February’s Committee of the Whole meeting brings only a couple of items to council for consideration, one from the Corporate Services file, and one from the Audit Committee. This committee meeting is going to be all about money matters, investing and auditing, plus there will be a few members of staff who will get their moment in the spotlight for recent accomplishments.
NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on January 29. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.
NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.
1) Mihaela Vulpin, a Clerical Assistant III in Operations, received a Payroll Compliance Practitioner Program Certification from the Canadian Payroll Association.
2) John Gaddye, a Supervisor in Public Works, has received a Road Supervisor Certification from the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors.
3) By-law Compliance Officer John Bailey has received a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer Certification.
Prudent Investor Standard Analysis and Recommendations – Typically, municipalities are only allowed to invest in other governments and associated entities, or government-guaranteed bonds, short-term securities, or Canadian equities, but the Municipal Act was changed in January 2019 to allow for something called Prudent Investing. Under P.I., municipalities that meet one of two conditions – that it has $100 million in money or investments that it doesn’t immediately need, and it has $50 million in net financial assets in Schedule 70 of the most recent Financial Information Return – can invest in any investment option available.
These directions are still in the exploration stage by City staff, and to-date only a few municipalities have initiated an option and passed a Prudent Investing bylaw. The City is eligible to opt in to a P.I., but the third-party report prepared for the City noted that Guelph currently doesn’t have the dedicated investment staff to be able to oversee such an advanced investment portfolio, and it’s not entirely clear what kind of investment bureau that the City should pursue, whether they should join a pre-existing one, or form their own. Committee are being asked to pass some small amendments to the current investing policy, as well as staying on top of updates to the legislation and coming back to council in two years with a formal investment policy recommendation.
2020 Internal Audit Summary and 2021 Work Plan – Every year, the internal auditor comes up with a work plan, and presents it to committee for approval. Last year, because of COVID-19, there was about three or four months of no auditing because the staff had been furloughed in the first phase of the pandemic, and all this went down just three months after the new general manager of internal audit, Karl Hutchinson, took over the department. So for obvious reasons, the work of the internal auditor is a little behind as we enter 2021, and a new service rationalization review is part of the plan thanks to the 2021 budget. You can see the full draft work plan here.