Nova Scotia

Halifax AG still has concerns with managerial oversight

Evangeline Colman-Sadd's report on the management of roads and sidewalks found that 29 per cent of the projects planned by the transportation and public works department in 2018 were not completed when intended.

Report found 29% of projects planned by transportation and public works in 2018 weren't completed on time

Evangeline Colman-Sadd is Halifax's auditor general. (Robert Short/CBC)

Halifax's auditor general continues to have concerns about managerial oversight.

The latest audit was done on the management of roads and sidewalks by the region's transportation and public works department, as well as planning and development, which is responsible for what's constructed by developers in new subdivisions.

"There's definitely been a theme across a few audits of a lack of management monitoring or a sufficient level of management monitoring," said Evangeline Colman-Sadd.

The findings were presented to the audit and finance committee on Wednesday.

The report found 29 per cent of the projects planned by the transportation and public works department in 2018 were not completed when intended.

"Management told us that was due to trying to co-ordinate with partners [such as Halifax Water], as well as some staffing vacancies," said Colman-Sadd.

But there were other issues:

  • 12 of 20 tender files did not have pre-tender checklists filled out.
  • 13 of 19 projects did not have construction deficiency forms completed.
  • 15 of 16 subdivision projects could not prove warranty inspections had been done.

The findings caught at least one municipal councillor off guard.

"If there was one department that I thought by and large things were working quite well, it is the design and construction of asphalt," said Coun. Bill Karsten. "I guess this challenges us, there's always more work to be done, even here."

The latest report has 10 recommendations for improvements, all of which have been agreed to by municipal managers.

Colman-Sadd said she will do a follow-up in 18 months.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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