City of Richmond 2004 Annual Report

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					2005 Annual Report, City of Richmond, British Columbia
UBCM 2006 Community Excellence Awards Submission
Best Practices – Best Annual Reporting

Summary of Project Submitted
The City of Richmond’s 2005 Annual Report goes well beyond the reporting requirements set
out in the Community Charter, serving multiple audiences and uses. The Annual Report,
produced completely in-house, is a tool for civic accountably and open communication with
taxpayers and a valuable tool for attracting new investment to the City. It is a visually appealing
and cost effective way of documenting and celebrating City achievements and initiatives. With
its focus on future objectives and measures of success, the Annual Report enhances the City’s
accountability and public awareness of local government roles, initiatives and priorities.




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2005 Annual Report, City of Richmond, British Columbia
UBCM 2006 Community Excellence Awards Submission
Best Practices – Best Annual Reporting

City of Richmond Annual Report
The City of Richmond is a recognized leader in local government administration, having
received numerous awards for innovation, best practices and cost-effective solutions. This
commitment to excellence is exemplified in the City of Richmond 2005 Annual Report.
Significantly more than a financial reporting tool, the Annual Report goes beyond the reporting
requirements of the Community Charter, serving multiple audiences and uses. It is a vehicle for
ongoing communication with the community, demonstrating open, transparent, and respo nsible
government. Producing the Annual Report in-house at nominal cost per copy, reinforces
Richmond’s commitment to cost-effective government. The Annual Report serves as an
information resource for public and staff about City trends, achievements, objec tives, and
success measures. The Annual Report is also a marketing tool for potential investors, business
people and prospective residents, providing information on jobs, labour market, demographics,
and community characteristics.

The City of Richmond Annual Report has become a valuable tool for celebrating and
documenting milestones and significant accomplishments. It focuses on the social and
environmental as well as financial aspects of City governance and highlights programs, services,
projects, initiatives, and innovations. The professional quality and design, and easy-to-read style
make the Annual Reports appealing to readers. The Annual Report showcases some of the best
that Richmond has to offer through images, text, graphs and tables.


Communication and Accountability
The City of Richmond believes it is important to inform residents and business people about the
extent of the work the City is engaged in on the community’s behalf. To communicate with and
be accountable to the community regarding these initiatives, the City uses many tools, a key one
of which is the Annual Report. The Report showcases the many ways in which the City has
worked over the year to enhance quality of life and economic well-being of the community
across a wide spectrum of services. The Annual Report also provides an update for the
community on the City’s major projects, including the Canada Line construction and the
Richmond Oval. The Annual Report augments other avenues of dialogue between the City and
the community, including public open houses, meetings, public consultation sessions,
publications, media announcements and special events.

For years now, the City’s Annual Reports have been requested by business people and
individuals, both those living or working in Richmond and those considering moving to this city.
In the Report they can learn more about the City’s services and amenities and gain insight into
the professionalism and community engagement with which Richmond conducts its business.
For this reason the Annual Report is also used by real estate agents to attract new residents to the
community.


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To enhance accountability and access to the Annual Report, it is posted on the City’s web site, it
is made available in hard copy format for pick up or mail out, and in electronic formats for email
distribution.

To facilitate public review of the Annual Report and the City’s Financial Statements, the 2005
Annual Report was made available at City Hall and on the City’s website two weeks before
being reviewed by the City’s Finance Select Committee and three weeks before being presented
to City Council. Both the Finance Select Committee and City Council meetings were open to the
public. To allow for public delegations and input regarding the content of the Annual Report,
advertisements were placed in the local newspaper two weeks in advance, advising of the Annual
Report’s availability and the dates when it would be reviewed by Council (see attached
advertisement).

2005 Annual Report Public Review Dates:
Available for pick up at City Hall and on the website               June 5, 2006
Advertisement in the local newspaper                                June 8 and 15, 2006
Finance Select Committee Meeting                                    June 20, 2006
City Council Meeting                                                June 26, 2006


Cost Effective Annual Report Production
The City of Richmond produces and prints the Annual Report in- house in a cost effective
manner. It is created by a cross-divisional Annual Report Team involving graphic designers,
accounting and budgets staff, researchers, and communications and finance managers. Managers
and staff across the City submit accomplishments for inclusion. The Annual Report Team works
collaboratively on content, photography, design, layout, and production. The City’s Production
Centre staff create the Report’s design using Adobe InDesign CS and print it in-house using a
Canon 5000 colour laser copier. Producing the Annual Report in- house has resulted in significant
cost savings for the City, while allowing for maximum flexibility and creativity in content,
design, and production. The production cost per copy for the 2005 Annual Report is $1.42.

