South Okanagan local governments look at saving money by sharing services

A local government study looking for ways to share services concluded information technology was one area where cost savings can be achieved.
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PENTICTON - A recent $100,000 study looking at opportunities for sharing services among local governments sees opportunity in information technology resources.

The study — which involved the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, the City of Penticton, the District of Summerland and the Okanagan Skaha School District — was conducted to look at potential cost saving measures that could be gleaned through sharing services.

The four local governments could realize savings of between 25 and 35 per cent through by sharing information technology resources, the study says.

The study also looked closely at Fleet repairs and maintenance, but ultimately found the category would be unlikely to proceed, although discussions continue with respect to the joint purchase of new vehicles and equipment.

The study identified a number of areas where shared services already exist, including heritage, fire and emergency services, transit and purchasing.

It also noted out of 43 potential opportunities looked at for service sharing, a number of those could potentially provide significant savings for two or three of the participants.

The province provided 50 per cent of the $100,000 cost of the study with the four local governments each chipping in $12,500.

Several recommendations are provided in a report from regional district staff which will be provided to directors for discussion at this week’s regular board meeting.

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