Council-approved governance audit to analyze Campbell River’s ability to achieve value for money

The audit will be conducted by George Cuff & Associates Ltd. throughout the next few weeks

City hall will be put under the microscope following a decision made by council behind closed doors last month.

During an in-camera session July 10, which is closed to the media and the public, city council voted to proceed with a governance audit.

The audit will be conducted by George Cuff & Associates Ltd. throughout the next few weeks.

Coun. Andy Adams, who has the finance portfolio, said the audit is key to reviewing how the city delivers its core services, such as garbage pick-up, water, sewer, and policing.

“You’ve heard a lot about a core services review,” Adams said. “There are steps recommended to do that. The first one is a governance audit. That’s how you are administered and governed, your services – that’s the first audit.”

The audit will analyze the performance of city hall and provide council and city staff with information and advice that will help with accountability to the community and achieving  value for money in its operations.

Mission, a community of similar size to Campbell River, recently conducted a core service review in which Campbell River and four other municipalities participated.

The five communities’ financial situations were compared to Mission’s to give the Fraser Valley community an idea of where it stands.

Campbell River’s audit will likely be similar, but because the decision to conduct the audit was made in-camera, council cannot discuss any of the details.

Adams could say that it’s been more than seven years since Campbell River has had a governance audit.

“A governance audit is something that is done less frequently,” he said. “Governance audits or core service reviews are done periodically, an example is the Mission core review. It’s been quite some time since Campbell River has had one.”

Adams said Campbell River did partner with Nanaimo four years ago in an information session but a governance review was never conducted.

Meanwhile, in the same July 10 in-camera meeting, council also voted to contract with J.R. McDonald & Associates Inc. to conduct a strategic planning session in October.

Both the planning session and the governance audit together could cost up to $60,000 which will come from council’s contingency account and anticipated 2012 surplus.

The strategic planning session is done every year and sets the agenda of council priorities which enables city of Campbell River staff to prepare a budget that meets council’s objectives.