City balks at municipal auditor-general
A provincial government plan to create an Office of the Municipal Auditor General to review spending by cities and towns is raising hackles at Langley City council.
The provincial auditor would operate as the federal and provincial auditors-general do, providing an independent look at government spending.
The problem, according to Langley City councillors, is that the municipality already pays for a regular independent audit and shouldn't have to fund another one.
"I don't think it's been well-thought out," said Mayor Peter Fassbender.
He is also concerned the provincial government has said the new authority will look at "performance issues" without saying exactly what that means.
Councillor Gayle Martin said she doesn't have a problem with the proposal, so long as the municipality doesn't have to pay for it.
"Quite frankly, I think its a good idea," she said.
At its Sept. 12 meeting, council unanimously voted to send a message to the provincial government saying “Based on the information received to date, the City of Langley Council does not support the establishment of a Municipal Auditor General.”
In a statement issued Friday, the provincial government said the municipal auditor-general will not "make or overrule policy decisions of elected officials (such as tax rates or land use); call into question the merits of local government program policies or objectives; make binding recommendations or impose requirements; or duplicate or displace current accountability requirements (such as local governments hiring independent auditors for annual financial audits)."