Article posted in Open Shelf, available here.
Q: What is the relationship between the PBO and the Library of Parliament (LoP)? How much interaction did you have with the library and its librarians when you were there?
A: The PBO was created by an Act of Parliament (Accountability Act) in December of 2006. Canada was not ready to make the PBO an independent office of Parliament, so administratively, it reports to the LoP. There are similarities in the things that both the PBO and the LoP do: They both provide research services to Parliament for instance, so there is symmetry there. But it is not always a natural fit. Although research support is common to both, LoP has a confidential model—if a Member of Parliament (MP) needs information for a private member’s bill or needs to prepare for a committee, librarians provide confidential support. The PBO is more of an accountability model and provides independent opinion. If the PBO continues to exist, it should be outside of the LoP.