How Governments should think about Revenue, Resilience post COVID Lockdowns
Like many cities worldwide, the City of Pittsburgh has already begun to experience the effects of climate change with harsher winters, hotter summers, record-setting precipitation, leading to frequent and destructive landslides, and increased numbers of invasive species. At the local government level, resources and opportunities exist to prepare for the impacts of climate change, but they must be reviewed, prioritized, and put into action.
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, has been working with ResouceX since 2019. They utilize OnlinePBB for operating budgets and prioritize their Capital projects through the Priority Based Budgeting process. In the years since launching with ResourceX, they have demonstrated thought leadership, project ownership, and continuously push the program budgeting movement forward as leaders in the PBB community.
So, it came as no surprise that their 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets once again demonstrated a forward movement meriting recognition and celebration. But let's take a step back and think about why a movement forward in local government budgeting is so important.
"The City of Duluth, MN faced structural challenges in its budget, given some of the city’s particular needs and obligations. Priority based budgeting helped the city align its revenues, expenditures, and values."
"It’s an approach that can advance innovation while offering financial and operational advantages for the typical, day-to-day services that local governments operate."
Premise and Problem Statement
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) infuses $350 billion into local governments, easing the immediate financial trauma facing most every community across the country, and providing options to overcome shortfalls and simultaneously rebuild for a stronger, more sustainable future.
Chris Fabian, CEO, ResourceX
Samma Fox, Assistant to the City Manager, Littleton, Colorado
ResourceX is leading an ELGL Cohort to support the creation and application of data
needed to communicate and make organizational decisions that impact every citizen’s welfare, and influence the resiliency of every organization.
The City of Riverside, CA started implementing Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) in July 2020. They intentionally designed their implementation to last approximately six months.
The City is strategically implementing PBB to address the following challenges:
- Identify all programs and services that the City provides;
- Understand where the City is allocating its resources and how that aligns with the City’s strategic plan;
- Take initial steps to realign resources to support City Council’s priorities
- Enhance transparency on allocation of resources based on the who, what, where, and why;
- Understand what we do, why we do it, and how much it costs;
- Identify how to fiscally adjust as needed while minimizing the impact on the most critical programs and services;
- Improve efficiencies in city operations; cross-departmental functions; elimination of duplicate programs and services; partnerships in program delivery;
- Instill a culture that embraces the interconnectivity of strategic planning, organizational performance and resource alignment
Riverside is still working to institutionalize the use of PBB in their organization, and has made great strides with respect to how to use their insights to transform their financial position.
Where Riverside has truly excelled is with their executive sponsorship and leadership out of the city manager's office. They have a great, diverse project management team with representatives from all over their organization, who have been effective at communicating the why, where they are going, and their specific and strategic goals.
The following is from the city's priority based budgeting page of their municipal website:
In 2020, we measured a single-year reallocation of resources from 2019, and we are moved to share the results of our analysis here.