City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Percent Invested in Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Projects Compared to Planned Spending via the CIP Budget 

Measure Description
This measure tracks actual Capital Improvements Program (CIP) spending during the fiscal year as a percentage of the spending plan for that year. CIP spending affects both the issuance of debt, transfers of current revenue to CIP, and thusly, rates to our customers, and is also a direct indicator of project completions. Therefore, it is important to strive to spend CIP money as budgeted.
Calculation Method
This calculation uses the amount of CIP dollars spent divided by CIP dollars budgeted for the fiscal year.
FY 2015-16 Results
The result did not meet the 90% goal established for this measure. The FY 2015-16 result was 72.7%.
Assessment of Results
Austin Water (AW) CIP projects that were ready for construction advertisements were deferred over the summer and fall of 2014 due to revenue constraints from the prolonged drought. Specific exceptions were made for projects with extraordinary time constraints such as expiring easements, long-term inter-agency projects and regulatory deadlines. The temporary policy did not apply to projects already approved for construction, nor limit the design efforts of the highly prioritized and already reduced CIP Plan. As the severity of the drought increased, cost reduction efforts during the deferral period helped stabilize AW finances. Intentional cost-deferring strategies in FY 2013-14, FY 2014-15, and continued deferred spending in FY 2015-16 resulted in a significant reduction of actual expenses from budgeted estimates. The metric is now trending in the right direction as AW continues to emphasize improved project planning and delivery. In FY 2015-16, AW requested and received approval to move forward on many large CIP projects on a prioritized basis, which included deferred projects.
Next Steps
The AW CIP Management Team improves processes and facilitates asset management integrated discussions for CIP plan development and delivery (including planning, prioritization, and project tracking); advocates for project management tools, data, and analysis; and coordinates Asset Management and CIP issues internally and with other City of Austin departments. Throughout the year, AW executive management works closely with CIP finance, planning, and delivery teams to improve processes using dynamic business intelligence tools. In FY 2015-16, AW kicked off a significant effort to improve planning and execution of CIP projects and to be successful will need staff and partners to work together through the lingering effects of the unprecedented drought.
Contact Information
For more information contact Brian L. Long, P.E. at (512) 972-0177.