City administrator. calls for accelerated funding to implement an efficiency plan

The creation of an Office of Transformation to lead the implementation of 13 other recommendations was identified as the “first and most fundamental” step forward.

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The City of Regina is close to making a 15-year wish list come true, thanks to a unanimous vote at an executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

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In response to an efficiency review conducted late last year, the city government applied for funding to set up a transformation office and make a one-time purchase of modern customer relationship (CRM).

“I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to say that this is something that I myself am passionate about and have been championing for a long time,” said Louise Folk, executive director of human resources and transformation. for the city, said at the meeting on Wednesday.

Folk said this type of software has been on and off the table since 2007.

If given final approval at a city council meeting next week, $2.7 million would come from the asset revitalization reserve to purchase the software, which will allow the city to automate processes, which which will reduce wait times and call times, improve service levels and significantly advance digital self-service options, according to the administration’s report.

This will have a significant positive impact on employees across the organization, but also on Regina residents who rely on the services provided by the city, Folk said. A CRM will allow the city to collect data on things like the number of service requests made, what they are about, and how quickly they are resolved. It will also allow residents to track their applications online, receive email notifications when applications are being processed and more.

“I welcome the investment,” Mayor Sandra Masters said Wednesday, noting the value of such a system in tracking and streamlining the high volume of messages received by the mayor’s office alone.

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Mayor Sandra Masters during a city council meeting on December 2, 2020.
Mayor Sandra Masters during a city council meeting on December 2, 2020. Photo by Michael Bell Photography /Regina Chief’s Post

Wednesday’s debate comes just two days after council voted to fire longtime city manager Chris Holden. Masters described the move as a strategic decision with several projects on the city’s horizon, including the creation of the Office of Transformation. She said the council felt new leadership was needed given “the scale of culture change, innovation, experimentation and growth the city must undertake.”

The implementation of a CRM was the second of 14 “opportunities” identified in six municipal service areas during the long-awaited efficiency review promised by Masters during his election campaign.

The creation of a transformation office to lead the implementation of the remaining 13 recommendations was identified as the “first and most fundamental” step forward. It is expected that a total of $700,000 will be needed to make the office “operational and fully operational” in 2022. With $380,000 already approved in the 2022 budget, the administration is requesting that an additional $320,000 be transferred from the general fund reserve.

Two city councilors expressed concern about the impact the requests would have on reserve funds, particularly the Asset Revitalization Reserve which Hawkins says is the source of funding identified for recreation projects in the master plan. 10-year recreation facility, including the new indoor aquatic center which is expected to replace the Lawson Aquatic Center.

“It’s the most pressing need right now,” said Barry Lacey, the city’s executive director of financial strategy and sustainability,

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But he reassured council that this is not a ‘de-prioritization’ of the new aquatic center or other recreation projects and that the city will strategize later in order to fund these projects when the time comes. .

Currently at an “expected uncommitted balance” of $12.7 million, approval of the application would reduce the asset revitalization reserve to $10 million. Lacey noted that the request for $320,000 for the Transformation Office would reduce the general fund reserve to $21 million. The recommended minimum balance for this fund is $23 million. Lacey said while it is good to watch the balance closely and draw conclusions with caution, this is a guideline and no action is required at this time to bring the balance back. above this threshold.

The review’s recommendations could result in estimated annual savings of $26.9 million, according to a report presented to the executive committee in early December.

The report, prepared by Deloitte LLP, focuses on 14 of 53 opportunities – the wording used in the report – that have proven to be the most valuable and a manageable starting point. These 14 represent an annual saving of $17.2 million.

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