Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm really new. I'm just filling in.
I have to tell you, Mr. Jordan, that it's refreshing to hear you talk. You're being ordinary. I look at your background and I think it speaks to us about the complexity of what we have.
I think of my colleague across the way and I'm not so sure that I want to have the same accountability that the U.S. has right now. I'm not so sure it's that far ahead by being able to drill down.
I also sat on municipal council for 20 years and was mayor for most of that time. If you just did zero-based funding, it cleared all the rags out. We don't have that opportunity, clearly.
I hope that later, Mr. Chair, you'll give us some written direction regarding how you feel we could best engage some of those. You're not the only one who's talked about learning from the private sector. I said governments will never be a business, but they should be run like one, so I would be interested in having those comments come from you, because I have a lot of respect for what you're saying.
One of the problems, I think, is not only the complexity—you've said it, as have others—but the understandability of what we're trying to do. In writing, it's called “clear language writing”. I don't know what you call it in economics, with numbers and that, but I think we need clear language writing to understand this whole process.
In the public accounts committee we had Treasury Board come in just to try to explain the process to everyone. Everybody nodded their heads to say they were quite fine with it, but frankly it's very complex.
I'm wondering if you could help us clarify some of the changes we could bring into effect. I'm wondering, in terms of the control system my colleague across the way talked about, how we can fix.... I just do not understand. I think I understand why—and it's not a good reason—each department has a different way of doing its accounting. There needs to be a centralized way so that they can be accountable. If there isn't, then in fact one is competing against the other and trying to justify it. I think if would be helpful for this committee to have steps to help it realize how it can move in that direction.