Local government auditor problems confirmed

Survey of municipalities being audited by Premier Christy Clark's new office show it was unprepared for the task

Arn van Iersel was appointed this spring as acting Auditor General for Local Government.

Arn van Iersel was appointed this spring as acting Auditor General for Local Government.

The release of a spring survey of B.C. municipalities confirms the problems that led to the firing of B.C.’s first Auditor General for Local Government in March.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities surveyed the 17 local governments that had participated in former AGLG Basia Ruta’s reviews by March. All but one responded that AGLG staff and auditors lacked understanding of how local government operates in B.C.

One community with RCMP service said the AGLG was “not quite sure how to assess our situation” because the municipality had little discretion over the terms of its policing contract.

The survey also found that high turnover in Rutia’s office hampered its performance audits. That was one of the factors that led to Ruta being fired, after she refused to cooperate with a review of her office’s functions.

Former B.C. auditor general Arn van Iersel was appointed acting AGLG in April and is working with the UBCM on its recommendations, including training of audit staff.

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 staff at her Surrey office and her supervising board began to emerge, and only one audit was completed in that time.

 

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

Just Posted

Hundreds of anti-mask protesters walked along Yale Road near Hodgins Avenue during the Fraser Valley Freedom Rally on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anti-maskers returning to Chilliwack for “peaceful” protest Saturday

‘They have been strongly instructed to respect downtown businesses,’ according to head of BIA

July 25, 2019:  Zach Clay of Canada during the Pan American Games Men's Artistic Gymnastics podium training at Polideportiva Villa el Salvador in Lima, Peru.   Daniel Lea/CSM
COVID costs Chilliwack gymnast Zach Clay last chance at qualifying for Olympics

Clay won’t be able to compete at the upcoming Senior Pan American Championships in Brazil

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training after comparing wearing a mask to slavery on his Facebook page

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on B.C. highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

UBC Sports Hall of Famer Carrie (Watson) Watts (far right, front row) helped lead the UBC Thunderbirds to the 2004 national championship, their first since 1974. She served as assistant coach a few years after graduation. (Photo/UBC)
Agassiz-born basketball star inducted into UBC Sports Hall of Fame

Carrie (Watson) Watts helped lead the team to their first championship in decades

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Rex, an elderly golden Labrador retriever, is surrounded by his rescuers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Special to The News)
VIDEO: Dog survives plunge over Gold Creek Lower Falls in Maple Ridge

Fire chief asks for visitors to be more cautious in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Most Read