Our commitment to transparency: Consistent and accessible reporting

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Consistent and Accessible Reporting


Oct 4, 2023

Was getting healthy a goal for you this year? What were some of the steps you planned on taking to achieve that goal?  Did you succeed? What were some of your measures for success and how have you done so far?

From a strategy and performance perspective, if getting healthy was the goal and losing weight was the objective, strategies were needed to get there. You may have quit smoking, ate healthier, exercised more often – all of these strategies are measurable and help you get closer to your goal.

Strategic planning for a City is not as simple and straightforward, but the concept is the same. How do we know progress is being made on priorities and how are they measured? How do we share the results with the public?

The answer is consistent reporting and real-time accessible data on the progress made on these promises.

Person hiking to on Knox mountain with a view of Lake Okanagan

Bridging the Gap: Consistent Reporting to Council and residents

At the heart of any transparent local government is the practice of consistent reporting to city council. This practice involves regularly scheduled updates that provide elected officials with comprehensive insights into ongoing projects, budget allocation, and the overall state of affairs within the city. Through these reports, council members make informed decisions, allocate resources more effectively, and remain attuned to the changing needs of residents.

So, why does this matter?

Transparency in reporting serves as a vital mechanism for accountability. When city officials regularly share their progress, successes, and challenges, it establishes a platform for open dialogue between the government and the public. Citizens can hold their representatives accountable, ensuring that promises are kept, and taxpayer resources are used responsibly.

Progress reports on plans and initiatives like the Official Community Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, and Council Priorities have reporting schedules to council throughout the year. For example, progress made on Council Priorities is reported directly to council and made publicly available every six, 12, and 18 months.

Person accessing an online platform on a laptop in their living room

Real-Time Data: Empowering the Public

In the digital era, the City can go beyond conventional reporting methods and provide residents with real-time access to data related to the city's plans and initiatives. Through interactive online platforms and dashboards, citizens can stay up to date on various projects, ranging from urban development and infrastructure improvements to environmental sustainability and public health initiatives.

Open Kelowna, which launched in 2022, is a reporting platform that invites residents to dive deep and explore the City’s progress data and information. Users can get a bird eye glimpse of Kelowna by the numbers of services like number of parks, buildings, and trees maintained, while also accessing the service numbers like utility usage, active transportation counting sites, and snow removal priority areas - all of which are updated with real-time data.

This opportunity for real-time data sharing not only enhances transparency but also empowers residents to actively participate in shaping Kelowna as a City of the Future. With access to accurate and up-to-date information, citizens can provide meaningful feedback, contribute innovative ideas, and even identify potential issues that might have been overlooked.

Traffic on the William R. Bennett Bridge

Case Study: Transportation Master Plan

The Transportation Master Plan was approved by Council in 2022. It is a long-term plan for transportation improvements that will help keep Kelowna moving, now and into the future. The plan puts the Imagine Kelowna community vision into action and is coordinated with other long-range plans, including the 2040 Official Community Plan, Regional Transportation Plan and Climate Action Plan.

Packed with over 100 actions, the plan is a guide to make transit faster and more reliable; build new road connections, safe bike routes, and walkable neighbourhoods; take care of our infrastructure; and help people enjoy new ways of getting around.

The Open Kelowna dashboard for the Transportation Master plan presents citizens, council and city staff with specific targets that are coupled with 12 goals that reflect the many ways that transportation affects life in Kelowna. Clicking on each goal delves deeper into the progress made so far. Data and information are visualized for ease of understanding in the form of charts and infographics, while answers to questions like How are we doing? What are we doing? And what’s next?

Storytelling is also a valuable tool and innovative way to visualize current reporting data. The storytelling function in the TMP report gives us an overview of the plan, what stage we are at, and dives deeper into the plan’s recommendations.

View of Kelowna from Knox Mountain in the Summer

What’s next? Council Priorities Report

On October 16, 2023, the 6-month progress report on Council Priorities will be presented to Council. The report details what actions have been taken by the City to support these priorities, while also focusing on what work still needs to be done.

Access the Progress Report 

In 2024, the City will also launch an additional 2 new dashboards to its Open Kelowna data site – one that will focus on the delivery of the City’s base services and another which will exclusively focus on the 2023-2026 Council Priorities.  

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