By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The details regarding an upcoming report on the city’s core services remain a mystery and according to the city manager, nothing more will be coming forward until the report is released.
As the name suggests, a Core Service Review (CSR) analyzes the core functions and operations at the city in the search of finding possible ways of making processes more efficient, and in turn saving big dollars.
The possibility of undertaking such a report has been tabled on council’s agenda for three years.
“Staff are working on documents and an approach for core service reviews,” states city manager Jag Sharma in an emailed response to The Oshawa Express.
“We are targeting to be before council before the summer break. I won’t be able to share any further information with you until we have had an opportunity to brief council.”
The current plans for such a report comes after city officials stated less than nine months ago that no such report was being worked on. It’s unclear what the upcoming formation of a CSR would look like or if the review will even be recommended to be undertaken.
The idea to do such a review was punted around at council back in 2012 as part of the work that went into the city’s current financial strategy. However, it was tabled, and has more or less remained in that state, staying simply a footnote to each council agenda since then.
The closest the city came to such a review was in 2013, when council ordered former auditor general Ron Foster to undertake a review of city services, even going as far as to allocate an additional $30,000 to his office’s budget and assign more staff to get it done. The scope of that review included reviews and audits for the city’s vehicle fleet, parks, waste management and municipal law enforcement and licensing services. Council at the time opted for this cheaper option for review after learning that other municipalities had opted for costly consultants with no real results.
However, following the release of the auditor’s report on the purchase of 199 Wentworth St. E. for the city’s new consolidated operations depot in May 2013 and the ensuing hurricane of controversy that eventually led to the elimination of the auditor general’s office, the work was never completed.