Nearly 60% of Quebec municipalities with a population of less than 100,000 did not respect one or more aspects of the law when receiving capital expenditure last year. According to the Commission Municipal du Quebec (CMQ), “worrying” data show that a “bad habit” is being caught in terms of governance in the province.
“It always causes concern when you do not meet very simple legal requirements. It’s worrying, maybe it’s a bad habit, it’s very easy to get stuck. We feel it is important to rectify the situation for sound governance and transparency. In the end, it is the citizen who benefits from it all, “said Isabelle Rivol, a spokeswoman for the company.
In its audit report published on Tuesday, it revealed that only 474 of the 1074 Quebec municipalities (44%) were targeted, in other words they adopted a three-year program of fixed assets (PTI). Before December 31, 2020, they did so in a special session, they issued a public notice and for many years they destabilized this investment plan.
Of these, more than 200 municipalities (20%) did not adopt the ITP or adopt it for “one financial year”. “All of this will have an impact on future annual budgets. PTIs are very important planning tools and the basis of any administration, ”he said.Me Opponent.
Although the statistics are alarming, the spokesman warns that the report should not be seen as a “black report, but as a report that makes it possible to understand the situation and the share.” “I’m sure most mistakes will be corrected quickly,” she slipped.
Drummondville, Dorval, Bromont, Gaspe, Lavaltry: While some cities well known to the general public are considered unacceptable, the majority of the municipalities blamed by the report are very small, and therefore often less prepared to meet needs.
“There are a lot of municipalities in Quebec and the processes that are needed for them, especially when they are small, are ultimately asking a lot more for them,” explained a teacher and expert in municipal management at the University of Quebec. Montreal (UQAM), Daniel Pilat.
“The reality is that it is in high demand for jobs and when municipalities are small, they have very little infrastructure. They may not necessarily meet the requirements because they do not have the staff to do the programming and then follow up. There is also a shortage of qualified personnel in the municipal sector, ”he said.Me Pilot.
At CMQ, we find that large cities are “accustomed to more resources and teams” to these administrative practices, especially as they are “more regularly audited”.
In general, even Quebec municipalities “focus more on operations than futures and fixed assets,” the expert noted. A recent audit also found that only 43% of municipalities did not meet the requirements of the budget, and this exercise appears to have improved in the province.