Edmonton awarded top prize in financial transparency ranking

Reported in the Edmonton Journal on February 3, 2014 by Keith Gerein, The City of Edmonton has scored first place in an annual ranking that gauges the financial transparency of municipalities across Canada.

The Alberta capital moved from fifth place into a tie with two Ontario cities for top spot in the in Local Government Performance Index, which examines the financial reporting of the biggest 100 municipalities in Canada.

“We take a look at how detailed the reports are that the cities provide, things like how they break down the information into categories that make sense, how easy it is for people to find those reports, whether they are timely, whether they provide a decent amount of historical information,” said Peter McCaffrey, an analyst with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

“There’s a variety of measures from which we assign points to each city.”

The think-tank has been publishing the rankings for seven years. The latest index covers the 2012 fiscal year.

Edmonton scored 32 points out of a possible 33, good enough to tie Mississauga and Markham.

Several other Alberta cities also did well in the ranking. Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and St. Albert all tied for ninth. Red Deer and Strathcona County tied for 35, while Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo tied for 47th.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, and St. Jerome, Quebec, finished last in the ranking.