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Action Plan Glossary

2020 Sustainability Direction (2020SD) – a translation of the imagineCALGARY long term vision for Calgary into a ten year timeframe. The ten year timeframe provides a strategic road map that enables Administration to link business plans and performance targets to the longer term vision and targets identified in imagineCALGARY, the Calgary Transportation Plan, the Municipal Development Plan and other long-term plans.

Account Categories – refer to revenues, recoveries and expenditures.

Account Groups – refer to account groupings such as user fees, materials & equipment, and salary and wages.

Accountability Reporting – reports from Administration to Council reporting on progress in achieving business plan goals and targets, and adherence to approved budgets.

Adjustments – Annual review and Council approval of changes to the approved business plans and budgets. Adjustments occur each year of the business cycle after the initial approval of the four year plans and budgets, and are used to allow the organization to adapt to emerging issues and unforeseen events.

Alternative Service Delivery – the provision of services, that were traditionally provided by City staff, by an external organization including community partners and not-for profit organizations, public/ private partnerships, other orders of government or the private sector.

Base – Recurring revenues, recoveries, and expenditures. They are not one-time.

Benchmark – an established point of reference against which performance can be measured and compared, for purposes of learning and identifying best practices.

Budget Projection – a high-level estimate projecting the operating revenues and costs of the current year’s levels of service into the future, including such significant impacts as new capital projects, labour settlements, user fee growth, population growth and inflation.

Business Plan – a document that describes a department’s outcomes, measures of success (performance measures and targets), and the strategies and specific actions that will be undertaken to achieve these outcomes.

Business Unit – the third level of the organizational structure of The City of Calgary representing a specific business function typically with the leadership of a Director. The City of Calgary has 30 business units represented within the Action Plan.

Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) – the CTP describes transportation for long-term mobility, growth and development patterns in Calgary. It contributes to the shaping of our communities and employment centres, and it determines how we move within and among these places. The plan provides policies that integrate social, economic and environmental objectives for the next 30 years with a focus on mobility. The policies in the CTP are linked directly to those in the Municipal Development Plan.

Capital Assets – items such as plant, equipment, vehicles, structures and systems needed for provision of municipal services that are owned and operated by The City, and whose useful life extends beyond one year.

Capital Budget – expenditures and financing to acquire assets or construction of projects whose lifespan is usually more than one year (e.g. construction of a light rail transit line).

Capital Plan – a 2015-2019 Capital Plan is the 2015-2018 Capital Budget plus all the projects planning to commence in 2019 including funded and unfunded projects.

Civic Partners – 14 specific not-for-profit organizations that have a formal and legal relationship with The City of Calgary to provide services or programs in conjunction with, or on behalf of The City (e.g., Calgary Public Library, Heritage Park. See Civic Partners section of Action Plan for full list).

Commitment – Details the department’s specific role towards achieving the associated Council Priority.

9 Common Revenues – a set of programs for revenues that are not proprietary to any department or business unit, including taxation, franchise fees, general revenue, and investment income.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) – a value calculated by Statistics Canada indicating the prices paid at an given point in time for a “basket of goods and services” by a typical household. The “basket” includes shelter, food, transportation, health and personal care items, household operations and furnishings, clothing and other expenditures.

Corporate Costs – a program for costs that are not proprietary to any department or business unit.

Corporate Costs & Debt Servicing – includes capital financing costs; civic and intergovernmental affairs; corporate costs; employee benefits; Gas, Power, and Telecommunication Committee and scholarships.

Corporate Programs – the combination of Common Revenues and Corporate Costs & Debt Servicing.

Council Priorities – each of the five priority headings (e.g. “A prosperous city”) are referred to as a Council Priority. The heading describes the desired result or end state.

Council Outcome – each Council Priority has an accompanying statement goal (e,g, “Every Calgarian lives in a safe, mixed and just neighbourhood, and has the opportunity to participate in civic life.”). Department actions and performance measures contribute to the achievement of Council Outcomes.

Council Strategic Action – each Council Priority has accompanying strategic action statements describing the strategies or actions to be undertaken by Administration during Action Plan 2015 – 2018 towards achieving the outcome.

Credit Rating – the rating given to The City by external rating agencies that describes The City’s ability to repay debt.

Debt Limit – The Municipal Government Act stipulates the maximum amount of debt principal that The City can have outstanding, expressed as a percentage of revenue.

Debt Service Limit – The Municipal Government Act stipulates the maximum annual debt servicing (principal and interest) The City can assume, expressed as a percentage of revenue.

Department – the 2nd level of organization in The City of Calgary organizational structure led by a General Manager. Each department includes a number of business units. The six departments included in Action Plan are: Utilities and Environmental Projection (UEP), Transportation (TRAN), Community Services and Protective Services (CSPS), Planning Development and Assessment (PDA), Corporate Services (CS), Corporate Administration (CA). The Chief Financial Officer’s Department (CFOD) is a department included in the Corporate Administration Departmental Business Plan.

