The City of Toronto has launched a four-point modernization plan to upgrade city hall operations.
Mayor John Tory celebrated city successes so far and outlined future plans during an announcement Tuesday morning. He was joined by Councillor Gary Crawford, Chair of the Budget Committee, and Councillor Paul Ainslie who chairs the Government Management Committee at City Hall.
The four-point plan modernization plan includes hiring a Chief Transformation Officer to oversee changes, the launch of cheaper and faster online services, as well as changes to city office space and city real estate holdings.
Mayor Tory believes the modernization will save the city tens of millions of dollars while improving service to the public.
It’s expected the city manager will hire a Chief Transformation Officer in the new year, responsible for enforcing a mandate with specific targets for how the city operates. It’s believed the position is necessary to help drive change.
Residents will likely notice the most change while using online services.
The city will be reducing physical service space from 41 to five locations across the city, in order to migrate services through a new and improved website in 2017.
Having someone serve people at a counter currently costs the city an average of $23 per transaction, compared to just $16 through phone services and only $2 online.
Through online changes, the city “expects to save at least $8-million every single year,” says Mayor Tory.
“It is a matter of common sense, that if we want to be taken seriously as a tech-city, that we have to push ourselves out of our old 20th century ways.”
The mayor says an additional $7-million will be saved through making practices standard in office modernization. The city has already saved $1 per year by collapsing leases and moving spaces into one location, with an additional 15 leases to be considered in the future.
Staff are also reviewing city-wide real estate holdings. A recent report found the city could deliver between $30-60-million in savings by using assets more efficiently.
Mayor John Tory also celebrated city successes including $1-million over two years by having people pay library fines at self-checkout stations, $250,000 in savings by giving Toronto Public Health front line workers mobile phones to eliminate paperwork, and saving Toronto Police Service $600,000 this year by converting landline phones to voice over Internet protocol technology.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 22, 2016