Friday, February 27, 2009

Municipal accountability- auditor general position needed

What we need is more aountaility the savings would be enormous . " auditors general have become more popular due to their use by senior levels of government.
"Everybody's heard the name Sheila Fraser," he said, referring to the federal public servant. "Everybody's concerned now where any dollar is going." We need some innovative thinking in this area - Brantford should consider this and the Brant Taxpayers Coalition should endorse this move .
PR


C-K may get new position Posted By TREVOR TERFLOTH, THE DAILY NEWS In the interest of municipal accountability, the idea of an auditor general will come before council on Monday.

An administrative report released yesterday stated the main task would be performing value for money audits, as well as ensuring transparency and providing council with independent advice.

This report didn't make a recommendation on the position, but simply introduced the concept.

The function of this position differs from an external auditor, who concentrates on financial statements. The auditor general is not required to be a municipal employee, and in this case, would work on a contract basis.

"Should council wish to create an AG office, we would recommend an initial two-year pilot project during which its effectiveness can be evaluated," the report stated.

Including salary, benefits, professional development and equipment, the position would cost approximately $140,000.

However, the report stated some of the costs could be offset through savings found by the auditor general.

As the item is in Monday's consent agenda, it would take an act of council to bring it up for discussion.

Gerry Wolting, general manager of corporate services, said councillors wished to look into the idea after the recent budget deliberations.

West Kent Coun. Bryon Fluker said auditors general have become more popular due to their use by senior levels of government.

"Everybody's heard the name Sheila Fraser," he said, referring to the federal public servant. "Everybody's concerned now where any dollar is going."

According to the report, other municipalities with an auditor general include Toronto, Ottawa, Oshawa and Markham.

Fluker said it could be more efficient if the auditor general's duties were shared with other taxpayer-support organizations, such as school boards and the hospital.

However, he said there could still be controversy on spending.

"Value for dollar can often be very subjective," he said.

The Chatham-Kent Coalition of Concerned Citizens -- which is now on hiatus -- had called for an auditor general review in 2005.

Bob Kominek, who was a member, said the $140,000 cost for an auditor general would be "paltry" compared to the millions of dollars he believes are spent needlessly.

"I would go for that," he said. "Our taxes keep going up, and I don't believe we're getting value for our dollar."

1 comment:

Q-jumpers said...

Legislation was written and passed by the Province to allow the creation of such a position like an Auditor General at the Municipal level. It is within Brantford Council to do so. Toronto went for it.
It never hurts to have second, third party opinion and review about overall economic practise and direction. This would be sure to keep both elected officials and staff officials accountable. I've noticed that to be the case in recent years (and as long as I can remember). "Information is power" and this leads to control. Very dangerous.
Glad to continue the dialouge.