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Where is the audit committee?

Dear Beagle Editor, WHERE IS THE AUDIT COMMITTEE? A major flaw in council’s financial planning system has been exposed by recent decisions to endorse the RMS preferred Batemans Bay bridge route and to proceed with the integrated aquatic/community/cultural centre model. In both cases councillors were given insufficient financial advice by staff to make informed judgements in the limited times allowed. Some councillors expressed unease with the short time frames, lack of options and minimal public consultation. Why was the Audit Committee not required to provide independent advice on the financial aspects of these large capital projects? This committee, which includes, Councillors Mayne and Constable, has among its terms of reference a duty to “review the risks, progress, controls, finances and performance surrounding major projects.” Over the next 10 years the shire faces a major expansion of its capital works program. A visible and active audit committee working in a framework of an up to date long term financial plan provides some assurance to ratepayers that council knows what it is doing. Yours sincerely Paul Bradstreet Surf Beach