The results from the first few months of a third-party analysis of the City of Prince George's municipal services will be unveiled next week.
On Tuesday morning, consultants from KPMG will present the city's select committee on a core services review with a draft list of opportunities for cost savings.
The list is expected to be exhaustive, outlining any and all suggestions the consulting firm has received through the consultation process.
"There's certainly speculation on what might be on that list," said Mayor Shari Green. "Everything's on the list... This is input from everyone who's participated, so we can can now have look at what we all said."
According to the report, the select committee - made up of Green and councillors Frank Everitt, Albert Koehler and Cameron Stolz - presented to council this week, KPMG conducted five workshops with 172 people from management, staff, the community and the committee in July.
The opportunities to take part during the community consultation phase led to 2,049 completed online surveys and 620 submitted written responses.
The list will be posted to the city's website for public consumption next Friday and on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m., residents will have their chance to help whittle down the suggested opportunities at a public workshop.
"I think we are going to get a lot more than we anticipated out of that process," said Everitt. "The decisions we're going to have to make at the end of the day are going to be tough ones."
So far the consultants have billed the city for $228,513.81 with three out of five phases of the project completed (there is an optional sixth phase).
Tough decisions are par for the course during the core services review process.
As demonstrated in Penticton, it can lead to a huge swath of the workforce being trimmed.
The District of Squamish launched its Service Squamish Initiative in 2010. They contracted consultants from Avantage to complete a series of core services reviews breaking their project into different studies looking at areas such as the district's information, RCMP, planning and building and recreational services.
Ten departments were collapsed into five, new general managers were hired, long-term strategies were developed and communication was strengthened. Those efficiencies saved the community close to $2 million in the 2010 budget.
"This change has greatly benefited the organization in reduced management salary costs, streamlined processes, increased accountability, and a higher focus on business outcomes," said a report from Squamish chief administrative officer Kevin Ramsay.
Consultants TkMC conducted a thorough review for Regina in 2004 and said upfront that realizing the potential of more than $6 million in savings would not be easy.
"Rather it should be understood that the fundamental approach of the core services review has challenged some of the existing premises for services and allowed for opportunity for making different choices," said TkMC's final report to the city.
But sometimes the tough decisions and choices come from receiving the advice you paid for and disregarding it.
In White Rock, their ongoing review process led them to contract KPMG to study the consequences of outsourcing their fire department to neighbouring Surrey.
But eventually the city council decided against the $800,000 savings to keep their 21-member group of first responders.
In the Fraser Valley Regional District, staff received the report from perivale + taylor and promptly dismissed about 11 per cent of the recommendations.
"The implementation, while you could argue in some organizations would make good business sense, it didn't due to the nature of our organization," said the district's chief administrative officer George Murray.
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work when consultants look at best practices in other locales.
"So when they come, they come with some preconceived notions, and not all of them are transferrable," he said. "So we had to sift through some of the non-transferrable."