B.C. moves to make TransLink, BC Ferries more efficient
By Doug Ward, Vancouver SunApril 29, 2010
The provincial government says that legislation being introduced today in the legislature will bring efficiencies to TransLink and BC Ferries.
The series of amendments are in response to a report filed in November by B.C. comptroller-general Cheryl Wenesenki-Yolland who found that TransLink was plagued by “significant operational issues” and has not worked hard enough to manage its finances.
One amendment will allow service improvements to proceed at any time, rather than on the restrictive annual process currently in place. The legislation also amends the requirement for a fully-funded plan from 10 years to three years.
The legislation also requires an outlook plan from years four to 10, focusing on future services.
“The board and management at TransLink should be commended for already taking action on key recommendations of the comptroller-general,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond in a media statement.
“In recent months the company has taken significant steps to find efficiencies to help meet its financial goals.”
Bond said the comptroller-general found that BC Ferries is “well managed overall” but had recommended improvements to B.C. Ferry governance, transparency and regulations on executive-compensation.
To that end, an amendment being introduced today would subject B.C. Ferries and the B.C. Ferry Authority to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in order to improve transparency.
Another amendment will ensure, according to a media statement, that compensation for future B.C. Ferries executive and board is comparable to other public sector organizations.
The legislation will also separate the B.C. Ferry Services board of directors from the B.C. Ferry Authority. A final amendment will include reservation fees in the price cap regulated by the B.C. Ferry Commission.