The Finance Department issues an average of 70 cheques a week, half of which are for less than $500. The report suggests that using electronic signatures would reduce the amount of time spent each week signing cheques and expedite the payment process.
Councillor Surpinderpal Rathor objects to the idea of electronic signatures and says that he will never support it. "First of all, when anyone puts a claim in and its approved, it is seen by one set of eyes; a second set of eyes sees it when the cheque is written or printed," he explained. "A third set sees it when staff signs it and a fourth set of eyes sees that cheque when a politician or a member of Council signs it."
He said that in his past experience, mainly in the previous Council, he caught large mistakes. "With electronic signing, there is no one to check," he stated. "Some may say that they're interested in improving efficiency, but I'm interested in accountability for public money.
"We have been elected to do our Council job and this is part of it. If one Council member doesn't have time to sign a cheque, someone else will."
Councillor Rather was the one Councillor opposed in the vote.
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