Federal Government Failure in Canada, 2013 Edition: A Review of the Auditor General's Reports, 1988-2013

Fraser Institute, October 2013

246 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2013

See all articles by Charles Lammam

Charles Lammam

Fraser Institute

Hugh MacIntyre

Fraser Institute

Jason Clemens

Fraser Institute

Milagros Palacios

Fraser Institute

Neils Veldhuis

Fraser Institute

Date Written: October 31, 2013

Abstract

The discussion of the limitations of government and subsequent government failure is wholly absent from debate in Canada where, unfortunately, we still assume that governments act benevolently and without institutional constraints. That this is not true is plain to see in the pages of the Auditor General of Canada’s reports, which provide concrete evidence of the existence and extent of federal government failure in Canada.

The reports issued by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (hereafter, Auditor General) are an excellent source of tangible examples of federal government failure that illustrate Public Choice theory. A total of 614 instances of government failure are included in this volume. All cases were derived from reports of the Auditor General published between 1988 and 2013.

For the purposes of this study, government failure is defined as a failure to achieve the stated goal(s) of a program or initiative. It is a more narrow definition than what is commonly used, which includes evaluating the efficacy of a program or initiative. This study undertakes no such evaluation but simply uses the Auditor General reports to determine whether there were problems in program design, delivery, and effectiveness.

Keywords: Government Performance; Government Spending

Suggested Citation

Lammam, Charles and MacIntyre, Hugh and Clemens, Jason and Palacios, Milagros and Veldhuis, Neils, Federal Government Failure in Canada, 2013 Edition: A Review of the Auditor General's Reports, 1988-2013 (October 31, 2013). Fraser Institute, October 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2348195

Charles Lammam

Fraser Institute ( email )

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Hugh MacIntyre

Fraser Institute ( email )

1770 Burrard Street
4th Floor
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 3G7
Canada

Jason Clemens

Fraser Institute ( email )

1770 Burrard Street
4th Floor
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 3G7
Canada

Milagros Palacios (Contact Author)

Fraser Institute ( email )

1770 Burrard Street
4th Floor
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 3G7
Canada

Neils Veldhuis

Fraser Institute ( email )

1770 Burrard Street
4th Floor
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 3G7
Canada

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