May 31, 2005 13:15 ET

City of Montreal Auditor General Tables his 3rd Annual Report

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - May 31, 2005) - City of Montreal auditor general, Michel Doyon, tabled his 2004 annual report at the city council meeting of May 30, 2005.

In this report, which follows his report on the 2004 financial statement tabled on March 31, 2005, Mr. Doyon notes the absence of a well-documented strategic plan for information technologies and for the city in general. Such a plan would enable elected city officials and civil servants to evaluate, objectively, the strengths and weaknesses of the municipal body, as well as identify and prioritize future action with adequate resource allocations.

The report cites a number of weaknesses regarding management of computer infrastructures. For instance, the city's security policy is still at the project stage; no risk evaluation report has been completed to date; no city-wide directive for the management of personal information has been issued; remote access to the city's computer network lacks control and the management of user codes and passwords giving access to systems is lacking. He also notes the absence of plans for system back-up and continuity.

These weaknesses increase the risk that the city may not be able to provide uninterrupted service to residents and ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data involving citizens or employees.

There are also weaknesses in the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupes group insurance plan to report. In accordance with the expired collective agreement and arbitral award, the union agrees to subscribe to administration or insurance contracts and to give to the city all pertinent documents. However, the documents obtained from the union were incomplete. The last financial statement the city received from the union covered the year 2001 and the first half of 2002.

The report also notes that overtime management at the Service de securite incendie de Montreal needs to be improved. In 2004, overtime by firefighters totalled $16.3 million, well above the $9.6 million allocated budget. Managing employee overtime is difficult because fire department employees are still not integrated into a single attendance and pay system.

The situation of managers on availability was also examined by the auditor general. At the time of the audit, out of a total of 1,300 administrative managers, 111 remained on availability and 56 of these employees were out-of-structure. More specifically, Mr. Doyon notes that the action plans to be drawn up by managers for 12 of the 16 examined, who were on availability and out-of-structure, were either non-existent or incomplete. "The city must reassign these employees as soon as possible to maximize use of human resources," said Mr. Doyon.

Finally, the office of the auditor general also examined the control measures in place to make sure that local road repair managed by three boroughs are completed according to plan, budget and city accounting policy. He notes that cost estimates are often non-existent or drawn up from incomplete or outdated figures; that changes are made to work plans after they have been authorized by the borough council; that surveillance is insufficient or poorly documented; that completion times are not tracked and that the accounting policy is not well applied.

"Just as in the past, the office of the auditor general adopted a partnership approach with elected officials and managers, to give special weight to finding and implementing long-term solutions for these problems," said the auditor general.

A public study of the 2004 annual report will be held in the council chamber of city hall on June 14, 2005, at 7 p.m., by the Commission permanente du conseil sur les finances et les services administratifs. The auditor general will be on hand to answer questions from the public.

Contact Information

  • Source:
    Office of the auditor general
    Amelie Regis
    Relations avec les médias
    (514) 872-5537