FALL RIVER: Further discussions will be had with the local councillor to determine what type of audit would best address his concerns with the LWF Ratepayers Association (LWFRA) area rate.

Brendan Elliott, spokesman for HRM, said Councillor Steve Streatch contacted HRM Finance in Nov. 2016 to discuss concerns that were brought to his attention by a resident regarding the LWFRA.

“There will be further discussions with the councillor to determine the appropriate means of addressing his concerns,” said Elliott.

He said that the Recreation Area Rate Funds Policy provides the Roles and Responsibilities (Section B, Sub-section 1):

That states: “Staff at HRM Financial Services shall be responsible for processing the payment of expenditures; monitoring appropriateness of expenses; maintenance of financial records including all original receipts, invoices, and cheque requisitions; provisions of advice of financial policies including procurement; quarterly financial reporting; and shall oversee the auditing of accounts as required.”

Elliott said as per the policy there is a possibility to audit the accounts.

“Auditing can take many forms, but in this case, we audit the invoices to ensure that they are appropriate in relation to the purpose of the area rate and the budget, meets the terms of the policy and are signed by the appropriate signing authority,” he said.

He indicated there are many other types of audits, ranging from an audits to detect fraud to an audit of the policies, procedures and processes of an organization.

“Audits could also be conducted by an external auditor or can be performed by someone internally, depending on the expertise required and the need for independence,” said Elliott. “These types of audits are based on defined objectives and will usually provide findings and recommendations.”

How long could an audit by HRM take? That could vary, said Elliott.

“The duration of this type of audit is very dependent on the length of time being audited and the complexity of the objectives,” he said.