Auditor General Set to Transform Local Governments
Victoria, November 24, 2011 – Chambers of Commerce from across the province today welcomed the announcement that the Auditor General for Local Government will be created in British Columbia. The BC Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate the Provincial Government for tabling this important legislation.
“The legislation of this new office has the potential to fundamentally change the way municipalities in BC operate,” said John Winter, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, “and we applaud the BC Government for making this bold move to ensure that our municipalities are accountable and provide services in a competitive and cost effective way.”
The concept for a Local Government Auditor General office in BC was developed in a 2010 policy paper by the BC Chamber of Commerce, which focused on creating equity in the property tax system and bringing transparency to local government. Chambers of Commerce recognize that many local governments face challenges providing services with limited financial means. However, many tax rates are set with little to no involvement by the public and with no effective oversight.
“It is critical that the public have information through value for money audits to ensure that taxpayer interests are protected, and that elected officials at all levels are held to account. An Auditor General of Local Government would achieve these goals while respecting municipal autonomy,” continued Winter.
“We are very glad to see that the guiding principles of independence and transparency for the Auditor General office have been written into the legislation,” Winter concluded. “The Auditor General of Local Government will ensure that municipalities are accountable and employing best practices in the interest of local residents and businesses.”
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