The Auditor General for Local Government Act will be amended to strengthen governance and accountability mechanisms announced Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development today.
Administrative amendments are expected to be introduced at an upcoming legislative session that more clearly define the roles of the minister, the audit council, the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) and other parties. The amendments are designed to complement the initial design of the AGLG Act and are incremental in nature.
Examples of the amendments include:
- Appointment of the AGLG under the Public Service Act;
- An improved communication framework between the minister and audit council;
- Opportunities for the audit council to review and provide comment on the office’s budget and operations; and
- Authority for the audit council to access information on the status of the performance audits undertaken by the Office of the AGLG.
In addition to the legislative amendments, recommendations from the independent report on the governance and operations of the Auditor General for Local Government, prepared for the office’s audit council, will also be implemented.
The report identified a range of issues including an opportunity for greater clarity on roles, responsibilities and working relationships between the audit council and AGLG, practices that increased cost and delayed audit completions and reliance on external contracted resources.
Five specific recommendations to improve the office’s effectiveness and efficiency were identified as follows:
- Establish working relationship: clearly define roles, responsibilities and shared expectations between the audit council and AGLG, at the beginning of the working relationship;
- Accountability Framework: delineation of specific strategic and operational responsibilities for the AGLG and audit council;
- Organization Structure: review the appropriateness of the current model with respect to the number of staff dedicated to audit functions, reliance on contracted staff and increase utilization of shared ministry corporate services to reduce costs;
- Processes and Procedures: finalize the audit plan manual and follow it; and
- Benchmarks: establish and report out against four specific metrics, including per cent of audits completed on/under budget target, per cent of audits completed on/under time schedule target, per cent of auditees who felt the audit was well done and potential benefits identified in audits.
Many of the recommendations will be incorporated through the legislative amendments, improved reporting or better articulated responsibilities. The remainder will be implemented through changes to office procedures and structure already underway. Consultations with key stakeholders will occur but as the amendments are administrative in nature, they are anticipated to be limited.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes -
“The intention of the review was to position the office for success moving forward and to build a more effective Auditor General for Local Government office that is accountable to government and the taxpayers of British Columbia. When implemented, the amendments proposed for the governing legislation, together with the recommendations coming from the independent report, will address shortfalls, provide opportunities for collaboration on pre and post audit initiatives, strengthen existing roles and responsibilities and increase accountability to taxpayers.”
Chair, Auditor General for Local Government audit council, Tony Ariganello -
“The audit council is very pleased that amendments to the legislation will be made and that processes and procedures will be implemented to strengthen the effectiveness of the AGLG role. We believe this will position the office for greater success and are pleased that the review identified ways to do effectively that.”
To see the Report on the Governance and Operations of the Auditor General for Local Government go to: www.aglg.ca/Report_on_the_Governance_and_Operations_of_the_Auditor_General_for_Local_Government-April_2015.pdf
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development