On December 7, 2020, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario released its annual report, which included a value-for-money audit focusing on condominium oversight in Ontario.
What is the value for money audit?
The Auditor General is an independent officer of the Legislature mandated under the Auditor General Act, 1990, to assess government programs, agencies, certain public-sector organizations receiving government grants, Crown-controlled corporations and certain other organizations such as administrative authorities to determine if they are using the money provided efficiently, and to evaluate whether those entities have effective procedures in place to measure and report on their effectiveness.
The OAGO oversees two types of audits: One is called the Attest Audit, and the other the Value-for-Money Audit. Through detailed scrutiny and reporting on government spending and oversight of certain sectors, the Auditor General helps the Legislature hold the government accountable. Results of these audits are published in the Auditor General’s Annual Report.
Why was the CMRAO audited by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario?
The Auditor General’s mandate is to hold public sector organizations accountable to ensure that Ontarians receive value from their public programs and services. Section 22 of the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, authorizes the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the CMRAO.
In the course of planning their ongoing activities, the OAGO identified condominium oversight as a candidate for the value-for-money audit for the 2019–20 audit year, and began their research, which involved the CMRAO, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), and the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery.
The Auditor General’s findings and recommendations have now been published in a report that is available on the OAGO website.
What are the key recommendations from the Auditor General’s report?
The Auditor General’s report identified four key recommendations for the CMRAO:
What is the CMRAO doing about unlicensed practice?
The Auditor General’s report identified discrepancies between the CMRAO’s list of licensed condominium managers and management provider businesses, and those that are identified as condominium managers and management provider businesses in the CAO’s public registry. The report identified 317 individuals and 156 businesses in the CAO’s public registry that were not licensed.
The discrepancies that were identified in the Auditor General’s report can be classified into the following five categories:
Current Number of Cases
|1.||Unlicensed individual with a licensed management provider company||100|
|2.||Unlicensed individual only (no company listed at condominium)||52|
|3.||Unlicensed individual and unlicensed company listed at condominium||127|
|4.||Potential clerical error or other (individual had been removed from CAO’s registry by August 2020 without communication from CMRAO or CAO)||38|
|5.||Cases either resolved, currently under, or review or investigation||156|
The CMRAO sent notices to the principal condominium managers of these management companies and has resolved 96% of these cases. In 90% of these cases the person was either providing only administrative service for the corporations, or the person actually was licensed, but was operating under a different name with the CAO than with CMRAO. Four (4) of these cases are still under review we will also be conducting a random audit of this category where we follow up with the boards of directors at some of the impacted condominiums.
CMRAO has resolved 44 of these 52 cases. The most common resolution was that the manager was also a board member at the condo and was exempt from licensing.
3 cases are currently under review with statutory director for potential prosecution and we have laid charges in 1 case.
The remaining 5 cases still require further follow up on the part of the CMRAO.
Nine (9) individuals and nine (9) companies have now either applied for a licence or hold a licence
For all remaining cases, CMRAO has sent notices to the Boards of Directors at the affected condominium corporations and is currently reviewing the responses. We have contacted a total of 257 condo corporations in this regard. Of note, data from the CAO indicates that 89% these 128 individuals have been removed from the CAO’s public registry of condominium corporations. We will continue to investigate all cases in this category and update the public on our progress
All 39 of these individuals had already been removed from the CAO’s public registry without any specific intervention from the CAO or the CMRAO by August 2020. For this category we will select a sample of cases and contact the condominium corporation’s Boards to request more information and take further action as appropriate based on the results of these findings.
113 (72%) of these 157 cases have been resolved with the most common resolutions being that the management company is no longer providing services to the client condominium corporation (34%) or the company holds a licence with the CMRAO (11%). 44 cases in this category remain under review and 2 cases have been referred to the Statutory Director for investigation and potential prosecution.
It is important to note that and 85% of these 156 companies have been removed from the CAO’s public registry of condominium corporations. We will continue to investigate the remaining cases and update the public on our progress.
Cases Identified in 2021:
In 2021, CMRAO identified an additional 28 potential unlicensed managers or management companies based on filings submitted to the CAO. We have resolved 28 of these cases.
The CMRAO also identified 31 cases based on expired licences. In 24 cases, the person had left the industry (retired); in 4 cases the person reinstated their licence with the CMRAO; and in 3 cases the person was on parental/maternity leave.
When will the CMRAO begin implementing the recommendations from the Auditor General’s report?
The CMRAO will consider the recommendations of the Auditor General as we continue our work to enhance our service delivery and strengthen our role as a modern regulator in Ontario’s rapidly expanding condominium sector.
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