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Auditor returning to Australia

B.C. Auditor General John Doyle - Black Press files
B.C. Auditor General John Doyle
— image credit: Black Press files

B.C. Auditor General John Doyle has accepted a job as Auditor General of the Australian state of Victoria.

The appointment puts to an end a bitter debate between B.C. MLAs about whether Doyle should have been offered a second term of six years.

Doyle has insisted his term of office extends until next October, while an all-party MLA committee concluded his term was to end in May. The appointment of a replacement for B.C. may be delayed until after the spring election.

After one or more B.C. Liberal members on the committee refused to support a unanimous vote to reappoint Doyle, Premier Christy Clark stepped in and suggested he be offered a two-year extension. She also said legislation should be changed to give B.C. auditors a non-renewable eight-year term, to avoid the problem of politicians voting in secret to reappoint their own financial watchdog.

Doyle has shaken up the government's handling of BC Hydro finances, forest inventory and other issues. He also forced a remake of the B.C. legislature's own finances, revealing that MLA expenses were being paid without receipts.

After Doyle highlighted the rapid growth of BC Hydro deferral accounts, where debt ballooned as the utility continued to pay dividends to the government, the B.C. Utilities Commission ordered BC Hydro to increase customer rates to pay the deferred debt down more quickly.

Doyle came to B.C. from Australia, where he served as deputy auditor general for the state of Western Australia.

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