24 September 2012



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service







That the Ottawa Police Services Board:


  1. Direct staff to prepare the 2013 Draft Operating and Capital Budgets in accordance with a 2.5% tax rate increase.


  1. Approve the 2013 Budget Review and Approval Timetable.




Section 39 of the Police Services Act requires the Ottawa Police Services Board to approve annual budget allocations for the Ottawa Police Service to maintain the Police Service and provide it with equipment and facilities.  In conjunction with the OPS Business Plan and other strategic planning documents, the annual budget review and approval process enables the Board to set its priorities and provide direction to management.  The resulting approved budget funds service levels, provides the authority to proceed with key operational projects and puts in place the necessary financial resources to carry out the 2013 work plan.


Council has provided guidelines to the Board on both the target and the timetable for the 2013 Budget.  On June 13, 2012, the Council approved that:


“As part of the annual budget process, the budget allocation for all local Boards and Commissions be based on their individual pro-rated share of a 2.5% tax increase and an estimated 2% increase in taxes resulting from growth in assessment, and that Council request that these Boards and Commissions develop their draft budgets within their annual allocation.”


At the same meeting, Council also established the timelines for the review and approval process for the 2013 budge, which is set for the end of November.


The recommendations in this report conform to Council’s requested direction.




2013 Budget Schedule


The schedule in Table 1 provides the key dates for the tabling, public consultation, consideration and approval of the Board’s 2013 budget in accordance with Council’s direction.  Staff will table the draft budget document with the Board at a special meeting on 24 October 2012.  Staff will attend the consultation sessions sponsored by the City in November to gain feedback on the budget proposal.  Public delegations, Board consideration, review and approval is scheduled for the Board’s regular meeting on 26 November 2012.  Council will consider the Board’s recommended budget on 28 November 2012.


Table 1


Ottawa Police Service Budget Review and Approval Timetable




PSB Regular Meeting:  Approval of Budget Timetable


24 September


PSB Special Meeting & City Council Meeting: Tabling of Draft 2013 Budget

24 October


Public Consultation Sessions


Week of 29 Oct – Nov 2


PSB Regular Meeting: Public Delegations and Review; Consideration and Approval of 2013 Budget

November 26


City Council Meeting:  Approval of 2013 Budget


November 28



2013 Operating Budget Forecast


The Operating Budget Forecast for 2013 that was tabled during the 2012 budget process is summarized in Table 2.  It has been adjusted to reflect new assessment base growth estimates provided by City staff.  The increase for 2013 was estimated at $9.4 million.  When revenue from assessment growth ($4.0 million) is applied, the result will be a 2.5% increase in the Police Tax Rate.   


Staff is preparing the 2013 Draft Operating Budget in accordance with this forecast.  Pressures and off-setting solutions have been identified during the budget development process so as to keep the tax rate increase at 2.5%.  These issues will be itemized in the draft budget to be tabled by staff on 24 October 2012.  This approach conforms with Council’s direction that the 2013 tax rate increase be a maximum of 2.5%.


Table 2


2013 Operating Forecast

 As tabled during the 2012 Budget Process ($ Millions)


Incremental Requirement




Maintain Services



  $  0.0

Business Plan

$  0.2


($  1.9)

User Fees and Charges

($  0.2)

Incremental Requirement

$  9.5

Less Assessment Growth at 2%

($  4.0)*

Net Taxation Increase Requirement

$   5.5


Police Tax Rate Increase


                        Updated as per revised estimate provided by the City in its June 5, 2012 report to the Finance & Economic Development Committee.


Multi-Year Forecast


Staff will be tabling high-level operating budget forecasts for the 2014-2016 period in keeping with the recommendations from the Auditor-General’s review of the Board’s budget process.  The estimates tabled will conform to Council’s direction that tax rate increases for 2012-2014 be a maximum of 2.5%.  


Service Initiative


The OPS has launched a critical project—the Service Initiative (SI)—to ensure that it is positioned to succeed in an environment of rising expectations and declining resources.  SI is a comprehensive program with short-and-long-term goals that will position the OPS to meet the challenges facing policing.


Policing in Canada is facing unprecedented challenges in relation to demographics, changing patterns of crime, complexities of the court system, public expectations and fiscal pressures.  As part of its Mid-Term Business Plan Review in the fall of 2011, the Board recognized these challenges and the opportunity to lead change within the Ottawa Police Service and the Canadian police sector. It directed that OPS begin a review of its service aimed at identifying efficiencies and ensuring value for money.


Following that direction from the Board, the OPS has launched the SI which is designed to identify service improvements, efficiencies, and new or alternative ways of doing business.  The goal of this initiative is to identify opportunities that allow the organization to reinvest in service to citizens and meet our policing responsibilities in an era of constrained budgets.


Some early key projects have been identified that will both improve service to citizens, while bringing potential cost and capacity savings. These initiatives include developing multiple formats for access to police services through a variety of self-reporting options. A good example of this is the establishment of Collision Reporting Centres that will improve service to residents, build capacity in front-line patrol and produce cost-recovery opportunities.


Other organizations, like the City of Ottawa, have undertaken similar long-term strategies designed to bring fundamental change, and OPS is learning from and leveraging the experience of those earlier efforts. A key factor in these efforts is the involvement and ideas of front-line staff and the OPS strategy will include that vital component.


The SI project team is currently drafting a report for the Board that will be presented in the fall that outlines the longer-term processes and opportunities that will guide this effort into the future.




Public consultation is an integral part of the Board’s annual budget process.  The public will have opportunities to attend public consultation meetings scheduled during the week of 29 October 2012 to 2 November 2012. These meetings are part of the City’s budget consultation process and will be held in various locations throughout the City.   Staff from the Finance Section and the operational areas of OPS will be in attendance to answer questions about the OPS budget.


Public delegations are also welcome at the 26 November 2012 meeting of the Board when it reviews, considers and approves the 2013 Police Budget.




The financial implications of the 2013 budget and forecast are detailed in the body of the report.




The Police Tax Rate increase and timetable outlined in the report conforms to City Council’s direction and will allow the 2013 Operating and Capital budgets to be approved before the start of 2013. 




(original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police