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City nixes releasing expense receipts relating to new police HQ

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A request from some councillors and the public for the release of all expense receipts related to the police headquarters project is meeting opposition from city hall.

The downtown development committee opted to take no action on the request – from Coun. Paula Havixbeck, councillors on the Assiniboia community committee, and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – following the advice of civic administration.

The CTF had earlier requested the information through an Access to Information request and was told it would cost $3,000.

But the CTF’s Colin Craig said the receipts would be part of the audit that council ordered last week on the police headquarters project, adding there shouldn’t be any costs associated with the request and wanted the fee waived.

The administration was opposed to waiving the fee and told the committee the receipts shouldn’t be released at all, claiming they would be needed for the audit and that staff time would be spent removing the names and addresses of the suppliers and other businesses.

Coun. Brian Mayes, a member of the committee, said there seems to be no purpose to release the receipts publicly if they form part of the audit, adding however he will support releasing the documents at a later time if they are not included in the audit, which must be completed before the end of June.

"I appreciate people want the information but it’s going to be coming forward as part of a larger audit," Mayes said.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:24 PM CST: adds photo

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