The lingering mystery of the PBO selection committee

Parliamentary librarian has submitted shortlist to government
The Peace Tower is seen in Ottawa, Friday September 25, 2009. Adrian Wyld/TCPI/The Canadian Press

Whatever yesterday’s report from iPolitics, the Library of Parliament is not yet ready to identify the members of the committee charged with identifying a shortlist for the next parliamentary budget officer.

The Parliamentary Librarian has indicated that the individuals who agreed to serve on the selection committee were former senior public service executives and private sector leaders with expertise in economics and financial management, as well as senior officials familiar with the Governor in Council appointment process and the Parliamentary environment. As the selection process is still ongoing and as is the established practice with personnel matters, to maintain the integrity and objectivity of the process, the names of the selection committee will not be released.

The Library does confirm that, as iPolitics reported late last week, the selection committee has submitted three names to Government House leader Peter Van Loan.

As is set out in the Parliament of Canada Act, the Parliamentary Librarian has submitted a short-list of three names – in confidence – to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for the Government’s consideration for the PBO position. Given the selection process is still ongoing, the names of the selection committee will not be released.

The members of the selection committee in 2008 were publicly identified on February 13, 2008. By William Young’s testimony, that was two months after the committee had submitted names, but it was also a full month before Kevin Page’s appointment was announced by the Government House leader.