Board approves up to $75K for third-party audit of TNRD spending | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Board approves up to $75K for third-party audit of TNRD spending

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March 11, 2021 - 4:43 PM

A nearly unanimous vote today approved a third-party audit of spending at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The board of directors at the regional district tabled a proposal to have an independent body conduct a “thorough and fulsome” audit of expenses by both directors and employees.

The audit comes on the heels of an explosive KTW report that former TNRD CAO Sukh Gill charged about $500,000 over five years to his corporate credit card – including alcohol, lavish meals and gifts.

READ MORE: TNRD spending isn't the real issue

“This third-party review is important so we can rebuild confidence and trust from the public in the (regional district),” director Mike O’Reilly said.

The audit is estimated to cost somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000, which drew some questions from directors.

Director Arjun Singh did express concern that after extensive reporting and investigation was already done by KTW, he questioned the reason to spend that amount on a third party audit.

“A regular audit is ensuring reasonable and accurate spending, but this is a much deeper dive and investigation into the controls and processes we have in place,” corporate officer Deanna Campbell said. “They offer suggestions to how we can make improvements, and that’s where the cost comes in.”

In the report, the audit is estimated to take three months to complete and would cover five years of expenses between 2015 and 2020.

The motion passed nearly unanimously, but director Santo Talarico opposed it.

READ MORE: Okanagan, Thompson regional districts are on their own to control staff spending

Director Mel Rothenberger suggested a future plan to offer detailed quarterly reports marking expenses available to the public, as opposed to the current annual reports the district publishes.

While there are no future plans yet to change how future expense reports are published, it was noted by director Al Raine that each federal MP publishes detailed expense reports.

The remuneration bylaw was also tabled today, which would approve annual raises for directors. That motion was not approved, with the board citing concerns over public perception if approved this year.

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