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Government’s Failure to Comply with Committee Motion May Breach Parliamentary Privilege

Government’s Failure to Comply with Committee Motion May Breach Parliamentary Privilege

Posted on March 15, 2013

CORNER BROOK, NL– More than a dozen federal departments audited by the Office of the Auditor General may have breached parliamentary privilege by failing to comply with a House of Commons committee motion requiring them to supply a detailed action plan to address audit recommendations, said Liberal Public Accounts critic Gerry Byrne today.

“This Conservative government has denied information to the PBO, refused to reveal the true cost of the F-35s and their crime agenda, delayed and obstructed Access to Information requests and now they are failing to comply with a motion passed by the Public Accounts Committee, Parliament’s spending watchdog,” said Mr. Byrne. “For this reason, I feel there is no other choice than to introduce a motion reporting the government’s failure to Parliament, and asking that they take immediate action to rectify this blatant disregard for the rules.”

On October 3, 2011, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts unanimously passed a motion requiring that all departments and agencies of the federal government that were subject to a performance audit by the Auditor General provide a detailed action plan addressing the audit recommendations – including specific actions, timelines for their completion and individuals responsible - to the Public Accounts Committee and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada within six months of the audit’s tabling in the House of Commons. As of today, compliance with this motion stood at an abysmal 19%.

“The Harper Conservatives are the most secretive government in Canadian history with a consistent pattern of withholding necessary information from Parliament,” said Mr. Byrne. “There is clearly something very broken with a government that simply ignores motions lawfully passed by parliamentary committees.”

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Background:

Mr. Byrne’s motion can be viewed here.

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