The much anticipated audit of the Johnson Street Bridge will no longer be completed, the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG) announced Friday, citing COVID-19.
According to acting auditor Mike Furey, provincial health directives “have restricted the AGLG’s ability to complete the audit using its normal audit procedures.” But, the audit is not just being delayed. Because the auditing office is closing in 2021, the audit will never be completed.
The City of Victoria requested the audit after the Johnson Street Bridge replacement project took an unprecedented 10 years and more than $105 million to complete – something it was lauded for in 2017 with “the most wasteful project of the year” award.
Following it’s completion, which Mayor Lisa Helps said “didn’t go well,” the city made two policy changes to help guide future projects. A new project management framework sets out guidelines for all large capital projects and an estimate policy requires a third party verifies the city’s work.
By requesting an independent audit, the city had been hoping to receive further recommendations but Mayor Helps told Black Press Media she thinks they are already on the right track.
“We took the lessons from the bridge and have applied them to our next big capital project, the fire hall,” she said, noting that they had three third parties review that budget.
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