"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fiscal accountability

John L. Noseworthy, CA, is peeved.

He is mighty concerned about s.17 of the Act which governs his activities as Auditor General, to wit:
“Except as provided by another Act that expressly refers to this section, every department of government... shall furnish the auditor general with information regarding its power, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions and methods of business as the auditor general requires, and the auditor general shall be given access to all books, accounts, financial records, reports, electronic data processing records, explanations, files and all other papers, things or property belonging to or in use by the department... and necessary to the performance of the duties of the auditor general under this Act.”
You go, John!

Even if there is ample reason to doubt whether the CNLOPB falls under the ambit of that Act, you go!

And while you're at it...

Perhaps you can get Transportation and Works, or Finance, to explain how it was the House of Assembly voted itself $8.5-million in federal revenue for the Trans-Labrador Highway in FY 2003/04 [estimates]; $11.4-million in federal revenue for the same cause in 2004/05 [estimates]; $7.5-million in federal revenue for the same in 2006/07 [estimates]; and the same amount for the same purpose in the following fiscal year [estimates]; a grand total, for the CAs keeping track, of $34.9-million in federal funding voted by the House of Assembly within five fiscal years....

...and this, despite the inconvenient fact that Parliament — the federal one — had not directly voted any such monies, or any other program which could, on the Treasury Board guidelines — do you have those quaint things, too? — furnish such funding.

Is this normal budgetary practice within the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial government?

Perhaps, pursuant to s.17, the AG could get to the bottom of this rather odd practice of budgeting imaginary money.

Just try going to your friendly neighbourhood financial institution to cash money that doesn't actually exist, but which you are "strongly advocating" for, which you consider "an ideal opportunity"; which is a "case" that a provincial Cabinet Minister is "making"; or which you "continue to await"; or which is "subject to..., subject to..."; or which is being "articulated" and "lobbied for"; or which is a "top priority".


At 11:44 PM, February 26, 2008 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...


That's a pretty significant series of problems for the AG to explain both for the government aspect and why he's never commented on a fairly obvious problem.

I have often wondered why it was that the Auditor General, who ought to know better, never actually looked at the real amount of overspending in the House between 1998 and 2006.

His version was light by several million dollars. That fact was originally posted at Bond and then the Green report went into much greater detail on the level of overspending.

The AG, who ought to know, never ever raised the problems in the House of Assembly once even though each year he saw the real overages - not the limited ones he reported later - in the public accounts, audited them and went on his merry way.

I have often wondered how it was that Noseworthy was fixated on Paul Dicks yet he never seemed to find any evidence of the sort of overspending, over-writing of books and records, destruction of records, that turned up later, even though the AG had been able to audit the legislature right up to 2000/2001.

The whole thing seemed very odd to me.

Yep. There are a great many questions about John Noseworthy's work as AG. Had there been a public inquiry, his office should have been reviewed from top to bottom.

At 11:47 PM, February 26, 2008 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

Oh, I almost forgot.

Then there's the dubious way of reporting the 2005 one-time transfer. It's presented in the budget as if it was real cash, not just a paper record so as a result the "surplus" is entirely artifical some years.

Then there's the problem of SAC Mfg. Either the department hid it from Noseworthy or Noseworthy knew and didn't include it in his report. So the thing shows up as an asset when in fact the asset was known by someone to be functionally worthless at the time the public accounts were completed.


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