Legislation introduced today, April 26, will support the province’s municipalities and villages in being more open and accountable for expense reporting.
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
–improve municipal audits and strengthen audit committees.
The changes will apply to municipal and village heads of staff and all elected municipal officials.
Municipalities will be required to begin posting expense reports, hospitality expense reports and annual summary reports as early as September 30, 2017.
“At a provincial level, elected officials and members of the senior civil service already benefit from such policies and practices,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill.
“These amendments are meant to provide similar clarity and consistency to our municipalities.”
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.
Mr. Churchill said: “Thanks to the committee for their hard work in preparing these recommendations.”