The Municipal Government Act outlines the responsibilities of local councillors and councils to the citizens they represent, and those responsibilities must be met. In January 2024, Minister McIver appointed Deloitte Canada to inspect the financial management of Chestermere. The inspection by Deloitte discovered significant gaps in the city’s financial management and found Chestermere’s finances to have been managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner between October 18, 2021 and December 4, 2023.

“Financial transparency and accountability are cornerstones of effective local governance. Unfortunately, this inspection revealed a number of troubling findings related to the former city council’s management of Chestermere’s finances. I encourage all Chestermere residents to read the report as we take another step towards restoring good governance to the community, which has always been our goal.”

Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs

“Our inspection procedures were designed to evaluate the City’s financial management in the context of relevant legislation, established policies, and practices commonly followed by municipalities across Alberta. Overall, our inspection procedures highlighted instances where the financial management of the City can be considered irregular, improper or improvident.”

City of Chestermere Municipal Inspection Report, Deloitte Canada

Financial inspection findings and recommendations

The third-party inspection report yielded 31 findings related to financial policies and controls, financial transactions and financial governance at the City of Chestermere. For example, the report says:

  • the city did not have appropriate policies or tools with respect to data loss prevention or transaction logging, which are critical elements of an effective control environment;
  • the inspector tested 565 council expenses undertaken by the mayor and councillors and found that one was documented, reviewed and approved in accordance with city policy; and
  • actions taken by the city council and administration did not adhere to relevant legislation or common practices, such as the mayor executing an agreement to sell municipal land without an approved council resolution,

Details of all findings are included in the report.

The minister has accepted the report, which makes 94 recommendations, and has issued two binding directives to the city:

  1. Council and the chief administrative officer (CAO) must review all recommendations of the inspection report and provide a report to the minister on the city’s plan to address each recommendation in the inspection report, or an explanation on why action has not or will not be taken for any individual recommendation(s). The report is to be discussed in open session of council and approved by council resolution following the restoration of council quorum.
  2. The CAO must provide printed copies of the inspection report to the public upon request and post the inspection report on the city’s website until all directives have been met to the minister’s satisfaction.

Next steps

Currently, an official administrator is acting as council for the City of Chestermere and an interim CAO is responsible for city administration and operations. All details related to a byelection are the purview of the acting council and administration.

Quick facts

  • The financial inspection was conducted by Deloitte Canada, which is Canada’s largest professional services organization.
  • The financial inspection was completed over 15 weeks, reviewed more than 10,000 items of correspondence, and included more than 1,000 tests of financial transactions, 80 tests of controls and more than 30 interviews.

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