Canada creates new budget officer position

Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:13pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government has appointed the country's first parliamentary budget officer to provide independent analysis of Ottawa's finances, a government minister said on Friday.

The minority Conservative government had pledged in 2006 to create the position of budget officer, drawing from similar agencies in the United States and the Netherlands.

Kevin Page, an economist with 25 years of service in various federal government departments, will assume the job on March 25, government minister Peter Van Loan said in a release.

The post is part of legislation aimed at improving transparency in government.

Page's job will be to provide objective analysis of the government's finances and economic trends to the House of Commons and the Senate.

He will also undertake research for parliamentary committees upon request and provide cost estimates for proposals under consideration by Parliament when they have a fiscal impact.

Members of Parliament can now use the services of the Library of Parliament to provide cost estimates of bills but there is no officer devoted exclusively to budget matters.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Renato Andrade)