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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read