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B.C.'s auditor general leaves post for Australia

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster admits controversy may have played a role in B.C.’s auditor general leaving.

John Doyle has announced that he is leaving as the province’s watchdog to take up new duties in Australia.

“He’s made a career choice and I wish him success,” said Foster, chairperson of a legislative committee responsible for the auditor general.

When asked if the committee’s actions were a factor in Doyle’s departure, Foster said, “I’m sure it did.”

The committee originally decided not to renew Doyle’s contract after six years on the job.

That led to widespread debate across the province, with some suggesting Liberal MLAs on the committee had voted against Doyle because he had been critical of the government.

Ultimately, the committee asked Doyle to remain on for two more years after Premier Christy Clark made a recommendation.

On top of this, some opposition politicians claimed Foster may be in a conflict of interest chairing the committee because Doyle had raised concerns about expense documents related to renovating his Vernon office.

Foster has previously stated that he did not know about Doyle’s report into his office when he was appointed to the committee.

With Doyle heading for Australia, the Legislature will now have to find a new auditor general.

However, Foster isn’t sure if he will be on the committee because the legislative session begins next week and new committee appointments will be made.

“It will be up to the House leader and the premier who makes up the committee,” he said.

“There’s no guarantee whatsoever that I will be on the committee.”

Clark has indicated that legislation should be changed so auditor generals have a non-renewable eight-year term.

Foster supports that move and says it will prevent future controversy over MLAs selecting an auditor general.

“It gives them an opportunity to do the job and not worry about reappointment, and you avoid all of the silliness,” said Foster.

Prior to coming to B.C., Doyle was in Australia.

 

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