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Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative

The Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative is a collaboration of small and large-municipalities. Their objective is to develop and implement a framework that will enable a continuous, multi-year benchmarking process for participating municipalities. The initiative includes identifying and gathering comparable metrics and preparing benchmarking reports to prompt questions, start discussions, identify and share leading practices, and ultimately improve the municipal services provided to Albertans.

Initiative History

The program began in November 2012 with a grant from Municipal Affairs' Regional Collaboration Program. The grant was used to engage a consultant for initial data collection from 2009 to 2012, comparative analysis and reporting. Participating municipalities in phase two updated the data from 2012 to 2014.

What is Benchmarking?

A benchmark is an established point of reference against which things can be measured and compared. In this case, the benchmark is municipal service delivery metrics over time. 

The data gathered in the benchmarking exercise sets the stage for each municipality to identify trends, compare their process with other municipalities, and encourage continuous improvement and effective positive change in the delivery of services to their residents.

Why Benchmarking?

  • It helps tell the municipal "performance story"
  • Benchmarking is a sound business practice often used by governments and private sector
  • It assists municipalities in sharing knowledge and best practices, and builds awareness of the value of collaboration
  • It identifies opportunities to improve service delivery and cost savings
  • It helps to align service requirements with budget
  • It encourages a culture of continuous improvement
  • It demonstrates transparency and accountability and value for money

One of the key benefits is to share ideas, partners use the network to discuss results and share their practices and strategies. It often starts with a question. Why did we get these results? How can we improve? What does your program look like?—and ends with collaboration on creative solutions to improve performance.

Participating Municipalities:

  • Airdrie
  • Banff
  • Canmore
  • Cochrane
  • Red Deer
  • Medicine Hat
  • Lethbridge
  • Okotoks
  • Wetaskiwin

The following service areas benchmarked for efficiency and effectiveness performance measures are:

  1. Drinking Water Supply
  2. Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Disposal 
  3. Fire Protection
  4. Residential Solid Waste Management
  5. Police Protection
  6. Roadway Operations and Maintenance
  7. Snow and Ice Management
  8. Transit

To date the following Benchmarking Reports and Presentations have been completed:

Drinking Water

Fire Protection

Additional reports will be published as they become available.

For more information about the Alberta Municipal Benchmark Program please contact:

Joel Sanchez M, P.Eng
Corporate Asset Manager
Email: joel.sanchez@lethbridge.ca
Telephone:  403 320 3037