Alberta's barebones budget update didn't break law: auditor
Alberta Premier Allison Redford, left to right, Deputy Premier Doug Horner applaud Finance Minister Ron Liepert after the budget speech in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 at the Alberta Legislature. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:16PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:09AM EST
EDMONTON -- Alberta's auditor general says the province didn't break its own rules by delivering a barebones first-quarter budget update last summer.
Merwan Saher says the Government Accountability Act is written so broadly either a brief update or a detailed one could be acceptable.
Saher investigated after Finance Minister Doug Horner delivered the first update on the 2011-12 budget last August without basics such as a balance sheet.
It's when Albertans first learned that a projected deficit for this year would be in the range of $3 billion -- more than three times what was originally predicted.
Opponents suggested the update was nothing more than a brochure and violated Alberta's law to keep citizens informed on what's happening with their money.
Saher says the government provided more details three months later in its second-quarter update, but still should have included a forecast of revenues and expenses.