Our Office had another busy and exciting year in 2018.
In 2018, we issued 12 performance audit reports and a major investigation affecting many walks of life. This resulted in 185 recommendations that will strengthen controls, make the City more efficient, reduce waste, and achieve better value for money. Be it protecting and enhancing the City’s green spaces, improving collection of Provincial Offence fines, or managing construction projects to maintain our infrastructure, we are committed to assisting City Council and the dedicated public service members achieve their goals of providing the best possible service to our world-class City.
Our Office also operates the City’s Fraud and Waste Hotline, which is an important way for staff and members of the public to report suspected wrongdoing without fear of reprisal. This past year, we processed 643 complaints consisting of approximately 1,000 allegations. A Hotline tip led us to investigate contracted life safety inspections in City buildings. This extensive investigation exposed years of claims and invoices for work that was never completed. This potentially could have had serious consequences if it hadn’t been appropriately addressed.
Since 2014, by implementing our audit recommendations, the City has achieved significant savings. Based on conservative estimates, these savings, either one-time or annual recurring, will total approximately $303.7 million over the next five years. This translates to a return of $11.7 for every dollar invested in our Office. I would like to thank management and staff from the various City divisions, agencies and corporations we’ve worked with. Their continued effort to implement our recommendations helps the City realize these savings.
We are required by law to have our files peer reviewed to verify they meet government audit standards. This year, our audit files and methodology were reviewed by an international external peer review team from the Association of Local Government Auditors. Our Office received the highest possible rating.
I would also like to congratulate Transportation Services for winning the Innovative Management Practices award from the Ontario Good Roads Association. We are delighted that the Division incorporated our key recommendations into their standard management practices.
We help ensure the City continues to make good, responsible use of Torontonians’ tax dollars, and that the City continues to provide the public with the best service possible.
This year marks the half-way point of my tenure as Auditor General. Looking back, I’m proud of the value my team has delivered, and the leadership shown by the Toronto Public Service in implementing recommendations. Our work is not finished. We look forward to identifying more efficiencies and savings in support of City Council and on behalf of Torontonians.
Beverly Romeo-Beehler, CPA, CMA, B.B.A., JD, ICD.D, CFF