Statement made on 11 June 2012 by Senator Robert Peterson (retired)
Hon. Robert W. Peterson:
Honourable senators, I am a relatively new member of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, but as I see it one of the problems facing the committee's discussion of the Main Estimates is the apparent disconnect between when the departments have to prepare their estimates and when the budget is actually tabled later. This results in the situation where departmental witnesses had difficulty explaining exactly what was and was not included in the Main Estimates and indicated it would have to be covered later in the supplementary estimates.
I am not sure what can be done to correct this, but I would certainly recommend that it be looked into. As it stands at present, we will not really know what takes place until the books are closed next year, which will be a little too late for action and any remedial suggestions.
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