Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: 2017–18 budget document (GFOA)
Year Submitted 2018
Awarded Honourable Mention Ex-aequo
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name / Nom Title / Titre
Jean Choquette Director of Strategic Planning and Government Relations
Name of Institution École Polytechnique de Montréal
Office Address Université de Montréal campus: 2900 Édouard-Montpetit Blvd.
Polytechnique Montréal: 2500 chemin de Polytechnique
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
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Telephone: 514-340-4711, ext. 3410
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Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Richard Hurteau
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Director of Administration
Office Address Université de Montréal campus: 2900 Édouard-Montpetit Blvd.
Polytechnique Montréal: 2500 chemin de Polytechnique
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
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Telephone: 514-340-4827
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Abstract

Our 2017–18 budget plan meets the 27 criteria of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and we received the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. To receive this designation, the document must simultaneously meet the quality criteria for general policy documents, for activity guides and for strategic and budget planning publications. The budget process thereby becomes a communications tool that enables the Polytechnique’s upper management to disseminate its objectives and strategic priorities. This process also demonstrates that the human and financial resources available to us are used in alignment with our short- and medium-term strategic plans. This GFOA designation is an acknowledgement that Polytechnique Montréal has established a financial process that complies with the implementation criteria of best practices in the area of public fund management in North America.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability
A structurally balanced and sustainable budget: This approach can be applied by all Canadian universities. The theory of a structurally balanced and sustainable budget relies on principles, underpinnings, directions, objectives, standards and good practices, to ensure the efficiency of budget planning and management in public and parapublic organizations.
 
An organization’s budget translates into financial terms its plans and its implementation strategy, while taking into account its mission and underlying issues. The budget is an expression of the organization, its resources and its means of action. Budget preparation is the most important exercise in terms of integrating the organization’s mission and shared values, and the know-how of its leadership. For any organization, this document is the rudder that steers its course of action.
 
A structurally balanced and sustainable budget is a strategic management and mobilization tool. The use of such a budget enables organizations to identify areas of performance while better meeting the expectations and needs of their clientele. It is therefore critical to develop strategic planning and to make managers accountable, to ensure that the budget process and, more broadly, the ensuing management actions, are both viable and effective. The strategic aspect of the budget process is therefore absolutely crucial. Every director and every manager in the organization must be able to participate in the budget process. As such, a structurally balanced and sustainable budget is a tool whose strategic aspect modulates both the organization and its management.
Quality Impact
To satisfy the GFOA criteria, we set up a yearly process that clearly defines the role of every authority and every department. With the implementation of these procedures, our budget process has become much more transparent and inclusive. Linking the strategic plan to the budget plan identifies our yearly priorities and engages the actors and bearers of these priorities. What’s more, since the GFOA standards are dynamic, this year we will be incorporating the actions that uphold these priorities and the people responsible for these actions. Indicators, targets and a more precise timetable will also be included in the document. We hope that the community will take up these actions and priorities, and that they will better grasp their roles and understand management’s expectations with regard to the actions for which they are responsible.
Productivity Impact

We are convinced that the efficiency and productivity of our teams will improve now that we have a clear direction for the goals and actions of the coming year, and that we have clearly identified the persons responsible and resources available. We believe the GFOA budget document will serve as a map for our managers, allowing them to identify expectations and relay clear instructions to their teams. One of the goals of the GFOA process is to improve the organization’s overall efficiency.

Innovation
Currently, only four university establishments have adopted the GFOA standards and obtained certification. This is an innovative practice whose goal is to make the entire university budget process accessible and to ensure its alignment with the strategic plan.
 
Implementing such a process requires rigour and openness. We hope our managers will feel engaged by our action and take ownership of the institution’s strategic priorities.
 
This new way of working was implemented thanks to the determination of the management team. We wanted our Board of Governors to have an efficient feedback tool to maximize their contribution, and also, more importantly, to inform them of the progress being made on strategic development files. This is an innovation for the university setting, where development is closely tied to the budgetary regulations imposed on us by the ministry. Thanks to this action with the GFOA, we are able to demonstrate that, despite the constraints of Quebec’s university system, it is possible to be innovative and to equip ourselves with a long-term planning mechanism.
Supporting Documents POLY-Budget-2017-18-vWEB-opt-2.pdf