Victoria Wants Accurate Data in Regional Governance Study

Data released recently by the Province in Capital Region Integrated Services Governance Initiative does not make an accurate comparison across local governments in the Capital Region. The administrative costs per capita in the City of Victoria are $168 not $510.

The City has requested that the Province conduct more in-depth analysis of service delivery and service cost differences in order to provide the most accurate and robust information to the local governments and the public.

"We appreciate the Province is undertaking this study and that the City has been given the opportunity to comment on the information contained in the Fact Sheets,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “The City of Victoria would like to ensure the data in the Fact Sheets allows for an apples-to-apples comparison between local governments in the Capital Region when it comes to costs. This will ensure a balanced and accurate conversation as the process moves ahead.”

The consultants are basing their data on information provided to the Province by the local governments in year-end financial statements.  But each local government reports out differently. Using its own financial reporting approaches, each local government determines how to categorize information in these statements. There is no prescribed, standard methodology.

As a result, municipalities categorize and report information differently. This makes comparisons between and among municipalities difficult to accurately represent. At the City of Victoria, over 60% of the costs that are included in the “general government” / “administration” category are reported under other service categories in other Capital Region municipalities. 

The City believes that in order for this information to provide a true cost representation the Fact Sheets should be amended to account for the key differences in financial presentation.

The City of Victoria supports efforts aimed at identifying opportunities for service collaboration within the Capital Region.  Such efforts must, however, present information in ways that allow all parties to understand differences between the services provided in different jurisdictions, and that allow for meaningful discussion.