This morning, City of Vancouver issued a press release announcing that Mike Macdonell has been appointed as Vancouver’s first ever Auditor-General. The appointment comes after a two-year effort, led with enormous persistence by Councillor Colleen Hardwick, which we followed here, here, and here.
Macdonell, an accountant and fraud specialist, will take up his new position next month. In an interview with the Province, he said:
“I think any large local government has the opportunity to benefit from another set of eyes, an impartial view on how particular aspects of the city’s administration are working. … I wouldn’t really have wanted to take this position on unless I felt it had the opportunity to add value … The cornerstone of any auditor’s independence is their ability to report, impartially and in an unfettered manner, what they find. And that’s exactly what I will do, so every audit will have a public report at the end of it,” he said.
Councillor Hardwick notes that “The appointment of Mike McDonnell as the Inaugural Auditor General is a significant milestone for the City of Vancouver. For the first time, the City will have independent assurance of the stewardship of public funds.”
It was, as someone else noted today, like pulling hen’s teeth to get this appointment in place. Now, we look forward to the results we expect.