Cranbrook mayor says municipal audit will cost taxpayers

The City of Cranbrook is one of the municipalities that has been chosen by the new Municipal Auditor General to be audited.

The City of Cranbrook is one of the municipalities that has been chosen by the new Municipal Auditor General to be audited.

The city will be audited under the Learnings from Local Government Capital Procurement Projects and Asset Management Programs, along with a number of other communities.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski said the audit will mean extra work for the city, though he added that as with all visitors to Cranbrook, the city welcomes them.

“(The audit) will mean extra work for staff to provide the information requested and to discuss it,” Mayor Stetski said. “Our hope is that we can provide the Municipal Auditor General with best management practices that can be exported to other municipalities. If there are better management practices that they can identify, we will be happy to implement them. Our understanding is that these are not financial audits which makes sense since, by law, municipalities cannot run a financial deficit.”

Stetski said that city staff talked to the municipal auditor general’s staff after the city received the letter. The city was told communities of various population sizes across B.C. were chosen to be audited, then selected for what would be audited.

A number of communities are being audited across the province, with a focus on different subject areas.

Stetski said there are two costs to taxpayers.

“Setting up and operating the new Municipal Auditor General’s office costs B.C. taxpayers $3 million this year,” he said. “Since this is a brand new initiative by the province we will track how much it costs the city in staff time. We have been advised that we will not be able to claim these costs back from the Municipal Auditor General or the province of B.C.”