Department of Assets, Information and Services

The Department of Assets, Information and Services, which oversees the city’s physical buildings and facilities, motor pool and IT infrastructure, was created in the 2020 budget by the merger of the city’s Fleet and Facility Management and Information Technology departments. An August 2022 Better Government Association analysis found that the merger had created some cost savings, slowing overall budget growth where the two separate departments’ appropriations categories overlapped.

Change Highlights and Context

  • AIS received the largest net budget increase of any department in the 2023 budget, up $54.4 million from 2022. The department also received the second-largest staffing increase of any department, up 143 full-time positions from 2022.
  • In addition to a substantial increase in headcount, the departmental Professional and Technical Services (outside contracting) budget is also up 22.7% from 2022, a $23.5 million increase to a total of $127.4 million.
  • The AIS headcount increase is primarily driven by new IT positions. Increases in the IT and Office of the Chief Information Officer sections account for 127 positions of the 143 net increase. The 2023 budget includes 62 new position titles in AIS, nearly all of which are IT-related, and the budget also creates a new Bureau of Centralized Information Technology section within the department.
  • AIS received a $10.2 million American Rescue Plan investment line item in the 2022 budget, which has been eliminated in the 2023 budget. According to the Recovery Plan Exhibit, AIS’s only ARP-funded program was “Investments in IT and digital service delivery teams to improve the effectiveness of relief and support programs addressing negative economic impacts exacerbated by the pandemic.” It is unclear from budget data whether the program will be continued or not, and if so, with what funding source.

Department of Procurement Services

DPS is the contracting, certification and compliance authority for the City of Chicago. An ordinance that took effect on Jan. 26, 2022 and that currently sunsets at the end of 2022 expanded the department’s authority to enter or amend contracts in emergencies from a $500,000 limit to a $1 million limit. At least three contracts were approved under that emergency authority, according to DPS contracting data.

Change Highlights and Context

  • The bulk of DPS’s budget increase comes from personnel costs. DPS added 28 new budgeted positions, a 26.7% increase in headcount.
  • DPS’s new budgeted positions include two director positions and a Deputy Procurement Officer position, part of a citywide increase in upper management positions. Across all departments, taking into account the various assistant/deputy/managing title variants, the 2023 budget adds 45 new Director or Commissioner positions.
  • DPS’s largest non-personnel budget increase was in the Professional and Technical Services (outside contracting) appropriation account, up $181,200 (25.9%) from 2022.

Chicago Animal Care and Control

Change Highlights and Context

  • CACC was one of only five departments to see an overall budget cut in the 2023 proposal (the others are the Board of Ethics, Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, Office of the Inspector General, and Office of Budget and Management).
  • Personnel expenses are down despite a slight increase in staffing complement. CACC added six full-time positions but cut 4.5 full-time equivalents in the hourly wage budget.

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Geoffrey Cubbage is a policy and budget analyst focusing on the Illinois General Assembly and Chicago's City Council. Prior to joining the Better Government Association in 2022, Geoffrey served as Director...