Premier Christy Clark pledged Wednesday to fix the “profoundly flawed” process of hiring B.C.’s auditor general and said she hopes current auditor John Doyle will stay in the job for another two years.
Clark said she understands public concerns about how a Liberal-dominated committee of MLAs recently decided not to renew Doyle’s contract.
Doyle is one of the government’s most vocal critics and some have suggested the B.C. Liberals chose to oust him from the job due to his criticism.
“When there’s skepticism it puts everybody, the MLAs and auditor general, in an untenable position,” Clark said of the selection process.
“I do not believe it’s the right process when we have independent officers of the legislature like this one, who are in a natural conflict with the government, to every six years be coming in and perhaps asking to have their job back,” she added.
“I think it creates a difficult conflict. And it’s time we in British Columbia did this a lot more like they do in other jurisdictions.”
Clark said she’ll introduce legislation this spring to limit future auditors general to one eight-year term, rather than a six-year term with the opportunity of renewal.
That could open the door for Doyle, whose term is up later this year, to stay on the job for two additional years.
“If I had my wish, Mr. Doyle would be offered the opportunity to stay on for another two years,” said Clark.
Keeping Doyle on the job will still require the five-person MLA committee to unanimously vote to retain him, Clark said. A unanimous vote to rehire Doyle has already failed once, with the NDP blaming one or more Liberal MLAs for the split vote.
Questions were also raised after it was revealed the chairman of the auditor general committee, Liberal MLA Eric Foster, had recently been criticized by the auditor general over constituency expenses.
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