Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
June 1973 THI llTHMIDOI MIRALD 4f Blunders, bloopers and mistakes Retired auditor claims staff shortage was hindrance By VICTOR MACKIE Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA The scope and the work of the auditor gen- eral's office has continued to be restricted during the year 1971- 72 because of chronic staff shortages from which the audit office has suffered over several year. Ths retiring auditor general Msxwell Henderson, who in- fluenced people in his position, but did not make friends, is convinced thai the government angered by the embarrassing disclosures in his annual re- ports resorted to evasion and procratination that hampered his efforts to recruit qualified staff. He wanted additional trained staff to make his audit office even mors effective in digging out blunders, bloopers and mistakes costly to the tax- payers. Mr. Henderson has now re- tired to be replaced by J. M. Macdonnell of Montreal. The fi- nal Henderson the unmistakeable stamp of the growling watch tabled recently in parliament. He goes alter the Treasury Board for "increasing to cir- cumvent parliamentary ap- proval for spending and blasts the board for taking no action on more than 100 cases cited in his previous report. Public money is trust money taken from the taxpayers and appropriated by parliament to the government 'to administer for the benefit of all the people, said the auditor general. He sees it as the job of his office to alert parliament and the gov- to bad financial prac- tices and the mishandling of funds. His office has a staff of 268. Of that total I'25 have accounting degrees. The auditor general is responsible to the commons and reports to it. Mr Henderson sayd the audit office is to en- able government, on the basis of experience, to make its ad- ministration more effective and to provide parliament and the people with the .assurances that public jnoney is well spent. Earlier this year in a public speech he said it is wrong to assume that the auditor general deliberately sets out to bring departments of government into disrepute by publicizing errors or inefficiencies. However the fact that it may do so providss a strong and healthy incentive towards improved adminis- tration throughout the govern- ment service. In stepping into retirement Mr. Henderson is a tough act to follow for Mr. Macdonnell. But he is leaving as a legacy to his successor a draft bill con- cerning the office, functions and powers of the auditor general. The bill if adopted should make life easier for the new auditor general. The 1971-72 annual report was tabkd four months late. It is not the first time Mr. Hender- son has been late getting his re- port to parliament. He has ex- lained it is due to insufficient staff. The official opposition at- tributes it to a refusal on the part of the government to allow Mr. Henderson freedom a flexibility in the hiring of essen- tial staff and to the down- grading of senior positions in the audit office. Mr. Henderson says the staff shortages in the audit office are due to the continued failure of the Public Sendee Commission to recruit sufficient staff of the calibre required. He charged in his report that the Treasury Board doxvngraded ths 28 senior positions in the office. Finally last year after a long struggle Mr. Henderson records with satisfaction that the gov- ernment stated it was prepared to see the auditor general com- pletely free of the control over his staff now exercised by the Public Service Commission and the Treasury Board. It is under- stood that the proposed new leg- islation would give the auditor general the freedom enjoyed by those responsible for the em- ployment of over half of all crown employees, including government agencies and crown corporations The Public Accounts com- mittee in March last year was directed by parliament to pre- pare a draft bill concerning the office, functions and powers of the auditor geiural. The assist- ance of a drafting committee was obtained. This committee has completed its work and is ready to submit its proposed draft legislation to the Public Accounts committee. Mr. Henderson was given the opportunity to examine the draft bill. It meets the objec- tives he has sought for so long. He is satisfied with it and com- mends it to the house. The official opposition wants ths Public Accounts committee assembled as soon as possible to study the draft bill and to re- ceive the latest annual report of the aaditor general. Not only has the committee got to go over the latest report but it also has to examine the auditor gen- eral's report for the year end- ing March 31, 1971. Opposition spokesmen have brrnded these delays by the government as "outrageous" and denounced the adminis- tration for an apparent "con- tempt for the rights of tax- papers and parliament." It is four and one half months since parliament assembled and the committee while organized had not been asked to tackle the job of studying the accounts or the auditor general's last year's port ui.til this year's report was tabled in the house. At that time G. W. Baldwin, Progressive Conservative house leader seized the opportunity to move that the public accounts for the year ended March 31, 1971 and March 31, 1972 and the two reports of the auditor gen- eral thereon, be referred to the standing committee. He needed unanimous consent to put the motion. He got it and the mo- tion carried to the acftam- paniment of much applause from the opposition side. Now the public accounts com- mittee will get down to work after unwarranted delays. It is no wonder the watch dog of the public purse has felt muzzled. SIMPSONS bears Save 19" Quality European made Laurentian family tent. 104 99 Reg. These Laurentian lents are strong, soft and lightweight. That's because they're made from the finest Egyptian 2 ply twisted cotton. Treated with ''Aqua Repel" sihcone for maximum rain protection No fading or colour rub-off. Tough waterproof floor Steel frame assembly. Screened front and large rear window have zip- pered inside flaps. Colour Orange walls and blue roof. 0-6 R 75033. 