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

VIDEO: Young balance-bikers race through Surrey’s Civic Plaza at Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

White Rock Beer For The Pier to go on sale early this week

Restaurants, bars and liquor stores from Vancouver to Chilliwack will sell new brew

45-year-old ID’ed as victim of South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

‘Potentially life-threatening’ injuries in overnight Surrey crash

Police had Highway 10 between 180th and 186th streets closed for several hours

Support granted for NatureKids

Program provides opportunities for youth and families to learn about and enjoy the outdoors

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read

l -->