Sheila Jones named new Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2019



Sheila Jones is the successful candidate for the position of Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability. Prior to her new role, Sheila was the City’s Auditor, a position she has held since she began with the City in 2009.

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones; now the Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability.

From 2013 to 2016, Sheila led the Business Performance Advisory Unit which introduced Service portfolios and business plans to the organization. The introduction of both Service portfolios and the Business Case approach to justifying a new expenditure was new to the city; it took a bit of time for the line people to adjust to the change.

The creation of the new approach set the city up for the much more effective system that is in place.

In 2015 interview Jones explained where Council felt they fit into the Business Plans and Cases, Performance Tracking and Monitoring, Performance Reporting and Continuous Improvements process.

Were they OK with maintaining a strategic view of services by making decisions regarding commissioning and/or decommissioning of services; increasing and/or decreasing service levels and their appetite and/or tolerance for risk and a review of service portfolio?

Examples of de-commissioning a service were seen in the 2014 budget. Do you want leaf collection in the fall as frequently; how often do you want sidewalks plowed ?  The leaf collection has been an issue since then,

Jones asked Council rhetorically in 2015: Do you accept Council’s role and responsibilities? 100% they said BUT, …there was still some work to be done to show the link from strategic goals to performance management.

The report that was being discussed set out Senior Management, Service Owner and Staff Role and Responsibilities. Each was to maintain an operational and tactical view of services by:

making decisions regarding how services are delivered within the limits of Council approved service levels and budgets; determining, tracking/monitoring and reporting on performance and identifying risks; determining and implementing opportunities for continuous improvement; reviewing services and maintaining the service portfolio based on the decisions of Council.

It was this level of detailed work that made Sheila a natural for the job.

The work Sheila Jones back in 2015 is a primer for the five new members of the current Council

Shelia Jones does not suffer fools very well. She tends to be a little on the media adverse side but she understands and works well within both accountability and transparency standards

Prior to working at the City, Sheila worked with RBC Financial Group. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Government Auditing Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Auditor and has Certifications in Control Self-Assessment and Risk Management Assurance.

Sheila’s position will have corporate responsibilities for strategy execution, business performance, service reviews, continuous improvement, change and risk management. Sheila will champion the organization’s strategic plan and corporate strategies and related risk mitigation initiatives.

Corporate structure Nov 2109

The new role will be effective on Monday. There were more than 90 applications from both the public and private sectors for the position.
The position of Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability is a new position to the City as part of a new organizational design implemented in September which put more emphasis on strategic management, risk assessment and public accountability.

Filling the Executive Director position will complete a key role and team in the City Manager’s Office. Reporting directly to Sheila will be the positions of Business Performance Manager and Manager of Strategic Initiatives & Corporate Projects. Chief among Sheila’s responsibilities will be to lead this team in monitoring, guiding and reporting back, on a regular basis, on the City’s Vision to Focus work plan. From Vision to Focus is the City’s work plan that prioritizes key strategic directions from Burlington’s long-term 25-year Strategic Plan and details key goals and strategic actions required to move these priorities forward during this term of Council.

City Manager Tim Commisso said Sheila brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of risk management and accountability. Having Sheila dedicated to working closely with the Burlington Leadership Team and leading our strategic planning and risk management functions, including oversight of the implementation of Council’s Vision to Focus work plan will ensure the goals within the plan are met.”

Sheila Jones is now in a position to get Council to think “strategically” about those leaves.

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