DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: A motion made by Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett, to have the township of Scugog execute a forensic audit on the Port Perry BIA from the years 2012 to 2016, and to have the township pay for the forensic audit, did not receive enough support from council to pass, when it was brought up at a meeting on Monday, February 12th.
At the meeting, Councillor Kett’s motion, which also stated the audit be completed by April 30th, 2018, was discussed during the notice of motion section.
“I’ve raised a concern about clarity and transparency of the BIA finances before, but it’s necessary to look at it again,” Councillor Kett told council.
When asked by Mayor Tom Rowett what he hoped to achieve with this forensic audit, Councillor Kett said he is looking for “the truth.” He also said he wants the Township to be protected from any liability in this matter.
“I want to make sure that we are indemnified from any liability,” he said, adding that the audit “should be done.”
Treasurer Dianne Valentim said she reached out to the Township’s auditor about the 2016 audit of the BIA, stating they provided “a substantially, significantly more intense audit.” She went on to say a fraud risk was raised by the BIA board and 150 hours were spent on the 2016 audit.
“If there was any instances of fraud, if they encountered any potential fraud during the course of their audit, they would have been required to communicate the findings to [the BIA] and they did not find any instances of that,” she said.
Council was concerned about the potential cost of an audit like this. The township received a verbal opinion from an auditor that this type of audit could cost between $20,000 and $30,000 for each year audited.
“I would find it very difficult to support [a $100,000 cost]. While I believe the truth and finding out whatever needs to be found out is very important, $100,000 is a huge burden to ask our residents to bear,” Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido said.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew agreed that the Township should not be spending $100,000 on an audit of the BIA.
“To me, to spend $100,000 on an audit when the auditors have already had a good look at it, that would be, in my opinion, irresponsible,” she said.
Mayor Rowett said the BIA has the authority to pay for and move forward on an audit if they wish to do so.
“Nobody is stopping the BIA from pursuing it any further,” he said.
When a vote was called on the motion, Councillor Kett did not see support from the other councillors and the motion lost.
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