Audit MPs by Auditor General sign now


MPs have dummied up and in a conspiracy of silence refused the request of auditor general Sheila Fraser have a look at their books. Fraser met with the secretive all-party board of internal economy last June, seeking an invitation to review $533 million in parliamentary spending. Shes been waiting for word ever since.

The mandate of Auditor general "allows her to audit government departments and various Crown agencies as identified in the Act, but does not include the legislative branch, which includes the House of Commons. Are MPs above law? Should they not be accountable to the highest independent statutory body? Even if exempt, we expect the MPs to inviting the auditor-general in to perform audits -- something that has been done on two previous occasions.
Fraser has rightly argued the current auditing system isn't good enough. She says her team of auditors would go deeper to ensure taxpayers are getting good value for the more than $500 million in public money spent annually on MPs expenditures.

We have seen serious challenges that emerged in UK where the MPs were found to have engaged in severe abuses of the taxpayers which came to light in 2008 and 2009. When the books were examined, the abuses were extreme and revealed ministers and MPs out of control and in clear violation of the expense rules. The examination revealed a system where the ministers/MPs etc. create their own rules and systems of spending that allows 'questionable' expenses and abuses, yet gives them authority to do this. The aim is to have some protection if caught, yet all is done to keep the abuses secret and done by all so not one could break ranks. And when caught, they can claim and point you to the rules that 'they' wrote, and state "we were within the rules". We wish an examination of the expenses of the government and MPs, all ministers etc. so that the taxpayer can ensure that as they are asked to maintain their financial house, so does the government and all who fall within parliament. We make no accusations at this time and hope that all is above board yet this can only be ascertained if access is allowed under Section 5 of the Act.

We want the Auditor General to audit all expenses by all ministers, all MPs of all parties, the Prime Minister, the PMO. We also request a full accounting via line list of all expense categories to ascertain how the 500 million dollars ($500 million) is spent for these expenses and especially the 'other' category. We also request a list of what monies was paid back, by whom, and when. Is it asking too much?

We expect our law makesr to be above suspicion? Would they help sustain an image of honesty or do we brand them otherwise?

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Patsy BaldwinBy:
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Canadian parliament

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