NEWS RELEASE · 6th January 2013
Decision on Auditor General must wait until after election - Cummins
Two BC Liberals denying Doyle a second term - Lekstrom and Les - will not face voters
A decision to reappoint or replace John Doyle as Auditor General must be delayed until after the May 14, 2013 general election, John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservatives, said today.
Cummins was responding to news reports that BC Liberal MLAs have refused to grant Mr. Doyle a second term in office, and are advertising for his replacement.
"Mr. Doyle's current term as Auditor General does not expire until the end of October," said Cummins.
"That's more than five months after a new Legislative Assembly will be sworn in, after the provincial general election scheduled for May 14.
"The next legislature will have plenty of time to decide Mr. Doyle's future - and even to find his replacement, if necessary."
Cummins pointed out that two members of the Special Committee to Appoint an Auditor General - two BC Liberal MLAs who decided not to renew Mr. Doyle's appointment - already have announced that they will not be seeking re-election in May.
"It is unseemly for John Les and Blair Lekstrom - both of whom have declared that they are ending their political careers - to make a decision for which they cannot be held accountable," said Cummins.
"What possible reason can explain their haste in making an arbitrary decision that will affect British Columbia's fiscal oversight and credibility for the next six years - six years after they've left public office?"
Many observers have suggested that the reason Les, Lekstrom and committee chair, Eric Foster, refused to extend Mr. Doyle's appointment was because the Auditor General had been critical of the BC Liberal government's lack of financial accountability and transparency.
Mr. Doyle often has refused to sign-off on BC Liberal budgets, concluding that they did not conform to GAAP - generally accepted accounting principles. He recently found that the BC Liberal deficit in 2011/12 was a half-billion dollars higher than admitted by the government.
Also at issue is the Auditor General's dogged efforts to get to the bottom of the on-going BC Rail scandal, and particularly the government's decision to pay $6 million in legal fees for two former BC Liberal aides who were convicted of a variety of criminal offenses.