Enabling Services – internal support to departments for front-line implementation of programs and services. Enabling service areas include communications, corporate properties, finance, fleet, human resources, information technology, infrastructure & information services, law, safety and supply.

Engagement – purposeful dialogue between The City and citizens and stakeholders to gather information to influence decision making.

Effectiveness – the extent to which outcomes are achieved. Outcomes are as defined by Council, citizen priorities, and longterm organizational goals. An effective delivery system achieves the maximum outcomes given the outputs delivered.

Efficiency –the relationship between inputs (typically expressed in terms of cost) and outputs (programs and services). Efficiency is concerned with the resources used per unit of output produced.

Expenditures – payment for items in a variety of areas such as, but not limited to, contract & general services; salaries, wages and benefits; materials & equipment.

Financial Outlook – a projection of the future financial position based on assumptions regarding future revenue and expenditure.

Fiscal Stability Reserve (FSR) – a contingency fund created by Council in January 2005 to cover significant emergencies or revenue shortfalls and as a source of funding for one-time operating projects. The Reserve’s investment income is used to fund one-time operating budget expenditures. The targeted reserve balance is set at 15 per cent of gross annual operating expenditures (net of recoveries and exclusive of utilities).

Franchise Fees – fee in lieu of property taxes based on an agreement granting a special franchise (e.g., use of City right of way for underground pipes). Paid by utility companies to The City. Also known as Municipal Consent Access Fees.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) – approved staff positions. One FTE equals one employee working full time hours for one year.

Funding – Sources of revenue such as but not limited to internal recoveries, tax support, fines and penalties, user fees, utility fees, waste and recycling fees.

Gross Expenditures (net of recoveries) – expenditures less internal recoveries from other business units.

Growth – a category of Capital Budget that includes infrastructure to service Calgary’s growth, in both population and area, demographic changes, and economic expansion. It includes “downstream” projects such as transportation improvements that are necessitated primarily by growth at the periphery of the city.

Growth Areas – specific geographically defined locations in the city that will be further developed to accommodate population or non-residential increases.

10 Growth Costs – net expenditures directly attributable to an increase in the population or geographical area of Calgary and which become included in base costs in the following year.

imagineCALGARY – long-term outlook document for the City of Calgary containing the 100-year vision and 30-year targets and goals, as well as strategies for accomplishing these goals. It was developed with input from thousands of Calgarians to help create a sustainable future and exceptional quality of life for generations to come.

Indicative Rates – a suggested tax rate or spending limit directed by Council and utilized by Administration for planning purposes when developing Action Plan 2015-2018.

Inflation – change in the overall price level (see Consumer Price Index or Municipal Price Index).

Leadership Team – this represents the Senior Management Team which includes Directors who are leaders of business units, General Managers and other senior staff.

Local Improvement Tax – special tax revenues collected from individual taxpayers to cover capital works undertaken by The City at the taxpayer’s request (e.g., paving an alley).

Long-Range Financial Plan – the document published by The City that sets out financial goals and strategies to achieve long-term financial sustainability and includes a projection of operating and capital requirements and financial position over the next ten years. The City of Calgary published its first such plan in 2007, updated it in 2011 and will update again in 2015.

Long-Term Plans – City of Calgary strategic planning documents including imagineCALGARY, the Municipal Development Plan, the Calgary Transportation Plan, 2020 Sustainability Direction, and the Long-Range Financial Plan.

Long-Term Recovery Rate – a target for the proportion of the cost of a service or program that will be paid for by the users of the service (through user fees), to be achieved over a ten-year period.

Maintenance – the maintenance capital budget category includes capital projects associated with the regular maintenance/replacement of The Corporation’s physical assets. Potential projects are normally evaluated and prioritized at the department or business unit level through regular maintenance programs or formal life-cycle analyses.

Municipal Development Plan (MDP) – the MDP describes the land use for long-term growth and development patterns in Calgary. It provides policies that integrate social, economic and environmental objectives for the next 30 years. These policies speak of the need for a more sustainable city that provides the citizens of today and in the future with a high quality of life, high quality of living environments and convenient means to get around. The policies in the MDP are linked directly to those in the Calgary Transportation Plan.

Municipal Price Index (MPI) – a composite number reflecting the prices of the goods and services that The City purchases. It is used to calculate the total inflationary impact of changes in prices paid by The City of Calgary for materials, labour and services. Whereas CPI reflects the spending patterns of a typical household, MPI reflects the spending patterns of The City.

Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) – the Province of Alberta’s ten year funding commitment (2007/08 – 2016/17) to assist municipalities in meeting growth-related challenges and enhancing long-term sustainability. The City uses its MSI funds mainly for capital projects.

