Scott Clark and Peter DeVries consider the parliamentary budget officer.
A strengthened (more resources), and more independent (report to Parliament) PBO would promote greater understanding of complex budget issues; it would strengthen credibility by encouraging simplification and forcing the government to defend its economic and budget forecasts; it would improve the budget process by promoting a straightforward and more understandable and open process; it would promote accountability by commenting on the government’s projections and analysis; finally, by being nonpartisan it would provide analysis and research to all political parties.
Although the opposition parties have promised to make the PBO more independent, it is highly doubtful that the current government will make any changes to the mandate of the PBO. Accountability and transparency have once again become irrelevant. Indeed the government is more likely to weaken the mandate of the PBO. Kevin Page has set a high bar and much will be revealed in the appointment (if there is one) of the next Parliamentary Budget Officer.