Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Marks for this Initiative.... now the Cities..

It seems everyone (and I can be guilty of this) wants to take a shot at Government for always doing silly things but this move is not one of them. We must applaud the Premier and Mr. Sheridan for taking the initiative to make these important changes to help Islanders better understand the job their Government is doing prior to an election. The role of an auditor is a very important function in any public organization and I think I can speak for all taxpayers in acknowledging the improvements brought forward by both our Provincial and Federal auditors have greatly improved some of the ways Government does business . Now if we can only get the Premier to give our Provincial Auditor authority to watch over our large municipalities like Charlottetown and Summerside then the quicker we'll see improvements to those Communities... the first review should be the Mayor's office...
Province must open books to auditor, public before election
The Guardian
The province’s books will now have to be audited and presented publicly three months before every election, thanks to a bill passed during the recent fall sitting of the legislature. The changes will force government and all its Crown corporations to have their financial statements complete and ready for the scrutiny of the province’s auditor general by Aug. 31 of any fixed election year. Once the audit is complete, the results will then be made public. This will allow Islanders to have a true picture of the province’s finances as they make their decisions about which candidates to vote for, says Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan. “What we feel very strongly — the premier and myself both — is that when people go to the voting booth to decide whether they want to keep the government in place, they should have audited numbers from the year before’s performance,” Sheridan said in a recent interview with The Guardian. These changes to the Financial Administration Act come as a result of major differences that have been reported from one year end to the next in past governments. This was most recently seen in figures put forward just before the Liberals took over from the former Binns government in 2007. Before the election, the Progressive Conservatives presented a budget they said left the Island with a surplus of $2.1 million. But when the Liberals took over government a few months later, they said they found some major discrepancies in the figures and announced the province was actually $42 million in deficit. This wouldn’t have happened if the newly minted law had been in place then, Sheridan said. “We felt that people were misled.”

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