EXCLUSIVE: City golf course mismanaged public money
The City of Ottawa's auditor general is raising serious questions about how the city is using public money to run the Pine View Golf Course.
In a CTV exclusive, the leaked report reveals the auditor general found multiple problems with management of the course's finances in 2008-09.
Concerns raised include expenses filed without receipts or fabricated receipts, questionable credit card charges, self-written cheques totaling $1,200 and unbalanced petty cash and cash register floats.
This is the first time that these kinds of details on how taxpayers' money is spent to run the course has been made public.
"It was weakness on our part not to spell things out totally or completely and that's what we're working on right now," said Rainer Bloess, city councillor and chair of the course's board. "The auditor general in his usual way has pointed out where there are some shortcomings or weaknesses in terms of. . . the financial controls."
The auditor general said change at the golf course is needed right away.
"There is a need to clarify the city's role in oversight and monitoring of Pine View's financial activity," said Alain Lalonde. "Transactions were completed and expenses were incurred. . . that would not be appropriate and should not have been approved."
Lalonde said he looked at other city-run golf courses in Canada and Pine View seems to be the only one that doesn't show its finances to taxpayers.
"I think what we want to do is bring it closer in line with what we have at the city," said councillor and new board member Tim Tierney. "We have some great practices that have been adopted at the city and I think those could be applied really well at Pine View."
The report also said the course paid entry to at least 14 golf tournaments for course staff, board members and once to the city's finance employee in charge of Pine View's expenses.
The city's lease with the National Capital Commission on the east Ottawa course runs until 2024.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua