There is an urgent need to do a complete overhaul of the City of Hamilton finances and auditing process.
It is imperative that we take a serious look at implementing a value for money (VMA) or performance audit process. VMA performance auditing is different than a regular audit in that it clearly measures dollars spent over the past year against value received for taxpayers’ money by city hall. Especially in municipalities such as the City of Hamilton, where budgets are more than $1 billion, it is essential that VMA performance audits be implemented as standard practice. VMA audit is standard practice for many other municipalities across the province and country. Using zero based budgeting as the basis to establish annual city budgets forces departments to look for efficiencies in spending first, before spending news dollars. There may be dollars spent annually on items that have become redundant … analyzing department processes and functionality can also uncover more savings. This then enables more thorough forensic auditing to strengthen accountability of taxpayers money and to ensure good stewardship.
We need to continue the pressure on the city to get their financial house in order and stop spending more money than is practical, and certainly more than they have. Albert Einstein said it best “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting the result to be different.” We need someone to take control and show much needed leadership at city hall.