Ontario Government Restoring Trust in Public Finances Through Commission of Inquiry and Line-by-Line Audit of Spending
TORONTO — Ontario's Government for the People is taking action to restore the people's trust in the public finances. Today Premier Doug Ford joined with Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance, and Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, to announce unprecedented action to restore the public's confidence in Ontario's books.
"One of my first actions as premier was to bring in the best and the brightest to build on the great work of the Auditor General, follow the money and shine a light on the darkest corners of the government," said Ford. "I want the people to have a full, honest and accurate picture of Ontario's finances. You deserve to know where your hard-earned money is going, how it was being wasted and how we're going to fix it."
The premier and ministers announced that the government will create an Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry into Ontario's past spending and accounting practices. Under the direction of chair Gordon Campbell and commissioners Dr. Al Rosen and Michael Horgan, the inquiry will be authorized under the Public Inquiries Act, 2009 to assess the previous government's accounting practices, and to provide advice and recommendations on how the government can restore trust in Ontario's finances.
"We will give the commission an expansive mandate to chase down any and all budgetary, spending or accounting practices that might compromise the public's faith in our public finances," said Fedeli. "I am confident that this commission has the right leadership, the right mandate and the right resources to get the job done."
The premier and ministers also announced a public request for bids for outside experts to perform a line-by-line audit of all government programs and services. The audit will include public consultations. It will provide the government with a detailed analysis of current spending, benchmark this against other jurisdictions and recommend areas that can be improved, including identifying efficiencies and cost savings.
"This audit will examine the entire broader public service," said Minister Bethlenfalvy. "If the government is paying for something with your tax dollars, you deserve to have confidence that your money is being spent with prudence and care."
"I promised the people of Ontario that we would put an end to the party with your money," Premier Ford concluded. "With this decisive action, that is exactly what we are doing. Promise made, promise kept."