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

11th annual Magic Cottage kicks off this weekend in Port Alberni

Cottage will be open over two weekends in November

Port Alberni RCMP hold second bike registration event

Project 529 will be at Canadian Tire on Saturday, Nov. 17

Husky Gas Station robbed on Third Avenue

Port Alberni RCMP still searching for suspect

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alberni care homes benefit from funding to purchase new safety equipment

Echo Village and Fir Park Village will be receiving $32,500 each

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read