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County's audit service contract approved

MVG stock computer typing
The county has extended its audit services contract for another three years. File photo

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has approved the extension of MDP Audit Services' contract for three years for $28,000 per year. The move came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

“MNP has provided the county with auditing services since 2014,” administration said in a briefing note to council. “Administration recommends the three-year contract extension for continuity throughout the possible changes over in audit committee members and through the municipal election 2021.”

The last two audit years cost $26,250 each.

“This is an increase of 6.6 per cent, but it is important to note that the price of $28,000 will not increase over a three-year period should council accept the proposal.”

In a letter to council, MNP assurance partner Julie Oliver said, in part, “MNP is a trusted advisor in providing services to municipalities. This experience provides us with the insight and understanding to perform an efficient audit and provide value added services when possible.”

Student intern program updates

Meanwhile, council has been given an update on the geographic information system (GIS) student intern program. The review also came during the recent council meeting.

“The student started with the GIS department on May 29 and worked alongside the GIS coordinator and the IT department to complete some critical tasks,” administration said.

Tasks completed by the summer intern included the following (quoted from note):

• Creation or modification of approximately 70 rural addresses after a review of over 500 potential rural address issues found during an internal audit process. This was important to ensure public safety and the integrity of the county’s addressing system.

• Adjustments to correct road data affecting the majority of the intersections in the county road data. This allows road data to be used for routing such as determining routes of lowest cost from sources to destinations. This aided in determining which of the gravel pits would be the best choice as a source pit for each road segment to be gravelled in the operational services gravel program, and which firehall would be closest to each residence in the Cremona area for legislative services.

• Development of road allowance data. This supports maintenance activities and tracking leases on undeveloped road allowances. The GIS is authoritative for undeveloped road allowances, and is the source used by M-Files to allow documents to be attached to them.

• The county’s sign data was standardized and built into an app in cooperation with the sign crew. Approximately 4,000 signs were in the existing data, and the data was simplified to serve the crew better.

• Rural addresses have always been collected using a standard GPS. An app was built that could allow collection of the addresses using a smartphone in the future.

Council accepted the report as information.

Meanwhile, council has directed administration to apply to host an intern through the Municipal Internship Program finance/accounting stream. The move also came during the recent council meeting.

Municipal Affairs has been facilitating a municipal internship program since 2002.

“This program helps bring post-secondary graduates into the municipal world to gain work experience in one of three streams – municipal administration, finance/accounting, and land use planning,” administration said. “Since then 75 per cent of the graduates of this program have found employment in either local government or the public sector.”

Host municipalities receive a number of benefits from hosting, including grant funds to offset wages and professional development expenses, and the intern brings a high computer literacy and knowledge.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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