New auditor, big savings

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It hasn’t taken long for the new CAO of the Village of Donnelly to save council some money.

Council appointed a new auditor at its Sept. 9 meeting and in the process will save about $7,500 each year for three years.

The new auditors, Al Scherbarth Professional Corporation, of Edmonton, is also locked into its price for three years, CAO Matthew Ferris told council before approving the motion. Savings over the three years will be $21,500.

Ferris, who was appointed CAO on July 24, wrote in a report to council the former auditors, Sylvain and Company, resigned as auditors for 2020. They were charging about $13,000 to $15,000 each year.

“The person who did those audits in retiring,” said Ferris.

As a result, the search began for a new auditor. Because municipalities in the region share an auditor, and they preferred one that was local, a search began.

However, Ferris informed regional partners that only limiting the audit services tender process to local firms “may be” a violation of purchasing regulations.

Ferris then received a quote from Scherbarth at a much lower price.

During debate, Councillor Aubrey Stenhouse asked Ferris if he tendered the job, which he had not.

Councillor Brian Labrecque realized the “significant savings” council is getting.

“There is nothing stopping us from getting a second quote,” said Mayor Myrna Lanctot.

“I like the idea of keeping it local,” said Stenhouse, adding it was important to support small business in local communities, when possible.

“They will be locked in at these rates [savings],” Ferris reminded council.

It was enough for council to unanimously approve the appointment of Scherbarth.

The motion also ensures the past practice of sharing a regional auditor ends.

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