THE AUDITOR GENERAL FOR THE VILLE DE GATINEAU TABLES HIS 2014 ANNUAL REPORT TO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Gatineau, August 25, 2015 - As auditor general for the Ville de Gatineau, Mr. Alain Girard, CPA auditor, CA, tables his 2014 annual report to the Ville de Gatineau's Municipal Council.
«The annual report presently being filed to the Municipal Council today contains twenty-eight recommendations. Again this year, I return with audit topics that address organisational risks and are of interest to citizens, whom I believe, vest increasing confidence in the role of the Auditor General. »
The management of petty cash is an important subject because of the risks associated with its simplicity of use and the easy access to cash. It is our opinion that the Ville de Gatineau is not exercising the supervision necessary for the sound management and supervision of petty cash in the Ville's territory.
Recommendations were made to the Finance department and were aimed at improving the structure of the management of petty cash. It was recommended to offer better training for those responsible for petty cash, to bring awareness to individuals authorized to approve petty cash transactions, and to exercise more rigour in the monitoring process. Furthermore, it was recommended that the administration consider credit cards as an alternative method of payment to reduce the risks associated with the handling of cash.
Greenhouse gases (GHG)
The general objective of our audit mandate was to determine whether the Ville de Gatineau had adopted a structured, rigorous and efficient approach to GHG management and adaptation to climate change. The Ville de Gatineau's reduction plan was adopted by the municipal council in 2012 and provided that by 2015, the GHG emissions would be 15% lower than the 2009 levels. Yet, the actual estimates for the 2013 GHG emissions show an increase of 19.3% over the 2009 levels. The GHG emissions are in fact moving further away from the 2015 targets and the Ville de Gatineau will need to double its efforts.
These lacklustre results in terms of climate change adaptation and GHG reductions place the Ville in a position where the Municipal Council's objectives mentioned in the introduction are far from being attained.
Pursuant to these facts, I have issued a series of recommendations related to governance, accountability, and the implementation of comprehensive internal and external communication plans regarding the GHG reduction plan.
Management of the collection of works of art
The Ville de Gatineau holds a collection of works of art evaluated at nearly five million dollars; this collection represents a significant patrimonial, cultural, and financial asset for the Ville de Gatineau.
While we have found that an appropriate control structure for the collection exists, we have observed certain gaps that represent a certain amount of risk, one of which is the condition in which the works of art are stored and exhibited. A large part of the collection is stored in an area that is too small, lacks ventilation, and where water-damage has occurred in the last few years. In our opinion, these risks must be addressed as soon as possible.
We have also found that an important number of pieces in the collection of works of art cannot be located since the municipal merger. Only a paper record of these works can be found. In our opinion, based on the information collected, the collection of works of art has been overestimated in both its numbers and its value.
Management of traffic lights
The Auditor General also investigated the risks associated with the management of intersections and traffic lights. While we have determined that the Ville is conforming to the provincial regulatory framework, the city would benefit from improving its management practices relating to traffic lights beyond the current MTQ regulatory framework.
A better understanding of the problems, achieved by using diagnostic tools, sharing information between municipal services, improving the processing of complaints relating to intersections, and finally by the elaboration of an action plan, could reduce the numbers of accidents on the road network.
As was the case in previous years, I have received the full cooperation of the senior management of the Ville, its managers, and municipal employees during these audits. I take this opportunity to thank them once more.