Search begins for Audit Council members

VICTORIA – The search is on for Audit Council members, bringing the Province one step closer to fulfilling Premier Christy Clark’s commitment to establish an Office of the Auditor General for Local Government.

The Board Resourcing and Development Office (BRDO) is posting the position on its website in anticipation of the passage of Bill 20 (Auditor General for Local Government Act) this spring. Consultations are also underway between the Province, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and other organizations regarding potential candidates, announced Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong.

The Province introduced Bill 20 in November 2011. Under the proposed legislation, the primary purpose of the AGLG would be to help local governments find efficiencies in spending and improve program effectiveness by providing neutral, non-binding advice.

The AGLG’s role has been designed to maximize value for money by enabling the AGLG to undertake performance audits and provide information to assist local governments in choosing how best to respond to their communities’ priorities. Like all auditors general, the AGLG would make recommendations for improvements, not impose solutions.

The AGLG would report through the Audit Council, comprised of at least five individuals with relevant professional expertise in accounting, auditing, local and regional governance, or provincial governance. Audit Council members would be appointed by the Province for terms of up to three years.

Once interviews for Audit Council positions and due diligence are complete, the BRDO will present a final list of potential candidates to the minister for consideration. Audit Council members would be appointed after the legislation is in force.

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong said, “In anticipation of Bill 20 passing, we are taking the next crucial steps toward establishing the Office of the Auditor General for Local Government. We are anxious to get going with our first audits, and need to be prepared to take action as soon as the legislation is in place.”

Canadian Taxpayers Federation, B.C. director, Jordan Bateman said, “This is an important step toward bringing a much-needed addition to the accountability of how city halls spend our property taxes. If something is a concern at city hall, residents need to have someone available to look at the problem with fresh eyes.”