IT improvements & fiscal prudence highlighted in City’s Corporate Services’ preliminary 2021 budget
HAMILTON, ON - A continued focus on strong financial management and ensuring its IT systems continue to be able to support residents and City business virtually and-in person are key priorities outlined in the Corporate Services preliminary tax-funded operating budget presented to the City of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee (GIC) today.
The budget requests approximately $1 million in additional funding to accommodate cost increases, representing a 2.9% budget increase to its 2020 budget as well as a further investment of $243,000 for additional IT support.
The department’s total net operating budget for 2020 was $34,813,610.
- Key priorities in the department’s operating budget for 2021 to 2024 include:
- IT system and software upgrades
- Continuing to support the use of virtual services, including the use of virtual courts
- Navigating an uncertain investment climate
- Election planning
- Responding to legislative changes
- Evolution of Provincial Offences Court Services to a virtual accessible and inclusive model
- Expansion of the digital channel to support the delivery of property tax information
The Corporate Services Department contains several divisions, including the City Clerk’s Office, Customer Service, Financial Planning Administration and Policy, Financial Services and Taxation, Information Technology and Legal and Risk Management.
The department’s budget presentation also highlighted a number of achievements from 2020, which included:
- Maintaining the City’s AA+ credit rating
- Servicing nearly 600,000 calls through the City’s contact centre
- Supporting the move of numerous City services to virtual delivery due to the pandemic, including the move to virtual public meetings
- Improvements to the City’s financial management system that allow for enhanced reporting and tracking
- Navigating legislative changes during this pandemic with the support of expert internal legal and risk management support
- Developed a new Development Charges interest policy
Council will consider final approval of the City’s overall tax operating budget by late March.