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Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry and External Line-by-Line Audit of Government Spending


Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry and External Line-by-Line Audit of Government Spending

Office of the Premier

Today Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and President of the Treasury Board Peter Bethlenfalvy announced a plan to restore trust and accountability back to Ontario's public finances by launching an Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry and an external line-by-line audit of government spending.

Below is a summary of how the inquiry and audit will work:

What will the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry do?

  • The inquiry will look back at Ontario's public finances and government accounting practices in order to have a clear idea of where taxpayers' money is being spent and inform the 2017-18 Public Accounts
  • The inquiry will operate with complete independence from the Government of Ontario, and is established under the Public Inquiries Act, 2009
  • It will provide advice and recommendations on the Province's current fiscal reality and budgetary position for the current fiscal year (2018-19) and beyond
  • The deadline for the inquiry's final report will be August 30
  • The inquiry will be provided with a dedicated budget and staff resources necessary to meet this deadline

Who will lead the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry?

Gordon Campbell - Chair

Gordon Campbell served as the High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2016. Previously, he served as Premier of British Columbia from 2001 to 2011, and as Mayor of Vancouver from 1986 to 1993.

As Premier of British Columbia, Campbell focused on creating jobs and cutting taxes, reducing regulation, increasing competitiveness, and investing in postsecondary education. Campbell was also instrumental in opening Canada's Northern Gateway.

Dr. Al Rosen - Commissioner

Al Rosen is a prominent forensic accountant and the founder of Rosen & Associates Limited, one of Canada's leading independent litigation and investigative accounting firms. His firm's specialties include auditors' negligence, business valuations, damage quantification, shareholder disputes, financial and equity analysis, and due diligence.

Rosen led the litigation accounting and business valuation division of a mid-sized accounting firm before founding his own company. He has also been an instructor and professor of accounting at the University of British Columbia, York University, University of Alberta and University of Washington. He has served in several roles at these universities, including as Area Coordinator and Director of the MBA program.

Rosen has an MBA and PhD. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario and Alberta (FCA), a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants (FSMA), a Fellow of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (FHKSA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a specialist, Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA-IFA).

Michael Horgan - Commissioner

Michael Horgan has over 36 years of experience in the public sector, and currently provides clients with strategic advice on the financial sector and on the Canadian and international economies. Horgan also has expertise on Aboriginal, energy and environmental issues.

Prior to joining Bennett Jones, where he currently acts as a senior advisor, Horgan held high-level positions in the Government of Canada and for the International Monetary Fund.

What is the external line-by-line audit of government spending?

  • This is a comprehensive audit of past government spending across major sectors and government programs, and will focus on three primary tasks:
    • Conducting a detailed analysis of government spending over the past 15 years
    • Comparing Ontario government expenditures and the rate of spending growth against that of other major provinces
    • Finding ways to save money and improve services, programs and sectors that may need more focused review
  • This audit will include a review of spending across the broader public sector
  • It will also include opportunities for public input and consultation
  • The results of the line-by-line review will be used to make government more efficient and effective, and make sure that all government spending is delivering promised results for the people of Ontario

Who will lead the external line-by-line audit of government spending?

  • On July 17, the province issued a public request for bids to competitively acquire consulting services for a line-by-line review of all government programs and services
  • The request for bids will be posted for 15 days at ontariotenders.bravosolution.com under tender 9519
  • Interested parties will need to register with BravoSolution. Once registered, the request for bids can then be accessed and downloaded for review. There are no costs to register or to download procurement documents of interest
  • Instructions on how the bidding process will work and the forms that need to be filled out to submit a bid are included in the request for bids
  • The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2018