Premier Christy Clark says B.C.'s new Auditor General For Local Government will be based in Surrey.

Surrey to host new municipal auditor

Office will search for efficiency, not impose solutions or restrict policy: Premier

A planned Office of the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) will be based in Surrey.

The provincial government introduced legislation to establish the promised auditor of municipal spending but debate and passage will be delayed until a spring session of the Legislature.

Premier Christy Clark said the AGLG’s main role will be to help cities find efficiencies in spending and improve program effectiveness by providing neutral, non-binding advice – not by imposing solutions.

It will be up to city councils to decide what action to take on any recommendations, she said, adding their decisions on taxation, land use and other services will remain unrestricted.

Clark said the office will strengthen local government accountability and ensure the best possible return on investment for taxpayer dollars.

AGLG performance audits assessing whether how effective city operations are in providing value for money will be made public.

“The same reports would give local governments important information about

how to streamline processes and identify the most efficient use of public

funds, maximizing the use of taxpayer dollars,” said Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong.

Audits will target specific services, not a city’s entire operations.

Also covered are regional districts, including Metro Vancouver’s utility arms, and any corporations or other entities controlled by cities or regional districts.

Delegates at September’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention strongly criticized the planned municipal auditor, suspecting its aim is to pressure elected councils to change their policies and priorities. Some predicted the office itself will be a waste of money.

Metro Vancouver mayors urged the province in October to put TransLink under the scrutiny of the new auditor.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business applauded the announcement.

“We believe having an independent, unbiased body to scrutinize municipal spending and conduct performance audits will be an extremely effective step in curbing municipal overspending,” said CFIB spokeswoman Shachi Kurl.

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income owners in Lower Mainland

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Most Read