Budget watchdog fights federal government secrecy with strong legal opinion - InfoNews

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Budget watchdog fights federal government secrecy with strong legal opinion

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page appears on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 3, 2012. Page has been skirmishing with the federal bureaucracy since the March budget, arguing he needs to have certain details about the planned cuts in order to do his job. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
June 18, 2012 - 9:16 AM

OTTAWA - A legal opinion prepared for Parliament's budget watchdog says 64 federal government departments and agencies are breaking the law by not handing over basic information about $5.2 billion in budget cuts.

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has been skirmishing with the federal bureaucracy, arguing he needs to have certain details about the budget cuts in order to do his job.

He says only 18 of 82 federal organizations have complied with his request for more details about the fiscal impact of cuts stemming from the 2012 budget.

A review led by constitutional lawyer Joseph Magnet from the University of Ottawa concludes that 64 departments are not in compliance with the Parliament of Canada Act because they have not handed over the requested information.

The federal government argues that it can't release details about the cuts because of collective agreements, but Page counters that he is not requesting personal information.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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