The PBO's job description

Is the PBO supposed to be a discreet consensus-builder?

Bruce Cheadle and Colin Horgan review the discussion around the job description posted for the next parliamentary budget officer. Kathryn May talks to Ian Lee.

But Ian Lee, a professor at Carleton’s Sprott School of Business who has studied the role of the PBO, said the job description is “misleading” and shows the library doesn’t understand the PBO’s role as an independent budget office that does objective analysis and costing.

“The language of job description suggests they’re looking for a labour negotiator or someone to negotiate a peace treaty between warring parties … You don’t negotiate numbers and reach consensus on generally accepted accounting principles. … This is the best evidence yet why the PBO should not be reporting to the library because it reveals an incomprehension of the PBO’s role.”

I asked the Library of Parliament specifically about the reference to “tact and discretion” and was told that “the mandate for the Parliamentary Budget Officer remains the same.  There were no substantive changes to the job description when it was updated.”