Municipal auditor fired with no severance

Premier Christy Clark's experiment in holding down municipal costs will continue with new auditor, minister Coralee Oakes says

Community

The B.C. government has fired its Auditor General for Local Government, after accountant Basia Ruta “lost all confidence” of her supervisors to complete audits that compare local government spending practices.

“The auditor general for local government’s obstruction of an intended review of her office has created an intolerable situation that compounds the unstable work environment and lack of performance from that office,” said Community Minister Coralee Oakes, who took the action on the recommendation of the government-appointed audit council.

Former deputy minister Chris Trumpy was due to start his own review of the new office Monday. It is the first attempt in Canada to do “performance audits” by comparing groups of municipalities, but the performance of Ruta’s office has become the pressing issue.

Oakes said Ruta will not be offered severance pay, because the government has determined she has been fired for cause. The work environment in the Surrey office of the AGLG had deteriorated, and Ruta’s decision to refuse Trumpy’s involvement led to the decision, she said.

Ruta issued a statement through her lawyer Monday, saying she will go to court to challenge the decision to fire her.

Hired to execute an idea proposed by Premier Christy Clark in her 2012 bid for the B.C. Liberal Party leadership, Ruta set herself a target of 18 audits in the first year. Clashes with the staff at her Surrey office and the audit council began to emerge last year.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson said the two-year-old office has lost credibility over spending $5.2 million over two years to produce only one audit. Two more reports were issued last week.

The function should be included in the existing B.C. Auditor General office, which is an independent office of the legislature, Robinson said.

Oakes said she remains committed to the current structure, which had envisioned three audits in the first year and five in the second. It was Ruta who raised expectations far beyond that and then didn’t deliver, she said.

 

Just Posted

Victoria brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Vancouver Island Brewing said goodbye to its confusing hexagon logo

Johnson Street Bridge reopened after water main break

VicPD ask drivers to use alternate route on Nov. 12

Peninsula Singers use music to dispel ‘Grinch’ factor this Christmas

‘Tis the Season is at the Mary Winspear Centre Dec. 7 to 9

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh coming to Langford

MP MacGregor hosting open house at Belmont Secondary

UVic military historian sees paralles between eve of First World War and today

David Zimmerman says period leading up to centennial has heightened interest

Trudeau warns of dangers of nationalist leaders at historic armistice gathering

U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Remembrance Day ceremonies taking place across Greater Victoria

Most ceremonies start at 10:50 on Sunday, Nov. 11

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 9 to 11

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Most Read