Report nearly 2 months late: Vancouver’s 2015 3rd quarter operating budget review

Dollar signs, CHW(Epilogue: We received a response from the City’s General Manager, Finance, Risk and Business Planning today Feb 1 indicating that the Q3 report was not posted online “due to an oversight.” But the problem has been rectified and the City will “ensure time[ly] posting of future updates going forward.” Visit: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/financial-reports-and-information.aspx and enjoy the financial update!)

As many students around Vancouver have submitted their project reports and midterm exams this week, we have noticed that someone is late in submitting its report: the City of Vancouver.

The City’s “third quarter operating budget review” covers the City’s financial affairs to September 30 each year. This delay is rather unusual. We understand that the third quarter report is typically published early in December. For example, in 2014 it was apparently released on December 19, in 2013 it on December 3. So the public is nearly two months late in its ability to review the state of our municipal governments finances.

When published the report should appear here:
http://vancouver.ca/your-government/financial-reports-and-information.aspx

According to the Q2 report (to June 30, 2015), “Council’s standing instructions require that the Director of Finance report on the status of the Operating Budget as at September 30 each year. Since 2010, the Director of Finance has committed to report quarterly on the Operating Budget status, and beginning in 2011, to also report quarterly on the Capital Budget status. Council Policy regarding the Operating Budget, as per the Vancouver Charter, is to ensure a balanced operating budget.

To our knowledge, the City has made no announcement regarding the delay or its reasons. We believe it’s good for citizens to keep an active watch on the City’s financial situation, as it affects every person living here in some way or another.

 

Typical contents of a quarterly report would include:

  • Operating budget summary and full year forecast
  • Narrative description of key points regarding revenues, expenditures and transfers
  • Risks
  • Capital expenditures and year-end Forecast vs the full fiscal year annual capital expenditure budget
  • Quarterly report of annual capital budget results by service category
  • Positive and negative variances in expenditures
  • Progress on top 10 projects and programs of the fiscal year

Normally the report is authored by the City’s General Manager, Finance, Risk and Business Planning (currently Patrice Impey).

Screen shot of finance page as of 28-Jan-2016.

CoV Financial reports information, screen, 28-Jan-2016

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