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Solutions for Achieving Value and Excellence (SAVE)

Faced with a continued economic downturn and the impacts of COVID-19, we are taking bold and immediate action to deliver services more affordably and to strengthen our community's future.

The Solutions for Achieving Value and Excellence (SAVE) Program supports The City's financial sustainability and is committed to finding savings in ways that support our long-term purpose of making life better every day for Calgarians.

The SAVE Program has three goals:

See below for an overview of upcoming key dates for the SAVE Program:

  • Plan and Budget Adjustments (2019-2022 Mid-Cycle Adjustments)
    • Nov. 9: Special Council Meeting on Service Plans and Budgets
    • Nov. 23-27: Service Plan and Budget deliberations

How does SAVE work?

City staff have partnered with consultants at Ernst and Young (EY) and are working together to deliver a program that citizens can trust to be rigorous, inclusive and efficient.

SAVE involves three stages: ideas, opportunities and business cases. Ideas originating from various sources are collected and reviewed against several prioritization criteria:

Ideas that meet the criteria above are prioritized for development into opportunities, which are then reviewed and potentially approved for refinement into business cases. The Program’s “funnel process” then features business cases receiving further review prior to potential integration into November’s plan and budget adjustments. Benefits are realized after business cases are approved and implemented.

SAVE initiatives are developed with service and citizen impacts in mind, with the level of analysis increasing as initiatives progress through the process. This includes consideration of specific realities in the current local environment, as well as lessons learned from leading practices at other municipalities.

Why is SAVE needed?

On November 29, 2019, Council directed Administration to target at least $74 million in operational savings through the SAVE Program. A minimum of $24 million in savings is to be implemented by the start of 2021 and a minimum of an additional $50 million by the start of 2022. The program was also directed to target new or improved revenue streams.

SAVE is designed to enhance The City's financial sustainability and resilience. By increasing service efficiency and effectiveness, it reduces the cost of government and improves the service value that citizens receive. The program also strengthens public trust and confidence through increased engagement, innovation and modernization.

What's happening now?

The program team is working to build out more than two dozen initiatives by November 2020 to inform Mid-Cycle Adjustments, a regular process that provides Council with the opportunity to make changes to The City’s service plans and budgets. The SAVE initiatives will be used to help The City achieve the 0% tax rate increase for 2021 that Council directed.