The City will be conducting a forensic audit as result of recommendations made in the George Cuff Governance Audit.
“I had asked the Interim City Manager to take a look at some items and do a little further investigation. In discussion with myself and our city solicitor, it was at the recommendation of the city solicitor that he felt there was a further investigation required,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
During the council meeting, Interim City Manager Rick McDonald said, “I have not found anything that I consider to be illegal, but I found things that I didn’t understand and can’t quite analyze, so I think it’s worthy of following up and clearing the air if you will.”
The audit will look into the finances of the city stemming back to January 1, 2009 up until June 30 of this year. According to Councillor Jonathan Torresan, his understanding is that travel expenses will be the main focus.
Councillor Torresan says “from my understanding of the process, they’re going to be looking at individual receipts, individual claims, looking at the payment trail; ensuring that it followed policy, ensuring that you had proper approval, ensuring there was an appropriate business purpose for it, so that it fit within the city mandate to actually pay it in the first place. ”
He adds, “hopefully it comes up with nothing or hopefully it just comes up with a better process and procedure moving forward and good policies so that we can never see any impropriety happen on tax payer dollars.”
“It’s going to lead to, I believe better policies from our city,” says Mayor Aalbers. He adds that it will also make the city “more accountable to the tax payer.”
Councillor Ken Baker says, “I’m in favour of it for a lot of reasons, but one is we got to clear the air and get on with life. There’s too much time spent looking at the negative side of things, rather than looking forward.”
As to when it will begin, the cost and who will be conducting the audit that, is still to be decided.