Are most capital projects over-budget, under-budget or on-budget?

Fact Check

Are most capital projects over-budget, under-budget or on-budget?

Capital projects are often - but not always - major infrastructure undertakings like building new facilities or repairing roads and sidewalks that involve significant spending.

Beginning in late 2020, the City focused its efforts on a number of corrective measures to improve transparency and accountability related to capital project structure and processes. The steps Council and Administration have taken include:

  • Reducing the City Manager's delegated authority to amend project budgets to five per cent of the project budget, up to a maximum of $100,000 per project.
  • Hiring external project management services for significant capital projects. This was first put into practice for the downtown YMCA daycare construction project that was completed on-time and under budget in 2021.
  • Conducting external reviews of the City's capital management processes and developing a new project management framework to provide project delivery consistency.
  • Council will review budget amendments approved under the City Manager's authority once every three months.

Twice annually, Council receives an update from administration on the progress of the City’s significant capital projects. This report contains a list of active capital projects that have a budgeted or actual spending of $1 million or more and informs Council of the City’s budget as compared to actual performance for its major capital projects in 2022.

    The list of significant capital projects presented to Council during the December 5, 2022 Regular Council Meeting showed that all completed projects were on-budget or under-budget, though it is important to note that some projects were completed under amended budgets. Both original and amended budgets are included in the report.