The Ontario government will introduce legislation to establish a Financial Accountability Officer, an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly. Ontario is the first province in Canada to introduce this oversight measure.
If the legislation is passed, the Financial Accountability Officer would provide independent analysis to all MPPs about the state of the province’s finances, including the Ontario Budget, as well as trends in the provincial and national economies. In addition, at the request of a legislative committee or an MPP, other types of research could be provided by the officer, including the financial cost or benefit to the province of any public bill. The Financial Accountability Officer could also be asked to review and estimate the financial cost or benefit to the province of any proposal that relates to a matter over which the Legislature has jurisdiction, such as the establishment of a new program.
Increasing financial openness is part of the government’s plan to work collaboratively, attract investment, create jobs and help people in their everyday lives.
- The Financial Accountability Officer would be selected by a panel consisting of one member from each recognized party, chaired by the Speaker of the Assembly who is a non-voting member.
- The Financial Accountability Officer would produce an annual report on or before July 31 of each year.
- The establishment of a Financial Accountability Officer builds on previous government actions to enhance accountability and transparency, such as the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act, 2004.
Ministry of Finance, September 9, 2013