Net-budget – is budgeted expenditures less recoveries and revenues. The total City’s net budget is zero representing no budgeted surplus or deficit. However departmental/business unit’s net budget represents the amount of support from Corporate Programs.

Net-zero – no impact to net budget. E.g. expenditures are offset by either revenues or recoveries.

One-time – non-recurring revenues, recoveries or expenditures.

Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) – a collaboration of 16 municipalities to promote a culture of excellence in service delivery through the collection and application of over 800 measures across 36 service areas. The initiative was launched in 2001 and enables OMBI partners to create new ways to measure performance, share and compare performance data and improve operational practices. OMBI is The City of Calgary’s corporate-wide program for benchmarking. OMBI data in this report is current as of August 2014, and reflects primarily 2010 to 2012 results.

Operating Budget – items of revenue, recoveries and expenditures pertaining to ongoing day-to-day operations.

Operating Impact of New Capital (Incremental) – the additional annual operating cost to maintain capital assets included in Action Plan 2015-2018.

Operating Impact of Previously Approved Capital – the annual operating cost to maintain capital assets previously approved in the 2012-2014 budgets but not in service until 2015 or later.

Other Partners – other not-for-profit organizations and entities other than the 14 Civic Partners who also may have a formal and legal relationship with The City of Calgary to provide services or programs in conjunction with, or on behalf of The City. This may include community associations, sports organizations, business partners, etc.

Performance Measure – a numerical measure to monitor and assess how well The City is achieving its desired objectives from a variety of perspectives, including the management of costs (efficiency) and the results achieved (effectiveness, outcomes).

Performance Target – the intended level of achievement in relation to each performance measure. Performance targets are set for each measure, in each year of the Action Plan. Performance targets are approved by Council, and form part of Administration’s commitment to deliver results. Performance targets are expected to be achievable within the approved resource limits.

Property Tax – the tax levied based on the assessed market value of all taxable properties.

Re-alignments – are defined as moving budget funds within or between business units, with a net zero impact, with the intent of adjusting budgets to match the current situation.

Recoveries – are internal charges to another business unit.

Reserve – The City of Calgary has a number of monitored reserves which include cash, or assets readily convertible into cash, held aside to meet expected or unexpected demands.

Revenues – the income generated from a variety of external sources including, but not limited to, the sale of goods or services, user fees, other sales, fines and penalties.

Risk – a potential event that could affect the achievement of objectives and deals with the uncertainty of events. It is measured in terms of consequence and likelihood.

Self-Supported Programs – programs not funded by property tax revenues but from revenues or recoveries resulting from their own operations (e.g., Utilities).

Service Change – a category of Capital Budget that includes new infrastructure associated with a Council decision to provide a new or expanded level of service. This is driven primarily by changing public expectations or legislation.

Sustainable Development – development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Tangible Capital Asset (TCA) – TCAs are all tangible assets which have physical substance, are controlled by The City, provide future economic benefits to The City, have useful lives longer than one year, are used on a continuing basis and are not held for sale in the ordinary course of operations. TCAs must be depreciated on a yearly basis.

TCA Depreciation – an estimate of the depreciation on The City’s infrastructure that will be reported in the annual financial report. Unless otherwise indicated, the depreciation estimates are presented only for information and are not directly included in the budget expenditures. Depreciation is the estimate of the reduction in value of a TCA with the passage of time, due to its use and/or wear and tear of the TCA. TCA depreciation is calculated by taking the TCA cost minus the salvage value of the TCA and dividing the cost by the estimated useful life (the period of time over which we expect to be using the tangible capital asset).

Tax Supported – generally refers to Total City less Utilities. Utilities are excluded due to it being directly funded fully by revenues from customers.

Tax-Supported Programs – programs funded in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by revenue from municipal property and business taxes. This includes all operating budget programs with the exception of utilities and other self-supported programs.

Trends – information on the current and projected future trends related to external and internal factors that will affect Calgary. Examples of trends that were reviewed during the business planning process include the economy, demographics, environment, finance, growth and mobility, workforce, technology and community wellbeing.

Triple Bottom Line (TBL) – an approach to decision-making that considers economic, social and environmental issues.

Upgrade – a category for Capital Budget that refers to improvement of existing infrastructure with new assets that improve functionality, reliability or compatibility. These changes are driven by legislation, technological innovations, changing public needs and expectations, change in the environment or changes in potential risk.

User Fees – a payment charged in exchange for a good or service provided by The City. Transit fares and pool admission fees are examples.

Utility Rates – prices (rates) that consumers are charged for utilities.

Zero-Based Review (ZBR) – an evaluation process through which a business unit’s services are systematically reviewed to assess whether changes can provide greater results within current available resources (effectiveness), or improve the cost-effectiveness of the service (efficiency).