PSD develops meaningful, data-rich business intelligence and insight for public sector organizations. Our technical and consulting capabilities in infrastructure and capital asset management, long-term financial planning, and policy research enable not only the design of rational and flexible organizational strategies but also their execution and ongoing assessment. PSD’s service areas are configured to meet three essential needs for governments: policy research and analysis, high-performance technology, and credible data. Through our infrastructure consulting and advisory practice, we work with decision-makers to refine organizational systems, programs and processes for better corporate outcomes.
PSD’s clients include hundreds of municipalities across Canada and the United States, universities, provincial and federal agencies and departments, and a broad range of private sector firms. We manage the largest infrastructure dataset in Canada and have led a relentless effort in elevating public sector dialogue surrounding capital asset management and fiscal pragmatism in governments.
MARKET AND POLICY RESEARCH
PUBLIC SECTOR DIGEST®
PSD’s research and analysis division publishes original content in multiple digital and print platforms. Launched in 2003, Public Sector Digest® is PSD’s monthly corporate publication, with in-depth feature articles, commentary, whitepapers and case studies on matters most pertinent to staff, managers and executives in the public sector. Core areas of research include corporate strategy, economics, finance, and infrastructure and capital asset management.
OPEN CITIES INDEX (OCI)
In addition to the Digest, PSD’s research and analysis division produces educational webinars and holds regular policy discussions and roundtables. In 2015, PSD partnered with ODX and launched the Open Cities Index (OCI), which provides an appraisal framework to gauge the level of openness in cities across Canada. The OCI serves to audit existing open data initiatives at municipalities and allows participating organizations to compare themselves against their peer groups and track their openness over time based on specific dataset classifications.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
The two primary risks to municipal financial sustainability are the lifecycle costs of infrastructure and establishing levels of services that exceed fiscal capacity. PSD’s consulting services are designed to mitigate these risks and augment organizational performance over time with three core offerings: the PSD Asset Management Plan, the PSD Asset Management Roadmap, and the Infrastructure Database of Canada.
THE PSD ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN (AMP)
Asset management plans have become an important strategic component for municipalities, both for optimizing the performance of their infrastructure assets and for securing senior government grants. A typical AMP includes a comprehensive state of the infrastructure report, an asset management strategy, and a financial strategy to meet the infrastructure challenge over the medium and long term. The PSD AMP delivers these core requirements and exceeds baseline standards by providing trend analyses, multiple financial scenarios, and key comparative data that allows municipalities to rank their performance against a peer group. PSD has completed more than 120 asset management plans covering all major infrastructure classes.
THE PSD ASSET MANAGEMENT ROADMAP (AMR)
Whereas the AMP is a theoretical report, in the Roadmap, PSD consultants work alongside municipal staff and department heads in actually establishing and improving their asset management practice. The collaboration between finance, public works and the executive throughout the multi-year Roadmap process encourages strategic dialogue and organizational cohesiveness. Components of the Roadmap include developing greater organizational cognizance, development of a corporate asset management policy, condition assessment protocols, risk and criticality models, lifecycle management, financial strategies, and a levels of service framework. The process can be iterative, and each cycle culminates in a detailed AMP that accounts for the unique financial, economic and political realities of the municipality with high specificity.
THE INFRASTRUCTURE DATABASE OF CANADA (IDC)
Relative performance can be an instrumental driver of self-improvement for organizations, especially in the absence of hard, scientific standards and targets. The Infrastructure Database of Canada (IDC) contains significant political and managerial potential, and meets a pressing need in the municipal sector: a modern, digital and interactive platform with high visual appeal that allows local government decision-makers to compare key infrastructure performance indicators with their peer groups. This data can help municipalities identify statistical anomalies in their infrastructure expenditures and track their progress against time and peers. The IDC provides key statistical outputs in a visually dynamic dashboard that decision-makers can use to adjust and regulate their infrastructure spending over the long term.
“The PSD AMP provided our municipality with a tool to bring finance and public works together for a stronger asset management program.”
TERRI RAU, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, MUNICIPALITY OF CENTRAL HURON
HIGH PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGY
PSD’s enterprise-wide technology and applications, marketed as CityWide® and RAC Inc., are developed with the decision-maker in mind. Our core business expertise is capital asset management. However, given the increasing centrality of infrastructure in government planning and policymaking, we designed and structured our technology for much broader application across departments, including financial planning, performance measurement and process design and optimization.
CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT
PSD’s capital asset management applications empower municipalities to secure the highest total value from their capital assets at the lowest lifecycle cost.
FINANCIAL PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
In order for capital asset management to be sustainable, it must be intelligently integrated with long-term financial planning. PSD’s CityWide® and RAC technologies expedite and reinforce this essential process with applications that offer both high-level, dashboard style interfaces and substantial granularity.
Smooth and efficient operations are crucial in supporting long-term strategies for capital asset management, financial management and for activating broader business objectives. PSD’s applications include four key modules with capabilities most pertinent to public sector organizations, especially municipalities.