Missing: Government Accountability and Transparency
A delay in the release of the province’s 2019-20 Public Accounts is a matter of grave public concern, says Liberal Finance Critic Heath MacDonald.
“The law requires that the Public Accounts – known popularly as the ‘Blue Books’ – are to be public no later than October 31. It now appears this important exercise in government openness and transparency will be delayed – and possibly until 2021,” MacDonald said.
Under the former Liberal government, two surplus budgets were recorded – which left the province in excellent financial shape.
“The Public Accounts will tell the Island public whether this government has continued to use taxpayers’ dollar wisely. Certainly, a deficit this year is understood. However, the full force of the pandemic did not arrive until two weeks before the end of the last fiscal year. So, the Public Accounts will offer a fuller picture of the province’s situation last year.”
MacDonald said his main concerns are transparency and accountability, particularly for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
“The expenditure of public dollars is an enormous responsibility – and Islanders deserve to know where the dollars have gone,” he said.