work with more diligence.
If the Horgan Government and the LAMC allows Auditor General Bellringer to direct a re-examination of the Legislative Assembly’s financial records, that is a clear sign, they’ve made a choice to sweep yet more scandalous behaviour under the carpet.
One might think British Columbia’s Auditor General would favour maximum information in financial disclosure. Apparently, not in this province.
Tax expenditures, represent a tax break that government offers people and corporations in support of policy objectives. It’s forgone revenue, or money that government doesn’t collect, but could if it didn’t offer that tax break. In 2016/17, tax expenditures in B.C. accounted for over $7 billion in foregone revenue.
In a report issued today, Auditor General Carol Bellringer says the BC government is not adequately managing risks posed by climate change.
The Auditor General’s Office has served British Columbia well but the outgoing government deprived it of resources that would have increased audit effectiveness. Politicians are inclined to inhibit the actions of authorities that might offer criticisms. Christy Clark did that but we can hope Premier Horgan will do the opposite.
In 2014, BC’s government claimed public sector organizations would operate under principles that strengthen accountability, promote cost control, and ensure the corporations operate in the best interest of taxpayers. If you’ve read my work on BC Hydro, examined Bob Mackin’s frustrations with FOI or generally followed provincial politics, you would have known the claims were hollow from the start.
Now, three years later, the Auditor General confirms that assertion
George Orwell: Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Although BC’s debt and obligations increased $99 billion in ten years, Liberals claim the province is “on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021.”
Regarding: Ministry of Environment (MoE), Mary Polak, Minister Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Bill Bennett, Minister Excerpts from AN AUDIT OF COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE MINING SECTOR, May 2016, by […]
British Columbia’s June sale of oil and gas rights brought the 2015 six month total to $7.1 million. The monthly average for this calendar year is the lowest in 38 years reported […]
British Columbia’s Auditor General reported to the BC Legislature and there is interesting commentary throughout. Carol Bellringer qualified her opinion as to the fairness of the province’s financial statements and professional accountants […]
Since the website of the British Columbia Auditor General is inaccessible early morning March 30, and was down late March 29, I provide this access to recent reports from the Auditor General. […]
Finance Minister Mike de Jong must demand resignations of the senior executives and directors of Pacific Carbon Trust. They are officials of a publicly owned enterprise but instead dedicated their loyalty to […]
“… [Carbon] offsets can only be credible in B.C. if, among other things, the revenue from their sale is the tipping point in moving forward on a project. It must be an […]
According to the Canadian Press, B.C.’s clerk of the legislature Craig James is not happy with Auditor General John Doyle. During a Victoria gathering of Canadian legislative officers, a private meeting was […]
Before the 2013 election, Premier Clark’s Liberals were involved in a feeding frenzy, working to grab maximum treasure from public wealth in case voters ended the opportunities.
A few days ago, I wrote Cronies, henchmen and the future and noted a loss of government revenue derived from natural resources, even though production and commodity prices have risen dramatically in the […]