After Quesnel city Coun. Sushil Thapar alleged there were more than 40 cheques unaccounted for in the mayor’s expense claims, the corporation is stepping in.
“This has nothing to do with political interactions,” city manager Jon Stecyk said.
“We just want to assure the citizens of Quesnel there are very strict accounting rules, policies and procedures in place and they are adhered to.”
In August, Thapar said after seven months of requesting information for council and mayor expense claims – information was still missing to the tune of 40-plus cheques totaling $11,887.95 in Mayor Mary Sjostrom’s expense claims since 2006.
But the corporation says that’s not true.
“The information has been available for some time now,” Stecyk said waving a hand over several folders in front of him.
“Everything is in there,” corporate services supervisor, Pam Robertson added.
Robertson, 14 years with the corporation, went over the process of expense claims.
“Five different people look at the expense claim,” she said, noting the claim requires multiple signatures and is “checked and doubled-checked” before final approval.
“In the end it’s on our shoulders,” Robertson said.
“We put the final signature on it.”
Stecyk added the city is subject to an annual independent financial audit, including transaction spot checks and strict adherence to procedure.
“There are many checks and balances in play here,” Robertson said.
“There’s no way a cheque would not have documentation – it just can’t happen.”
Coun. Thapar confirmed he now has access to the 40 plus cheques he says had no supporting documentation, but says that wasn’t the case until the article was published in the Observer.
“That made it possible,” he said.