March 23, 2015 1:36 pm
Updated: March 23, 2015 11:46 pm

Municipal auditor responds to her removal from office


British Columbia’s municipal auditor general is on her way out after refusing to have her office audited.

Last week, auditor general for local government Basia Ruta suggested a review of her office is undermining the independence of her bureau and may not be legal.

Ruta supported a review of her office, but had concerns about the appointment of former deputy minister Chris Trumpy to conduct the review.

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The office has been under fire lately after a workplace review team found employees with concerns about leadership and productivity.

A statement released by the province this morning says the removal of the auditor general is necessary to ensure proper functioning of the office.

The statement reads:

The auditor general for local government’s obstruction of an intended review of her office has created an intolerable situation that compounds the unstable work environment and lack of performance from that office.

Ruta responded to the province through a statement from her lawyer. The former auditor general says in her statement that “insisting on compliance with the Act is not obstruction.” She goes on to say that she proposed two alternatives to allow a review of the office but that the minister nor the audit council “chose to work collaboratively in a manner that preserved the independence of the office or in a manner that complied with the Act.”

The statement continues: “There is, quite simply, no power in the legislation to allow the audit council to appoint a third party to conduct a review. There is also no power in the Act to allow the AGLG to disclose information or records to a third party appointed by the audit council. The proposed review would have required me to breach the statute.

“The manner of removing me from office occurred without adherence to basic principles of procedural fairness. I will be seeking judicial review of the decision and all future statements will be made through the legal process.”

An acting auditor general for local government is expected to be appointed.

~With files from the Canadian Press

WATCH (above): Keith Baldrey reports on a review of B.C.’s municipal auditor general that was slated to get underway 

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