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Exploring different methods of public sector collaboration

April 05, 2021

Exploring different methods of public sector collaboration

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

To serve your citizens under tight budgets, you need innovative approaches to service delivery. Learn more about municipal collaboration options in this post.

Jason Ducharme
Jason Ducharme
Provincial Leader (ON) – Public Sector
Chris Lavin
Chris Lavin, MBA, FCMC
Regional Managing Partner, Advisory Services

With tight budgets and increasing expectations, municipalities face a difficult proposition. How do you deliver top-end services with limited resources?

The answer is collaboration. By working with other municipalities, you can reduce costs, share best practices, and deliver services that meet or exceed citizen demands.

Collaboration comes in many forms. We’ve identified six different approaches that reflect a continuum from the traditional status quo of discreet services to a fully amalgamated municipality. The points in between offer a rich set of opportunities to improve citizen service in more effective and efficient ways.

Status quo

Each municipality delivers discreet services to their citizens. There is a recognition and acceptance of eroding boundaries, as citizens demand service regardless of where they live.

Municipal centres of excellence

Each municipality takes on a specific service and develops shared service agreements with other municipalities to operate and manage the service. For example, one municipality might take on local road maintenance while another municipality takes on solid waste management.

Single municipal shared service provider

One municipality takes on the delivery of all proposed shared services and develops shared service agreements with other municipalities. This leaves the municipalities to focus on their core business and responsibilities. One model for this is one municipality takes on all the Corporate Shared Services such as Human Resources, Materials Management and IT, and leaves the delivery of “on-the-ground” services with the individual municipality.

Single function municipally-owned corporate service entities

One or many service entities are created by the municipalities, potentially as separately incorporated entities, with boards guiding each entity and comprised of members from each municipality. Each entity would focus on specific services and contract directly with each municipality. Several jurisdictions have done this in the waste and utility services.

Full function municipally-owned shared service entity

A single regional entity (municipally-owned corporation) operates with a mandate to provide all the shared services envisioned by the municipal owners. A board comprised of council members or delegates from each partner municipality, provides guidance to the corporation. Service contracts are established with each municipality according to their needs.

Amalgamated municipality

In some jurisdictions, like Crowsnest Pass, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and Flagstaff County, it made sense to join into a single municipal organization and provide services across the region in a unified manner through traditional municipal structures and organizations.

Each method has unique benefits for governments and citizens, and offers a tremendous opportunity for collaboration amongst municipal governments.

Contact

To learn more about these methods and the opportunities they can provide for your organization, contact Jason Ducharme, Public Sector Leader – Ontario, at 416.263.6924 or [email protected], or Chris Lavin, MBA, FCMC, Regional Managing Partner, Prairies Consulting, at 780.733.8640 or [email protected]

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