Improvement district accounting and reporting requirements
Improvement districts must provide financial accounting and reporting on their activities over the previous year. These requirements enhance the transparency of improvement district operations and permit informed decision-making by trustees and landowners.
Annual general meetings
Improvement district boards of trustees are required to hold a general meeting of the trustees and property owners at least once a year. The board is required to present the audited financial statements for the year prior at the meeting. The annual general meeting is an opportunity to:
- Elect new trustees
- Decide on the amount of trustee remuneration, if any
- Appoint an auditor
- Seek the approval of the property owners for the trustees to adopt a loan authorization bylaw
- Provide a summary of the prior year's activities
- Present plans and budgets for the current year
The period during which the annual general meeting must be held is established in the letters patent for an improvement district. The meeting is usually held in the first three months of the calendar year.
Regular meetings of the trustees are not required to be open to the landowners, so the annual general meeting is the primary opportunity for the landowners to interact with the staff and trustees that operate and govern the improvement district.
The minutes of a general meeting are public information and may be made available to the property owners. Additionally, the annual general meeting minutes, the composition of the board of trustees and data about the improvement district must be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs following the annual general meeting.
Audited financial statements
An improvement district must produce financial statements for the preceding year for presentation at the annual general meeting. Those statements must be audited by a qualified accountant. Additionally, the audited financial statements must be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Freedom of information and privacy
Improvement districts are governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Staff must be prepared to provide bylaws, meeting minutes, budgets and the audited financial statements, among other information, when requested by the public.
However, the improvement district has a responsibility to protect the privacy of the landowners, staff, trustees and other individuals. Preparing policies and procedures would ensure privacy of those individuals is protected.