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Auditor’s report says B.C. government’s asset sales plan needs work

VICTORIA — A report by British Columbia’s auditor general says the province needs to improve its process for selling off real estate assets after it sold some of its land for 66 per cent of the appraised value.

The former Liberal government launched the asset sales plan in 2012 for what it said would be three benefits: revenue, generation of economic activity and cost savings.

However, Carol Bellringer’s report says the government focused only on the revenue target, with a goal of balancing its budgets from 2013 to 2015.

The report looked at 14 of the 101 sales, representing 75 per cent of the sale proceeds, and it says with the exception of the Burke Mountain lands in Coquitlam, the government obtained 97 per cent of the appraised value.

The auditor says the government didn’t require bidders to value each parcel of land in the process for Burke Mountain, leaving it unable to negotiate the best price for individual parcels.

The report says 14 of the 21 parcels were sold for $85 million, 44 per cent below the appraised value, while four other parcels were sold at 80 per cent of the appraised value.

It has seven recommendations, including that the government assess the costs and benefits of selling versus holding surplus assets and that it report to the public about how selling off assets is in the best interest.



The Canadian Press

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