03/29/2012 04:06 EDT | Updated 05/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Budget eliminates appointments oversight office that never got going

OTTAWA - A federal public-appointments commission — which has been running since 2006 with a staff, a budget, but no boss — is finally being axed.

The commission was a Conservative centrepiece when it was first announced as a watchdog to ensure an open process for appointments to government agencies.

But Gwyn Morgan, the Tories' candidate to head the commission, fell afoul of minority government politics.

Morgan, an oilpatch executive with strong Conservative connections, was rejected by the opposition parties.

The Harper government never nominated a successor and the office trundled along with a budget of $1.1 million a year for staff and overhead, but with no duties other than research.

Thursday's budget killed the commission.

The document said the government "has significantly strengthened the rigour and accessibility of the public appointments system over the past five years," so the office is no longer needed.