Gatineau, June 10, 2014 - The auditor general for the Ville de Gatineau, Mr. Alain Girard, CPA auditor, CA, tables his 2013 annual report to the Ville de Gatineau's Municipal Council.
"The annual report that I am tabling today to Municipal Council is comprised of twenty-nine recommendations including comments made by management for each of the departments in question during my audit. The audit mandates of the municipal management processes bring added value to the organization and are undertaken in close collaboration with management."
CONTRACTUAL DATA ANALYSIS
Following allegations of collusion in respect of professional services and other various revelations brought to light in 2013 by the Charbonneau Commission concerning the Ville de Gatineau, the Office of the auditor general has chosen to undertake an analysis of the contractual database for certain construction activities carried out by the Ville.
The mandate was mostly aimed at examining the steps for cost estimation, the procurement strategy and the supervision of roofing and paving work carried out in 2012 and 2013.
The Ville must ensure that they better understand the markets and business contexts within which they do business in order to adapt to trends and better manage their projects. It has become necessary for the Ville to establish cost estimates for its projects in order to reduce the risk of inflated bidding, to encourage sound competition and to spur more competitive bidding by contractors.
In general, we observed that the Ville does not compile and analyse detailed costs, both practices which would, by their interpretation and use, be of benefit in better evaluating its performance in estimating project costs as well as better understanding market trends and establishing strategies aimed at encouraging competition.
COMPUTER ACCESS AND CONTROLS RELATED TO DATA LOSS
It is our opinion that the obsolescence of the financial services application at the Ville de Gatineau poses important risks. The Ville should review its investment calendar in this matter and accelerate the update of financial applications within the city's financial services.
We also looked into the recovery of services after a disaster affecting a system or leading to information loss.
It was brought to our attention that the Ville does not have a plan in case of destruction of electronic data. Many weeks could therefore pass before normal services are restored causing potentially important harm to the Ville de Gatineau.
ROLES AND CONTROLS OF MUNICIPAL FINANCING AT THE STO
Considering the significant contribution to the STO by the municipal budget and the associated organisational risks involved, the office of the auditor general has identified this topic for audit.
The role of municipal administration in reviewing and analysing budgetary data for the STO is not formally established. This role remains unclear, undocumented and the same situation exists for controls to be performed.
We noticed that communication between both organisations needs to be reviewed in order to ensure better collaboration at all levels.
Five recommendations were issued. The main recommendation involves establishing a framework memorandum of understanding in order to encourage sound management practices and to improve accountability and communications now necessary within this model of governance.
Taking into account all annual reports by the auditor general between 2009 à 2012 inclusively, 134 recommendations were issued to managers. Of this number, as of today, 118 recommendations (88%) were applied or should soon be applied.
As in the past, I received complete collaboration from managers and municipal employees during the audit process. For this, I thank them.