Thursday, March 30, 2006

No Need for Separate Auditor

Recently native leaders gathered in Gatineau, Que to discuss the idea of an independent auditor that would be responsible to audit the chiefs and councillors of native reserves. There is no need for a separate auditor. The move is essentially a pre-emptive strike by native leaders to avoid falling under any federal government accountability measures.

The new federal government has promised to introduce an Accountability Act shortly after the House of Commons resumes in April. If the ultimate goal is to provide all Canadians with a greater sense of accountability and transparency as to how tax dollars are spent, then native communities should be included as part of that legislation. If this were done, native communities would likely fall under the jurisdiction of the Auditor General of Canada.

Regardless of what happens with the proposed Accountability Act one thing is clear; creating a separate auditor would not be the best use of tax dollars. A separate auditor would only increase government bureaucracy and thereby increase the cost to taxpayers. A far simpler approach would be to expand the existing auditor general’s mandate to include native bands as this would not require as many tax dollars to operate due to the economies of scale, plus the added bonus that the standard of audits, mandates and scrutiny would remain consistent.

It is a positive step forward that native leaders are discussing ways to improve accountability and transparency on native reserves. However, creating a separate bureaucracy is not the answer.

To read the entire column click here.

1 comment:

Sask.Taxpayers Federation said...

This must be the first balanced budget in NFLD history.

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