Parliament can't do its job

Dean Beeby revisits the government operations committee’s report on Parliament’s ability to scrutinize government spending.

A new report says arcane rules are keeping MPs in the dark about the billions in government spending they should be scrutinizing. Members of Parliament receive conflicting, outdated information about how billions of tax dollars are being spent each year, and get little opportunity to review fiscal plans.

Just this spring, not a single House of Commons committee was able to report on its examination of some proposed spending because the information arrived too late — and the session clock ran out.

Within this report is the aforementioned suggestion that the Parliamentary Budget Officer might be made a full officer of Parliament. Tony Clement praised this report in June and Dean quotes Conservative MP Mike Wallace, who has previously called for estimates reform (see here and here).