The Annual Report is designed to serve multiple needs and users in one document by providing
an array of valuable information beyond the basic financial reporting requirements. This saves
the City both time and cost that would be required to produce different publications for different
needs.


Award Wining Annual Reports
The City of Richmond’s Annual Reports have been recognized by the Government Finance
Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) as meeting the highest standards
for financial reporting and transparent communication with the community. The City was
presented with the GFOA Canadian Award for Financial Reporting for the 2002, 2003 and 2004
Annual Reports. The award acknowledges the Annual Reports for being easily readable,
efficiently organized, for going beyond the reporting requirements of generally accepted
accounting practices, and for conforming to the GFOA financial reporting standards.


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Annual Report Content
The City of Richmond has taken an innovative approach to the content of the Annual Report. A
community profile features key aspects of Richmond’s economy, cultural make- up, and
environment as well as an overview of City governance and services. Significant C ity
achievements and initiatives are presented under the headings of Appealing, Livable, and Well-
Managed, to showcase how the City is carrying out its vision to be the most appealing, livable,
and well- managed community in Canada. Events and achievements of particular significance are
featured in special sections. As well, the Annual Report acknowledges the many awards the City
has achieved over the year in recognition of initiatives which are innovative, sustainable, and on
the leading edge in municipal administration.

Financial statements, statistical tables and demographic information are presented in clear,
visually appealing, and easy-to-read formats. Demographic statistics include population trends,
immigrant status, education and occupations of residents, jobs in Richmond and recreation
participation. Business and development statistics include business licences, housing starts,
housing mix, and building permit construction value. City financial statistics include budgeted
construction costs, debt per capita and debt repayment, reserves, surplus, tax rates, taxes
collected for other authorities, and the breakdown of one dollar of municipal tax by type of
expenditure. The detailed statistics section provides much of the information most commonly
requested by residents and making it available on the City’s web site has reduced the number of
telephone inquiries.


Objectives and Measures
As a leader among Canadian cities, Richmond is committed to continuous improvement in the
way it conducts business and delivers services to the public. This pursuit of excellence is detailed
in the City of Richmond Corporate Plan, which defines the City’s vision, mission, and corporate
values. The Corporate Plan forms the basis for the City’s objectives for the coming years and is
updated on a regular basis to reflect the City’s emerging and ongoing strategies and objectives.

As outlined in the Community Charter, the City has included in the Annual Report a listing of
these key municipal objectives for 2005, 2006 and 2007. As a way for the City and community
to measure the City’s progress towards these objectives, the Annual Report includes specific
success indictors for each of the City’s major objectives.

City Council plays a key role in defining the City’s priorities and directions. The City’s vision,
mission and values have been set by Council and form the basis for all City initiatives and
services. For each three year term, City Council sets its key goals, priorities and initiatives based
on Council’s interaction with the public and knowledge of the issues and trends facing the City.
These goals are reaffirmed by Council each year through the annual budget process and through
the long term capital planning process. The goals and objectives outlined in the Annual Report
represent Council’s term goals. The success measures are developed from the specific work
plans and capital projects approved for the year.



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Community Involve ment
Each year the City hosts public Open Houses to present the annual capital program to res idents
and to provide an opportunity for feedback. Other sessions are held throughout the year to
provide information and to seek community input into specific projects, directions and key
initiatives. Community advisory committees, interest groups, and co ncerned citizens also
regularly provide input and feedback to City Council on specific issues. This feedback is taken
into account when the Council sets the goals and priorities for the City.

Summary
The City of Richmond’s 2005 Annual Report goes well beyond the reporting requirements set
out in the Community Charter, serving multiple audiences and uses. The Annual Report,
produced completely in-house, is a tool for civic accountably and open communication with
taxpayers and a valuable tool for attracting new investment to the City. It is a visually appealing
and cost effective way of documenting and celebrating City achievements and initiatives. With
its focus on future objectives and measures of success, the Annual Report enhances the City’s
accountability and public awareness of local government roles, initiatives and priorities.




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