City eyes an internal efficiency review

New city manager says option will be more effective than proposed core services study

Abbotsford city manager

Abbotsford city manager

A proposal to review the city’s provision of core services has been put aside to instead allow the city manager to potentially undertake efficiency reviews in specific departments.

The budget allotted $200,000 to conduct a core services review, but the city manager has proposed to instead set aside $50,000 if needed to conduct an efficiency review for a particular service.

The idea for a core services review, which would analyze what services should be provided and how, was brought forward in February 2012 by Coun. Henry Braun, who said he was concerned about the city’s “unsustainable” financial path. He called for staff to look into hiring a consultant to conduct an independent review of city services.

In January of 2013, Braun put forward a motion to postpone the city services review, following the resignation of the former city manger Frank Pizutto in December. Braun said he thought it would be important to allow new city manager George Murray to review the issue.

Murray was involved with the core services review of the Fraser Valley Regional District and has previously been involved in efficiency reviews. Murray said after spending the last two months reviewing the city’s operations, he is confident a potential efficiency review would be more helpful in analyzing specific services than the broad proposal of a core services review.

Braun said he understands that the delivery and effectiveness of services needs to be assessed, but if the city manager can deliver the results for $150,000 less, he supports that idea. Braun said his goal in raising the core services review was to provide fiscal sustainability, and he is convinced Murray agrees with that goal.

“He is approaching this a bit differently that I initially thought. But for me, the end product is to provide better and more cost effective services.”