Semi-retirement activities

Arn van Iersel has made a return to public office, being appointed to the board of the government agency responsible for providing services to adults with developmental disabilities. Mr. van Iersel departed the government in 2007 after a brief and controversial tenure as the province's auditor general. By law, the auditor general is supposed to be appointed with the unanimous consent of the select standing committee on public accounts. But, as The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer reported, the New Democrats wouldn't rubber-stamp the former comptroller general and senior bureaucrat at the ministry of children and family development as Wayne Strelioff's successor.

Instead, according to Mr. Palmer, opposition MLAs preferred an "outsider" over someone "from inside the very apparatus he's supposed to be watchdogging." So the Liberals decided to indefinitely appoint Mr. van Iersel to that office an acting basis in May 2006. But, eight months later, he announced his resignation because it was "important for the office to now have a permanent auditor general" - a decision the Times Colonist called the "right thing" to do.

Now he's back working with government as a Community Living British Columbia director, having been named to the Crown agency's board on July 1. As auditor general, Mr. van Iersel released a report that found there were "many" Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games cost that were "not being reported as such" by the government - pegging its minimum estimated contribution to the event at $1.5 billion rather than $600 million.

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