10' x 8' x 7' high. Reg. 104.99 Larger Laurentian Tent Sizes: R 75034. 12' x 9' x 7' hgh Reg. Sale 134.99 c-6 R 75035. 15' x 9' x 7' high. Reg. Sole 169.99 Savel" Folding camp table 99 Reg. 16 d-6 R 41416. Double table with gold colour woodgrain finish. 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The grim banners wave from scores of houses on the main road through the West German capital and neighbor- ing villages. They make the houses look like sets for some film about medieval Europe during the plague. South of Bonn, in the pictur- esque village of Mehlem, a banner protests: once the Pearl of the Rhine, today Bonn's gas chamber." Hardly likely to boost tour- ist trade, the banners are the latest weapons of citizens bat- tling a modern plague's pollu- tion. Thousands of angry Ger- mans living along Highway B9 have mounted an intensive protest this spring against truck noise and exhaust pollu- tion which one city official ad- mits have become "unbeara- ble." "It's harming my daugh- ter's health, says one pro- tester, Irene Quantius. 23, a pretty hausfrau interviewed at her Mehlem home. "The noise and the fumes are terri- ble." She shouts to make herself heard above the thunder of an eight-ton juggernaut outside carrying bottles of natural gas from Holland to Frankfurt. CAN'T SLEEP Her daughter. Petra, says shyly in reply, to a question: "I can't sleep." The grassroots campaign by Mrs. Quantius and thousands of others living along the Rhine River here is one small skirmish in a continuing bat- tle against pollution in West Germany. The battle includes efforts to purge the Rhine of filth from industrial waste, pre- serve Cologne Cathedral from erosion by air pollution, purify the air of industrial Ruhr cit- ies and clean Baltic beaches. Chancellor Willy Brandt's government, with offices along truck-clogged B9. is pledged to a "quality-of-life" campaign to improve the en- vironment. So far the campaign by Mrs. Quantius and other angry Germans has failed to stop the trucks. But relief may be in sight. A traffic ministry spokes- man from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said the state government has decided to ban out-of-town trucks from B9 shortly, when a new by- pass is scheduled to open. STILL SKEPTICAL Dr. Rudolf Raven, a protest leader, was skeptical. "We've heard promises be- he said. "We'll call off our campaign only on the day it really happens." Mrs. Quantius leans out of her above lir.2 of roaring, exhaust-spewing trucks in the street below, and poses for a protest photo hold- ing a skull and crossbones flag. A block away, grey-haired Dr. Raven claims he now; treats more patients with rfr spiratory ills due to an in- crease in exhaust fumes. He and fellow citizens fear the truck onslaught will spoil the beauty of Mehlem. a scen- ic-riverside village and cen- turies-old timber and plaster houses. It is across the Rhine from a cliff where, legend has it, Siegfried slew the dragon Fafnir. The, protesters have held angry rallies, signed petitions, and won support of city offi- cials and some federal law- makers, whose parliament building is only two blocks off the B9. But realists note that the trucker lobby is powerful, long-range rail and highway plans make it difficult to change traffic patterns now, and the whole issue is snarled in red tape. Two types listed for businessmen Out. (CP) Busi- are you Type A or LONDON nessmen, Type B? If you are Type B, you might, just live longer than your Type A colleagues. Prof, John Howard of Uni- versity of Western Ontario school of business "adminis- tration here says his research indicates there are two distinct types of businessmen. Type A "the coronory can- didate" is competitive, ag- gressive, impatient, hyper- alert, explosive of speech, a fast worker and an achiever. Type B is easy-going, relax- ed, seldom impatient, not easily irritated, works steadily, is noi preoccupied with social achievement, m n v f speaks more slowly and takes time to enjoy oti-oie-juj suits. Both types are extremes.., Prof. Howard told the 17th an-- nual business conference at the university Saturday. Between them, and mixtures of the ex- tremes, are three other classi- fications. He said a study of man- agers across the country re- vealed five major work .fac- tors contributing to stress and job dissatisfaction. These factors arise when the individual does not know of any opportunities for advance- ment, does not know how his superior evaluates his perform- ance, has his personal life in- terfered with by his job. lacks authority and influence needed to carry out his responsibilities and carries too heavy a work- oad. But take heart, Type A: Prof Toward ssys some researchers ave trained persons to lower igh blood pressure simply by thinking about lowering it.