Plans to discuss a highly anticipated report regarding the city’s audit were tabled last night as six members of council voted against staying late.
Council was meant to receive an urgent business report from city manager Owen Tobert addressing the recent city audit report, which found city purchases are alleged to have exceeded the $200-million budget by more than $700 million.
However, once the clock struck 9:30 p.m., the decision to adjourn until today was made despite the objections of some council members.
“This is important,” said Ald. Brian Pincott, chair of the audit committee. “There’s been pretty wild allegations thrown out that need to be responded to. They’re serious enough that they need to be responded to now.”
When the audit report was first presented in May, city auditor Tracy McTaggart said that allegations of fraud by City of Calgary employees had been made to the city’s whistleblower program.
Mayor Dave Bronconnier shared Pincott’s frustration and said that if it were up to him, the report would have been released last night.
“I think this is an important public policy issue. It should have been discussed tonight and I’m disappointed there was not 10 votes in which to stay here tonight.”
Ald. Ric McIver, one of the council members who voted against staying in session, said that he would rather see the report presented during the day for the benefit of the public.
“I’d prefer the public to have a fulsome unveiling of it,” he said. “That can happen tomorrow as easily as it can tonight.”
While McIver has said that he may push for an external audit to be done, he said he would wait to see what the report says today.
Council is meeting today at 1 p.m.