Auditor General for Local Government Basia Ruta (left) is being criticized for delays by Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Delayed municipal audits under fire

Findings by Auditor General for Local Government to be withheld during municipal election campaigns

B.C.’s Auditor General for Local Government is behind schedule in probing several municipalities and won’t table their audits until early 2015, after the November municipal elections.

Basia Ruta had set an original target of this past spring to complete audits on either operational procurement or policing budget and contract oversight for 18 municipalities, including Delta, Vernon, West Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria and New Westminster.

Just two reports have been finished – one focusing on an untendered contract in Rossland and the other on general municipal procurement.

Ruta said the work is taking longer than anticipated and it would be inappropriate to release any audits of individual cities this fall during local campaigns, noting that’s not done by federal or provincial auditors-general either.

“You really need to respect the democratic process and the reports are not to be perceived to be biasing judgment,” she said.

“I find that ridiculous,” said Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C. director Jordan Bateman. “What better time to give the public information than in an election when they can act upon it in an expeditious manner?”

Bateman said he’s disappointed with the delays and said it appears Ruta’s two-year-old Surrey office bit off more than it could chew in terms of the number of audits pursued.

Policing has been a top issue in Surrey and Bateman said it would have been “perfectly useful” for voters to have had Ruta’s audit of how the City of Surrey is managing its policing contract before they go to the polls.

Ruta said many outstanding audits are still awaiting comment from local municipalities before they can be finalized.

She said she also wanted a range of municipalities of different size and representing different regions analyzed in parallel to ease comparisons between them and to improve the overall results.

Just Posted

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

VicPD officer answers the call from Canada Revenue Agency phone scammer

Officer politely asks questions, frustrating scammer

Body found in Central Saanich waste recycling facility deemed non-suspicious

Coroners Service investigating circumstances of death

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. man gets life with no parole until 2042 for murder of Belgian tourist near Boston Bar

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Most Read