2019 marked another busy year for our Office. We completed 14 performance audits, investigations, and reviews, and issued several other reports. We also conducted our regular follow-up process for outstanding recommendations and managed the City’s Fraud and Waste Hotline.
My staff’s hard work and the willingness of City divisions, agencies and corporations to drive change has allowed us to identify opportunities to improve services and programs for the public. By implementing our audit recommendations, the City has achieved one-time and projected five-year savings totaling approximately $318.8 million since 2015. This translates to a return of $11.5 for every dollar invested in our Office.
To help improve how we communicate our audit findings, this year, we introduced videos to convey complex findings in a more visual way. My Office takes pride in our fair and balanced reporting, and we firmly uphold a ‘no surprises’ approach. We keep management informed whenever we identify potential issues, and take their experience and operational considerations into account. This relationship helps us to ensure that our recommendations are valuable to the City, and this is reflected in the feedback we receive.
“I just want to say how respectful I am of how you’ve approached [the audit], to come and talk to us, and how you’ve listened to our comments and advice.” – Phil Verster, Metrolinx Chief Executive Officer
“I believe this is an excellent roadmap on how we move forward as a commission and as the TTC operates.” – Jaye Robinson, City of Toronto Councillor, TTC Board Chair
“The first two audits have been very insightful and helpful in our efforts for continual improvement and I am sure that this third and final audit will follow suit… I am looking forward to working with your team.” – Mary-Anne Bédard, General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration
As we implement best practices and continue to innovate, the Office is being recognized as a leader in the profession. Our work has been featured in industry publications and we were invited to share our audit practices with the Association of Local Government Auditors, Municipal Internal Auditors Association, Canadian Council of Legislative Auditors, the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
It takes an empowered professional audit team working to make a difference, the leadership of City Council, and a public service committed to continuous improvement to achieve these results. We are fortunate to have all three elements in these five years that I’ve been Toronto’s Auditor General. I would like to thank management and staff from the various City divisions, agencies and corporations we’ve worked with and City Council — it is through their continued work and effort to implement the recommendations that the City is able to ultimately realize these savings.
My Office looks forward to continuing to make recommendations that assist City Council in delivering the best possible service to Torontonians for the remainder of my term.
Beverly Romeo-Beehler, FCPA, FCMA, CFF, ICD.D, JD, B.B.A.