11/07/2012 05:22 EST | Updated 01/07/2013 05:12 EST

B.C. announces first auditor to assess performance of local governments

VICTORIA - A chartered accountant who has extensive experience working with federal agencies will serve as British Columbia's first auditor general for local governments.

The provincial government says Basia Ruta will begin her five-year term in the agency's Surrey, B.C., office in January.

Ruta will conduct performance audits of municipalities and regional districts and recommend how those governments can become more efficient and effective, but she will not question their policy decisions.

Ruta's has worked with the federal Office of the Auditor General and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, and she served as Environment Canada's chief financial officer.

Premier Christy Clark says every level of government needs to find new and innovative ways to ensure British Columbians get the best value for their money.

Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom, who is also president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, says she welcomes the constructive working relationship with Ruta.

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