OTTAWA– The Conservative government must prove its commitment to transparency and accountability by immediately beginning the hiring process for the next Parliamentary Budget Officer, said Liberal Treasury Board critic John McCallum today.
“Kevin Page’s term ends on March 24th and so far the Harper Conservatives have given no indication they are acting to fill his position,” said Mr. McCallum. “This government’s lack of action even has Mr. Page worrying publicly about the future of his office.”
Despite working under the auspices of the Library of Parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Officer is appointed by the government. Yet even with the looming deadline, the Governor in Council appointment website does not list the position as a “current opportunity” and there has been no public notice of vacancy for the job. In contrast, when Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s term was coming to an end the government put out a formal notice of vacancy nearly 7 months in advance.
“The PBO’s analysis on issues like the F-35 procurement, the true cost of the Conservative crime agenda and the government’s long-term financial position has been well thought out and, in the end, has proven very accurate,” said Mr. McCallum. “The Conservatives cannot simply ignore this important office because they fear its scrutiny of their economic mismanagement.”