MPP Miller tables Private Member’s Bill to strengthen Auditor General’s oversight
QUEEN’S PARK – Norm Miller wants to strengthen the Auditor General’s powers.
Tuesday afternoon the Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP introduced a private member’s bill aimed at strengthening the Auditor General’s oversight in the province of Ontario.
Specifically, the bill would amend the Auditor General Act of Ontario to allow the provincial Auditor to follow public funds to indirect recipients and into third party organizations, he says in a news release yesterday.
“Over the past few years the Auditor General has been tasked with investigating a number of detailed cases of government spending practices. This legislation, if passed, will help the provincial Auditor to do their job by ensuring that they are able to uncover inefficiencies, bring to light unethical practices, and determine if public dollars are being well spent” said Miller.
Currently, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia all have broader defined scopes of access to information for auditing purposes and this bill will bring Ontario in line with such a standard.
“During my time as the chair of the Public Accounts committee, nearly all of the special reports tabled to this date would benefit from having the ability for the Auditor to follow public funds to third party entities” Miller said.
The proposed changes would have aided the efforts of the Auditor in past investigations of the Ornge Air Ambulance Service and the recent Mississauga Power Plant Cancellation Costs special audit.
Ongoing investigations that would benefit from such oversight include:
– Audit of Ontario Community Care Access Centres
– Ministry of Transportation contracts with private service providers for provincial roads including winter highway maintenance.
– Audit of Smart Meter programs across Ontario
The bill will be debated for second reading on Thursday, April 17.
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