Description: A CBC report this past week highlighted a flaw in the system of appointments for auditors general in the province of New Brunswick. Since the Office of the Auditor General was restored in the 1960s, four of the seven auditors general went directly to the auditor’s chair from the comptroller’s position. This creates problems with the appearance of independence, and, in accounting, independence in appearance is just as important as independence in fact. Former provincial Minister of Finance, Dr. Norm Betts, calls the legislation “archaic” and he urges improvements before the next appointment.
Date: January 25, 2021
1) If you were designing an appointment system for a new auditor general, what would you do?
2) Why do you think New Brunswick has had this issue for the majority of its appointments whereas other provinces rarely seem to have made a similar appointment from inside the civil service?
3) In Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach we read about the five threats to independence. Which of the threats might pose a problem for a comptroller who becomes an auditor general?