Report to/Rapport au :


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


16 February 2010 / le 16 février 2010


Submitted by/Soumis par : Marian Simulik, City Treasurer/Trésorière municipale


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Ken Hughes, Deputy City Treasuruer, Revenue/ Trésorier Municipal Adjoint, Recettes

Finance Department/Services des finances

(613) 580-2424 x 13485


City Wide/à l'échelle de la Ville

Ref N°: ACS2010-CMR-FIN-0011













That the Planning and Environment Committee and Council receive this report on the 2009 general accounts write off of $200,562.25, as required by Schedule A, section 21 of the Delegation of Authority By-law 2009-231 for information.





Que le Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement et le Conseil prennent connaissance du présent rapport sur la radiation d’un montant de 200 562,25 $ des comptes généraux de 2009, tel que requis dans l’Annexe A, article 21 du Règlement sur la délégation de pouvoir 2009-231. 





The Finance Department is responsible for the collection of all accounts billed through the City’s Financial System including water and sewer services.  The City invoices for water and sewer services for residential (bi-monthly) and commercial (monthly) consumption. 


The Revenue Branch has implemented a rigorous process for follow-up, prescribed collection activities including tax rolling unpaid amounts and shutting off services, as well as partnering with three private collection agencies to collect outstanding balances.  This report addresses the accounts recommended for write-off in 2009 where collection was not successful due to a variety of reasons.





In 2009, the City, water billing invoiced approximately $216 million for water and sewer services.


The Finance Department makes every effort to collect all accounts receivable due to the City of Ottawa.  Efforts include letters, telephone calls, tax rolling unpaid amounts, shutting off services, referral to City Clerk and Solicitor Department to initiate a claim and assignment to private collection agencies.  In some instances for reasons that are often beyond the City’s control, full or partial amounts due cannot be paid.  Some of the reasons are death, bankruptcy, indigence, legal recommendation and expiry of the limitation period to commence a legal claim.  The limitation period for initiating litigation to collect amounts owed as prescribed by the Limitations Act, is two years from the date of the incident. This Act binds the City. 


In accordance with sections 21 the Delegation of Authority by-law, 2009-231, the City Treasurer is authorized to write-off general accounts receivable, which the City Treasurer has determined to be uncollectible and must report annually to the appropriate Standing Committee a list of amounts that have been written off over the previous year and the financial implications of writing off each item reported.


Document 1, on file with the Deputy City Treasurer, Revenue, outlines the 233 accounts totalling $200,562.25 deemed uncollectible in 2009 that have been removed from the City’s financial system.  This represents 0.0009% of the total water and sewer services billed in 2009. 


The Finance Department policy is that all write-offs are charged back against the allowance for doubtful accounts (AFDA) for water and sewer services.  Given the write-offs are charged back to the AFDA, the write-offs do not impact the rate budget or Department’s 2009 financials. 





The public consultation process is not applicable.





There are no legal or risk management impediments to implementing the recommendation in this report.





There is no impact to the Department’s 2009 financials as sufficient funds were provided to the AFDA.





There are no rural implications to implementing the recommendation in this report.





Specific details relating to general accounts receivable deemed uncollectible in 2009 are on file with the Deputy City Treasurer, Revenue.





Following consideration by Planning and Environment Committee, this report will be forwarded to Council for its information.