Dominique O’Rourke
(p.23) Corporate Communications and Customer Service: It's great to see the Purchased Services category decrease 2.1% in 2020 to $265,890 from $271,630 in 2019; however it is still significantly above the 2018 actuals ($213,441). What accounts for the increase over the past two years? What  measures are in place to reduce purchased services when possible? 

What explains the overall net budget increase of $332,682 since 2018? What could be stopped or removed and what would the impact be? 

Main drivers for 2018 to 2020 increase:

  • Re-organization: the community engagement function became part of the department in 2019. The majority of the CCCS net budget increase from 2018 to 2020 is explained by the transfer of two FTEs and their compensation, goods and services budgets. This has a net zero impact on the organization as a whole (merely a transfer from one department to another.)
  • Consolidation of corporate advertising: the CCCS budget increased after funds for advertising were transferred from elsewhere in the organization. This increase to the CCCS budget is offset by budget reductions in other BUs across the organization.
  • Purchased services: this line item has increased in order for the department to support significant new corporate initiatives such as customer service, a survey and data management governance framework, the Strategic Plan, and a communications master plan for the organization.

How we’re reducing purchased services:

  • In 2019 we re-negotiated our advertising rate with the Guelph Mercury-Tribune which is resulting in reduced expenditures.
  • We reduced the overall size of most of our print ads, thereby using less space per week, which is resulting in reduced expenditures;
  • We have changed the ratio of print to digital advertising—having increased our digital advertising and decreased our print advertising spend, which is resulting in savings;
  • We have reduced discretionary advertising in favour of other forms of digital communication, which has resulted in a reduction in expenditures.