PHILADELPHIA – This week the City of Philadelphia released a new report and a video recap about the first two cohorts of the Operations Transformation Fund. The Operations Transformation Fund (OTF) is a $10 million investment created to fund City projects that reimagine and transform processes to improve government efficiency and better serve Philadelphia residents. The OTF, which is managed by the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), provides both funding and direct technical assistance.  

Through a competitive funding process, two cohorts of 29 projects combined were selected based on impact, equity, and sustainability. To date, $8.64 million of the $9.76 million OTF investment has been spent or obligated. Collectively, the first two cohorts of OTF projects are 80% of the way to completion.  CAO also launched the OTF Project Dashboard where the public can track current project status and performance metrics for each OTF project. The dashboard provides transparency and accountability into the City’s large OTF investments. 

Almost 100 employees from 28 City departments lead the OTF projects, which have already improved 50 operational processes across City government. Projects created efficiencies by improving workflows, reducing staff hours necessary to complete certain tasks, and removing barriers. Some examples of the specific impact OTF projects have demonstrated to date include: 

  • A higher percentage of City’s civil service workforce hired from 4 target recruitment zip codes  
  • A daily average of 255 visitors who connect to the computer network at 20 newly equipped recreation centers 
  • 180 registered landlords have added a total of 250 new housing units into an online platform connecting landlords with renters.  
  • 0 backlogged totes of library materials at the Free Library’s Regional Operations Center, down from a previous daily count of 600. 
  • 468 emergency messages have been pre-translated for ReadyPhiladelphia across 10 languages, including American Sign Language.  

“Throughout these grant cycles two key themes emerged,” stated Chief Administrative Officer Stephanie Tipton. “Prioritizing projects driven by employees leads to transformative, high-impact projects with sustainable outcomes, and having a central place for departments to get project delivery support results in greater capacity to get things done in City government.”  

The OTF was an opportunity for City employees to embrace creativity and think outside the box. Many projects elevated ideas from employees at all levels of government who were well-positioned to identify operational inefficiencies and propose innovative ways to make these processes more efficient and better able to serve the community. The OTF experience empowered City employees to develop new skills, think creatively, and collaborate with other departments. Throughout the funding cycle, CAO supported departments in designing and implementing projects with attention to accessibility and equity. 

OTF Program Officer Hannah Louie said, “OTF projects were encouraged to conduct meaningful community engagement, including appropriate compensation for participants. In partnership with the Philadelphia City Fund, which served as the fiscal sponsor to support resident engagement and community outreach, OTF projects distributed a total of $442,074 in compensation to individuals and community-based organizations. These investments in community expertise, and the direct link back to OTF projects informed by those engagements, demonstrate the City’s values in prioritizing innovations that equitably make a difference in the community.” 

Operations Transformation Fund project teams found value in the combination CAO offered of dedicated project funding and technical assistance for navigating administrative processes and delivering high-impact projects. When additional funding becomes available, the OTF can continue to invest in transformative ideas from City employees to improve how the City of Philadelphia works and serves our residents. 

View the full report and watch the video recap