A Kamloops city councillor will head the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s policy review committee.
On Wednesday, the regional district reconvened a policy review committee for the first time since 2018.
Director Kathy Sinclair, a Kamloops councillor was elected chair. Area B (Thompson Headwaters) director Stephen Quinn and Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden were also nominated. Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) director Mel Rothenburger nominated Sinclair.
In her pitch for the position, Sinclair stressed the importance of strong policies and said she has questions about absence of a finance committee at the regional district, procurement policy, overnight per diems and policies that may potentially be missing at the regional district.
“We must and we can do better with our policies,” Sinclair said.
Roden was elected vice-chair and said she hopes the committee will provide opportunity for the regional district to be proactive, rather than reactive, which she said has been the case of late. She said the committee is a chance to review policy and identify gaps.
Additional TNRD directors on the policy review committee include Kamloops Coun. Dale Bass, Merritt Mayor Linda Brown, Area O (Lower North Thompson) director Bill Kershaw, Area A director (Wells Gray Country) Carol Schaffer and Barriere Mayor Ward Stamer.
On Wednesday, the policy review committee decided to meet once per month. The scope of the committee was discussed.
TNRD legislative services director Deanna Campbell told the committee a forensic audit of TNRD expenditures, underway by BDO Canada, will include review of finance, contract and procurement policies. That review is expected to be completed in the summer and she advised against duplicating work already underway in that audit.
“They will be presenting us with some best practices,” Campbell said.
Sinclair said she agreed with holding off on financial policies until the audit is completed. She said a place to start would be comparing TNRD policies with policies in other regional districts.
Coun. Dale Bass suggested staff bring forward policy for review, noting interim CAO Randy Diehl had a “good feel” for what was missing. Campbell said she worked with Diehl and tried to identify new policies at the corporate level.
“We did identify a number of gaps,” she said.
Brown said she was not interested in reviewing TNRD policies from A through Z, but instead wants to hear from staff and other board directors about what areas should be reviewed.
“Let’s look at those rather than recreating the wheel,” she said.
Staff agreed to come back to the committee in one month’s time with a proposal for direction, as well as goals and timelines.
Quinn said he would like to see the hard work done prior to the next election, which is scheduled to be held in October 2022.