Toronto to hire new modernization chief, move more city services online

Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced a four-point modernization plan on Tuesday that he claims will save the city millions of dollars in efficiencies annually.

The plan includes hiring a chief transformation officer, moving more city services online, improving city office spaces and reviewing how to take advantage of the city’s land and property assets.

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“The kinds of efficiencies we’re going to achieve are in the operation of the city on a day-to-day basis, are things that are just common sense. Very few of them have any impact the people will notice. They are just things that should be done,” Tory told reporters during a press conference at city hall Tuesday morning.

The mayor said the area where the public will see the most difference is the way citizens access city services.

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“Serving people at the counter costs on average $23 per transaction. Serving people on the phone costs on average $16 per transaction. Web transactions done online costs us $2,” Tory explained.

“By migrating more services online where people expect to find them, where they want them, by introducing a new and improved city website by 2017, the city expects to save at least $8 million every year.”

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Tory said the city’s office modernization program, which includes changes to workspace layouts, staff engagement and new technology, will save between $4 to $6 million a year.

“This year we asked all city divisions and agencies for a 2.6 per cent in efficiencies, so they would be required to think differently about how we deliver services to the public,” he said.

“These are simple common sense changes that save our city money while improving service to the public.”