Today’s Editorial – November 13: Keep Auditor General Duguay

Last week, members of the government lashed out at Auditor General Dan Duguay on national television.

The concern, if we understood correctly, was that Mr. Duguay was apparently in cahoots with Governor Stuart Jack in a conspiracy to stifle government’s capital projects plans, starting with the proposed cruise ship berthing facility.

Like most conspiracy theories, this is nonsense.

Mr. Duguay simply announced his intentions to look into the proposed project, following news reports that the normal tendering process had been bypassed.

Like it or not, that’s what auditor generals do folks.

Mr. Duguay has been subjected to several personal, public attacks this year – and even threatened with lawsuits – for doing nothing more than holding elected officials’ feet to the fire on the issues of transparent bidding procedures and making reports from the auditor general’s office readily accessible to the public.

Word has reached our ears that Governor Stuart Jack, in his final weeks in office, may be deciding on whether to renew Mr. Duguay’s contract, which expires in the early part of next year.

If it is indeed proper for the governor to make such a crucial decision at this late date, we hope he would take into consideration that there is a large, but often silent, group of citizens in the country who want a fierce public advocate such as the current auditor general.

The governor might be getting comments that certain government officials may not be happy with Mr. Duguay, and that they don’t enjoy his presence in the Public Accounts Committee.

To which our response is: good.

The auditor general is there to look out for the public’s interests, not those of elected officials or the select few among the rich and powerful elite.