“Auditor balks at vetting by PMO | Canada |   Independent watchdog will not abide by rule to run public statements by officials, Fraser says May 01, 2008 04:30 AM bruce campion-smith Ottawa bureau chief   OTTAWA-Ottawa’s financial watchdog says she won’t go along with draft government rules that she says would undermine the independence of officers of Parliament like herself. Auditor-General Sheila Fraser found allies yesterday who condemned the Conservative proposal, which could mean that Parliament’s officers must vet their public statements through a wing of the Prime Minister’s Office, as an unprecedented attack on the independence of the officers, who are supposed to work at arm’s length. The draft proposal would lump in Fraser, along with other officers of Parliament such as the head of Elections Canada, and the privacy, information and ethics commissioners with all other government departments and demand they get high-level approval before speaking out. “It’s absolutely unacceptable and it’s an attack on the independence of officers of Parliament,” NDP MP David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre) said yesterday. “This will be resolved. It’s just a matter of how much dust do we have to kick up and how far do we have to drag the Prime Minister kicking and screaming to acknowledge that there are people in this country that he doesn’t control.”  Fraser  made clear she wouldn’t co-operate anyway with the proposed edict. “I do not believe there is any kind of … ill will towards officers of Parliament,”  “When they issue these policies, to be quite frank, they don’t consider officers of Parliament. We’re six relatively small agencies,” Fraser said. The draft communications plan would demand that communications “products” be vetted by the Privy Council Office, which is the bureaucratic wing of the Prime Minister’s Office, and other high-level government officials. “I truly believe that the government itself recognizes that would be inappropriate,” Fraser said.   Fraser revealed the existence of the proposed policy Tuesday when she appeared before the Commons public accounts committee to discuss her office’s operations. “Recently, for example, there’s a draft communication policy going around that would have all communication strategies, all communications, everything, go through Privy Council Office,” Fraser told MPs. “Well, I can tell you there is no way that my press releases about my report are going to go to Privy Council Office or our communications strategies are going to be vetted by Privy Council Office.”  ” Treasury Board President Vic Toews his department had refused to release a copy of the draft communications plan.
Just what we all do need to read, hear still, about  more Stephen Harper, Conservative crap coming out of Ottawa..
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