B.C. auditor general John Doyle has blasted his reappointment process as a “Mickey Mouse” and said his future should be decided by politicians after the May provincial election.
Doyle shot back Thursday at the Liberal-dominated legislative committee that refused to give him a second term in office.
“The only way I could describe this process is Mickey Mouse,” Doyle said in an interview.
After the premier intervened this month, the committee backpedalled and offered a shortened two-year contract extension to Doyle.
Doyle said he was “forced” to reapply for his job too early, last year, when he firmly believes his contract doesn’t expire until November. Under the law, he said he didn’t need to reapply until April.
The issue of his future “may be best if it takes place post-election,” said Doyle.
“All this is too premature,” he added. “They should be thinking of replacing me if I don’t stay, or thinking of extending me, in the next parliament.”
Doyle wouldn’t say whether he’ll accept the two-year contract extension. He said it’s not even a formal offer to consider until the legislature votes to approve it next month.
Doyle had harsh words for the entire selection process.
“I think it’s an awful process in that I don’t think that the committee knew what they were doing,” he said.
Doyle also chastised the chairman of the committee seeking to replace him, Liberal MLA Eric Foster.
“I do have a concern about the independence of the chair,” Doyle said.
Part of those concerns stem from the fact that Foster had been singled out by Doyle for criticisms in a recent audit related to questionable expenses in Foster’s constituency office and a possible conflict of interest.
But Doyle said he’s also concerned about “something that happened in the interview process,” and suggested he might have more to say about Foster’s conduct after future thought.
Foster has denied any wrongdoing and said he was unaware of Doyle’s criticisms of his expenses while he was chairing the committee that rejected Doyle for a second term.
Premier Christy Clark has said she’ll introduce legislation next month to change the flawed process of reappointing an auditor general, by limiting future auditors to a single eight-year term.
But Doyle said he doesn’t understand why Clark selected eight years as the term length, when most other jurisdictions have 10-year terms for auditors general.
Foster declined an interview request Thursday.
“Mr. Doyle has reapplied for the job as auditor general and an offer is now on the table,” Foster said in a statement. “Mr. Doyle needs to let British Columbians know if he accepts this offer or not.
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