Friday, 14 September 2012

Parliamentary privilege should not be overused

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee recently began legal proceedings against the Auditor-General because he was refusing to deny an access to information request.  Access to information is a right of journalists and citizens as a way to know what their government is doing.

Parliamentary privilege is meant to give parliamentarians the ability to do their work without interference from outside of government.  It also protects free speech within the House of Commons.

The Auditor General does not report to parliament and therefore is required to comply with Access to Information Requests.  The Public Accounts committee's attempt to block the Auditor General from releasing his own correspondence with the committee only leads people to believe that the Committee has something to hide.

It is clear that the committee overstepped its authority because even Prime Minister Harper believes that privilege should not have been invoked.

Parliamentary privilege should not be overused - The Globe and Mail:

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