20 August 2009

Lono calls for municipal auditor general

From the candidate’s website:

Councillor at Large candidate Simon Lono says
St. John's needs a Municipal Auditor General

St John’s  - Councillor at Large candidate Simon Lono says he would work to have a Municipal Auditor General (MAG) appointed for the City of St. Johns.

A municipal auditor general would perform independent reviews of city spending and operations and make recommendations on how to improve the way the city spends taxpayer's money. The office would also help make sure taxpayers know how city council is spending their money.

Lono said, “Our city, the city of St. Johns, is the largest public institution in the province still not subject to scrutiny by an autonomous auditor general. We need a MAG that is outside council control with the power of independent investigation and the mandate to share its findings with the citizens and tax-payers of St. Johns. It would go a long way to improve transparency and accountability at City Hall.”

There is a federal auditor general and a provincial auditor general, but there is no equivalent for the municipal level of government in this province.

Nova Scotia has recently instituted a province-wide system of municipal auditor generals. In Alberta, a bill is before the provincial legislature to create provincially funded offices. Responsible cities across Canada have taken the initiative to create their own office of MAGs , including Toronto.

“The capital city of a vibrant province with a growing economy needs a Municipal Auditor General, “ says Lono. “This is no time for council to be defensive and cling to old ways of operating. In the next 4 years, the St. Johns municipal budget will exceed $200 million a year. If we are a great city, let’s act like one and be open to an independent public sector audit. Let’s make sure that taxpayers get value for money and residents get the best possible service, the service they deserve.“

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