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.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Rideshare expands into Aldergrove

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Conservationists in race against time to rehabilitate grizzly cubs transferred to Aldergrove zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Pink flags on Langley church grounds raise awareness about sex-selective abortion

On Saturday, 1,000 pink flags will be placed on the lawn of Christ Covenant Church

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Most Read