Background, Objective and Scope
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (the “Municipality”) has experienced a rapid rate of growth. Council and Administration are dealing with complex issues while facing staff shortages and high turnover. As a result, the Municipality has been focused on day-to-day activities and has not been able to dedicate resources to focus on implementing leading practices, keeping policies and procedures current, strengthening its existing governance framework, and continually improving services provided within the Municipality.
In early 2014, Council concluded that there was a need to complete an “Accountability, Integrity and Transparency Audit” (the “Engagement”) to position the Municipality for current and future success. Through an open proposal process, Council, through its Audit and Budget Committee, engaged KPMG LLP (“KPMG”) to perform this Engagement.
The overall objective of the Engagement is to provide the Council, through the Audit and Budget Committee, a ‘health-check’ of the Municipality’s existing practices with the intent of providing recommendations for enhancing and improving upon the current policies and procedures in place, and where possible, benchmarking the Municipality’s current environment against leading practices.
The Audit and Budget Committee directed that KPMG focus the Engagement in the following specific areas:
- Council policies;
- Organization review – Communications and Public Affairs;
- Land acquisitions and expropriations;
- Travel and living expenses;
- Consultants and contractors; and;
- Tenders and proposals;
KPMG commenced work on the Engagement in early April 2014. Our assessment and testing performed related primarily to the period from January 1, 2011 to May 30, 2014, with a specific focus on transactions in the last 12 months.
This remainder of this report provides the results of the Engagement.
Note: the procedures performed comprise an advisory engagement, which is not subject to Canadian Auditing Standards or Canadian Standards on Review or Assurance engagements. Consequently, no opinion or conclusion intended to convey assurance are expressed. Had additional procedures been performed, other matters may have come to our attention that would have been reported.