New provincial auditing process can help cities find efficiencies, Minister says

By Laura Stovel 

The BC government is establishing a new office for the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) which is expected to help “evaluate the effectiveness and efficiencies of local government operations,” said Don Fast, Deputy Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

This will be a performance audit, not a financial audit which should lead to better transparency and accountability, he said. The Auditor General for Local Government Act was passed on March 2012 and the office should begin doing audits later this year, he said.

The new office will be funded by the province but will run independently. It will be led by a certified auditor, it will issue an annual report, and will be monitored by an Audit Council. The AGLG’s office will identify annual themes in consultation with municipalities and other organizations such as the Union of BC municipalities. Municipalities that are audited will have an opportunity to comment on a draft audit report before it is made public. Recommendations are non-binding; municipalities can decide whether to adopt them or not.