03/11/2013 05:53 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. to limit new auditor general to single 8-year term

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Liberal government introduced amended legislation Monday that will see the appointment of an auditor general for a single eight-year term, but the decision on who gets the job likely won't be made for months after May's provincial election.

Until then, the government, through an all-party legislative committee, will appoint an acting auditor general to replace outgoing auditor general John Doyle who is leaving his post on May 28 for a similar job in Australia.

The current law appoints the B.C. auditor general for a six-year term, with the option of reappointing the same auditor for another six-year term.

The changes to the Auditor General Act respond to issues that surfaced during the process to find a new auditor general, which included interviewing Doyle for reappointment.

An all-party legislative committee originally decided against reappointing Doyle, but after a public outcry and Doyle's concern's expressed about the process, Premier Christy Clark announced she would introduce changes to bring in a single eight-year term.

Doyle rejected an offer of a two-year extension to his six-year term touching off a series of public sparring matches between Doyle and selection committee chairman Liberal Eric Foster.

Doyle has been frequently critical of the Liberal government's accounting methods and management of sensitive data-gathering systems.

Liberal House Leader Mike de Jong said he expected the amendments to pass by Thursday, which then gives the all-party committee until next month to appoint an acting auditor general.

Opposition New Democrat House Leader John Horgan said the announcement that Doyle's post would be vacant as of May 28 allowed the government to start the process that eventually concludes with the appointment of a new auditor general for an eight-year term.

"I'm confident now we'll be able to move forward to pick an interim or acting auditor and then the new parliament after the election will be in place to appoint a permanent one," he said.