Auditor general being named soon

Steve Bartlett
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The province will soon have a new financial watchdog.

“It is expected that a resolution regarding the appointment of an (auditor general) will be introduced in the House of Assembly very soon,” a spokeswoman for Premier Kathy Dunderdale said in an email Friday.

The job hasn’t been permanently filled since John Noseworthy retired at the end of July 2011. He had announced a month earlier — on Twitter — he was leaving the post.

Wayne Loveys has been acting auditor general and the office’s work has continued, with the AG’s 2012 report released on time and holding government's feet to the fire on issues such as the lack of a formal infrastructure plan.

Loveys, however, is scheduled to retire within weeks.

In November, Dunderdale's office told The Telegram the selection process was important and would identify the best candidate.

Six months later, word the process is coming to an end and a new AG will soon be in place has opposition politicians wondering what’s taken so long.

“It’s about time,” NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said. “They’ve known for a whole year that they have an interim person in place, and I’m surprised they didn’t come up with somebody before this.”

She presumes the new auditor general will be announced before Loveys retires — “at the last minute.”

“And that doesn’t surprise me with this government. So much stuff is last minute.”

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said the AG’s job is one of three important roles long vacant in the province.

The others: chairperson of Nalcor’s board of directors and a seat on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

“They are slow (to appoint) and these are just three examples of important positions to this province that shouldn’t be empty,” Ball said.

Both opposition leaders agree the AG’s responsibilities were in good hands under Loveys.

But Michael maintains government should have acted more quickly.

“Just to show that they see this as important,” she says.

Ball agreed saying people view the watchdog as important to democracy.

“It adds a layer of confidence in the system,” he said.

Twitter: @SteveBartlett_

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

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