Here’s what we know. In the first week of February Auditor General Doyle told Business in Vancouver magazine that he would have stayed in British Columbia if his appointment had been “automatically renewed as expected.” (The Times Colonist reported this on February 5th.
Here’s something else we know. A few days after it became public that the Legislative Committee responsible for the appointment of the Auditor General was not going to recommend Doyle’s re-appointment, confidential information in the form of a so-called management report concerning the Auditor General’s examination into the constituency office renovation expenses of the MLA for Vernon Monashee – who was chair of the committee – was leaked to a Times Colonist reporter.
Here’s what we don’t know: who leaked that constituency office “management report”? It could have been any number of people who were on the distribution list for that report. I certainly hope it wasn’t an Auditor General who was angry that he was not going to be re-appointed.
Here’s something more we know. As of today the Auditor General has informed the media that he has five more reports he intends to release.
Typically, Auditor General reports are tabled in the Legislative Assembly if the House is sitting. That’s what the law requires, and it's how they became public.
I think there is reason for concern that the Auditor General apparently decided to delay the release of these five reports until after the House adjourned.
But I am more concerned that, less than three weeks before the writ for the May election is issued, the Auditor General is indicating his intention to release five more reports.
That feels to me like an Auditor General who wants to influence the electoral process. And that is not his job.
There is no reason why his reports cannot wait to be issued until after the election. I know the usual suspects will howl at me that this is just a ruse to help the Liberals avoid accountability. Well, if the Auditor General had wanted to hold the Liberals accountable for something more than he has already reported about, he should have issued these reports months ago. I think he’s too late now. He's become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
More's the pity. Becuase if this train keeps barreling down the track it’s on, which at this point looks inevitable, sooner or later someone will realize that we are not supposed to be governed by unelected, unaccountable officers of the Legislature and the Auditor General Act will be amended to curtail the powers of the office because the circus that has become his office is not healthy for democracy. The Auditor General is supposed to be an impartial analyst of public administration, not the star attraction in a political gongshow.