Public policy seeks to achieve a desired goal that is considered to be in the best interest of all members of the community

Policies guide service delivery decisions that support the District’s vision and goals. They guide the allocation of staff resources and how District staff operates in the case of administrative policies and procedures. Policies address a problem or issue that is generally perceived as significant to the community.

  • What is policy?

    A policy is a guideline for employees to follow in making decisions best for Sparwood.

    It provides a framework for the delegation of decision making, eliminates misunderstandings, reduces uncertainties and enables goals and objectives to be met. Some latitude is allowed in decision making, dependent upon circumstances, otherwise it would be considered a rule or procedure. However, in making decisions, the intent of the policy must be followed.

  • What is the purpose of policy?

    Policies are intended to:

    • promote common understanding of Council's policy objectives;
    • provide direction to allow staff to meet Council's policy objectives;
    • facilitate better and more timely decisions;
    • ensure uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of policy;
    • allow staff to know what is expected of them;
    • ensure that similar situations are handled consistently;
    • promote delegation of decision making to the level that must face the problem or situation when it arises;
    • encourage coordination and integration of actions and plans within and across functional areas and departments; and
    • address problems or situations that are repetitive or recurring.

More Information on Policies...

Before the District begins to draft a new policy for Council consideration, a proper analysis is completed to ensure that we are addressing the underlying problem or issue:
  1. Define the Problem – The first step is to outline the problem. This involves not only recognizing that an issue exists, but also studying the problem and its causes in detail. 
  2. Collect Evidence / Do Your Research – Review the history of the issue, has it been addressed before, what information already exists. 
  3. Develop Options – Be creative and think outside of the box, brainstorm, generate as many options as possible.  
  4. Select Criteria – Select criteria that are important and then weight them. Evaluate your chosen criteria and understand the trade-offs you will need to make once you have made your decision. Follow through and measure your results.
  5. Project / Predict the Outcomes – Quantify the outcomes where possible (cost estimate or construct a scale with defined meanings). If you can’t quantify the outcomes then qualify them. (poor, good, very good, excellent or never, sometimes, usually, always)  
  6. Confront the Trade-Offs – It’s all about the trade-offs. Money vs. equity, Safety vs. cost, and Fairness vs. efficiency. There are no absolute right choices. The preferred option is the one with the best outcomes and the fewest high value trade-offs.
  7. Decide – Select one of the policy options.
  8. Communicate / Evaluate – Establish a communications strategy to convey the policy to your target audience. Determine which methods of communication to use (ie. Paper, email, website links, training, etc.) and communicate to staff and public.