The Long-term Financial Framework is an important tool in ensuring financial health and financial sustainability of City services. It is the foundation on which Council and staff will build and deliver services and programs that reflect the community’s priorities. The framework was approved in February 2020 and uses three criteria to evaluate the financial health of our municipality:
- Sustainability – the ability to maintain services over an extended period of time
- Vulnerability – the level of resiliency to mitigate unexpected negative factors
- Flexibility – the ability to adapt to changing opportunities
The framework uses these three measures to guide, balance and maintain City service levels and the financial health of the organization over the long-term. In addition, we use the framework to guide decisions and influence corporate policies to ensure we are consistently complying with our long-term financial plan for the City.
The corporate financial policies that guide the budget development and financial decisions and that are within the scope of the Long-term Financial Framework include:
General Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy
Staff has identified policy development and updates as a five-year plan to continually improve the financial governance structure at the City. Part of this plan includes reporting the financial metrics that are identified in each of these policies.
Recently updated policies
- Investment Policy (update completed 2021 and will be reviewed again in 2023)
- Budget Policy (Multi Year budget was incorporated in 2021)
Policies identified over the next five years as priorities
- Corporate Revenue Policy (expected completion 2023)
- Updated Investment Policy (expected completion 2023)
- Long-term Capital Funding Policy (expected completion 2023)
- Use of Debt Policy (expected completion 2023/2024)
- Growth Funding Policy (expected completion 2023/2024)
There are several metrics that finance tracks each year under the three pillars of the long term financial framework and presented as part of the reporting along with the audited financial statements (see pages 70-77 in the Consolidated Financial Statements and Treasurer’s Report).
In addition the Corporate Strategic Plan Performance Framework has identified two corporate metrics as the standard to measure the City’s financial performance:
- the City’s third party credit rating – “Which currently is the highest possible at AAA”
- the tax and rate burden as a percentage of average household income
We intend to have an improved interactive dashboard in the near future but we currently are tracking these measures and developing KPIs.