Independent report cites irregular financial practices in Chestermere –

A report by Deloitte Canada that inspected the financial management of Chestermere has found that there were ‘significant gaps in the city’s financial management’.

The report found Chestermere’s finances to have been managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner between October 18, 2021, and December 4, 2023.’

“Our inspection procedures were designed to evaluate the City’s financial management in the context of relevant legislation, established policies, and practices commonly followed by municipalities across Alberta. Overall, our inspection procedures highlighted instances where the financial management of the City can be considered irregular, improper or improvident,” Deloitte Canada’s inspection report stated in part. 

On Friday, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ric McIver said that he accepted Deloitte’s report after having appointed the third party in January. The report, among other things, made 94 recommendations and issued two binding directives to the City of Chestermere.

The first directive is that Chestermere City Council and the chief administrative officer (CAO) must review all recommendations of the inspection report and provide a report to the minister on the city’s plan to address each recommendation in the inspection report or offer an explanation on why action has not or will not be taken for any individual recommendations.

The second directive is that the CAO must provide printed copies of the inspection report to the public upon request and post the inspection report on the city’s website until all directives have been met to the minister’s satisfaction.

According to the province, the third-party inspection report yielded 31 findings related to financial policies and controls, financial transactions and financial governance at the City of Chestermere. Highlights from the report include findings that actions taken by the city council and administration did not adhere to relevant legislation or common practices.

This included such as the mayor executing an agreement to sell municipal land without an approved council resolution, as well as the city not having appropriate policies or tools concerning data loss prevention or transaction logging.

According to the report, the inspector tested 565 council expenses undertaken by the mayor and councillors and found that one was documented, reviewed and approved in accordance with city policy.

The financial inspection was completed over 15 weeks and reviewed more than 10,000 items of correspondence. It included more than 1,000 tests of financial transactions, 80 tests of controls and more than 30 interviews.

Currently, an official administrator is acting as council for the City of Chestermere and an interim CAO is responsible for city administration and operations. All details related to a byelection are the purview of the acting council and administration.