Bow­man, councillors come in un­der bud­get for of­fice ex­penses

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - JOYANNE PURSAGA

Mayor Brian Bow­man was able to spend up to $1,862,503 on of­fice costs in 2017 but wound up $267,409.38 un­der bud­get.

That’s the gist of an au­dit re­port now posted on the city’s web­site.

The re­port says the to­tal bud­get in­cludes $1,190,509 for the mayor’s of­fice, $450,000 for civic ini­tia­tives, $113,994 for pro­mo­tions and$108,000 for pro­to­col.

Over­all, the re­port found the ex­penses were in com­pli­ance with the mayor’s spend­ing pol­icy “in all sig­nif­i­cant re­spects.” The un­ex­pended funds will be re­turned to the city’s gen­eral rev­enues.

Bow­man couldn’t be reached for com­ment Fri­day. In an email, his of­fice noted that the re­port marks the first time may­oral of­fice ex­penses have been au­dited at the City of Win­nipeg.

“As you know, the mayor has put a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on in­creas­ing open­ness and trans­parency and has led by ex­am­ple by ini­ti­at­ing the first mayor’s of­fice ex­pen­di­ture pol­icy,” wrote spokesman Jeremy Davis, in an email. “Au­dits were not even pos­si­ble be­fore this be­cause there was no pol­icy to au­dit against.”

Davis noted Bow­man has re­turned a sur­plus from his of­fice bud­get to gen­eral rev­enues each year he’s spent in of­fice.

Mean­while, the councillors’ ward al­lowance re­port for 2017 found those elected of­fi­cials were also largely in com­pli­ance, de­spite some con­fu­sion over how one ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant’s salary was re­ported.

The ward al­lowance fund pro­vided $1,228,860, or $81,924 per ward, that year, an on­line re­port notes. Councillors un­der­spent that al­lowance by a com­bined $60,499, which will also be re­turned to gen­eral rev­enues.

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