Yes indeed, delayed somewhat by the embarrassment of being caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the announcement was finally made of the creation of a new auditor generals office.
However, as I mulled over in my earlier post, there indeed is little tooth to this legislation since the auditor will have no enforcement abilities despite whatever he or she finds to be amiss – a problem similar to the one facing the work of stellar John Doyle, the provincial Auditor General. For all that he reveals,and uncovers, he has little power over enforcing change or making the province adhere to his recommendations and findings.
Until the current governments step up and offer taxpayers some real security to control and account for the excess municipal spending in this province, one can only assume that Christy and company are paying lip service to try and placate the average voter, something that will inevitably come to bite her behind at the polls. In that aspect, this new position could be construed as more taxpayer waste – paying someone to examine, analyze and rule,without any ability to enforce- is a moot effort.
If I could offer some sage advice to Christy, it would be to ensure the office of the municipal auditor general has enforcement power and designation. Anything less is an exercise in futility. However, one good aspect of the location of this new office is that it will only be a stone throw from city hall, making it oh so easy to go over the financials here!
“The provincial government will table legislation today that will create the framework for a municipal auditor general’s office in Surrey.
In making the announcement this morning, B.C. Premier Christy recognized the idea of a municipal auditor general is one that hasn’t been fully embraced at the local level.
However, she said it is one that will benefit governments and citizens in the long run as it will help municipalities find spending inefficiencies and provide taxpayers with more value for their money.
“This office will support the goals of the Families First Agenda by strenghtening local government accountability and ensuring B.C. families recurve the best possible return on investment for their taxpayer dollars,” Clark said in a statement.
The office will receive $2.6 million in annual funding, meaning municipalities will shoulder a minimum of the cost of an audit, said Clark.
Findings and recommendations will be non-binding although Clark acknowledged the reports will carry influence.”