City of Surrey’s $1.2 billion annual budget deserves the independent oversight and accountability that comes with an auditor general: Councillor Linda Annis
Surrey, B.C. (May 10, 2021): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says she is disappointed that her council colleagues voted against Surrey having an independent auditor general, something already in place in Canada’s largest cities.
“Our city’s annual budget is $1.2 billion and growing, so it makes good sense to have complete transparency and accountability,” explained Annis. “We’re a growing city with complex programs and finances, and our taxpayers deserve the benefits and oversight that comes with an independent auditor general. Vancouver council unanimously passed their motion for an auditor general and are now in the process of hiring their first auditor general. For instance Surrey’s police transition process is a good example of an expensive and complex program that deserves oversight and accountability. Right now we’re spending millions of taxpayer dollars and Surrey residents are being left in the dark.”
Annis said Canada’s largest cities, as well as the federal and provincial governments, have independent auditor generals as a way of holding politicians and governments more accountable, while ensuring greater transparency around spending and the effectiveness of costly programs.
“I was hoping we would have unanimous support for the motion,” said Annis. “Frankly an independent auditor general would complement the important work of our city staff and provide city council with valuable advice and direction that can help us make the best and most cost effective decisions for Surrey’s future. At the end of the day this is all about being on the side of our taxpayers. After all, it’s their money and when you’re spending over $1.2 billion annually the need for complete transparency is obvious and shouldn’t be something we shy away from.”
Councillor Linda Annis