If we were completely successful in this round table process, solved the issues and capitalized on the opportunities,

what would the policy and administration process look like at the City of Guelph?


Administration is about how we run the City, make sure things get done, and that plans and decisions are put into action. Administration is the way we organize how we work and provides the tools, resources, processes and systems to do it. Council recruits the CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) who is responsible for making sure that the City has an effective administration.

All departments at the City have administrative work to do. Administration might be processing a charity’s application to host a major event in Riverside Park, or it could be filling out and submitting a timesheet to human resources.

The City has to balance and meet the needs of lots of different people. Administration therefore must have standards, be consistently applied, clear and fair. It is also affected by the rules and regulations imposed by other levels of government.

Processes are series of actions and decisions that can be repeated over and over again. Business systems should make it easier for processes to run well. The City needs processes and systems that make work easier. Sometimes when processes and regulations take precedence over the needs of employees and the community, the system gets in the way. When this happens residents and employees get frustrated with all the ‘red tape’.


There are countless policies created by City employees. These policies guide our actions, the way we work and they profoundly affect the lives of our residents. Most policies are formal and have been documented and approved by management or City Council.

Some policies are informal and based on historic working practices that have not been formally adopted. Some policies guide big things, like how the City will attract businesses to Guelph and some policies guide smaller things like how people are expected to behave in a City pool. We are also affected by policies made by federal and provincial governments and other public services, such as the police.

Policies are brought to life by creating procedures, guidelines, rules, regulations, by-laws, strategies and processes.