Province Will Retain AGLG Office

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, has announced that the province will retain the office of the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) following the completion of a five-year review. The review found that a significant number of respondents had made changes to local practices based on the outputs of the AGLG. The report also flagged the high average cost of performance audits, with a cost per audit of $500,000.

The five-year review of the Auditor General for Local Government Act and the AGLG office is required by legislation. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) contracted with Kelly Daniels, formerly the CAO of the Capital Regional District and Nanaimo Regional District, to undertake the review. A Working Group made up of UBCM President Arjun Singh and Executive Director Gary MacIsaac, along with representatives from the Local Government Management Association and three members from MMAH, including the Assistant Deputy Minister who functioned as the Chair, advised the consultant. 

UBCM policy since 2015 has called for the elimination of the AGLG office since the requirements of the office are already met under existing local government legislation and regulations. This policy was conveyed both through the Working Group and individual interviews with the consultant.

One of key findings of the review was the level of interest in the outputs of AGLG by local governments that had not been directly audited. Of the respondents that had not been audited, 86% indicated that someone in their organization had read a performance audit report or Perspectives booklet, and 71% of those indicated that someone in their organization had incorporated practices or made changes to policy based on these documents. 

The report also noted concerns expressed by interviewees with the high cost of the performance audits undertaken by the office. Dividing the annual budget of approximately $2,500,000 by the number of audits yields a cost of $500,000 per audit. In the words of the consultant, “[W]hile value for money may not be an issue for local government because the Province funds the AGLG office, the Province will have to address the issue in determining the future of the office.”

Meta Navigation