Parliamentary Budget Officer – Selection Committee

Statements

Question Period: Parliamentary Budget Officer—Selection Committee Senator Jane Cordy June 17th, 2013

Library of Parliament

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, could the leader tell us who was on the committee to choose the new Parliamentary Budget Officer?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I understand that this is a committee, and it is a responsibility of the Parliamentary Librarian. I understand that the very same process is being followed for the new Parliamentary Budget Officer as was followed for the last Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Senator Cordy: Is Adam Church, Peter Van Loan's chief of staff, on the selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: Again, I believe that it is the very same process, and I do not know the individuals on the selection committee.

Senator Cordy: I believe it has been confirmed that Adam Church, Mr. Van Loan's chief of staff, is on the selection committee, which is a little unusual. The process, which is "set out in law" requires the Parliamentary Librarian to form and chair a committee tasked with coming up with a short list of three candidates and submitting the list for a final decision of cabinet.

Who appointed Adam Church to the selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: I will just read it for you, Senator Cordy.

The Parliament of Canada Act outlines the process for appointing the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The selection committee is formed and chaired by the Parliamentary Librarian. This is the same process that selected the former Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Subsection 79.1(3) of the Parliament of Canada Act reads:

(3) The Governor in Council may select the Parliamentary Budget Officer from a list of three names submitted in confidence, through the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, by a committee formed and chaired by the Parliamentary Librarian.

That is the Parliament of Canada Act and that is the process that was followed the last time and it is the process that is being followed this time.

Senator Cordy: My question was who appointed Adam Church to the selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: Well, the Parliamentary Librarian is the person who appoints the committee.

Senator Cordy: Did Mr. Van Loan's office request that Mr. Church be on the selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: I can only report to you, honourable senators, what I know, and what I know is that the Parliamentary Librarian is responsible and that is clearly stated in the Parliament of Canada Act. I do not know the process she followed for choosing her committee, nor do I know who is on the committee.

Senator Cordy: When the previous Parliamentary Budget Officer was selected, did the chief of staff of the government house leader sit on that selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: Again, I do not know who sat on the last selection committee, and do not know who sits on this one. I just know that it is the responsibility of the chief librarian of the Library of Parliament.

Senator Cordy: Would the leader mind tabling in this place or getting information for me about who sat on the previous selection committee?

Senator LeBreton: Well, I think that is probably information available within the Library of Parliament. It is public information, so I would suggest you look it up yourself.