BY VOICE STAFF
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board Chair, Sandy Annunziata today has confirmed via a news release that the office of the Auditor General of Ontario will not be conducting a value-for-money audit of the NPCA.
At a special board meeting of the NPCA Board of Directors held on April 21, the Board unanimously carried a motion to engage the Auditor General of Ontario to conduct a value-for-money audit.
“We are disappointed the Board’s motion could not be accommodated, but we respect the Auditor General’s decision,” said Annunziata. “We know the Auditor General does outstanding work on behalf of the residents of Ontario. We know her time is precious and we appreciate the energy and resources she has given us in consideration of the Board’s Motion.”
Sections 9 and 12 of the Auditor General Act set forth the auditing and reporting responsibilities of the Auditor General. These responsibilities encompass two types of audits:
Attest audits — On an annual basis, the Auditor General attests to the accuracy of the financial statements of the province and of numerous Crown agencies. In other words, the Auditor reports whether, in his/her opinion, the government’s financial statements present fairly the financial position of the province, the results of its operations and the changes in its financial position in accordance with the accounting principles stated in the Public Accounts.
Value-for-money audits — The Auditor General examines government programs, agencies, certain public-sector organizations receiving government grants and Crown-controlled corporations to see if their administrators have spent money with due regard for economy and efficiency and have satisfactory procedures for measuring and reporting on effectiveness. In other words, she ascertains if taxpayers have received value for the tax dollars spent by the entities we audit. As part of these audits, the Auditor also checks that the management of the auditees being examined collected and spent money in the ways that the Legislature intended it to.
The NPCA states that it receives 4% of its budget from the Province of Ontario.
With the news of the Auditor General being unable to accommodate the Board’s request, and recognizing municipal resolutions requesting that an audit be performed, the NPCA says it will now turn its attention to conducting additional audits beyond their annual financial audits. At its latest meeting, the Board selected new financial auditors, KPMG, the same firm, says the NPCA, that audits the city of Hamilton, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Conservation Ontario and many authorities across the province.
Currently, the NPCA is undergoing an independent, third-party review of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. As part of this examination, recommendations will be forwarded to the Audit Committee for consideration of additional audit requirements.