ARCHIVED - Canadian Air Transport Security Authority 2004-2005

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2004-2005 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

Note: CATSA is a new organization that became operational on December 31, 2002, in response to the mandate received from the Government to assume responsibility for pre-boarding screening of passengers and their personal effects. Previous to this, a consortium of private-sector airline companies did the work. CATSA began managing new service provider contracts on April 1, 2004. Official language (OL) requirements are new for screening officers and for most of the Headquarters (HQ) staff.

CATSA produced an OL policy that also serves as an accountability framework. The policy provides management and employees with guidelines about their rights and obligations with regard to parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and describes the roles and responsibilities of the President and CEO, senior management, the Champion of OL, functional authorities for OL, Human Resources and employees.

CATSA has an OL action plan. The policy and OL action plan have been distributed and are being implemented. However, the plan is weak in terms of timelines and concrete achievables. Similarly, there was no indication of who is responsible for Part VII.

Human Resources are responsible for implementing the OL policy. This policy and the action plan are subject to monitoring by the Champion of OL in order to bring about the necessary change of culture.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

CATSA's annual report for last year (its first) did not include references to OL objectives. CATSA's Business Plan contained elements concerning official languages.

No audit has yet been conducted on OL, but OL are included in CATSA's checklist when they regularly inspect service providers.

The Executive Committee, which is made up of the President and vice-presidents, includes the OL Champion. The meetings of the Executive Committee are held in French every other week. OL issues are discussed frequently at these meetings.

Responsibilities for Part VII of the OLA have not yet been assigned.

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c) Complaints

There are still no written procedures, but complaints from OCOL are all reviewed with the managers responsible. Screening officers are reminded of their obligations by their supervisors when there are complaints. Organizational learning is occurring.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

CATSA advertises their bilingual points of service on Burolis and has a national 1-800 number in the white pages.

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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 60.0% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 30.0% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 80% of cases.

CATSA was not one of the organizations audited by the 2003 Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) telephone study.

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

The language requirements are spelled out in every contract with service providers. CATSA's regional manager in each region does inspections of Class 1 airports (i.e., major city airports), every day, and OL is on the checklist. However, since the contracts were only signed in April 2004, and 50 of the 89 contractors are new, no firm statistics are yet available on the results.

Also, senior CATSA HQ employees (who may not be known to the service provider) test the system whenever they fly. Furthermore, there is a financial incentive for the contractor in the form of a bonus paid for superior service, including the linguistic element of service, which will be paid at the end of the first year of the new contracts.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

CATSA has an OL Policy as well as internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) intended for screening officers. The SOPs explain how screening officers who first greet the travellers are required to make an active offer of service and what to do if the passenger responds in the minority language.

CATSA monitors that the contractor's employees actively offer bilingual service. Monitoring of the existence (but not necessarily of the quality) of bilingual services is the responsibility of local CATSA employees; it is part of their performance evaluation of the contractor.

There has been an article on the theme of OL published in the CATSA Newsletter, about every second or third edition. This is distributed to all screening personnel, as well as the actual CATSA staff.

In January 2004, CATSA did a survey of passengers. Of the 30 questions, a few were on bilingual services.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

61.5% of the supervisors in bilingual positions in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Data are from CATSA's Annual Review of Official Languages and are as of March 31, 2004).

CATSA has developed its own language of work policy. However, as an organization that is new to the Official Languages Program, CATSA appears to have in place only some of the necessary supports for the organization's language of work policy. For example, bilingual informatics tools, bilingual work place manuals, etc., are not as well developed as might be necessary. On the other hand, all employees shortly will be given access to language training. (CATSA is in the process of securing their own in-house professional language training capacity). Translation is always available for the "Leadership Committee" meetings (i.e., the meeting of all CATSA managers).

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

Reminders of employees' official language rights are in the form of posters; at the same time as these were distributed in 2003, information kits on obligations were sent to managers. CATSA managers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy in their units.

Executive meetings are held in both OL, and some measures to encourage and increase the use of the minority language appear to have occurred, such as the decision about making language training available to all employees.

Monitoring and controls of the use of both official languages in the workplace seem to be weak and somewhat reactive, although any time any employee sends out a unilingual e-mail to a group of employees in bilingual regions, the Champion writes to them personally to tell them this is not acceptable. At the same time he reminds them of the language of work requirement. As a result of this practice, it is becoming rare that unilingual e-mails are sent.

As yet, no objective information (e.g., survey) is available to management about employees' OL language preferences or their experiences concerning the use of both languages in the workplace.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

Figures on first OL are not collected for the contractors' employees. Except for one or two staff members in each region, CATSA has no employees outside of its Ottawa HQ site. CATSA has a workforce composed 26.9% of Francophones throughout Canada. (Data are from CATSA's Annual Review of Official Languages and are as of March 31, 2004).

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

CATSA has only two employees in Quebec so OCOL did not assess the organisation on this criterion.


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

In Britsih Columbia and Alberta CATSA contractors have begun consulting official language minorities for the past 6 to 12 months. Even though the focus has been almost exclusively on increasing recruitment of Francophone screening officers, these contacts nonetheless have begun the bridge-building process between the communities and CATSA. However, outside the B.C. and Alberta region, sensitization of employees to the needs of the minority communities does not seem to occur yet.

Within CATSA, the Champion plays an integrative role around OL considerations, on the Executive Committee. There are opportunities that he is beginning to become aware of and that he will start discussing with the rest of the Executive that would allow CATSA to better meet their Part VII obligations.

Space and time are purchased from media serving both official language communities. CATSA centrally approves all announcements (choice of medium and dates), which are then produced by a private company on behalf of CATSA.

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

At present the only mechanism designed to promote linguistic duality seems to be the ongoing awareness of the OL Champion. It appears that CATSA counts on him to remember to ensure that the dimension of linguistic duality and promotion of both OL are integrated into new initiatives as he becomes aware of them. However, thinking has begun in CATSA about this element and there may well be initiatives developed in 2005.

Internally, there has been an article on the theme of OL published in the CATSA Newsletter, about every second or third edition. This is distributed to all screening personnel, as well as the actual CATSA staff. As well, some activities are being considered, such as noon sessions for employees where amusing films could be shown to those who want to improve their French. A bilingualism corner may also be set up for the same purpose.

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