Financial & Administrative Services
2017 Year in Review
- Verified compliance with 103 of 106 City Financial Policies.
- Presented 11 department reviews to offer a more in-depth look at the services provided by the General Fund departments and the underlying operational factors that drive department budgets.
- Continued our commitment to open government through stakeholder engagement efforts that resulted in:
- More than 275 participants at district town hall meetings
- 1,280 budget simulator submittals
- Distinguished Budget Presentation (30th consecutive year), Government Financial Officers Association
- Certificate of Excellence in Performance Measurement (16th consecutive year), International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Supports more than 250 City facilities with a range of services including: custodial, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, locksmith, maintenance, asbestos-lead-mold management, security, mail services, and project management.
- Improved custodial cleaning efficiency through the integration of world’s first smart cleaning machine, a walk behind scrubber that is capable of cleaning up to 23,680 square feet per hour.
- Implemented an emergency notification system application for smart phones to immediately notify employees, building management, and public safety in the event of fire, medical, or other emergency.
- Partnered with the Development Services Department to streamline maintenance permitting through the use of an annual permit, which has resulted in construction cost and timing improvements.
- Improved ratio of preventive maintenance to reactive repairs by 4% this year, and more than 20% since 2013.
- Five of seven prioritized fire stations have been rehabilitated and re-occupied by the Austin Fire Department. Two more are planned for 2018.
- Remediated 42 building sites for asbestos, lead and/or mold related hazards.
- Received Energy Star Award for One Texas Center for 9th year in a row
- Recognition from Quality Texas Foundation for performance excellence in 2017
Capital Contracting Office
To administer the procurement of professional
and construction services and to execute and manage contracts essential for the
delivery of efficient capital improvements resulting in improved quality of
life for all City of Austin residents.
- Conducted 510 prevailing wage construction site visits.
- Performance of work resulted in 92% of customers satisfied with CCO Services.
- Completed 269 Rotation List Assignments - a 20% increase from FY16.
- Delivered on time contracts with 84% of procurements meeting the established schedule from solicitation to contract execution.
Provide internal controls and financial
information to City management and departments so that they may manage their
business and meet their financial reporting needs.
- Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA)
Communications and Technology Management
and Technology Management Department serves the IT needs for the City
organization, provides access to information for citizens, technical support
for local events, and works with regional partners to improve public safety
communication throughout Central Texas.
- Added five new permit types to the Austin Build + Connect Portal for online applications and payments: Development Assistance Center, Temporary Use, Tree Ordinance, Small Cell, and Austin Water Taps. The application process now includes a map selector tool that simplifies the choice of properties for which a permit is being sought.
- Completed data collection of over 3500 city-owned properties for the Office of Real Estate Services for inclusion in the City’s asset management system.
- Identified technology and processes that will support the City’s new modern and open website in 2018.
- Designed and deployed New Central Library computer systems. Solution provides secure virtual desktops and network, enabling staff and public to access online training, library operations, public access, all while moving freely around the library.
- Assisted Fleet Services with rapidly re-outfitting 40 Crown Victoria patrol vehicles, to remove Ford Utility Interceptors and Ford Explorers from service that registered unsafe levels of harmful emissions.
- Executed the body-worn camera contract, equipped APD Headquarters and north and south substations for uploading video, and issued more than 700 cameras to patrol officers.
- Led Hurricane Harvey support and response, organizing the operation of the MetCenter megashelter, which remained open until late September. At the height of operations, the City hosted nearly 850 hurricane evacuees.
ATX Hack for Change
Sponsored the fourth-annual ATX Hack For Change, which led to a weekend of hundreds of hackers working on 37 projects to change our world through data.
- 2017 Tech Savvy City – Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities Program
- Austin has been ranked 8th among the top ranked cities with populations over 500,000
Maintains City vehicles with the goal to provide exceptional service in a safe, efficient, environmentally responsible and ethical manner.
- Successfully removed more than 400 Ford Utility Interceptors and Ford Explorers from service, made repairs, tested, and began returning those vehicles back to service, while minimizing the impact to City services.
- Received $400,000 in grant funds from TCEQ for update and expansion of the City Compressed Natural Gas Station increasing fueling options for city departments and the general public.
- Purchased City’s first electric van to support employee shuttle service providing transportation between city sites reducing emissions and the number of vehicles needed or used in the downtown area.
Recognized by the Career and Technical Association of Texas (CTAT), with the Business of the Year award for the City of Austin Fleet- AISD Automotive Technician Internship Program. This program is focused on training and mentoring high school students in traditionally underserved areas while providing opportunities to transition into full-time employment with the city.
strategic planning and performance to achieve operational excellence and
- Launched Open Budget ATX, a new interactive platform to view City revenue and spending at budget.austintexas.gov. This collaboration with the Budget Office makes it easier for community members to see how dollars are invested.
