Renegade councillors on Toronto’s Audit Committee Tuesday voted to shield the city’s auditors from the sweeping budget cutbacks proposed by Mayor Rob Ford.
A motion by Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley East), “That the Audit Committee recommend to Budget Committee that the Auditor-General’s office budget for 2012 be maintained at the same level as the 2011 Auditor-General’s budget,” passed with the support of Councillors Mary Fragedakis (Toronto-Danforth), Josh Matlow (St. Paul’s) and Mary-Margaret McMahon (Beaches-East York). Doug Holyday, the deputy mayor, and Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Etobicoke North) voted against the motion.
“It has never been explained to me why an arbitrary number like 10% makes sense,” said Mr. Matlow. “We should be more surgical and deliberate rather than arbitrary. That’s how I manage my own household budget.”
The committee also looked at enlarging the auditor-general’s office. Mr. Holyday drew out that auditor-general Jeff Griffith’s office, with 24 staff, audits a city with an annual budget of $10-billion, whereas the TTC requires an audit team of 17 to review a budget of about $1-billion (in round numbers). “To me that doesn’t make sense,” Mr. Holyday said. Mr. Griffiths replied, “I would very strongly suggest that there are economies of scale. We could do it cheaper. We’ve talked about consolidation of audit functions. The issue you raised will be in the city manager’s report.”
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