The Auditor General's report on the NPCA indicates that Governance is extremely weak. Since the members of the NPCA and Regional Council are one in the same, it is safe to assume that Governance is weak at the Region level as well. This has allowed for chronic over runs on expensive projects that are left unchecked. It has also resulted in millions of dollars of the taxpayers money being misspent on uncontrolled expense accounts, hirings and firings that have not been properly vetted. This misappropriation of our money cannot continue. Good Governance practises would see that behind door dealings would be eliminated. Council would be fully informed and the information shared with the constituents. Policies and procedures would be put into place and adhered to. A code of Ethics would govern the interactions of the Councillors so there would be no more bullying and intimidation tactics used.
Cost overruns of 30 to 40 million dollars have ben shrugged off. In fact one sitting Councillor said that managing cost overrides was not a priority for the last 49 years at Regional Council. Well it should have been. We need to take a hard line approach and scrutinize the budget. Engaging the staff who must execute the programs t find where cost saving may occur and where the budget must be tweaked or changed. All of this must be done in conjunction with ensuring that fiscal responsibility is a priority.
There are currenty no [policies for expense accounts for Councillors. $200.00 lunches paifd for by the taxpayer must be eliminated. Expensing expensive Gala Tickets is not an expense the taxpayer should be footing. The mileage to come to the Council Meetings should be eliminated. We signed on to do this job and that is covered in our remuneration. Who else gets paid for coming to work? A comprehensive statement of policy and procedures for the expense accounts must be undertaken. It is clear that the Councillors have not adhered to best practises or cared about the taxpayers dollars.