Officials believe municipal auditor may duplicate services

A proposed provincial municipal auditor general may duplicate procedures already in place.

A proposed provincial municipal auditor general may duplicate procedures already in place.

“I think it’s a bit of overkill personally,” said Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

“We have an internal audit system that is very thorough in the city and we have an external audit annually and that external audit is made available to the government as part of our annual report.”

The Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Community Services is asking for public input on Bill 202, which would create a municipal auditor general who could carry out random audits of municipalities and make recommendations about their financial statements. The public can make submissions until July 31.

Calgary-Hays MLA Art Johnson put forward the private member’s bill after speaking to constituents and members of the Chamber of Commerce. He said there is an auditor general at both the provincial and federal levels, but none that oversees municipalities.

Johnson said he hasn’t put the bill forward because he thinks there will be fraudulent activity found. Instead he hopes it could determine best practices in purchasing different municipal goods or services so the municipalities could save money.

The proposal for a municipal auditor general comes the same year that the provincial Auditor General Fred Dunn had to cut or postpone 27 out of 80 audits for this year because he didn’t get the $2-million funding boost needed from an all-party legislature committee.

Johnson said cost with the municipal auditor general proposal is a challenge. He estimates the cost of having a municipal auditor general to be between $500,000 and $700,000 a year.

“I think the fact that we’re talking about it and the committee is getting input on it is good; whether it is going to go forward, I don’t know.”

Flewwelling said he could see value in having an auditor general if he or she would compare the books of similar-sized cities in the province, including Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat, to see if there were discrepancies in spending and if something could be done more efficiently.

However, he said as the third largest city, the internal and external audits in Red Deer are done in a professional manner and are very rigorous and would withstand scrutiny.

He said the auditors go through all of the cities’ numbers, accounts and even review minutes and policies. He said an audit committee even meets throughout the year.

“I think any further audit of those numbers would be quite superfluous,” Flewwelling said. His comments were echoed by Lacombe Mayor Judy Gordon.

“We are legislated to have an audited financial statement, which is important because we are dealing with public money. So I don’t question that at all. I’m just wondering if this is a duplication?” Gordon said.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Red Deer woman saving animals at wildlife centre with TV show

Victoria Bolhuis, 22, interned at Hope for Wildlife for 10 weeks before moving into paid position

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month