City AG report finds problems in IT security, child care, and asphalt

The City has serious gaps in IT security that could leave it vulnerable to attacks, according to a report by the City's Auditor General.

Auditor General Ken Hughes presented his findings Thursday morning at City Hall, and also highlighted issues with the City's childcare subsidies, and with asphalt used to fix the roads.

Hughes says staff weren't reviewing eligibility requirements for child care subsidies, which cost the city an estimated $1.5 million more than it should have been paying.

“The most shocking part of this was that families that needed assistance to take care of their children didn’t get that assistance,” Hughes said. “Those funds weren’t available. They were given to individuals who weren’t eligible and didn’t need it.”

The chair of the City's audit committee, Allan Hubley, says he's shocked and disappointed by the latest audits.

“I know what it’s like for a family to try to cover the cost of childcare and make sure their kids are looked after while they go to work,” Hubley said. “It really was upsetting to see that kind of a response and those actions that I thought were rather careless with tax dollars. To read that report, not just as a councillor but as a citizen, I was upset.”

The audit also raises questions about the quality of the asphalt used to patch up potholes in the City.

The auditor general found the City hasn't been testing the material to make sure it's adequate; two samples, pulled by the auditor's office, both failed to meet the proper criteria.

“If meeting those specifications is not required, then we shouldn’t have those specifications in our contract, or we should change them accordingly,” Hughes said.

The auditor also found the lowest-cost contractor wasn't always hired.