MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 9, 2017 /CNW/ - An AMCTO Report, titled Bearing the Burden: An Overview of Municipal Reporting to the Province, reveals that Ontario municipalities are concerned that the creation and maintenance of various mandatory reports to the Province is a significant financial and productivity drain, taking them away from core service delivery.
AMCTO carried out in-depth consultations with local government professionals representing Ontario municipalities of varying sizes. This was supplemented by a sector wide survey of municipal managers which received over 300 responses.
The majority of respondents believed reporting is important; however approximately 75% agree that provincial reporting is too time consuming and onerous. 48% of respondents said provincial reporting requirements are impacting their ability to productively offer services at the municipal level, a finding which AMCTO calls "alarming."
Explained Rick Johal, AMCTO Director of Member and Sector Relations: "Part of the problem is that reporting is done pretty much ad hoc between different ministries and branches within government often leading to needless duplication, and data submitted often goes into what many believe is a 'reporting black hole.' "
While some municipalities are required to provide fewer than 90 reports annually, others may be responsible for more than 200 different reports to separate provincial ministries or agencies.
The result? Many municipal employees said they now find it difficult to keep up with the reporting for which they are responsible, while at the same time maintaining service delivery in their communities.
Focus group participants also spoke about the historical nature of reporting compliance. The Province is most often asking local government staff to look back in time, whereas service delivery challenges exist in the present and innovation requires municipal staff to look forward. Some participants felt their reporting obligations impacted their ability to be proactive and future-oriented.
AMCTO has shared the report findings and recommendations with various Provincial Ministries. "The recommendations for the province are as constructive as possible," said Johal. "We'd like a bit more standardization on effective means of reporting, and better use of technology along with more communication on why the reporting is needed. Can municipalities gain access to data? Does it have public value or utility?"
The summary report is posted at https://amctopolicy.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/bearing-the-burden-an-overview-of-municipal-reporting-to-the-province-summary-report.pdf
SOURCE Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO)
For further information: Craig Wellington, Director, Programs & Services / AMCTO, Tel: (905) 602-4294 ext. 224, Cel: 416-509-5641, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.amcto.com