Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Auditor-General fires environment commissioner

In her press release, Sheila Fraser says the Environment Commissioner is "leaving...to pursue other opportunities".
Like resume writing and EI form-filing?
It's not nice when officers of Parliament tap-dance around the truth -- or worse.

The Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, has appointed Ron Thompson, FCA as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) on an interim basis, effective today. He will be replacing Johanne Gélinas, who is leaving the position to pursue other opportunities.

Mr. Thompson joined the Office of the Auditor General in 1977 and has served as an Assistant Auditor General since 1985. He has been responsible for financial and performance audits, including several with environmental and sustainable development components. Mr. Thompson has agreed to defer his retirement plans temporarily in order to serve as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development on an interim basis until the next Commissioner is named.

Ms. Gélinas was appointed Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in August 2000, following a career as an advisor to business and to federal and provincial governments on environmental and sustainable development issues. She succeeded the first Commissioner, Brian Emmett, who served from June 1996 to January 2000.

Ms. Fraser thanked the outgoing Commissioner for her service to the Office of the Auditor General, to Parliament and to Canadians. “Madame Gélinas and her team have done valuable work assisting Parliamentarians through their audits of government’s management of its environmental and sustainable development responsibilities,” she noted.

The Auditor General also announced that she is taking this opportunity to review the Office’s environmental and sustainable development audit practices. This review will be similar to reviews of its financial and performance audit practices that the Office has undertaken in recent years.

The Auditor General plans to complete the review by this fall, and hopes to begin the search for a new Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development shortly afterwards. In the meantime, Ms. Fraser will work closely with the interim Commissioner.

The position of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development was established in December 1995 by amendments to the Auditor General Act. Appointed by the Auditor General, the Commissioner leads a group of auditors specialized in environment and sustainable development. The Commissioner is responsible for assessing whether federal government departments are meeting their sustainable development objectives, and for overseeing the environmental petitions process, and reports to Parliament on behalf of the Auditor General.

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