Policing is one of the biggest costs in municipal budgets and it's the focus of audits of six B.C. cities promised by the Auditor General for Local Government.

Policing is one of the biggest costs in municipal budgets and it's the focus of audits of six B.C. cities promised by the Auditor General for Local Government.

Acting municipal auditor named to replace Ruta

Police cost probe of Surrey and five other cities among delayed AGLG audits

An acting Auditor General for Local Government has been named, allowing work to continue on municipal audits that had been in progress, including probes of how Surrey and New Westminster manage policing costs.

Arn van Iersel, a former B.C. comptroller general and acting auditor general, takes over for Basia Ruta, who was fired by the province last week after she tried to block a review of her office’s performance.

“I am confident that this appointment will bring stability to the office and provide strong leadership during the transition period,” said Coralee Oakes, the minister responsible.

A review of the AGLG office led by Chris Trumpy is underway and expected to lead to further reforms in the AGLG function.

The AGLG’s website indicates an audit of Sechelt’s capital procurement is next up for release in April.

Police management audits were also previously announced for Merritt, Port Alberni, Victoria and Williams Lake, while several other cities or regional districts are the subject of audits of capital procurement or value for money in operational procurement.

AGLG officials won’t say how advanced the Surrey policing audit is.

But Surrey city officials say there have been 20 to 25 meetings since June of 2013 between the AGLG and senior city staff, the former mayor and councillors.

The Surrey audit was originally scheduled for completion in January of 2014, with a March 2014 publication date.

City officials last met with the AGLG’s office in February and expected to get a sense of when the audit would be finished at a follow up meeting that was scheduled for last Friday, but cancelled after Ruta’s firing.

Ruta had set an ambitious target of 18 audits in the first year but became embroiled in discord with her staff and her governing audit council. The office located in Surrey has so far released just three reports.

The office was created by the premier to seek savings at the local government level by comparing the performance and practices of various municipalities.

Municipal leaders had opposed the idea, predicting it would be a wasteful extra layer of bureaucracy that might interfere with local decision making.

Just Posted

Drivers continue to go through rough areas on Highway 20 where repairs have been made to address areas impacted by a historical slide. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Highway 20, Dog Creek Road repairs won’t be completed until later this summer

Geotechnical and hydrotechnical investigation continues

Mackey Pierce stands with two of the four paintings she has in the Cariboo Art Society exhibit at the Station House Gallery. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Art Society member exhibit June show at Station House Gallery

Title ‘This and That’, the show reflects the art of 11 members

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lakecity Secondary School returns to semester system this fall

The quarterly system was in place this past year

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read