In light of the interest in the Waterfront Trust's financials and concerns raised around record keeping, we asked Roberto Rossini the following question, which is followed by his reply:
1. Some may say that an expenditure in the amount of $681,000 would ordinarily
merit an understanding of and details of the financial decomposition of its
underlying components, to ensure the integrity of the spend. Is the blanket
approach typical of the business practice, or was this allowed by exception?
Would you not see an audit vulnerability with blanket amounts that do not have
the rigor/decomposition to monitor the underlying spend?
Yes, this is very typical as construction contracts are bundled all the
time for efficiency. Everyone must keep in mind that there was never a separate
"washroom" project. What Council approved was a $2.13 million budget for the
Waterfront Trail Extension Project. The project had many elements and features
including this particular washroom (I think there may have been even more than
one built along the trail).
Once a project is tendered and a
construction price is submitted, we then work towards that overall cost and
budget, even in City administered/managed projects. So things get bundled. The
Waterfront Trail Extension Project was administered and managed by the HWT and
it basically came it at budget (as per my original email to you).
2. Does the HWT
share the same policies as the City? (There seem to be conflicting accounts).
The City does not control policies and procedures relating to outside agencies, including the HWT. The City has practises that govern the actual transactions between the HWT and ourselves, which includes reporting. That is what the City is responsible for, ensuring that outside agencies comply with the terms agreed to.
Thanks Roberto for the response.