Despite the controversy that has often surrounded the PBO, the office has built up a good reputation, both domestically and internationally and gain credibility.
– Page 14, IMF Report on Fiscal Councils July 2013
The battle raging between the Conservative government and the Parliamentary Budget Office is no longer just a domestic affair. The outstanding work of former PBO Kevin Page caught the eye of the International Monetary Fund, and earned their praise for their work on improving fiscal transparency:
The PBO has earned a reputation for good quality independent analysis for its research, costings, and forecasting work.
– Page 19, IMF Report on Fiscal Councils July 2013, emphases added.
The IMF even went so far as to critique the Harper Conservatives meddling in the PBO’s operations:
From the outset, there have been issues surrounding the basic legal and operational design of the PBO especially concerning its location, budget, and mandate. … During its first five years, lack of clarity on these fundamental design issues has resulted in tensions which the PBO argued threatened his office’s operational independence.
– Page 12 IMF Report on Fiscal Councils July 2013, emphases added.
This should be a wakeup call for the Conservatives; when the International Monetary Fund calls out your government for fighting fiscal transparency, it is definitely time to change your ways.
Conservative attacks on the Parliamentary Budget Office are not just an affront to fiscal accountability and a broken Conservative promise, they have also become an international embarrassment.
Canadians deserve better.