The following is a report presented to Council at their last meeting:
Earlier this year, the Town was the successful recipient of a Provincial modernization grant. This grant was used to hire KPMG to complete an organizational modernization and efficiency review project. The project is underway, and has the following objectives:
Objective #1: Review how the Town has structured the functional assignments and management of the overall organization and its departments and recommend any efficiencies that can be achieved without impacting front line services.
Objective #2: Identify service improvement opportunities through a review of key internal processes that can be modernized to achieve efficiencies and/or improve public services.
At the same time as this project has been progressing, the Town has experienced a number of staff vacancies. These include: Director of Corporate Services, vacant since June 12, 2020.
· Building and Planning Assistant, vacant since March 29, 2019 with a temporary filling from September – December 2019. Corporate Administrative Assistant, vacant since April 3, 2020.
· Procurement and Risk Management Specialist, vacant since September 4, 2020
· Human Resources Generalist, vacant since March 27, 2020.
· In addition to the above, the Town has a currently vacant and unfilled third-party cleaning contract. This contract position was formerly a full-time position in 2016.
The KPMG organizational modernization and efficiency review project was the successful recipient of 2/3 funding from the Province. A term in the funding agreement is that the final report needs to be made public. Pre-COVID, the plan for the KPMG project was for the final report to be adopted by Council in June, with public disclosure of the report occurring prior to the Provincially mandate date of July 1.
Because of the pandemic, the Province has extended the public report out to December 4, 2020. Each of the positions listed above was held vacant for two key reasons. First, with the KPMG project underway, having these positions open provides flexibility in the event KPMG’s recommendations result in a retooling of the organization. Secondly, with the ongoing increased cost of operating during the pandemic, these positions were kept open in an effort to manage the overall costs to the corporation during the pandemic lockdown. The reduced organizational capacity caused by this many vacant positions will quickly be felt as the Town reopens services. There is a risk that our overall organizational performance may slip if there is a further delay in filling the existing vacancies. As a result, the staffing budget allocated to the vacant positions will be used to make a number of staffing adjustments. The work to date with KPMG has resulted in several initial recommendations that will help the Town become more efficient and effective. Overall, there be no net increase in the Town’s spend on staffing as a result of these changes. The immediate changes made were to move Jenna McCartney from Deputy Clerk to Town Clerk and change the current Museum Curator position to a Museum Supervisor position, and the Part-time Museum Assistant position being transitioned to a regular full-time position.