(Oak Bay News/file)

Yearly audits keep Oak Bay in check

Legislative spending allegations not an issue in Oak Bay

Legislated yearly audits mean Oak Bay doesn’t expect any Darryl Plecas styled financial reports, according to Director of Financial Services Debbie Carter.

The legislative Speaker of the House wrote a 76-page report released to the public earlier this month that laid out allegations of expensive personal indulgences that Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and Clerk Craig James charged to the Legislative Assembly.

For the last few years, KPMG has conducted audits of Oak Bay’s finances. “They typically do random samples,” Carter said. “They probably won’t go through every employee annually, but through the course of a few years I’m pretty sure they touch on all of those expenses. They pay pretty close attention to employees and elected officials’ remuneration and expenses.”

Carter said the district has checks and balances in place. Expense claims go through the appropriate department before making their way to the districts’ financial wing. After that, there’s often a few more eyes that look over claims.

READ ALSO: B.C. Legislature spending scandal inspires satirical song

That said, there is not a set total limit on how much elected officials can expense every year.

Councillors are entitled to ferry and airfare costs for events taking place outside of the Capital Regional District. They also receive a $55 per diem for meals. Events in Greater Vancouver or Whistler allow for an additional $10. Bylaws also allow for a $20 per diem in discretionary expenses, reimbursed without receipts.

RELATED: Ousted legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

“Because we have a new council, we have conducted extensive orientation sessions. Most of those things have been touched on through that process,” Carter said. “When expense claims come in, they are scrutinized really closely. If there’s somthing that’s not clear on the request for reimbursement, then we would go back and ask the appropriate questions of staff or council. That’s just done through regular financial checks and internal controls.”

As is required by provincial legislation, summaries of council and staff salaries, as well as expenses, are made available to the public every year. The report for 2018 is expected at the end of June.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. budget will have ‘very little impact’ on poverty, advocates say

New Child Opportunity Benefit and income assistance increases are too small for a large effect

Students donate 5,265 socks to Our Place

The middle school donation drive provides socks to struggling people

Garry oaks come down on Finnerty Road

Saanich road to be widened for two-way bike lanes, sidewalks

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read