ARCHIVED - Canada Border Services Agency 2004-2005

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2004-2005 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data

Rating

Management

a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place

Note: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was created on December 12, 2003, from parts of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA, now CRA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). For the time being, the Agency is still using CRA, CIC and CFIA human resources and financial systems. The CBSA intends to define its own policy instruments as soon as possible.

The CBSA does not have its own official languages (OL) accountability framework. For 2003–2004, the CBSA prepared an annex to the CRA's Annual Report on OL. The CBSA has its own bilingual Intranet site up and running. Furthermore, the CBSA still has access to Infozone, the CRA's Intranet, which may be used to inform staff of the Agency's commitments.

The CBSA is currently developing its own OL action plan. In the meantime, CBSA is using the former CCRA's plan, which covered 2002 to 2005, for what has become CBSA. The Customs annex to the CRA's 2003–2004 annual report on OL describes the challenges for the Customs Program.

Performance indicators will be developed and a monitoring program measuring the quality of services is planned. Existing tools will be adapted to the new agency's mandate and business lines.

As part of their performance agreements, managers must fulfill OL obligations towards the public.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

The new CBSA executive team is conducting a policy development exercise (vision, values, and direction); until this document is available, the objectives described in the CCRA's 2002–2005 business plan serve as a reference. A distinct business plan is under development; it will integrate all HR and OL principles. There is a commitment to integrate OL objectives in the Report on Plans and Priorities as well as in the Performance Report. No OL audit has been carried out or planned as part of the integrated internal audit system.

As part of the transition process, the OL issue has been discussed. The OL Champion, a member of the executive committee, sees himself as an interim until the organization's management structure if fully staffed.

Liaison mechanisms between parts IV, V, VI and VII have yet to be determined.

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c) Complaints

There is an in-house complaint resolution process in place, carried over from the CCRA. The CRA offers access to COM-DIRECT, an on-line complaints venue that allows anonymous complaints to be submitted internally. A similar type of intranet venue is being considered for the CBSA.

Managers are involved in the resolution of complaints.

There are persistent systemic problems of active offer and service delivery in both official languages at certain border points in southern Ontario and at customs stations in Lansdowne.

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Service to the public - Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and adequate bilingual staff

Agency signage and electronic services are bilingual. While visiting service outlets in the fall of 2004, OCOL representatives noted that Burolis was not up to date, particularly in the case of service outlet 94603.

Data on bilingual incumbents is unavailable from the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency Canada (PSHRMAC) due to the CBSA's new status as a department.

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b) Findings on active offer and service delivery

According to observations on in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2004, active visual offer was present in 81.8% of cases, active offer by the attendant was made in 27.3% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 81.8% of cases.

The Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada telephone service audit indicated that active offer by attendants was done 50.5%* of the time, on telephone answering machines 78.5% of the time, while actual service was provided in the minority language 89.0% of the time. (*Results obtained for the CCRA.)

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c) The service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services

A standard clause is used in contracts; however, the issue of contract monitoring has not been yet been addressed by the Agency.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

PSHRMAC tools are used for self-assessment purposes. Monthly reporting is in place. Managers are expected to take appropriate action to correct deficiencies.

A telephone survey was recently conducted (under the CCRA) in addition to an annual survey on Customs services. A pilot project on an alternate mode of service using audio technique is still being tested at the Rainbow Bridge and in the Windsor Tunnel. Travellers have been asked to fill in questionnaires.

Under the CCRA, regions used to offer information sessions on active offer of service. However, no regular reminders are issued to employees on their obligations.

The Border Services' efforts to increase the bilingual capacity at the southern Ontario crossing (Ambassador Bridge) were complimented in Le Rempart, a French language news publication.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

Within the Customs Program, 76.4% of supervisors that are required to be bilingual in bilingual regions meet their language requirements (Source: Customs Program Annex to the Canada Revenue Agency 2003–2004 Annual Report on OL).

Within the CBSA as a whole, 92.0% of EX incumbents required to be bilingual in bilingual regions meet their language requirements (Source: Official Languages Division, CBSA, January 2005).

During the transition period, CBSA will use PSHRMAC policies. Developing in-house policies is part of the 2004–2005 business plan.

The "Quality Management System - Official Languages" project includes support measures.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

The Intranet is used as a vehicle to inform managers and employees. There are no regular reminders as yet; however, the CBSA will carry over from the CCRA its participation in the "Quality Management System - Official Languages" project, which aims to create an environment that is conducive to the use of both OL in the workplace through mutual respect between colleagues. The program is currently in the "train the trainer" phase. Also, in a joint effort, the CRA and PSHRMA offered awareness workshops on the "Respect Inspires" project. Managers are responsible for policy compliance.

Both languages are used at meetings of the Executive Management Committee. Reminder mechanisms to employees on language of work practices have not been established yet.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

CBSA staff is 22.65% Francophone across Canada. (Source: Customs Program Annex to the Canada Revenue Agency 2003–2004 Annual Report on OL).

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

CBSA staff is 11.9% Anglophone in Quebec. (Source: Customs Program Annex to the Canada Revenue Agency 2003–2004 Annual Report on OL).

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Development of minority language communities and promotion of linguistic duality - Part VII

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities

There are no specific mechanisms in place at this time to take into account the development of minority language communities. However, regional coordinators establish contacts with local groups.

Regarding the purchase of advertising space and time in the media that serve linguistic minority communities, there is no system in place yet. The interim champion said that there are few contracts awarded. Most tenders are for professional services (consultants). The Agency wants to review advertising management from an OL perspective.

The Respect Inspires awareness workshops promote inclusion and understanding to increase employees' sensitivity to the needs of minority communities.

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b) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the promotion of linguistic duality

Regional coordinators monitor the situation, establish contacts with local groups and report to the HR functional authority.

Initiatives that promote Canada's linguistic duality include the internal promotion of events such as Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, and consultations with language interest groups such as Canadian Parents for French (British Columbia). In addition, the Customs work plan will contain specific commitments to improve its bilingual capacity, and the regions will be invited to make suggestions on ways to improve service.

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OVERALL RATING

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