Alberta Municipal Affairs is committed to helping to ensure Albertans live in viable municipalities with well-managed, collaborative, accountable local governments. To achieve this, Municipal Affairs plays an important role in assisting and supporting municipalities in Alberta through various programs that aim to build capacity.
The Municipal Government Act (MGA), which provides the legislative framework for local government in Alberta, has numerous mandatory requirements that may at times seem overwhelming and difficult to manage for municipalities. Municipalities are also bound by other statutes and corresponding regulations that fall under the purview of Municipal Affairs. Compliance with these statutes and regulations is essential to good governance, the successful operation of a municipality and the viability, safety and well-being of a community. The Municipal Accountability Program is designed to help municipal officials successfully meet the challenges involved in responding to this wide range of legislative needs.
The Municipal Accountability Program
With a focus on promoting an environment supportive of accountable, well-managed local governments, the purpose of this program is to:
• assist municipalities in strengthening their knowledge of mandatory legislative requirements with a primary focus on the MGA;
• aid municipalities in achieving legislative compliance;
• support municipalities in being accountable and well-managed; and
• provide a collaborative partnership between Municipal Affairs and municipalities to address legislative discrepancies that may exist.
The Municipal Accountability Program consists of multi-year cycle reviews, ordered by the Minister under Section 571 of the MGA. While this program is available to all municipalities, upon the request of a council and with the approval of the Minister, municipalities with populations of 5,000 or less are automatically scheduled for a visit once every four years. The County of Paintearth was randomly selected for a municipal accountability review in 2019.
Working with the chief administrative officer (CAO), support is provided to mitigate any minor legislative gaps that may be identified. Ministry staff work with CAOs to validate compliance, identify gaps, provide resource information, and develop corrective solutions where needed. The outcome of this program will be strong, well-managed municipalities and a strong collaborative relationship between the CAOs and the ministry.