Letter : Is the City Skirting Around Audit and Accountability?

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Generally an Association of Ratepayers acts to:

●Lobby local government on issues of concern to their members; or,

●Disseminate information on local government issues to their members to ensure awareness.

Dear fellow ratepayers, Sault Association volunteers would like to bring attention to the following item on Monday council agenda. Mr. Horsman will be presenting a report to council on the Audit and Accountability Fund program.

1.       The city is engaged in the development of a municipal services
profile model and has a contract with KPMG since January 2019 to utilize the
Municipal Reference Model to develop the profile, so basically KPMG is at
this time a city contract employee.

2.       The MRM is to provide a foundation to achieve greater
accountability and efficiency through performance measurement and exploring
alternative service delivery.  The City proposes to use the audit and
accountability fund as an opportunity to build on the MRM profiles and look
at service delivery alternatives.

3.       The audit and accountability fund provides funding for a review of
municipal delivery expenditures to find efficiencies.  A report by an
independent third party that provides specific and actionable recommendation
for cost savings and improvements must be posted by November 30, 2019

4.       The program will not cover review projects where (a)  the object of
the review is to identify opportunities for revenue generation or reductions
in front line services, (b) the review does not result in a formal report
prepared by a third party and (c) the object of the review extends beyond
municipal accountability

5.       Staff is proposing a review of service delivery and modernization
opportunities.  This can be completed by expanding the scope of the MRM
project with the current consultant KPMG.  If the current consultant is not
engaged, duplication of services and additional costs may be incurred. The
final report date may not be met also if the MRM profiles are required to
precede   service review.

6.       The cost of expanding the scopes of the current MRM project is
estimated between $50,000 and $75,000 all of which would be covered by the
Audit and Accountability Fund if approved.

7.       The council action recommended is: “Approve providing the province
with an expression of interest to access the Audit and Accountability Fund
and that the increased scope of work be single sourced to KPMG LLP to be
fully funded through the Audit and Accountability Fund.

AS YOU CAN SEE no where does he mention line-by-line audit or value-for-money audit, on which most councilors were given in writing and questioned during the election debates featured on ONN TV.

He seems to overlook the independent third party aspect altogether since he is recommending a firm which is already employed by the city.

Please state for the public that single sourcing may be in contravention of the city’s own procedures for procurement.

It is our belief and it would we would appreciate, that council could debate, clarify and give the careful attention this matter of fiscal responsibility deeply deserves.

Perhaps if all due diligences are not taken that under review, the Audit and Accountability Fund may be of the opinion the city is trying to skirt around the purposes of the program.

Yours truly
LORNA E. RUDOLPH

Sault Association of Ratepayers

Volunteer Organizer

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Why on earth would this audit be single sourced to KPMG? It sounds like the city wants a friendly result. What we need is a proper independent audit that takes a hard look at all city operations as well as possible conflicts of interest in all respects.

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