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Feb 06, 2018 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Targets Red Tape to Improve Efficiency

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, Feb. 6, 2018 – Coquitlam cut red tape, streamlined processes and improved efficiency in 14 areas last year as part of its ongoing effort to hone the City’s services. 

The improvements stemmed from the work of the Staff Committee on Business Improvements and Customer Service, which was started in 2010 and looks for ways to deliver services in the most user-friendly, efficient and effective way. 

The committee has completed 298 initiatives to date, with 17 items tackled in 2017, including the following:

  • Streamlining and improving processes by reducing turnaround time for development application reviews, developing a staged building permit process, and improving how the City manages events and deals with excavated material;
  • Meeting changing community needs by modernizing the Litter and Desecration Bylaw and developing policies and procedures related to public-private partnerships and the density bonus contributions from developers; 
  • Reviewing how customer service training is conducted and the Get Connected, Get Active program to ensure this financial assistance program is reaching the appropriate people,;
  • Leveraging technology with a new parks and recreation management and point-of-sale system, and by adding RCMP civilian staff to the human resources system;
  • Saving $12,000 per year by modernizing and merging recreation guides; and 
  • Improving safety by creating transportation-related Disaster Response Plans.

Fifty-three items were also added to the City’s growing “Stop Doing List” of activities that can be stopped, reduced in scope or done differently without affecting service, including:

  • Reducing insurance administration work by combining policies, and issuing 38 per cent fewer cheques by increasing electronic fund transfers;
  • Stopping separate registration opening days for recreation programs and using licensed trailers for back-up generators and distributing individual job posters to facilities; and
  • Streamlining staff recruitment and interview processes, using technology to reduce manual human resources work, and installing better wayfinding signage at City Hall. 

On Feb. 5, City Council approved the committee’s 2018 work plan, which includes:

  • Seeking service improvements in areas such as customer service, parks wayfinding and signage, and the pre-authorized tax payment plan; and
  • Reviewing courtesy passes, boulevard maintenance, digital asset management and contract management software. 

The committee will also make some internal changes in 2018, after turning its lens on itself last year and reviewing relevant literature and best practices. The changes will include:

  • Focusing on more complex initiatives with higher returns;
  • Improving accountability and representation among committee members, and; 
  • Examining how work plan items are identified and allowing for broader staff input.

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Media contact:
Graham Stuart
Manager Corporate Planning
604-927-3918
gstuart@coquitlam.ca