A special meeting of Winnipeg's finance committee has approved spending up to $500,000 on audits and reviews of a controversial fire hall land swap deal and other real estate transactions.

Members of Winnipeg city council had already authorized a review of the deal involving fire halls at a meeting in September.

Council also asked for a separate audit on up to ten years worth of real estate transactions in Winnipeg.

Finance committee chair Russ Wyatt said council members need to know they can count on information and advice they receive from city hall officials.

"The fact of the matter is there is a large public service that runs the city," Wyatt said Friday. "It's crucial that public service, especially at the highest level, operate in transparent and efficient manner. And we are hoping those audits give us those recommendations."

Outside experts were expected to be chosen, soon, to undertake the review of the fire hall transactions.

It will take longer to select auditors to look at all the real estate deals the city has done.