Because this could get interesting:
Auditor General Sheila Fraser says the government should be prepared to defend its rationale for changing any rules or processes and spell out who is accountable in its race to get stimulus money out the door.
As her office prepares for a audit into the expected spending frenzy of the next two years, Canada’s spending watchdog laid out her expectations for the management of stimulus money in a recent letter to Treasury Board Secretary Wayne Wouters.
“In all our audits, the criteria we use are based mainly on the government’s own rules,” she wrote in the letter. Should the government decide to modify its normal processes in delivering the Economic Action Plan, we would expect the rationale to be clearly documented and accountabilities to be clear.”
She warned that public servants and politicians rushing to get that money into the economy better balance speed with “due diligence.” That demands “a sound analysis of risk” and a level of scrutiny in approving programs and projects that are “commensurate with those risks.”
“I appreciate managers will face challenges in implementing the plan, given very tight time constraints. They will need to balance the government’s wish to move quickly with the requirement to exercise due regard,” she said.
She also seems to be siding with some of those whiny, high-maintenance, hyperdemanding opposition members on the question of whether the government should provide at least a “rudimentary list” — and not, presumably, just pictures of the prime minister holding court in front of various scenically shovel-themed backdrops — of the projects that will benefit from the $3 billion quick start fund:
She also said she didn’t have any concerns with the principle behind the $3-billion fund to fasttrack projects between April and June, but she questioned why the government couldn’t give MPs a rudimentary list of the programs and projects that will be financed.
“It’s not unreasonable.
$3 billion is a fair bit of money and they must have ideas, even in broad strokes, how that money will flow between April and June,” she said.
“I must say that I don’t buy the argument that they can’t tell them something — maybe not the detail of, say, what festival, or how much, but they could at least say where the money is going, whether it’s (to) infrastructure or festivals.”
“Festivals”? My goodness, how did that word worm its way into the discussion?