It is disappointing that a secretive "independent" government committee has decided not to renew the auditor general's contract ahead of the next election.
At the very least, the committee of both Liberal and NDP MLAs should have extended his mandate until after the election.
As the committee findings are confidential, we will never know how strongly the NDP railed against the decision, but it is clear the decision by the Liberal-dominated committee to not reappoint was purely political.
Obviously, any successor to Mr. Doyle should not count on his or her contract extending beyond
six years, especially if they do the same no-holds-barred job their predecessor did.
Unfortunately, without legislative changes, there is no guarantee that an NDP led committee would act any differently if the shoe was on the other foot.
The NDP's solution is to have the Premier and Opposition Leader "encourage" the committee to revisit their decision. Such a move, however well intentioned, would only further erode the perception of independence in such appointments.
If he and Ms. Clark intervene, as Mr. Dix suggests, voters should rightfully question the independence of any future committees, regardless of which party forms the next government.
The Green Party of B.C. offers a more measured solution. Greens would like to see the creation of an independent commission that appoints the auditor general and all independent officers of the legislature.
The term of such appointments should be between eight and 10 years to allow for greater independence.
Also, decisions on term renewals of independent officers of the legislature should be made at least one year prior to a scheduled provincial election or delayed until after an election.
Longer terms of office for independent officers, a truly independent commission and scheduling appointments of officers midterm will do a lot to ensure the independence of the auditor general's office.
Rick McGowan, Green Party candidate, Burnaby DeerLake
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