The city’s policies will be coming under close scrutiny after a new committee to review policy issues was struck.
The policy review committee will be a sub committee of the council planning process that begins June 1, a move to dissect the budget and consider the implications—and worth—of each line item in the city budget.
Councillor Cary Fisher proposed striking the joint policy review committee with senior city staff to look at the policies in place now, and make any needed adjustments, and then bring recommendations back to council.
City corporate officer Tracey Butler was not sure how many policies would be reviewed under the committee, but it will start with the policy and procedure around purchasing and contracting.
It was the contract issue that first prompted council to contact the B.C. Auditor General and request a policy review. When the office informed council it would not be able to look at issues in Rossland due to an overload of requests, council elected to police itself.
“This is not, as my daughter would say, ‘rocket surgery.’ All we are looking at doing is tweaking policies with staff, and being proactive in light of not having this audit come and hopefully telling us something similar,” Fisher said.
The purpose of the auditor general for local government 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 corporate stewardship of assets and the achievement of value for the money in their operations.
In a letter dated April 16, auditor general for local government, Basia Ruta, said “it appears to me that many, if not all of the paragraphs … raise issues of a legal nature about which council may wish to seek legal advice.”