Minister Chong responds to editorial

Your recent editorial about the province’s commitment to create an office of the municipal auditor general (Northern Sentinel, September 7) raises some interesting points.

Dear sir,

Your recent editorial about the province’s commitment to create an office of the municipal auditor general (Northern Sentinel, September 7) raises some interesting points.

As our economy has shifted, we have all had to look at how to be innovative with our resources and stretch taxpayer dollars at every level of government.

Provincial and federal expenditures are currently reviewed by an auditor general to ensure that taxpayers are getting value-for-money. Taxpayers deserve to have that assurance about local government spending.

There is one source of funding for governments at all levels – the taxpayer. That’s how a municipal auditor general can help – it’s about getting the best value for money at the community level.

It’s about sharing best practices and ensuring that we are all accountable and responsive to BC taxpayers.

The municipal auditor general is not being created to second-guess the policy choices of elected officials, nor is it about duplicating the work of local government financial auditors.

This is a supportive measure that is about enhancing accountability to taxpayers and looking at ways to be even more efficient.

The municipal auditor general will make recommendations about how to get better value for money.

The municipal auditor general will not make binding decisions for local governments to follow.

The office of the municipal auditor general will be another tool to help local governments serve their residents in the most efficient way possible.

We look forward to discussing the issue at the upcoming UBCM convention in Vancouver.

Sincerely,

Ida Chong,

Minister of Community,

Sport and Cultural

Development