MLA Lake welcomes expense audit
Bring it on.
That's the response from Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Terry Lake to a damning report from B.C.'s auditor general, describing Victoria's books as a huge mess.
"We've known that this has been an issue," Lake told KTW.
"I think having the auditor general's report will help us in terms of . . . coming up with something constructive."
Auditor General John Doyle said years of neglect resulted in a $1.3-billion discrepancy in his review.
The next step for Doyle will be to audit MLA spending — something Lake welcomed with open arms.
"I'm happy to have my expenses audited any time," he said.
"I run my constituency office in a way that's transparent and I think we all should be doing that."
Meanwhile, the Legislative Assembly Management Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 31, to discuss Doyle's critical report.
The committee is the statutory all-party committee responsible for the overall management and administration of the Legislative Assembly.
Following this meeting, the committee will issue a public statement, including a
full schedule of meetings and a work plan to expedite action on audit concerns.
"As chair of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, I take the report and its findings very seriously", said Bill Barisoff, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and B.C. Liberal MLA for Penticton.
Doyle's review followed his report on the provincial government's reporting this week on the deficit.
While Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced the province posted a $1.8-billion deficit for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Doyle said the actual deficit is actually $2.35 billion — $520 million more than the B.C. Liberals reported.
Doyle said the deficit is higher than reported because some of the government's financial summary does not follow generally accepted accounting practices.
The auditor-general noted that auditors-general have raised concerns about provincial government financial statements in 13 of the past 17 years.