Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gomery Report 2 is out

No big fireworks this time. Just normative recommendations. Gomery 2 is out.

— More money and responsibility for parliamentary committees to act as a balance to government power, particularly the public accounts committee that oversees government spending.
— Establish a code of conduct for government political staff, including a provision that bars them from telling bureaucrats what to do.
— End political involvement in the selection of CEOs and directors of Crown corporations.
— Change the role and title of the clerk of the privy council to depoliticize the position and separate it from the Prime Minister's Office. The new main role should be to represent the public service to cabinet. The secretary of the Treasury Board should assume the title of head of the public service.

Read the actual report here. Read the recommendations here.

Read the news covering it here and here.


One odd recommendation (8):

The Public Accounts Committee should
ensure that Deputy Ministers, other heads of
agencies and senior officials are the witnesses
called to testify before it. As a general
principle, Ministers should not be witnesses
before the Committee.

Aren't minister's responsible ultimately? Hence the term 'parliamentary responsibility.' I can understand that one does not want to make a show of ministers as witnesses. But when push comes to shove, this sort of ministerial protection that Gomery offers here does not seem consistent with 'parliamentary responsibility.'

Recommendation 12:
The Government of Canada should adopt an
open and competitive process for the
selection of Deputy Ministers, similar to the
model used in Alberta.

Oh no! This is the end. Heaven forbid any part of the federal government emulate Alberta in any way.

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