Defending the Auditor General for Vancouver

Regular readers of this blog, and most anyone interested in improvements to Vancouver’s civic governance, will recall that, almost single-handedly, Councilor Colleen Hardwick succeeded in pushing through City Council a motion to establish an office of the Auditor General.  In my opinion, and in the opinion of others that I respect, this is a matter of fundamental reform, introducing a degree of transparency to a system that today shields staff (and often Councillors) from the consequences of their actions.

It is such a fundamental reform that it seriously disturbs the technocratic power structures that have governed us for years and offers our elected representatives a far better shot at changing the system to meet their constituents’ wishes than we have today.  And that potential disturbance to their charmed lives caused — and continues to cause — certain City Hall staff and their political allies to fight like hell to stop or radically weaken this initiative.

I am hearing rumours that Councillors Boyle, Carr and Fry are working hand in hand with the City Manager to emasculate the office at the very least (who knows if those rumours are true?), and I am hearing that even some of Councillor Hardwick’s NPA colleagues are wavering in the face of staff’s self-serving but firm opposition to more openness in government.

I hope that everyone in Vancouver who is interested in government transparency and efficiency will email City Hall and make sure they know that we are watching and eagerly awaiting a fully-functioning Auditor General for Vancouver.

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