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Zero-Based Review Program results

ZBR how much did we do

How much did we do?

To date, zero-based reviews have been completed on 67% of City services, measured by the 2016 gross operating budget. We are on track to achieve our goal of reviewing 80% of City services by 2020.


How well did we do it?

Total financial gains identified through the ZBR Program to-date are between $57 million (low estimate) and $68 million (high estimate) annually, after all recommendations are implemented. Financial gains include cost savings, productivity gains, cost avoidance and increased revenue.

ZBR how well did we do it

The estimated cost of undertaking the eight completed ZBRs is around $7 million, including internal costs (staff time) and external costs (consulting contracts).

Comparing program costs and benefits, we have identified about $10 in financial benefits for every $1 spent on the program.

Is anyone better off?

Many of the recommendations from completed reviews have now been implemented and are resulting in real benefits for Calgarians.

Since the first full ZBR was completed in July 2014, approximately $27 million in recurring annual savings have been realized (as of December 2017). Additional savings are expected in 2018 and beyond as a result of completed ZBRs.

ZBR is anyone better off

The City has also realized benefits in the form of service effectiveness, including better customer service, reduced environmental impact and improved public safety.

In January 2018, a ZBR program update was submitted to Council complete with a collection of case studies highlighting specific examples of service improvements and their impact on Calgarians.

The ZBR Program Update (PFC2018-0017) includes case studies.