Budget Building Blocks
The City's Strategic Plan, Business 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:
- 2022-2025 Strategic Plan
- 2024/2025 Multi-Year Business Plan
- 2024/2025 Multi-Year Budget
2022-2025 Strategic Plan
The 2022 - 2025 Strategic Plan is the 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.
2024/2025 Multi-Year Business Plan
The 2024/2025 Multi-Year Business Plan will include 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 will be 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|
|Land Development||Urban Planning and Development|
|Recreation and Culture||Utilities|
2024/2025 Multi-Year Budget
The planning and approach to create the City’s 2024/2025 Multi-Year Budget will focus on:
- Improving transparency and decision-making by providing City Council and citizens with more information early in the budget planning process about the funding the City requires, where City funds are used, linking service costs to service levels and outcomes, and better connecting long-term goals to short-term spending decisions.
- Increasing the City’s accountability in delivering services to citizens effectively and efficiently, while maintaining its focus on a sustainable future.
- Helping 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 the Budget Forecast Status for 2024/2025
This step forecasts the costs to maintain existing services and service levels at status quo, that is to keep all services as they are currently; to achieve this, operating expenses and operating revenues are reviewed to determine if there is a funding gap. 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 2024/2025 Preliminary Detailed Operating & Capital Budget will be made available here in mid-November 2023.
City Council Budget Review (deliberations) are set for November 28-30, 2023.
Preliminary 2024/2025 Multi-Year Budget
As part of the City’s Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget Process, the City produces three key budget documents to inform City Council and the public prior to its November Budget Deliberations. For the 2024/2025 two-year budget cycle, the documents include:
- The Preliminary 2024/2025 Detailed Operating and Capital Summary Budget - made available November 9, 2023
- The Preliminary 2024/2025 Detailed Capital Budget - will be available week of November 14-17, 2023
- The 2024/2025 Preliminary Budget Introduction - will be available week of November 14-17, 2023
In prior multi-year budgets, the City has released all three of the above budget documents at the same time. To allow for as much time as possible for City Council, stakeholders and residents to review the Preliminary 2024/2025 Budget documents - each document will now be made available as they become finalized by Administration. The goal is to provide additional lead-time for review prior to City Council's final budget deliberations set for November 28, 29, and 30, 2023.
Civic Surveys and Resident Input: An Important Part of the City's Budget Process
Consistent with the engagement approach used in previous years, an online panel survey with a sample size of 800 will be conducted in 2023 via the following surveys:
- Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey (May 23 to early June 2023)
- Civic Services Survey: Performance, Priorities & Preference (Early June to mid-June 2023)
These two surveys measure residents’ perceived quality of life in Saskatoon, satisfaction with civic services, areas for improvement, and future priorities.
By completing both surveys in 2023, both Administration and City Council is informed with statistically reliable results to consider as part of the 2024/2025 Budget discussions in the months leading up to City Council finalizing its budget in November 2023.
2023 Civic Survey Results - Snapshot, Key Findings, Full Results
Archive Survey Results
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 2022 Service, Savings and Sustainability Report demonstrates the City is working hard become one of the best-managed cities in Canada. It highlights our achievements and progress made in 2022 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.