1. Government/Public Service Idea Locker
Fostering Innovation in the Public Service
(FMI Edmonton status - scheduled for May 2016)
Public servants are expected to be innovative while working in a
risk averse environment. This inherent conundrum is compounded
during times of fiscal restraint when ideas are solicited but
resources are few. What is innovation, how do you get it, how do
you keep it and when should you avoid it? How to propose, implement
and sustain an innovative idea or culture in an environment that is
less than ideal. Finally, thoughts and strategies of making the
case during times of fiscal restraint.
notes: Consider engaging Ministries or academics involved in
innovation or productivity research. Include speakers from
non-related industries such as product design professionals or
Public Service and Its Unions
(FMI Edmonton status - scheduled for January
One pervasive constant in the public service is the existence of
unions across all levels of government. This session will consider
the benefits to the members, citizens and taxpayers unions play and
what are the corresponding costs or inefficiencies they
notes: Involve local unions, labour leaders and non-union
adherents to participate in discussions about the myths, realities,
benefits and costs of unionization in the public
Surviving the Dreaded Re-Organization
Re-organizations are not unique to governments; but why do
re-organizations from the political level occur in the first place,
who has mastered the art of surviving and what can a public servant
take away from or contribute to the re-organization? Beyond the
structural changes, what are the specific challenges in changes in
leadership and the loss of corporate knowledge? What are the
impacts to managers, non-managers with a specific focus on the role
of the finance person in the re-organization?
notes: Consider inviting former political leaders to answer
the question about the intent or plan for an organization; invite
leaders from mergers and acquisitions as well as academics
experienced with organizational change.
How Government Works, a Ground Up Review
Canada has three-levels of government, federal,
provincial/territorial and municipal/aboriginal. How do these
government-levels work? What are the similarities, differences and
nuances for each? What should a financial manager or public servant
know about these similarities or differences?
notes: Consider collaborating for this event, include
presentations from past and present sitting politicians and a tour
of a political building such as the Legislature or Parliament
Policies, Procedures, Legislation, Regulations and
Accountability and oversight has many forms. What organizations
have mastered the subtle art of enough control that does not
destroy innovation in its ranks? This session will look at that
delicate balance, including special focuses, between the federal
and provincial treasury boards and municipal equivalents.
notes: Consider having speakers who have mastered or are in
charge of policy or procedure review initiatives.
2. Financial Management or Professional Interest Idea
Fraud Awareness in the Public Sector
(FMI Edmonton status - scheduled for September
Internal controls are central to the fiduciary responsibilities
of financial professionals and financial managers in the public
service. How good are your controls, is passing an audit enough and
can you have too much control? These are the questions that a panel
of experts will discuss including examples from the real world of
notes: Consider partnering with an accounting firm, police
service and the Auditor General for this event.
Public Sector Budgeting, Part I: Who Loves their Budget
Budgets are central to a public service organization. In many
ways they are as important or perhaps more important than even the
financial statements. This is particularly so in organizations
using the Westminster model of budget approval (e.g. the provincial
or federal governments). Given their importance, who does budgeting
well? Who has clients that love the system and who can produce
reliable forecasts quickly? This session will explore these
questions and opportunities from a system, municipal, provincial
and federal perspective.
notes: Consider partnering with a technology company (e.g.
SAP, Oracle) to provide the first lens. Next, seek out positive
stories of organizations who do good budgeting. Finally, this may
be a partnering opportunity with an accounting or consulting
Public Sector Budget, Part II: Do Results/Performance Based
Budgets really perform (or deliver results)?
Known by many names and methodologies (Results-Based,
Zero-Based, etc.), a performance-based budget strives to link
inputs (financial and other resources) with the outputs and
intended outcomes. In theory results-based budgeting improves the
allocation of scarce resources available to a public service. In
practice though, what have been their successes and challenges?
notes: Explore these challenges through panel discussions
and presentations from former public servants charged with
delivering budgets, former politicians using the budget and
academics studying the issue.
Standards, Standards and More
For accountants working in non-traditional finance areas, it is
easy to get rusty on the standards that underpin our work. This
refresher will provide a whirlwind tour for the financial manager
on the accounting standards in force and that influence the public
service. This will include the legacy Canadian CICA, International
Accounting Standards (IAS), International Financial Reporting
Standards (IFRS), Canadian Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB),
International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
notes: Considering partnering with a local CPA chapter.
Accounting for and Managing Assets in
How well does your organization manage the asset life cycle? How
is that asset verification thing working out for you? Are your
organization policies, procedures and technology current or are
they getting a bit stale? Finally, do you understand the accounting
standards relative to tangible, intangible, componentization or
work-in-progress accounting? This session will examine the asset
life cycle, who is doing it well, the standards and what could be
notes: Considering partnering with an accounting firm and a
local CPA Chapter for this event.
3. Local/Personal Interest Idea Locker
The following are suggested as being more generic ideas for FMI
Chapters. The reality is that local/personal interest events are
going to be driven by the context of the Chapter. Thus events about
oil and gas exploration, maritime law or managing governments in
two official languages will be more or less of interest to
different Chapters across the country. Nevertheless, try to have a
least one fun or personal development event per year to show the
diversity of FMI programming!
Mission Possible: Building Better Teams?
Teams or at least work units are the basis for most
organizational structures. How can financial managers build better
teams and how can financial professionals and public servants be
better followers and contributors to a team? More importantly, how
to balance the success of the team with individual performance
management and promotion?
notes: Explore these issues and concepts with speakers from
the human resource and business coaching communities and invite
members of an effective team to speak at the event.
Personal Development Mini-Ideas
Without getting into too many details, some quick ideas along
the theme of personal development:
- People and their personalities/colours. (FMI Edmonton sold
out twice with this theme)
- The 360 Review and Benefits of Self-Knowledge.
- The Art of Influencing Others.
- Building Teams when Times are Tough.
- The Art of Performance Measurement, Management and Avoiding
Is your city building a new hockey arena, recovering from a
natural disaster or had an event affecting or involving the public
service? Consider having a sitting or retired political or senior
public servant come and speak at a local Chapter event. Even
better, if this is a good news story, seek opportunities to partner
with the organization so as to reduce costs and organizational