A couple of days ago the Liberals’ Brendan Smyth put out a media release saying a Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly would be investigating “improper conduct” by Chief Minister Gallagher over the manner of her appointment of the new Auditor-General.
“The appointment of the Auditor General is one of the most important statutory roles in our form of democratic government. It is a unique role with unique responsibilities to keep the government to account,” Mr Smyth said.
“That is specifically why this role must be approved by a Committee of the Assembly the government cannot simply pick their own candidate and install them without proper approval.
“However, in this case, Katy Gallagher chose her own appointment and announced her conclusion in the media before even informing the correct Committee.
“This was followed by a pattern of behaviour that placed extraordinary pressure on the Committee. So clear was the improper behaviour, that the multi-party Public Accounts Committee found there was interference, that, if left unchecked, could create serious interference in the future.
In a much shorter statement this evening the Chief had this to say:
The Deputy Opposition Leader Brendan Smyth has today been censured by the Legislative Assembly over public statements he made in relation to a matter referred to a Privileges Committee.
The motion, moved by Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr, asked the Assembly to censure Mr Smyth for his misleading comments in his media release “Gallagher to be examined for improper conduct” and in subsequent public comments relating to the established by the Assembly of a Select Committee on Privileges on 20 September 2011.