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Business Leader Summer 2018
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Centre Wellington mayor reports on county’s perpetual reporting

by Mike Robinson

ELORA - There may not be a perpetual motion machine, but perpetual reporting seems to be the way of the future for municipal governments.

Speaking to members of Centre Wellington council in mid-December, Mayor Kelly Linton discussed a Perpetual Oversight report, which came forward at Wellington County council.

Linton said the report reviewed the number of reports undertaken at the county level for the province.

He said the review looked at all county departments and the reporting requirements and unique reports required for funding, other programs or accountability measures.

Linton said the county has 112 unique types of reports to send. “One of the things the county wanted to get a handle on was the amount of staff time and effort on just reporting.”

He said the report determined there was a significant amount of time spent on reporting for Wellington Terrace, solid waste engineering and social services.

Linton said some of the suggestions from that report included:

- asking for simplification of provincial requirements (where possible); and,

- asking if different provincial ministries can share information from a single report rather than require municipalities to send unique reports to each ministry - often containing much of the same information.

A Detailed Examination of Provincial Reporting prepared by Jack Arnott states, “The review of reporting at the County of Wellington found that 112 unique reports are submitted to provincial bodies on a regular basis by the county; specifically, 62 annually, 16 quarterly, 10 monthly, one semi-annually, one every three years, one every five years, three quarterly following an inspection, and 18 as required (i.e. in the case of a critical incident at the Wellington Terrace).”

Arnott wrote that in regards to format, 97 reports are submitted electronically, five are submitted as hard copies and 10 are submitted both electronically and as hard copies.

The review also calculated that the sum of the 112 unique report types is 260 reports that are submitted to the province by the County of Wellington in a given year. This figure is comprised of annual, quarterly, semi-annual, monthly reports, as well as reports that are submitted every three and five years.

This figure does not include the 18 reports that are submitted by the County on an as-required basis.  

He added, “These figures do not include reports submitted on a unique basis, such as one-off, grant-based applications or requests for further information, which occur regularly and can take as many as seven days to complete.”

Some reports require less than a quarter of a business day, while others require as many as 20 business days.

On Nov. 21, the county’s administration, finance and human resources committee sought to have the amount of time spent preparing reports converted to a dollar value.

January 12, 2018

 
 

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