Monday, October 12, 2009

The Office

Back in July, there was some debate about proper descriptive of the O/office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. As I mentioned at the time, I wasn't trying to be subtle--I had just taken the 'Office' from the website, which at the time referred to the OPBO. Now, I see the leading O has been scrubbed from the website.

Over the Summer, I received several communications accusing me more or less of sedition for having the audacity to refer to the office in which the PBO sat as an Office. I thought this was a bit of an over-reaction, given that many governmental institutions are commonly referred to by names that don't necessarily have official recognition in legislation. (I don't see the phrase 'Mounties' anywhere in this Act, for example.)

Nevertheless, seeing that the website now refers only to the PBO, and conceding the point that the legislation does not recognize the office as an Office, I have begun to refer more to the PBO than the OPBO. When referring to the office in which the PBO operates, perhaps I'll use the acronym oPBO.

But, I'll leave the name of this blog as is because:
  • I (and lots of other economists) think the office should be an Office; i.e. independent and reporting to Parliament not the Library of Parliament.
  • I would like the focus to be on the role of the institution itself; the office rather than the officer.
  • We have an established web presence here--too hard to 'rebrand' the blog at this point.
So, anyone castigating the 'O' users as some kind of Canadian Guy Fawkes for the sin of capitalizing an 'o' can now stand down.