AFTER an awkward public brouhaha, B.C. Auditor General John Doyle has finally told the B.C. government where they can put their two-year job extension offer.
For Doyle, there's likely relief at leaving a position made increasingly untenable by overt political gamesmanship.
Too bad for us that B.C. is losing a powerful public watchdog.
During his term, Doyle has been dogged and fearless in his attempts to force the government to account.
Whereas political rhetoric by the opposition is often easy to dismiss, Doyle's reports - supported by meticulous research - have garnered attention and pulled few punches.
In one report, he roundly criticized the way accountability for spending within the legislature itself was largely non-existent. He delved into the decision to pay the legal costs of civil servants who pled guilty during the B.C. Rail trial. He repeatedly took the Liberal government to task for not following standard accounting procedures.
Not surprisingly, it hasn't been a comfortable ride for the governing party. Such is the relationship between the watchdog and the watched.
It is regrettable that those in power chose to take out their frustrations at Doyle's conclusions in such a personal fashion.
The episode underscores the need to revisit how the auditor general is appointed. A single, longer term is one idea that has obvious merit.
We can only hope that Doyle's eventual replacement will be equally determined when it comes to defending the interests of the province and being unafraid to speak truth to power.