Local Government Performance Index (LGPI) ranks 11 Metro Vancouver municipalities for financial transparency, performance

Dollar signs, CHWIn a press release today, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy  today (3-Feb-2014) released the seventh annual edition of its influential index, which ranks the top 100 Canadian cities on their financial transparency and performance.

Eighteen B.C. municipalities are included, eleven of them in the Metro Vancouver region.

The Index ranks municipalities on ten components, with a maximum total score of 33. Some Metro municipalities moved up and others down in ranking, depending on how the performed compared to other municipalities.

Today’s media release states that “index scores have improved right across the country. Many cities have scored very highly by providing generously informative reporting, though a few cities still only provide minimal detail and have seen their rankings fall this year.”

Below are the cities in British Columbia, with bold text used for those in the Metro Vancouver region

  • Abbotsford, up 34 spots to 4th
  • Burnaby, up 47 spots to 26th
  • Chilliwack
  • Coquitlam, up 46 spots to 9th
  • Delta, down 16 spots to 41st
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Langley Township, down 17 spots to 26th
  • Maple Ridge, down 23 spots to 26th
  • Nanaimo
  • New Westminster, down 52 spots to 57th
  • Port Coquitlam, down 5 spots to 14th
  • Prince George
  • Richmond, up 21 spots to 4th
  • Saanich
  • Surrey, up 5 spots to 4th
  • Vancouver, down 12 spots to 26th
  • Victoria

Vancouver actually improved from 26 in 2011  to 27 points for the 2012 financial year. But in terms of ranking against 99 other municipalities, Vancouver dropped from 18th to 26th spot, because a lot of  cities have improved more than Vancouver.

Exerpts from media release.

Hosted at http://www.lgpi.ca, and measuring almost 30,000 individual data points, the Index is designed to shed light on how Canada’s largest municipalities are performing in comparison to others in their province and across the country. The index includes the top 100 cities in Canada as well as the capitals of all provinces and territories.

In addition to ranking cities based on financial transparency, the Index also features an extensive database of financial data from the audited financial statements of all 100 cities. In conjunction with the latest census data, this enables the Index to present absolute, per person and per household figures for a large variety of data points – everything from taxes and debt levels to spending on transport and salaries.

More notes…from website…

The Challenge of Two Tier Municipalities — FROM WEBSITE

One of the biggest challenges in compiling the LGPI, and there fore one of the greatest reasons for doing it, is the amount of difference between different municipalities’ financial statements.

The LGPI attempts to filter all of the different asset, revenue, and expenditure figures reported by municipalities into a single comparable format, however there are always challenges in ensuring comparability.

In British Columbia and Ontario, this challenge of producing comparable statistics is greatly increased by the need to account for two-tier municipalities.

In these cases, the municipal government costs and benefits incurred by a resident may not be entirely recorded in the local municipality, but may also lie with the regional municipality.

In this latest round of developing the LGPI software we are attempting to account for two tier costs by entering selected revenues and expenditures for districts and regionsas costs at the municipal level.

ABOUT – from website: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP) is an independent Canadian public policy think tank. Founded in Winnipeg in 1997, the Frontier Centre received charitable status in 1999 and currently has offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

Our research aims to analyze current affairs and public policies and develop effective and meaningful ideas for good governance and reform. We provide a platform for public debate and engage with the public through our numerous publications and events.

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