Federal departments could be forced to dramatically change way they report billions in spending to Parliament | The Hill Times Online

Monday, July 23: Federal government departments could be forced to dramatically change the way they report to Parliament the billions they spend annually if the government acts on the unanimously-approved report released by the House Government Operations Committee last month.

“Parliament does not effectively fulfill its role and standing committees are at best giving perfunctory attention to the government’s spending plans,” said the report.

The committee released a set of cross-party recommendations for improving the way Parliamentarians review the government spending estimates, a system that both MPs and Parliamentary experts have called arcane and subject to partisan abuse.

“The Canadian system, Members of Parliament, and that includes government backbenchers, we’re having to vote on multi-billions of expenditures with basically no information,” said NDP MP and committee member Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona, Alta.).

“One of our major roles, surely as an elected official, is to properly scrutinize the bills and spending by the government each year, and right now the system does not allow for that,” Ms. Duncan said.

[Continue reading at The Hill Times]