03/13/2014 04:01 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia premier says panel struck to select new auditor general

HALIFAX - Premier Stephen McNeil says a panel has been struck to find Nova Scotia's next auditor general.

McNeil says the seven-member panel will select a successor to Jacques Lapointe, who retired at the end of January, and interviews with prospective candidates are expected in early April.

The panel includes former provincial auditor general Roy Salmon, the dean of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University and representatives from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia.

NDP member Denise Peterson-Rafuse says the process strays from the one that appointed Lapointe in 2005, when a search and selection process was led by an all-party steering committee.

The committee was also assisted by a professional recruitment firm and the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission.

A spokesman for the premier's office says this selection process is being served by a professional recruitment firm but the involvement of an all-party steering committee has been eliminated.