Voter groups call on province to oversee TNRD audit | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Voter groups call on province to oversee TNRD audit

Voters advocacy groups hope to see provincial oversight in the regional district spending audit.
March 31, 2021 - 11:00 AM

Two groups of concerned citizens are calling on the province to step in and oversee the upcoming Thompson-Nicola Regional District audit.

The Kamloops Voters Society and Rural Rights Association of B.C. have asked Minister of Municipal Affairs Josie Osborne to investigate how the "behaviour of the board contributed to spending irregularities," in a letter released to media.

"We feel these are policy and organizational cultural issues that will not arise in a forensic audit and have direct implications on taxes paid by both the province and the municipal taxpayers," the letter said.

READ MORE: TNRD sends 'financial irregularities' to RCMP for review

The letter was signed by Randy Sunderman of the Kamloops Voters Society and Tom Coles, president of the Rural Rights Association of B.C.

The letter laid out concerns that even after a forensic audit, the "culture" of irregular spending will not be addressed without regular TNRD board oversight.

"Given that the TNRD clearly operated outside the financial rigors and oversights in place for provincial, federal or organizations funded by senior government, we feel that... your Ministry could contribute to better fiscal practices for all municipal and regional district governments in B.C. moving forward," the letter said.

READ MORE: It shouldn’t have been so hard to track wasteful spending at TNRD

After an investigation by KTW into regional district spending, the district is now pursuing auditors to examine the past five years of spending and to identify where policies can be improved.

More recently, members of the regional district sent information to the Kamloops RCMP for investigation.

There is no official confirmation of criminality yet, however, an RCMP investigation into the district would remain separate from the upcoming audit, according to regional district CAO Scott Hildebrand.

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

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