A review of the $35.38 million East Langley Water Supply ( ELWS) project by Gordon Ruth, the Auditor General for Local Government ( AGLG), found “gaps in the Township’s approach to managing water supply infrastructure.” The report was mads public Tuesday, March 24th (file)

Township told to tighten control of big projects by Auditor General for Local Government

Review found ‘gaps’ in handling of $35.38 million East Langley Water Supply (ELWS) project

Langley Township is making adjustments to the way it manages bigger projects after an audit of its largest-ever project suggested a number of changes to tighten controls.

A review of the $35.38 million East Langley Water Supply (ELWS) project by Gordon Ruth, the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG), found “gaps in the Township’s approach to managing water supply infrastructure.”

Made public Tuesday, March 24th, it was part of a performance audit that looked at how the Township manages its assets and the construction and implementation of its drinking water supply infrastructure.

While the ELWS project to bring water from the Greater Vancouver Water District to the Aldergrove area was completed in 2016 below projected costs, it was behind schedule and there was no baseline budget, Ruth noted.

Among other things, Ruth’s report said the Township did not prepare or approve a baseline project schedule, did not formally appoint a project board to oversee the management of the ELWS project and “did not have a policy that defined the governance and oversight requirements of high-risk or high-value capital projects.”

Ruth was critical of the process used to award the project, saying it “was not clear or well documented” and allowed a bidder to amend its proposal submission, while other bidders were not given the same opportunity.

As well, the review found the Township “did not have a documented procedure to evaluate whether it had sufficient staff resources available with the appropriate experience, training and available time to manage a project effectively.”

It also found “weaknesses” in the Township procurement policy.

READ ALSO: East Langley water line behind schedule

READ ALSO: Pipe problems hit civic water project in centre of Langley

Ruth’s performance audit report made 16 recommendations, mostly relating to the development of capital project management policies and procedures.

His report called for closer management of big projects, including developing “a policy and procedure that outlines the process for development, approval, management and reporting of budgets for capital projects.”

It should, Ruth said, include guidance on developing and managing financial contingencies, establishing baseline budgets, engagement of external cost consultants, minimum standards for cost reporting and financial control procedures.

“As well as noting the township’s successes, our report identifies areas where they have opportunity to improve. It’s our hope that this will be helpful as they continue to enhance their project management processes,” Ruth said.

READ ALSO: Water audit suggests changes for Langley Township

A previous audit report, released in August 2019, focused on whether the township had an adequate governance structure to support the provision of clean and safe drinking water, manage its supplies to meet current and future demand, and ensure the safety and reliability of its drinking water.

In response to a Langley Advance Times request for comment, the Township provided an unsigned email that said the report findings “confirmed the Township’s commitment to ensuring that our drinking water infrastructure will be able to meet current and future demand.”

It went on to say many of the recommendations “were initiated by Township staff prior to the completion of the audit, and are either underway, planned, or subject to budget and resource availability.”

Among the changes listed by a Township action plan in response to the report are a regular review and update of the municipal procurement policy and “developing and expanding internal procedures for projects of size and/or complexity that exceed a pre-determined threshold.”

Langley Township provides water to an estimated 104,386 people or approximately 82 per cent of residents, mostly urban and semi-urban.

Approximately 5,000 private wells provide water to the remaining residents in the more rural areas.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Drinking waterLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Eight Township firefighters exposed to COVID-19 now back at work

Online comments suggest the firefighters were not tested for COVID-19 but directed to self-isolate

Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Message of support adorns Brookswood fence

From notes to chalk writing, messages are popping up all over Langley

Strong home sales in early March plunged as virus hit

Sales were trending upwards before physical isolation began

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Captain America joins friendly Abbotsford Spider-Man to take down trash

Local garbage crew bringing smiles to city amid pandemic

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Most Read