Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion audit finds progress and more work to do in Hamilton

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Published January 18, 2024 at 3:47 pm

An Audit of Hamilton’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals has found progress has been made toward the city meeting those goals, but there is still work to do.

The findings come from a City Auditor General Report released on Jan. 18. This audit examined how the organization at city hall has implemented policies to increase Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) across city staff and management. It also looked at how city services interacted with residents through the lens of EDI.

“The audit found that while there were examples of progress made as part of the City’s efforts, such as education and training, community capacity building, and planning and policy, the work fell short on clear objectives, comprehensive planning and coordination,” the city wrote.

The Auditor found progress through education and training, community capacity building, and planning and policy. However, it noted the city “fell short” on clear objectives, comprehensive planning and coordination. It advised “rigorous project management, stronger governance and long-range strategic planning” was required for the city to move closer to its goals.

Overall, the Auditor made 33 detailed recommendations for the city to meet their goals. Management has agreed to implement all of them. However, the timeline for implementation is vague with many listed as “unknown.” Others say they will be completed within 12 to 18 months or as late as the end of 2025.

The city described the recommendations as filling “gaps in good governance, sound project management, proactive risk assessment, and robust change management.” The recommendations are fairly detailed for example the first entails “a governance structure that helps ensure proper oversight and accountability for EDI initiatives be created.”

Others suggest each Department and/or division “consider creating their own EDI advisory committees” or that “EDI implementation in all areas be executed and managed as a large-scale multi-year project, that is led by a project management team.”

A full list of the recommendations and the city’s approach to reaching them is available online.

“The progress made by the City in ensuring the successful implementation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is encouraging. In order to embed EDI and become a truly equitable, diverse and inclusive organization, the City must step up and chart a path forward by focusing on the recommendations proposed in this comprehensive report,” said Auditor General Charles Brown.

 

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