Friday, August 04, 2017

Where are those Public Accounts? Delay should worry Liberals

The Liberals should be getting nervous about the long delay in releasing the Public Accounts and the Auditor General's review of government finances.

As part of the Liberals' self-destructive bid to hang on to power, then finance minister Mike de Jong broke precedent by releasing unofficial results for the fiscal year ending March 31. He claimed a $2.8 billion surplus, $1.3 billion higher than budgeted. (Showing the Liberals mean-spirited election platform was a matter of ideology, not economics.)

De Jong defended the unorthodox media event days before the government was set to lose a confidence vote, saying the real, certified numbers would be available in a matter of days. "The auditor general's office is advising they'll be in a position to issue the certificate next week," he said.

More than five weeks later, the Public Accounts still haven't been released; most years, they're public by mid-July. (Last year it was July 21.)

The province's auditor general has issued "qualified" approvals for the Liberal government's financial statements repeatedly, finding that they was not following proper Canadian accounting practices.

The delay could indicate that the Auditor General has found a more sympathetic ear in the new government or that the NDP has its own questions about Liberal financial practices and the claimed surplus.

Which would not be good news for a Liberal party that lost its way with a throne speech that abandoned any claimed principles and now may face questions about its financial competence.


Scotty on Denman said...

As I understand it, the Audtor General made the same "qualification"---or condemnation---about BC Liberal bookkeeping methods for every single year of their regime.

I'd heard that the same was said about the last NDP budget which left the new BC Liberal government with a surplus. But I'm assuming such creative bookkeeping was not employed in the NDP's previous, infamous "fudge-it-budget"---otherwise it mightn't have gotten that name.

I suspect BC citizens might soon be getting reeducated about certain accounting tactics used to defer debt and allow governments to present supposedly "balanced" budgets because it's currently politic to slag its rival (and a mouthwatering trove of slagables just might explain the delay in presenting the smorgasbord), but it's something we should know about with respect to any government.

Anonymous said...

The NDP needs to take this opportunity to open up the books and let British Columbians know how truly fiscally incompetent the BC Liberals were. And have a separate corruption probe.


astrom47 said...

Even if the NDP brings this issue forward, the MSM will not report it. They are in bed with the BC Liberals and essentially work for them.