Corporate Review

Terms of Reference for a Corporate Review


To undertake a Corporate Review of the governance and operations of the Municipality of xxxx as per the following Terms of Reference.


1. To review the functioning of Council as a legislative and leadership body and to determine what improvements could be made.
2. To review the present legislative decision-making processes including the use of staff reports, minutes, staff resources and committees/boards. Identify how Council can best fulfill its governance obligations and expectations.


3. To review what steps Council has taken to date in reviewing or establishing the vision, values and priorities which set the course for the municipality.
4. To assess ways by which the community may become involved in establishing key community goals and objectives.
5. To assess the current approach to business planning and Council’s ownership of this key process.

Working Relationships

6. To evaluate the current working relationship and management style of the senior staff (i.e. top three levels of the organization) with Council and civic employees through interviews with each Councillor, each department head and division directors, and several random employees from each department.
7. To examine the communication processes both internally and externally.
8. To assess the role and responsibilities of the CAO in light of the legislative requirements placed on this position and the expectations of this Council.
9. To assess the morale of employees through a confidential instrument and to provide feedback to the organization on any necessary steps to be taken to make any necessary improvements as may be required.

Organizational Design

10. To assess the current organizational structure in light of both the municipality’s goals and service requirements as well as sound organizational principles.
11. To review and identify recommendations for change that would improve the organization structure.
12. To review and identify whether employee numbers are appropriate in each department considering the size of this municipality compared to other similar jurisdictions.

Service Efficiencies and Effectiveness

13. To identify present service goals and standards and determine if these are appropriately determined, communicated and evaluated.
14. To undertake selective function assessments in key service areas designed to determine if further efficiencies should be expected.
15. To determine what the literature says about “best practices” and provide any relevant commentary to this client.

Summary and Recommendations

16. To provide Council and management with reports as to our findings, observations and recommendations for action.
17. Provide follow-up to our Action Plan over the ensuing months.


Preparation: Corporate Review Design

Meet with the Council; review proposal & objectives outlined by Terms of Reference
Discuss proposal with the CAO and other senior staff (as directed by Council)
Amend work-plan and schedule if necessary, establish any needed logistical arrangements
Pinpoint start-up dates & initial interviews
Submit a list of documentation deemed pertinent to the Corporate Review

Task 1: Functioning of Council

Conduct individual and confidential interviews with:

  • Mayor and Councillors
  • CAO
  • Department Heads
  • A cross-section of other staff

Review legislative systems:

  • Review current legislative committee structure
  • Review timeliness, completeness and accuracy of reports received by Council/Committees
  • Review presentation, review and processing of reports at Council/Committee level
  • Review Council representation on internal and external committees
  • Review orientation and planning processes
  • Review Council’s involvement in the Business Plan, Mission Statement & Statement of Goals/Objectives

Task 2: Working Relationships

Conduct individual and confidential interviews with the following people (these discussions may be combined with interviews noted above):

  • Mayor and Councillors
  • CAO
  • Directors
  • Other staff subordinate to the CAO and randomly selected employees
  • External working contacts with the CAO (in-person and by phone)

Review organizational achievement and performance:

  • Evaluate current and past working relationship with Council, management and staff
  • Review past and current organizational plans and directional documents
  • Review the management style of senior staff and their effectiveness as a management team
  • Analyse organizational response to business plan, mission statement and statement of goals/objectives

Task 3: Organizational Design

Conduct individual and confidential interviews with the following personnel (may be combined with interviews above):

  • Mayor and Councillors
  • CAO
  • Directors
  • Staff subordinate to Directors
  • External working contacts with Directors (in-person and by phone)
  • Review options for an effective organizational structure
  • Review past reports or studies relating to organizational structure
  • Review information gathered from interviews above
  • Conduct individual and confidential interviews with additional department staff 

Task 4: Service Efficiencies and Effectiveness

Review department achievements and performance:

  • Review current department policies and procedures and recent changes
  • Review past and current department plans and directional documents
  • Analyse department response to the Business Plan, Council Mission Statement and Statement of Goals/Objectives
  • Develop list of services provided by departments; where services are contracted out
  • Undertake a comparison with selected comparable municipalities
  • Identify differences in employee numbers and probable causes
  • Undertake department survey to identify service levels and completion times
  • Obtain performance measurements related to individual services
  • Review completion times and organizational targets
  • Review demographic and financial data, provide analysis on forecasts or projections
  • Review any published documentation relating to "best practices" 

Presentation of Draft Report
Provide interim briefings on our observations and concerns
Conduct further research as required
Provide to the client our Draft Report and Implementation Plan

Completion: Final Report
Provide xxxx bound copies of our Final Report and Implementation Plan
Provide originals for Executive Summary for release to public, plus web ready electronic file
Meet with the Council and provide briefing on the report

Completion: Follow-up
Ensure ongoing and regular contact with the Council and CAO over the subsequent 6-12 months and respond to any questions which might arise. We are prepared to provide additional details if and as required.