A Question of Accountability in Port Moody

Since the Tri-City News published this letter, “Has province’s charter failed? on October 5th, I’ve discovered that the annual report issued by Port Moody does not comply to the basic requirements of public accountability required by the Community Charter.

The Port Moody website says, “In accordance with the provincial Municipal Charter, Port Moody publishes an annual report.” Sure, but this reporting by Port Moody fails to provide the public with the measurement criteria (metrics) used to evaluate the objectives.

Instead of the public being able to review the City’s shortcomings in the annual report, a nice rosy picture is painted with a list of things done the past year and a broad list of things to do in the upcoming year.

Since 2004, section 98 of the Community Charter requires that certain information must be included in the report for public review. This includes the specific objectives and the metrics by which the City of Port Moody will be accountable.

Is it this lack of accountability that has raised the need for a discussion about having a Municipal Auditor General?

The Community Charter annual reporting requirements are clear.  By June 30th each year the city must provide citizens with the performance from the previous year and what is planned for the upcoming year, and not just a list of things to do and/or done.

Why is accountability to the taxpayer taking a back seat to the time and resources of City staff preparing award program entry forms for financial reporting recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association? Surely transparency is more important than recognition.

Perhaps it’s time for a wake-up call to whoever has been asleep at the wheel!

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