Clearview strikes audit committee
By Michael Gennings Simcoe.com July 7 2010 STAYNER – Clearview Township council, acting on the advice of clerk Robert Campbell, has established a Compliance Audit Committee.
These types of committees are a new requirement for all Ontario municipalities, according to an amendment in the province’s Good Government Act, Campbell told elected officials last Monday night.
Committee members will be responsible for reviewing any municipal election finance complaints filed by local residents following the municipal election this fall.
Provincial law allows residents to file a complaint with their municipality, asking for an audit of a candidate’s campaign expenses, if they believe the person has contravened Ontario’s municipal election finance regulations.
The committee will determine if the audit is warranted, a decision that in the past was left up to the municipal council.
If the new committee deems a complaint is valid, they will be required to appoint an auditor.
If the auditor finds a candidate did indeed violate campaign finance regulations, the committee shall have the authority to start legal action against the person.
Campbell said municipalities are now required to have these committees in place before Oct. 1 each election year.
He said members of each municipalities’ committee will serve a four-year term.
Clearview’s committee will be comprised of three people from the public, although Campbell said the regulations permit as many as seven.
He noted that people serving on the committee can’t be an employee of the township or a member of a local board.
Municipal election candidates also aren’t permitted on the committee.
Council approved paying each member of Clearview’s committee $75 per meeting they have to attend.
Ward 4 councillor Thom Paterson questioned why committee members will be paid, when no other township committee members receive remuneration for their work.
Campbell said it was felt that if some financial reward wasn’t offered nobody would apply for the position.
He also conceded that with the per diem it might still be challenging to get anyone to serve due to the nature of the work.
Campbell said advertisements will be placed with local newspapers seeking people interested in serving on the committee.
The deadline to apply will be at 2 p.m. on Sept. 10, which is also the deadline for people to file to run in the municipal election.
“A report will be prepared and presented to Clearview Township council for appointment of the members to the Compliance Audit Committee at the council meeting on Sept. 27,” Campbell said.
The committee will commence serving its term starting Dec. 1.