RFP, AGLG, our Pocketbooks and the Product

Ron Bolin: Nov. 14, 2012

A Letter to Two Local Editors:

The City recently issued an RFP for a consultant to perform a study of governance for the City of Nanaimo at a cost estimated to be up to around $50,000. At the same time, the Province announced its first Auditor General for Local Governments (AGLG). Should we pay municipal taxes for a service provided by the province?

My contact with Staff and Council has led me to believe that they are incorrect in their assertion of the task of the AGLG and they have described the service to be provided there as of dubious value regarding governance. My contact with the AGLG’s office has indicated that kind of examination to be provided is precisely what is needed in Nanaimo, i.e. a performance audit:

“Performance audit refers to an examination of a program, function, operation or the management systems and procedures of a governmental or non-profit entity to assess whether the entity is achieving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the employment of available resources. The examination is objective and systematic, generally using structured and professionally adopted methodologies.” See: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/performance_audit

The legislation establishing the AGLG’s Office shows its purpose:

“The purpose of the auditor general is to conduct performance audits of the operations of local governments in order to provide local governments with objective information and relevant advice that will assist them in their accountability to their communities for the stewardship of public assets and the achievement of value for money in their operations.” See: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/1st_read/gov20-1.htm

By using the resources available through the new AGLG we would get the equivalent of a Core Review. We need this service as we have hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending in our municipal plans. What is the rush to avoid these provincial services and spend City taxpayer money on an RFP? Ask your Councillors.