Kathy Dunderdale — File photo
A New Democrat MHA is concerned about the amount of time it’s taking for the province to appoint a new auditor general.
The position has been vacant since John Noseworthy retired at the end of July. He announced he’d be leaving the post a month earlier on Twitter.
Dale Kirby, NDP member for St. John’s North, said the government has had close to six months to replace Noseworthy and it’s time a new AG was hired.
“It’s a vitally important role that needs to be filled,” Kirby said. “We’re quite aware (of that) because of the spending scandal. … It’s concerning to me that it’s taken this amount of time, and how much longer will we have to wait?”
Uncovering the House of Assembly spending scandal that Kirby mentioned is what Noseworthy is best remembered for. Four MHAs and a senior bureaucrat served jail time for inappropriately using taxpayers’ money, and a number of members were found to have misused constituency allowances. Noseworthy’s findings prompted a judicial review and widespread changes to the rules governing MHAs.
In response to a query about finding Noseworthy’s replacement, a spokeswoman with Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s office said, “the process of selecting an auditor general is an important one for government. When that process is completed, and the best candidate identified, an announcement will be made. In the meantime, there is an interim auditor general and the work of the office is ongoing.”
Wayne Loveys, acting auditor general, told The Telegram his office would still be filing its annual report by the end of January, as required by legislation.
Kirby said the response from the premier’s spokeswoman sounded like an “non-answer answer” about efforts to fill the position.
He wants someone in the job before Christmas so the new AG can have time to “get in there and have a good look around.” He doesn’t think it’s constructive for someone to be put in place immediately before the annual report is released.
“It doesn’t do the province any favour or the person ... to be there answering questions and defending (the report) and explaining why items are as important as they are,” he said.
Kirby said he does not doubt the competence of the staff at the auditor general’s office, but he does “question the competence of the people supposed to be overseeing the (hiring) process, which is primarly the premier and her cabinet.”
Noseworthy ran unsuccessfully for the PCs in this fall’s general election against Kirby’s leader, Lorraine Michael, in Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi.
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