Wednesday, May 11, 2016

City's Financial Officer delivers findings from 2015 Audited Financial Statment

Corrine Bomben the City of Prince
Rupert's CFO outlined the findings
of the 2015 Audited Financial Statement
for Council on Monday night
According to the City's Chief Financial Officer, Corinne Bomben, the state of the City's finances are healthy with the CFO presenting the final review of the 2015 Audited Financial Statements at Monday evening's City Council session

Ms. Corinne Bomben, made note of some of the highlights from this years Financial Statement, with the CFO opening her address by advising City Council that the external auditors had declared that the Audited Financial statements for 2015 present fairly the financial position of the city in accordance with Canadian Public Sector Accounting standards.

From the review, Ms. Bomben observed that the 2015 Audit of the City of Prince Rupert had outlined that the working capital of the city is considered healthy with a ratio of 4:1, noting that a good working capital ration is considered to be 2:1 and is a sign of liquidity for the purpose of meeting obligations.

Going further into the review, she outlined some of the key elements to the Financial statement, including the decline of the city's debt load through the process of two debt retirements for the Museum Loan and Atlin Upland loans from 20015.

The city has added to its assets in three areas, with Ms. Bomben making note of the Cow Bay Marina, which received ninety percent of the project funding through grants. As well she highlighted how the City has also expanded the active landfill site, achieved through 100 per cent funding through grants.

She also noted that the Fraser Street reconstruction project and other road paving activity in the city was funded through dividends and grants.

When it comes to the city's overall surplus it was decreased by 2.2 million mainly through a dividend paid out through Legacy Inc.

As for the City's General Operating Fund the CFO noted that it had ended the year with a $173,000 deficit, mainly owing to a $100,000 overage on the Ferry refit as a result of delays and impacts on the exchange rate.

Overall the operating departments have operated within budget, while the Utility funds ended the year with modest surpluses mainly due to incomplete projects by years end, which will be finished this year.

As a final note, Ms. Bomben observed that the auditors had provided a management letter noting that the internal controls of the city continue to be strong and that there are no issues that needed to be reported to Mayor and Council.

Following the presentation Council members offered up a few comments and posed a few questions related to the Financial Statement.

Councillor Thorkelson led off the conversation by seeking some clarification related to the financial notes on Legacy Incorporated, asking about differences between the actual budget amount of 2.5 million and the amount of 1.861 million dollar that was actually spent in the area of injection for economic growth.

Ms. Bomben, offered up a short review of some of the spending in that category, making note of such areas as Capital Works at just over 1 million dollars for road paving, with a couple of hundred dollars allocated towards sidewalks.

While 1.3 million dollars from the funding was directed towards planning for major projects for a total of 2.5 million dollars.

As well some funding was put in place towards the dismantling of Watson Island, which was covered through dividends from Legacy Fund.

That did not quite clear up some of Councillor Thorkelson's questions on the financial overview when it comes to the working of the Legacy Corporation, with Ms. Thorkelson suggesting that the CFO could look into the topic further and provide the clarification later if required.

Ms. Bomben noted that she would have to review her financial program further to provide a full overview and she would communicate her findings to the Councillor.

Councillor Randhawa asked if there was a contract in place with the current auditor, or if there is a tender process involved in seeking the presentation of the financial overview.  It was noted that there hasn't been a tender conducted in recent years and typically council has appointed the auditor, however she did note that tenders can be called for from time to time.

Councillor Mirau inquired about the positive receivables and where that had come from asking if that was in relation to the payment received from the option agreement on Lot 444. Ms. Bomben confirmed that was where the positive figures had come from.

Council then voted to receive the Financial Statements,  a move that completes the 2015 Financial Statement process.

You can review the full Financial Statement from the City's Agenda found from pages 10- 47.

Included in the overview of the 24 pages of the City's finances are statements related to the City's Prince Rupert Legacy Incorporated mechanism which is in its second year of operation, it's noted in the City's report that the financial data has been consolidated into the parent organization which is the City of PrinceRupert.

The result of that is an increase in the City's Cash and Cash Equivalents and a decrease in the Unappropriated surplus through the declaration of a dividend.

The Financial overview of Prince Rupert Legacy Incorporated can be found from pages 41 to 47 of the Agenda package.

The other reporting entity that the city controls is CityWest Cable and Telephone, that Corporation's Statement of Financial position can be found on page 9 of the Report from the Council Agenda.

The presentation by the CFO to Council and the follow up questions from Council members can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive of Monday's Session.

The Financial review starts just after the one minute mark.

More background on the City's Financial path through the 2015 Budget process can be found on our Archive here.

For more items related to City council discussions see our Council Discussion Archive here.

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