Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Mr. Macdonald, for being with us today.
I think that the mandate for this study is quite clear and simple: to help members of Parliament better scrutinize government expenditures, whether they are increases or decreases. It would seem to me logical that we would want more information, and better displayed, rather than less.
You referred to this apparent turnaround in Treasury Board when they first explicitly stated that cuts included in the budget were to be included in the May documents and then countermanded that statement and said cuts were not to be included in those May documents.
I also made the point that when we were in government, we had a similar exercise in 2005, and every single program reduction in every single department was included in the budget, so that would have been even earlier than the May document.
I'm not sure this is within your realm of expertise, but based on what you know about government accounting and the way governments act—I can't imagine that the technology has regressed between 2005 and 2012—could there be some reason that the government is unable to produce this information, or do we conclude that if they don't produce it, it's simply because they don't want to?