AGLG Report on Rossland, Part 2, Released
The Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) has just released Part 2 of the City of Rossland’s audit, which focused on Capital Procurement Projects and Asset Management. The report concludes that the City needs to build on the asset management work it has already started and to move forward with creating an Asset Management Plan. The plan involves building a comprehensive list of everything the city owns, from roads and pipes to buildings and equipment. The next step is to assign a current value to each one and then to create and implement a lifecycle plan for replacement, renewal or disposal.
In 2011, consultants began this work by developing an inventory and a five-year Infrastructure Management and Improvement Plan. However, the AGLG observed, this work wasn’t continued or built upon by the City. Due to limited resources, a comprehensive plan detailing how projects would be financed fell behind and a number of the projects outlined in the infrastructure plan didn’t move forward.
The Report notes, “We believe the City’s ability to move forward and improve its capital asset management practices has been hampered by its lack of staff resources, particularly at its most senior level.“
“I am proud of the work that the City undertook in 2011 to begin to address the issues of asset management”, said Mayor Kathy Moore. “We got off to a strong start with the consultants’ work but were hampered by lack of resources to keep going. This is a challenge faced by all municipalities but little ones, like Rossland, are hit particularly hard. We have a small number of staff, a big workload and very limited financial resources”.
Another recommendation from the report is that the City needs to implement a more systematic approach to project decision making. More information to justify the project should be provided to the city council to ensure that each project represents the highest priority and the best value for taxpayers.
Mayor Moore said, “The City of Rossland has benefited from the observations and recommendations that have come out of the audit process. While it is never easy to be put under the microscope, the end result was worth the time and effort. Our staff did an amazing job working with the auditors.” She adds, “We have learned a lot and have been able to incorporate many of the suggestions into our priorities and goals for this term. A number of the observations have been identified as particularly important and we are making significant progress towards their achievement. We have adopted new procedures for reviewing capital project decisions and now council gets more information. We are committed to furthering the work started in 2011. We intend to transform ourselves into a model of good fiscal and asset management.”
Moore expressed appreciation for the work done by the AGLG and the help provided by the observations and suggestions in the report. She is also grateful for the time and effort contributed to the report by our own municipal employees.