- Created PerformanceATX site to highlight various performance dashboards throughout the city. The new landing page offers a seamless, visual experience when navigating from the Open Data Portal.
- Conducted a series of design thinking sessions with a mix of departments focused on data and performance. These sessions generated insights on resources the Office of Performance Management can provide to departments to increase understanding and capabilities around performance measures and data analysis.
- Hosted the first-ever Hack Austin event around Strategic Outcomes with Austin’s data and design community in partnership with Galvanize Austin as part of our commitment to leverage data analytics to transform government.
- Facilitated far-improved use of, and collaboration around, data gleaned from Austin's Community Survey through GIS and dynamic dashboards. The survey provides statistically valid resident satisfaction and priority data on a variety of both City services and quality of life issues.
- Collaborated with nearly half of City departments to improve their work and customer outcomes through activities ranging from creating awareness, to targeted problem-solving, to planning for departmental transformation. Future activities will enhance deployment of the council strategic plan.
- Certificate of Excellence in Performance Management from the International City/County Management Association, which assesses performance and results over time in comparison to peers. The Certificate of Excellence is the highest level awarded.
- Special Performance Measures Recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award program.
Procures quality goods and services in a timely manner at the lowest possible cost to the City with adherence to applicable federal, state and local laws, as well as corporate policy.
- Participated in six outreach events that exposed 14 Procurement staff members to more than 500 potential vendors, many of whom became registered to business with the City of Austin. Also, organized a charity sock drive that distributed clothing, food, and sundries to dozens of homeless people in Downtown Austin.
- Created a new modern City-wide SharePoint intranet site for staff to use in conducting City procurement functions.
- Created online annual purchasing refresher training eliminating the need for approximately 400 employees to drive and attend the training in person. Most of what was built will be reusable year after year thus minimizing purchasing office staff time needed to deliver training.
- Facilitated proposed revisions to the Anti-Lobbying Ordinance that was last updated in 2011 through an open and collaborative process with multiple stakeholders.
- Certified one staff member as a Certified Professional Public Buyer (with the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council) bringing the percentage of professional staff with certifications to 33 percent.
- Implemented the Service Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise Program. This program will provide a 3 percent preference to State Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) certified Service Disabled-Veteran-Owned businesses who respond as prime contractors to Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitations over $50,000.
- Received the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) award given by the National Procurement Institute (NPI) for the fourth consecutive year.
- This prestigious award is earned by organizations that demonstrate excellence by obtaining a high score based on criteria that are designed to measure innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement and leadership attributes of the procurement organization.
Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs
Advocates for the welfare of residents by ensuring the City receives fair compensation for the private use of rights of way by telecommunications and utility companies. Brings access to the Internet and computer technology to all members of the community through digital inclusion programs. Protects consumers from unjust utility rate increases and unfair predatory lending practices by credit access businesses, also known as payday and auto title lenders.
- Audited 100% of registered Austin credit access businesses and implemented active enforcement efforts to protect borrowers against predatory lending practices of payday and auto title lending companies.
- Convened a private sector forum with global commercial technology firms to facilitate civic engagement in local communities. The event strengthened partnerships with commercial technology firms to enhance the residential technology study and heighten the awareness of City funded initiatives including non-profit organizations funded by the City’s Grant for Technology Opportunities Program.
- Secured a Microsoft Certified Refurbish License and the assistance of Austin Community College interns to help with refurbishing 75 devices to implement a PC Community Loan Program to supply refurbished city computers to awardees who provide a public benefit of connectivity, access, and opportunity. To support the full utilization of the devices, TARA continued scaling the program to the City’s Community Technology Access Labs including the Human Resources Department-Employment Service Lab.
Supported Digital Inclusion Week with relevancy and advocacy resident engagement events. More specifically, a culminating event held at the Doris Miller Auditorium in East Austin. The event drew hundreds of Austin residents who were able to connect with more than twenty community organizations to learn the benefits of internet access.
- Initiated the process to conduct a residential technology study with assistance from the University of Texas at Austin. The survey data will be used to identify where the support of community digital inclusion programs and services are needed most in Austin. The survey was created in partnership with neighboring city agencies, non-profits, and the private sector.
- Implemented a Curriculum Standards Working Group comprised of seven City departments and community non-profits to identify essential standards for digital literacy training for adults, children, and other advanced training topics in specific domains of well-being (i.e. health, workforce).
Seeks to optimize investment income and minimize financing costs to enhance the City's overall financial position through prudent cost, investment and debt management.
- Received a credit rating upgrade for the Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2013 by S&P Global Rating (A+).
- Managed the City’s investment portfolio in compliance with the Texas Public Funds Investment Act and the City of Austin Investment Policies, earning approximately $26 million on average balances of $2.6 billion.
- Executed two municipal debt refunding transactions totaling approximately $413 million that resulted in net present value savings of nearly $40 million.