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management accounting for cities

A City Infrastructure Loan program would depend on such accounting, in order to measure benefits of projects so that the lender (federal government or a proxy, or potentially a private municipal bond? holder) could be paid back, without risk of the city being forced to dip into general revenues.

steps to achieve it


The following steps are important to achieve such accounting:
  1. a commitment to transparent municipalities with enough municipal autonomy to contract, borrow, report, sue and be sued
  2. continuous municipal performance audit focusing on small scale obligations and existing statistics
  3. 311 service so that citizens feedback is automatically caught and well integrated
  4. deeper municipal performance audit focusing on large scale obligations, e.g. meeting institutional buying criteria mandated in law, or making Kyoto Protocol reductions, or simply keeping the citizens well satisfied
  5. Beyond GAAP, measuring real capital assets and the impact on them of various choices, e.g. green procurement validation? and extensions perhaps to individual buying criteria of citizens: every economic choice made in the city impacts other citizens and it is increasingly easy to measure this
  6. attention to comprehensive outcomes and ecological footprint beyond mere energy and green procurement; every economic choice made in the city impacts the whole Earth and other people, and it is possible to measure the impact on value of life and even the value of Earth.

current best practice


The current civic best practices are represented by the Baltimore CitiStat model as extended by the Civic Efficiency Group to include Kyoto Protocol, 311 service, telework and emergency preparedness? risk and rewards. See City Infrastructure Loan for example.


sub-steps to achieve it

city management accounts

At this stage these have not yet been quantified. Some of these items may never be quatified in terms of direct economic benefits to the city, but they are nontheless valuable.

The following sub-steps will contribute to such accounting:
1. a commitment to transparent municipalities with enough municipal autonomy to contract, borrow, report, sue and be sued
  • greater public participation in policy-making
  • greater effectiveness in policy-making through broader public input
  • reduced debates on public policy issues through more thorough public consultation
  • reduction in the democratic deficit
  • more confidence in municipal government
  • higher turnout at municipal elections
  • reduced need for effort to monitor activities of lobbyists
  • reduced government scandals through greater transparency
  • reduced need for expensive public inquiries

2. continuous municipal performance audit focusing on small scale obligations and existing statistics
  • increase in desktop hardware standardization and boot image control
  • monitor reduced desktop computer support costs from increased boot image control

  • reduced use of paid overtime
  • better management of staff sick-leave

  • more efficient deployment of public works
  • reduced inspection costs through broader public input
  • better solid waste pickup
  • faster cleanup of illegal dumpsites through better public reporting

  • more effective law enforcement
  • better crime prediction and management
  • better targetting of crime prevention programs
  • better targetting of youth recreation programs to meet the needs of youth at risk

3. 311 service Virtual Call Centre will lead to an increase in teleworking, starting with the 311 service facility
  • reduced requirement for office space with more home work sites
  • reduced staff commuting, leading to tradeable Kyoto Carbon Credits.
  • more job opportunities for people with disabilities
  • reduced payments to people on disability support programs
  • more personal pride for people in the disabled community through job satisfaction
  • reduced road traffic
  • reduced road maintenance costs

  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • revenues from sales of registered greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction instruments
  • built-in emergency use site in even of main-office shutdowns.
  • eliminate costs for maintaining emergency sites.
  • reduced smog
  • reduced health costs for respiratory illnesses

  • reduced cost of 311 service results in increasing service coverage eg. more languages
  • increase in 311 service for native languages such as Cree results in better inclusion of First Nations into urban society
  • increased decentralization of public infrastructure
  • greater distribution of telework employment opportunities to communities which have faced layoffs from declining resource-based industries.
  • increase availability of municipal experts to satisfy requests of users of municipal services
  • smoother more ubiquitous delivery of municipal services in a manner than enables industry to rely on their timely delivery as a part of their business planning process


4. deeper municipal performance audit focusing on large scale obligations, e.g. meeting institutional buying criteria mandated in law, or making Kyoto Protocol reductions, or simply keeping the citizens well satisfied
  • meeting commitments to follow purchasing guidelines using Purchasing Information Centre
  • meeting "no-sweatshops" purchasing guidelines
  • electric power purchasing: sustainable power preferential purchase
  • reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) content of product purchases made by municipalities and other governments
  • Kyoto credits generated by tradeable instruments recording GHG savings from purchasing activity
  • reduced crime through improved municipal social services & youth recreation
  • reduced prison population and reduced corrections costs
  • increased sense of community safety

5. Beyond GAAP, measuring real capital assets and the impact on them of various choices, e.g. green procurement validation? and extensions perhaps to individual buying criteria of citizens: every economic choice made in the city impacts other citizens and it is increasingly easy to measure this
  • increase in industrial competitiveness
  • increase in social capital
  • increase in public trust
  • increase in effieciency of public and private business
  • reduced crime enforcement costs
  • improvement in industrial efficiency
  • increase in attractiveness as a business location
  • reduced car ownership through reduced commuting
  • improved health through reduced car ownership
  • reduced health-care costs through increased physical exercise and reduced car ownership.

6. attention to comprehensive outcomes and ecological footprint beyond mere energy and green procurement; every economic choice made in the city impacts the whole Earth and other people, and it is possible to measure the impact on value of life and even the value of Earth.
  • carbon emission savings benefits banked for future Kyoto agreements
  • reduced smog sets an example for all Great Lakes basin air emissions
  • Toronto actions establish a foundation for new air quality standards throughout the region.
  • broader global stability
  • reduced terrorism
  • increase sense of global security
  • reduction in species extinctions from human economic impacts



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