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Budget Building Blocks

The City's Strategic PlanBusiness Plan and Budget are foundational building blocks that guide the City’s multi-year business plan and budget. Collectively, they provide a framework that supports the City to ensure its budget investments are deliberate, purposeful and supportive of the high quality of life we have in Saskatoon today - and for the future:

  1. 2022-2025 Strategic Plan 
  2. 2022/2023 Multi-Year Business Plan
  3. 2022/2023 Multi-Year Budget

2022-2025 Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan is a guiding document that sets the strategic direction and priorities for the City of Saskatoon over the next four years. Along with the Official Community Plan and the Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget, the Strategic Plan ensures City programs and services continue to address the changing needs of our community.

In 2021, City Council and Administration worked together to create a refreshed 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The timely update to the Strategic Plan will ensure City programs and services continue to address the needs of the community and our changing city, while staying within our financial means.

The DRAFT 2022-2025 Strategic Plan is set to be finalized and approved in November 2021. The plan will reflect the insights of our current City Council elected in 2020 and City Administration, and also public input gathered on the contents of the new plan. Public input is invited on the DRAFT 2022-2025 Strategic Plan via a survey open until November 10, 2021.

An Administrative Report on the development of the City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan will be presented to City Council on November 22, 2021. It will also provide details on the public engagement survey process and its findings, and next recommendations.

2022/2023 Multi-Year Business Plan

The 2022/2023 Multi-Year Business Plan includes initiatives and projects aligned with the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The business plan will guide investments, projects, and service levels the City will implement and achieve over the course of the next two years.

The City’s business planning process ensures resources are provided to priority programs and services. Funding is tied to clear and achievable key actions identified in the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.  The multi-year business plan provides a framework which allows the City to quickly adapt, respond and adjust if needed to changing municipal, provincial, and federal environments. 

The City's business plan supports service outcomes, performance measures, strategic outcomes, and actions planned within the City's 14 Business Lines:

Arts, Culture and Events Venues Saskatoon Fire
Community Support Saskatoon Public Library
Corporate Asset Management Saskatoon Police Service
Corporate Governance and Finance Taxation and General Revenues
Environmental Health Transportation
Land Development Urban Planning and Development
Recreation and Culture Utilities

2022/2023 Multi-Year Budget

The City’s approach to multi-year business planning and budgeting remains the same as the City's first multi-year business plan and budget adopted for 2020 and 2021. The City's approach to multi-year budget planning intends to:

  • Improve transparency and decision-making by providing City Council and citizens with more information about where City funds are used, linking service costs to service levels and outcomes, and better connecting long-term goals to short-term spending decisions.
  • Increase the City’s accountability in delivering services to citizens effectively and efficiently, while maintaining its focus on a sustainable future.
  • Help the City transform by providing for a more regular, ongoing, and thorough examination of civic services to ensure that services are relevant to citizens’ needs and priorities.

Through this approach, the City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan will continue to drive the business planning and budget process.

Four-Step Multi-Year Budget Planning Process

Administration's four-step process is as follows:

Step 1: Determine Cost to Maintain Service Levels

As part of developing the cost to maintain civic services, City Departments were given a 0% expenditure increase as a starting point. Any requests for increases were thoroughly reviewed on an individual basis by the Budget Committee. Through the review of all costs, considerations were given to:  

  • reviews of historical results;
  • opportunities for absorption and continuous improvement within existing budgets;
  • contractually obligated inflationary increases; and
  • growth in service areas (roadways, park space, population, etc.).

Step 2: Determine Property Tax Target (Set Indicative Rate)

This step considers the costs to maintain existing services and service levels at status quo, to keep all services as they are currently; to achieve this, a property tax target or indicative rate is set. Setting an indicative rate is an important step in the development of a singular or multi-year business plan and budget. A key risk to any business plan and budget is the continuous reworking of assumptions and plans due to moving targets and lack of parameters set at the beginning of the planning cycle.

Step 3: Develop Corporate Business Plans to Achieve Priorities and Goals outlined in the City's Strategic Plan

Administration forms working committees to develop strategies and initiatives to achieve the priorities within the City’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan and the previously directed property tax target. 

Step 4: Incorporate desired Business Plan Options into the Business Plan and Budget

The 2022/2023 Preliminary Detailed Operating & Capital Budget will be made available here in mid-November 2021. City Council Budget Review (deliberations) set for November 29, 30 and December 1, 2021. 

 

Civic Surveys and Citizen Input: An Important Part of the City's Budget Process

In 2021, the City of Saskatoon conducted two civic services surveys: the Satisfaction & Performance Survey and the Performance, Priorities and Preferences Survey. Each survey was conducted by telephone, through an online panel, and by having a survey link available on the City website.

The City of Saskatoon uses civic survey results to inform decisions related to strategic priorities, budgeting, and service delivery, as well as to highlight opportunities for continuous improvement.

Previously scheduled to be conducted in 2020, both surveys were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, each survey will be conducted separately every year on a rotating basis:
 
2022: Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey
2023: Civic Services Service: Performance, Priorities & Preferences 
 
View the full summaries and the detailed survey results of both the 2021 Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey and the 2021 Civic Services Performance, Priorities & Preferences Survey.

View the archive results of both 2018 Civic Surveys here. 

Services, Savings and Sustainability

For more than a decade, the City has been has been committed to becoming a more sustainable organization by finding new savings and efficiencies in the work we do every day, and delivering value for taxpayer dollars year after year. 

The 2020 Report on Service, Savings and Sustainability demonstrates the City is working hard become one of the best-managed cities in Canada. It highlights our achievements and progress made in 2020 to drive service improvements, identify savings for taxpayers, and adopt sustainability initiatives across Saskatoon.

City employees are committed to sustaining a culture of continuous improvement and making Saskatoon a better community for everyone.

Risk-Based Management Framework

The City, like all municipal governments, faces many types of risk, including strategic, operational, financial and compliance.

To help manage these risks, the City implemented a Risk-Based Management Program (RBM) to assist Administration with enhancing intelligent risk performance in all areas of operation, ensuring continuous improvement in the way the City is managed, as well as continued growth in public confidence in the City’s performance.

RBM is an important building block in the business, budget and strategic planning process by providing a continuous, proactive and systematic process to ensure risk is understood, managed and communicated throughout the organization.

The framework assists departments in developing processes that help identify and document risks before they occur, allowing for a planned approach to reducing the likelihood and impact of an adverse event, and also increasing the possibility and magnitude of benefits that could result from seizing an opportunity.

When effectively integrated into strategic and decision-making processes, the risk management process helps to:

  • achieve Strategic Goals and operational objectives;
  • improve financial and operational management by effectively allocating resources to high-risk areas;
  • strengthen the planning and priority-setting process;
  • increase management accountability by demonstrating due diligence; and
  • foster innovation and continuous improvement.