Government taking too long to hire AG, MHA says

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Steve Bartlett
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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.

sbartlett@thetelegram.com Twitter: @bartlett_steve

Organizations: NDP, The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Scott Free
    November 30, 2011 - 15:27

    Sounds like a job for the Princess to me; no, wait now...Skinner; no, no, no...ah, what the hell, re-appoint Noseworthy back into his big compfy chair.

  • David
    November 30, 2011 - 14:00

    Auditors General are nothing but trouble.....the government says they don't need one, that's good enough for me. Look at it this way : just think of how much they're saving us by not having an AG on salary ---- it's probably over $120,000! Thanks, Kathy, you're just as good as Danny ever was!

    • BR
      November 30, 2011 - 21:26

      Do you think the crooks would be found out if we didn't have an AG? Because govt says they don't need one, that's good enough? That should be a hint that they don't want anybody looking over their shoulder. The AG doesn't just report the crooks. He finds errors in the records and has them corrected so the public gets a true and accurate picture of our finances. No, I don't work for the AG.

  • Joseph McGrath
    November 30, 2011 - 13:21

    Study the SYSTEM Do not be surprised to learn that the AG role and scope is quickly becoming no more than 100%-Pure-Waste. "Shame,Shame" Identifying issues/concerns/problems/thingies year after year and then letting the government not do buggar-all about the 'cause' does not deserve "WOW" factor status at all...business as usual...The processes are designed to pacify the masses...lottsa huffin and puffin laced with hocus-pocus malarky...providing the perception that 'someone is lookin' after ya'lls'... Why are so many taxpayers so darn STUPID? Such Fools!!! The "PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE"sold it's soul years ago and now turns up only at the payroll office to collect the annual stipend given to member MHAs from all parties.Institutions like Memorial University etc. thumb their nose at the the AG having a look at their operations.The position has become "POWERLESS"in many public financial areas and will only continue into the downward spirial. as an aside...a TOP-Dawg will do whatever a TOP-Dawg wants to do. THAT is 'How' the Worm-Turns. The "MEDIA" lost the story of the AG years ago when it failed to DEMAND why their was no "PAC MEETINGS" or an "Annual REPORT' issued by that "SLACKER "BUNCH" Pity,"REAL PITY"

  • Steve Winslow
    November 30, 2011 - 13:11

    This story must be motivated by the NDP's overwhelming concern about having government jobs going unfilled. It's not like the NDP ever had concern about prudent spending!

  • Dave
    November 30, 2011 - 09:05

    'In the meantime, there is an interim auditor general and the work of the office is ongoing.” Nuff said.

  • Harvey
    November 30, 2011 - 08:04

    Being tardy in hiring a new permanent AG by this government should come as no surprise; not opening the House is a prime example of tardiness...or is it????Maybe there's a fear of inability to effectively debate tough issues!!!

  • Eli
    November 30, 2011 - 06:47

    Will anybody be surprised if Noseworthy resurfaces same as Simms and Reid?

    • Jordan
      November 30, 2011 - 10:50

      Seeing it's only a 10 year position, which was suppose to be up this coming April, he'd maybe able to serve for 4 months if he could be reappointed.