by KORIE MARSHALL
The province’s auditor for local government has given the local Regional District a good grade for its day- to- day purchasing, but pointed out some areas for improvement.
Last week the Auditor General for Local Government announced the completion of a review of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George’s operational procurement between 2010 and 2012. The report finds the Regional District was generally managing it’s purchasing with due regard for value for money, but identified a few exceptions and areas that could be improved. It says for the most part, the Regional District has well-developed principles, bylaws, policies and procedures, and staff mostly followed established policies.
“I’m pleased with the Regional District’s positive response to the audit and its commitment to act on our recommendations,” said Gordon Ruth, Auditor General for Local Government in a news release. “By making the changes we have recommended and adopting a comprehensive strategic approach to operational procurement, the Regional District could do an even better job of ensuring value for money in its operational procurement.”
In a news release of its own, the Regional District said it was pleased to be chosen for this audit theme, as it spends in the order of $12 million annually on goods and services, about a third of its annual budget of just over $36 million.
“The audit confirmed our observations that we do a good job of ensuring that tax dollars are spent with a goal to getting the best value,” said Art Kaehn, Chair of the Board in the release.
“We welcomed the opportunity to have our procurement practices reviewed to identify areas where we can perform even better,” says Regional District Administrator Jim Martin. He says they have already developed an action plan to address the recommendations from the Auditor, including improving purchasing and conflict of interest guidelines; updating purchasing card policies to address gaps and formalize existing good practice; and improving reporting to the board.
This is the AGLG’s fifth audit on the topic “Achieving Value for Money in Operational Procurement” and the 16th AGLG performance audit report released overall since the office’s inception in 2012.