SAANICH – A major redesign of the Saanich website has escalated to $450,000, double what was originally made public a few months ago.

A freedom of information request by Grumpy Taxpayer$ reveals that the cost of the website upgrade amounted to $453,213, excluding unspecified internal staff costs.

This follows a public outcry in September when the District of Saanich announced that $224,000 was paid in management consulting fees to Ranstad Interim Inc. to upgrade saanich.ca.

“We get to huge numbers in municipal budgets by wasting dollars on smaller expenditures,” says Karen Harper, board member with Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.

“It’s simply unacceptable to taxpayers that inflation-adjusted municipal operating spending in Saanich increased by 47 per cent from 2004 to 2014, compared to population growth of only 1 per cent,” says Harper.

As of the end of October 2016 project costs included $422,089 for contracted services, $21,712 for data migration, $8,961 for salaries and benefits, and only $450 for software. About $36,000 of this amount was incurred in 2014.

On top of these costs, internal costs were not quantified as the project spanned many departments and an extensive time period. Internal staff costs were absorbed within departmental budgets, according to the District.

The recent 2016 British Columbia Municipal Spending report showed that inflation-adjusted municipal operating spending in Saanich increased by 47 per cent from 2004 to 2014, compared to population growth of 1 per cent. The real operating spending growth per capita from 2004-14 is 46 per cent, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

FOI Request and Saanich response:

5fe71e36-5e15-4210-ba24-6f370d9191bd

7231b760-3b3b-4b78-b844-cf49945d0059

Saanich district taken to task on website costs, Saanich News, Dec. 14, A-1, 6

http://www.saanichnews.com/eeditions/?iid=i2016121403460015