Legislation to help the province’s municipalities and villages be more consistent and accountable for expense reporting was introduced today, Sept. 28.
Amendments to the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter will:
— strengthen municipal expense policies and practices
— require municipalities and villages to post individual and hospitality expenses online
— require a municipal code of conduct
— restrict repayment of alcohol expenses to municipal hospitality events only – no individual alcohol expenses
— improve municipal audits and strengthen audit committees.
Under the amendments, municipalities will be required to begin posting expense reports, hospitality expense reports and annual summary reports online.
The changes will apply to municipal and village heads of staff and all elected municipal officials.
“The changes will add clarity and improve accountability in the area of municipal expense reporting,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Derek Mombourquette. “These amendments are gleaned from best practices which already exist throughout the province.”
Many of the legislative amendments are based on recommendations from the Joint Municipal Accountability and Transparency Committee. This committee was established by the Department of Municipal Affairs in December 2016. It was comprised of representatives from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the Association of Municipal Administrators Nova Scotia, the Association of Nova Scotia Villages and the Department of Municipal Affairs.