Homes and Condo Mississauga

Committee drafts changes to Peel councillors’ expense account guidelines

A special commission has drawn up new guidelines aimed at tightening policies to control how Peel councilors use individual expense reports provided by the taxpayers of the region.

The Board Board Review Committee was established earlier this year after the publication of a Metroland news series of surveys that looked in depth at how councils use discretionary spending accounts and the approval process for these operating costs.

This final draft proposed changes of the committee, initiated and led by Mississauga Council. Carolyn Parrish, is scheduled to go before the full board in January for approval.

"The (revised) policy is tight and in my opinion it will comply with public control," said Parrish, who added that some council members might want to introduce amendments

. But she noted that these draft proposals involve large group tours that are financed by taxpayers and require directors to make public notification and report on private study trips & # 39;

Newspaper articles raise questions about whether some council members, who routinely take spouses on overseas trips, and other government excursions to vacation in adjustments made by taxpayers, settle for business at the expense of the public.

These council members noticed spouses paid for their own flights and argued the cost of hotel rooms invoiced to taxpayers are the same or occupied by one or two persons.

Revisions to the hotel accommodation guidelines would not prohibit travel companions. In fact, the policy has been reformulated to "single occupations & # 39; from the guidelines.

But more stringent parameters were added to a requirement to change & # 39; moderate rates & # 39; to search for accommodation. Council members would have to book discounted hotel accommodations if a conference hotel is fully booked.

Otherwise the alderman must cover costs that go beyond the comparable standard room rate.

"This may be a problem on private study trips where no standard hotel is offered," Parrish admitted, but she is looking for personnel advice on how this could be arranged in those circumstances.

Among other remarkable revisions is a recommendation to approve final declaration of the declarations of counsel. from the hands of the president and give that authority to the chief financial officer of the municipality.

President Frank Dale said he never met any denied declarations that met bureaucratic assessment.

Coun. Pat Saito requested and received a recommendation for transparent accounting of expenses charged to committees.

The current commission costs, such as fact-finding trips outside the country, are not readily available or are being disclosed, she said.

to limit the number of council members participating in the same conference or event, only commission members are part of a travel organization initiated by that commission, prohibit the reimbursement of alcohol and limit the flight tickets to economy class, unless flights are longer than five hours .

Employees also recommend that the daily rate of the alderman, which was last modified in 1999, be increased from $ 60 to $ 85, the coverage increased to 100 kilometers from 60 and the budget for council newsletters increased .

After approval, the changes would enter into force in December 2018, after the next municipal elections.

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