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September 13, 2006
City of Toronto wins 17 Public Sector Quality Fair Awards
  
The City of Toronto has won 17 awards to be presented at the 2006 Public Sector Quality Fair (PSQF). City initiatives will receive two gold, 10 silver and five bronze awards. This achievement is a major testament to the level of expertise and commitment within the Toronto Public Service.

Mayor David Miller said: “The City strives to deliver high quality services to our residents, businesses and visitors alike. These awards are an endorsement of the services we provide to our community.”

The PSQF is a province-wide showcase for service excellence in government, health care and education. Its objectives are to promote awareness and the use of quality principles and practices, to share ideas and to celebrate successes. All applications to the PSQF are evaluated against the same quality criteria that the National Quality Institute uses for the Canada Awards for Excellence. Submissions are assessed on a range of criteria, including leadership, citizen/client focus, people focus, process management, supplier/partner focus, and organizational performance.

“To be recognized for quality service demonstrates the commitment to excellence that the members of the Toronto Public Service bring to their work,” said City Manager Shirley Hoy.

The City’s group of entries was diverse, ranging from improving technological access within the organization and for the public, to environmental initiatives, new long-term care projects, fiscal planning, and training.

The 2006 Public Sector Quality Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This year’s theme is “Celebrating a Culture of Quality.” The City Manager will be a luncheon speaker at the event.

For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/city_manager.

See Backgrounder below.

Media contacts:

Sue Shatzky
Project Lead
City of Toronto
416-392-1237

Linda Peake
Communications Advisor
416-392-1442


Backgrounder

City of Toronto wins 17 Public Sector Quality Fair Awards

Accounting Services

Accounts Payable Early Payment Discount Initiative – Silver Award
The Accounts Payable Early Payment Discount Initiative was developed to take advantage of early payment discounts offered by City vendors. This initiative has saved the City over $655,000 to date and has resulted in a 228 per cent increase in 2005 from 2004 in early payment discounts obtained. The number of City vendors offering early payment discounts also has grown significantly. The Early Payment Discount Initiative has improved the level of customer satisfaction of internal and external clients and demonstrates the City’s ability to manage public money while being responsible and accountable.

Building

Residential FASTRACK – Gold Award
Residential FASTRACK is a building permit service for certain types of home renovations in existing houses with one or two units. Previously, this service was available only a half-day each week. It is now available all day, every business day, at each of the four district offices. The goal is to issue a permit over-the-counter as the applicant waits. This expedited service is offered to homeowners at no extra cost. Residential FASTRACK projects include: some first floor and basement additions, minor interior alterations, decks, verandas and porches, garages and carports, accessory structures (such as gazebos and storage sheds), basement entrances, underpinning and pool enclosures.

Training Initiative for Compliance with the Qualification Requirements of Regulation 305/03 for Building Officials – Silver Award
A new regulation in the Ontario Building Code Act came into effect in January 2006, which required new qualifications for building officials and building inspectors. A Training and Development Team, was established in 2003 to develop and provide an in-house comprehensive training program to prepare 251 Building employees to meet the qualification requirements. The training continued at an aggressive pace up to the end of 2005. During the on-going absence of staff attending courses, Building employees maintained service levels and continued to provide timely responses to the customers. This was accomplished by working extended hours and working at an exceptional pace.

City Clerk’s Office and Information and Technology

Electronic Financial Filing System for Municipal Candidates – Bronze Award
Based on a recommendation of the Toronto Election Finance Review Task Force, Council directed staff to develop an application to ensure “that the reporting of revenues and expenditures should be made more transparent by implementing electronic filing.” The Electronic Financial Filing System (EFFS) provides municipal candidates with a fully integrated application to manage campaign contributions from receipt to eventual financial statement filing, and for the City to publicly disclose the information on its website. The EFFS has two main components. One enables candidates to electronically complete contribution receipts, track contributors and the total amount of contributions received, and provides an “e-file” type application for the completion of mandatory financial statements. The second component provides access for the public and media to view and search financial statements and contributions online.

