No. 38
16 December 1870
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No. 138 of the 18th October on the subject of the Audit of the Public accounts and the Audit Returns required in connection with the Estimates.
In the case of the Colony which, like British Columbia under its changed constitution possesses representative Institutions, but not Responsible Government, it is rightManuscript image that the Representatives of the people should have full and early knowledge of all important Acts of the Government in connection with the financial questions, the consideration of which forms a material part of the business of the Legislative Council; although that Council cannot have the same control over the Public Officers of the Colony as is possessed by the Legislature of a Colony under Responsible Government.
Subject, therefore to the distinct understanding that the Auditor of British Columbia will not become Responsible to the Legislature, but will continue to beunderManuscript image under the control of the Governor, and to hold his office on the same tenure as any other civil officer. I have no objections to your proposing to have an Audit Committee of the Legislative Council in order that the members of that body may be satisfied as to the efficient discharge of the duties of the Audit Office and while the Treasurer and the Auditor must act on instructions from the Governor and be responsible to him for the collection and disbursement of all Public Monies and the keeping of Accounts of the Colony, I am of opinion that anyinstructionManuscript image instruction which with advice from the Executive Council you may from time to time think it desirable to issue to these Officers and any reports made by you under their instructions, should be laid before the Exexutive Clouncil for their information.
There should of course be a distinctly defined power vested in the Executive of discharging in any emergency the expenditure of money for a purpose for which specific provision may not have been previously made in any Appropriation Ordinance, but in such acaseManuscript image case the necessary sanction should be conveyed to the Auditor as well as to the Treasurer in a Minute of the Exexutive Council and a copy of such Minute should be laid before the Legislative Council as soon as practicable for their information. The annual report of the Auditor should also be laid before the Legislative Clouncil as early as possible in each year and the usual number of printed copies should be sent to the Secretary of State.
Referring to the 4th paragraph of your Despatch I am of opinion that it will be sufficient for the present that I shouldreceiveManuscript image receive with Estimates for 1871 and the Supplementary estimates for 1870 in addition to any other information and Returns which you may lay before the Legislature in connection with those Estimates, the statements of Assets and liabilities. The Treasurers Return of Cash transactions for the preceding years as required by the instructions of my Predecessor the Duke of Buckingham and with these it seems to me the Council should be furnished [some] elucidation of the Estimates.
With reference to mydespatchManuscript image Despatch No. 33 of the 15th Nov. in which I instruct you to forward as heretofore the Quarterly Financial Returns I have to inform you that the general abstract of those Returns will be sufficient for the information of this Department, and that you may discontinue to sending the sub-Returns of which it is comprised.
I have to request that you will also forward to this Department, as soon as the accounts for the year including the Agents Account are composed of comparative statements of actual Revenue and Expenditure for thatandManuscript image and the preceeding year.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Printed, Colonial Estimates for British Columbia for the year 1870.
Manuscript image
Printed, Report of Sub-Committee of Privy Council on the Civil Service Act, as applicable to the 'Outside Service.'"
Manuscript image
Printed, Cash transactions of the Colony of British Columbia for the year 1869.
Manuscript image
Printed, "Statement of the Assets and Liabilities of the British Columbia Government, whether in the Colony or elsewhere, ascertained on the 31st December 1869."
Manuscript image
Printed, "Statement of the Estimated Expenditure for the year 1870" for the colony of British Columbia.
People in this document

Grenville, Richard

Musgrave, Anthony

Wodehouse, John

Places in this document

British Columbia