Budget Transparency Policy

APPROVED

 July 29, 2021

 Minute No: P2021-0729-3.0.

REVIEWED (R) AND/OR AMENDED (A)

 

 

REPORTING REQUIREMENT

 

LEGISLATION

Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, as amended, s. 31(1)(c);

 

TAGS

Accountability, Budget, Interaction with Public, Data and Records, Community Relations

Guiding Principles

The Toronto Police Services Board (the Board) is committed to providing fair, effective, efficient, equitable and accountable policing services to the members of Toronto’s diverse communities.  The Board recognizes that the Toronto Police Service (the Service) budget is a matter of significant and legitimate public interest, particularly within the context of various municipal budget priorities, limited resources and increasing demands on the City of Toronto. Accountability and enhanced transparency in the police budgetary process will help create a better understanding of the Board’s and Service’s priorities, how resources are allocated to address these priorities in an efficient manner, and, ultimately, enhance trust in how public funds are allocated to enable the effective work of the Service.

Purpose of Policy

It is the purpose of this Policy to:

  • Enhance accountability to the public regarding the police budget and the budget process that leads to an approved budget;
  • Encourage greater and more meaningful participation of members of the public in the Board’s budget process; and,
  • Enhance public understanding of and trust in the work of the Board and the Service.

Policy of the Board

It is, therefore, the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that the Chief of Police will:

Enhancing Budget Information for Public

  1. Post an annual line-by-line breakdown of the Toronto Police Service’s operating and capital budget requests to the Board on the Service’s website at the outset of every annual budget process;
  2. If the operating budget request has been materially altered, post a line-by-line breakdown of the Board-approved Toronto Police Service operating and capital budgets on the Service’s website at the end of every annual budget process, or, if no material alteration has been made, post an addendum on the Service’s website confirming the approval, outlining any changes to the budget request on a Service-wide total;
  3. Organize all line-by-line breakdowns by individual program area, function and service delivered, subject to the need to protect investigative techniques and operations, and in such a way as to provide maximum transparency to the public, including providing the breakdowns in a machine-readable, open dataset format, with a view to facilitating accessibility and meaningful analysis of this information;
  4. Post an annual Budget Summary and Uniform/Civilian Staffing Summary by Command, with Approved, Proposed and Actual amounts in a machine-readable, open dataset format to the Service’s website, and provide the City of Toronto with the same information for posting on its open data portal;

Enhancements to the Budget Public Consultation Process

  1. Facilitate effective and engaging public consultation throughout the budget development process, bringing forward analyses of service delivery, including relevant statistics, trends, comparisons to benchmarks and generally-accepted standards of service delivery, where available (e.g., International Association of Chiefs of Police standards; National Emergency Number Association standards), and opportunities for service delivery partnerships, improvements and efficiencies; and
  2. Develop an internal and external communication strategy that employs various communication methods and tools (e.g., infographics, video clips, social media, etc.), broken down by phases, that allows members and the public to understand the budget development process and how they can participate.

Tags: accountability, budget and finance, data and records, interaction with public, community relations

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