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Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative

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Resolution Category: 
Provincial Scope 1
Adopted - Active
Lethbridge, City of
Active Clauses: 

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the AUMA encourage municipalities to participate and collaborate, utilizing the AMBI grant from Alberta Municipal Affairs for ongoing benchmarking comparisons; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the AUMA lobby the Government of Alberta to provide funding for the Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative program.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS the Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (AMBI) is a collaboration of small and large municipalities;

WHEREAS this initiative has developed and implemented a framework that has enabled a continuous multi-year benchmarking process for the participating municipalities;

WHEREAS participating municipalities received key benefits in sharing ideas, using the network to discuss results and share practices and strategies collaborating on creative solutions to improve performance; and

WHEREAS participating municipalities received additional funding in March 2018 from the Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) to continue updating the benchmark reports with data from recent years.

Resolution Background: 

The Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative is a collaboration of small and large-municipalities. Their objective is to develop and implement a framework that will enable a continuous, multi-year benchmarking process for participating municipalities. The initiative includes identifying and gathering comparable metrics and preparing benchmarking reports to prompt questions, start discussions, identify and share leading practices, and ultimately improve the municipal services provided to Albertans.

The program began in November 2012 with a grant from Municipal Affairs' Regional Collaboration Program (Alberta Community Partnership). The grant was used to engage a consultant for initial data collection from 2009 to 2012, comparative analysis and reporting. Participating municipalities in phase two updated the data from 2012 to 2014.

A benchmark is an established point of reference against which things can be measured and compared. In this case, the benchmark is municipal service delivery metrics over time.

The data gathered in the benchmarking exercise sets the stage for each municipality to identify trends, compare their process with other municipalities, and encourage continuous improvement and effective positive change in the delivery of services to their residents.

The benefits and value of benchmarking includes the following:

  • It helps tell the municipal "performance story"
  • Benchmarking is a sound business practice often used by governments and private sector
  • It assists municipalities in sharing knowledge and best practices, and builds awareness of the value of collaboration
  • It identifies opportunities to improve service delivery and cost savings
  • It helps to align service requirements with budget
  • It encourages a culture of continuous improvement
  • It demonstrates transparency and accountability and value for money

One of the key benefits is to share ideas, partners use the network to discuss results and share their practices and strategies. It often starts with a question. Why did we get these results? How can we improve? What does your program look like?—and ends with collaboration on creative solutions to improve performance.

Government Response: 

Summary of response received from Alberta Municipal Affairs, January 17, 2019:

Alberta Municipal Affairs has provided two grants totaling $450,000 in support of the Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative.

Specifically, as it relates to Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Resolution 2018. A1, the 2017/18 Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) funding supported a second phase to collect and integrate additional data into the municipal service delivery benchmarking framework in eight service areas including water, wastewater, fire, police, solid waste, roadways, snow and ice management, and transit. All ACP grants are subject to application eligibility and program guidelines

AUMA Notes: 

Accepts the government response – no further action required

AUMA promoted the AMBI and how municipalities can join the initiaitve through our weekly newsletter, the Digest.