Corporate Finance

City of Toronto’s Long-Term Fiscal Plan – Silver Award
The Long-Term Fiscal Plan emphasizes the balancing of finance strategies through three components: revenues, expenditures and assets, and liabilities. It joins Council’s Strategic Plan and the Official Plan as tools with which the City is forging an integrated and co-ordinated planning management model. The Long-Term Fiscal Plan provides the basis for negotiations with other orders of governments to assist in achieving its strategic objectives within the context of a fiscally sustainable environment.

Fleet Services

Green Fleet Expo – Bronze Award
The Cities of Toronto and Hamilton, along with Fleet Challenge Ontario hosted the inaugural Green Fleet Expo, a one-day exposition of green fleet technologies currently in use. Participants learned about developing green fleet plans, bio-diesel and bio-fuels program. Toronto and Hamilton reported on the progress they have made with their green fleet plans, including fuels and green vehicles. Smart Cars, hybrid-electric, natural gas, E85 (MTO sedan), fuel-efficient diesel and bio-diesel vehicles were available to test drive.

Homes for the Aged

Creating a Gay Positive Environment in a Long-Term Care Home – Bronze Award
Fudger House embarked on this quality improvement initiative to address a gap in the long-term care needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors (GLBT) in Toronto. Input from residents, clients, families and key stakeholders indicated that the community wanted a home to take on a stronger role in providing care and services. Homes for the Aged supported a unique alliance between Fudger House and The 519 Church Street Community Centre. Fudger House was a natural partner in this initiative, as it serves members of the GLBT community. The goals of the initiative were to enhance sensitivity and responsiveness to GLBT issues, educate managers and staff, and provide advice on policies and procedures revisions.

A Low-Tolerance, Long-Duration Rehabilitation for Stroke Survivors in Long-Term Care – Silver Award
The Low-Tolerance, Long-Duration (LTLD) program at Castleview Wychwood Towers was implemented to provide an appropriate alternative for stroke survivors. The program allows for early discharge from acute care and rehabilitation hospitals for individuals who require additional restorative care, support and the time required to recover before returning to their own homes. Castleview Wychwood Towers and a multidisciplinary team can better serve this population in the continuum of care by providing restorative care, support and recovery time to assist stroke survivors waiting in hospital for rehab beds, to return to and manage in their own homes. The early discharge for stroke survivors also frees up much needed hospital beds in acute care facilities.

Human Resources and Information and Technology

City of Toronto’s External Online Web Resume and Application Form – Bronze Award
The City of Toronto implemented an online application form in October 2005. The form allows members of the public to apply to new, ongoing and summer job opportunities posted on the internet. The public can also submit resumes, which are inputted directly into the Resumix database. The database eliminates the need for manual processing. Human Resources representatives search this database as new opportunities arise. Since implementation, 41,000 unsolicited resumes have been received directly into the Resumix database. This online service is in addition to applying through mail, hand delivery or by fax. The development and implementation of this form was a co-operative project between Human Resources and the Information and Technology divisions.

Human Resources

Toronto Public Service Peer Learning – Silver Award
The Peer Learning Program was a 12-month cycle of self-directed training sessions empowering small teams of employees to take charge of their own learning. Each learning team co-operatively selected topics the group wanted to learn about; team members researched their topic, presented back to the group so all benefited and received feedback on their performance. Peer Learning was piloted, successfully implemented, evaluated and refined over a five-year period, providing more than 125 City employees with a unique, and in some cases, work-life altering, learning experience.

