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Delta council to eliminate some rubber stamping

Time and expense preparing reports on applications council has been supporting could be eliminated, says the mayor
City staff will soon have the final say on things such as waiving facility rental grants for charities or established local groups.

It’s all about streamlining and trusting the decision-making of civic staff.

Mayor George Harvie last week told council he has directed the city manager to prepare a report on how the city can further streamline funding applications that are currently forwarded to council for a decision but can be delegated to the staff level.

Things such as grants and civic facility rental waivers would no longer need to go to council for a final stamp of approval.

Council last week agreed with staff recommendations to wave the rental fees for recent events held at the Harris Barn by the Delta Division of Family Practice and the Delta Community Foundation, as well as Delta Pride Society events at the South Delta Recreation Centre, North Delta Recreation Centre and Ladner Community Centre.

Staff note Delta provides facility rental fee grants to Delta not-for-profit or registered charitable organizations and/or groups that offer community events, projects, programs or services that have a demonstrated need in the community and that advance the social, cultural, and/or recreational objectives of the municipality.

Community Planning Director Marcy Sangret told council that a number of other reports on streamlining and delegation, including approvals on things that council has traditionally supported as well as the purchasing policy, will be coming from staff.

The streamlining might also include the temporary change to the city’s procurement policy being made permanent.

Earlier this year, council approved a change, to be in place for the remainder of 2022, which allows the city manager and director of finance to approve awarding contracts up to $300,000. Funds must already be allocated in the city’s financial plan and appropriate procurement processes must still be followed.

Regular procurement reports were to be provided to council detailing the contracts that were approved under the streamlined process.

Previously, contracts that were up to $50,000 would be approved by staff and anything over that amount had to be presented to council for final approval.

A staff report this year had recommended the change, citing supply chain challenges and other issues.

Staff also noted it was an opportunity to reduce the time to award a contract by aligning to processes that are working well in other cities.