Information and Technology

Technology End-of-Lease Strategy (TELS) – Gold Award
The Technology End-of-Lease Strategy (TELS) was implemented to end the City’s lease agreement for its computers, servers and software licences. TELS facilitated the upgrade of hardware and software platforms and the replacement of old technology equipment with City-owned new assets. TELS included a long-term strategy to ensure the regular upgrade of the City’s hardware and software platforms. More than 18,000 desktops and laptops were replaced or upgraded. Sub-standard monitors, printers and other peripherals, such as scanners and CD burners, were replaced as required. TELS also replaced or upgraded about 300 servers and other infrastructure components. One of the project’s guiding principles was that these technology changes should be seamless, without disruption to users. TELS achieved its objective and successfully met all deployment targets in an accelerated timeframe, between March and December 2005.

Parks, Forestry and Recreation

Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat – Silver Award
The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat is an ecological restoration project with a self-sustaining community of native vegetation designed to attract a variety of native species of butterflies. The Habitat consists of three distinct areas: a short grass prairie, a large natural meadow and a Home Garden. Each area incorporates a diversity of native wildflowers, shrubs, trees and grasses known to support a variety of butterfly species. The Home Garden gives the public a chance to see first hand some of the types of plants they can use in their own backyards to increase urban wildlife habitat. Located between Lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail, the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat is approximately 1.5 hectares in size.

ReActivate TO! An Organizational Review Program – Silver Award
ReActivate TO! began with consultation sessions with the public and City of Toronto staff. The outcome was Our Common Grounds, a strategic plan that set the divisions’ priorities to 2020 in three areas: Environmental Stewardship, Child and Youth Development, and Lifelong Active Living. The project also targets service improvement priorities in these categories: Parks and Trees Renaissance, Youth, Getting the Service Right, and Community and Stakeholder Engagement. ReActivate TO! sets the future direction for Parks, Forestry and Recreation services and ensures it is responsive and reflective of Toronto’s diversity.

Public Health

How a Business Process Review Improved Customer Service for Toronto Public Health Tuberculosis Medical Surveillance and Drug Ordering Clients – Silver Award
Toronto Public Health’s Tuberculosis Program collaborated with Public Health Information and Technology to complete a business process review of the Medical Surveillance and Drug Ordering Section. The goals of the review were to improve customer service, achieve efficiencies, and to ensure that the skills of the Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) were effectively utilized. The success of the initiative was due, in part, to collaboration, receptiveness to new ideas and a willingness to effect positive change. The results were improved customer service by removing duplicate processes, clarifying staff roles and responsibilities, updating policies and procedures, and improving communication with clients and community physicians.

Social Services

The Advanced Case Management Initiative – Silver Award
Between January 2005 and June 2006, Toronto Social Services provided more than 240 total days of training to over 1,200 Social Service caseworkers as part of its Advanced Case Management training initiative. The objective of the initiative was to improve client service by providing caseworkers with the tools and knowledge to assess individual client needs and make appropriate referrals. The Advanced Case Management Initiative helped to enhance caseworkers’ ability to complete comprehensive asset-based assessments and resulted in developing more appropriate service plans with clients and in overall improvements in service quality.

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

Transition to Work Pilot Project – Bronze Award
The Transition to Work Pilot Project (TWPP) was established as part of the evolution of homeless services in the City of Toronto from crisis intervention toward early intervention, alleviation and prevention. Historically, much of the focus has been on providing immediate shelter and sustenance for homeless individuals. Attention is now shifting toward reducing homelessness by broadening policy and program efforts to include the four essential domains of homelessness service provision: housing, employment, well-being services, and social supports. TWPP team members developed a ‘made-in-Toronto’ model for employability services appropriate for the homeless or at-risk population. The Transition to Work Pilot Project is currently in place at two homeless facilities demonstrating how employability services can contribute significantly to the early and successful reintegration of homeless clients into community life.

Toronto Water

Residential Washer Program – Silver Award
Toronto’s Residential Washer Program offers residents $60 cash back on the purchase of new high-efficiency washing machines. Compared to conventional washers, high-efficiency models use 40 per cent less water and 60 per cent less energy. High-efficiency washers will help the City to reduce water use by 15 per cent by 2011. As of September 1, the program has already exceeded its 2006 target of 4,600 washer replacements.


 

 

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