ARCHIVED - Canada Border Services Agency 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

Note: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was created on December 12, 2003, from parts of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The last personnel transfers took place on April 1, 2005. CBSA is actively working to implement a single system that will consolidate all information about incumbents. CBSA indicates that due to the merger of three entities, which used different data systems, it is unable to confirm the statistics found in the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS).

The 2005-2008 CBSA Official Languages (OL) Action Plan is up for approval by senior management. It will replace the existing mechanisms that are based on what is used by the Canada Revenue Agency. The action plan covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act, and encompasses all of the CBSA's official language priorities, including those identified following the audit of airport border crossings conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC). It also includes the priorities proposed in the draft CBSA OL action plan developed following the audit conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) of service to the public at highway border crossings.

In the proposed 2005-2008 action plan, the Agency indicates that it will implement a series of performance indicators and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that services are being provided in both OL at all designated bilingual offices.

The OL roles and responsibilities of the champion, co-champion and coordinators are clearly defined and were shared with each individual. A reminder was sent to all regional coordinators in August 2005, and is posted on the Intranet site. Specific OL commitments are included in the performance objectives for all managers. In the spring, the CBSA submitted its first Official Languages Annual Report (2004-2005) to PSHRMAC.

b) Visibility of official languages in the organization (5%)

The 2004-2005 Performance Report outlines the progress on the implementation of a comprehensive employment equity and official languages strategy. The 2005-2006 Report on Plans and Priorities does not specifically mention OL, but it does state that the CBSA is forging ahead with its "transition" phase, in which it continues to establish a governance structure and integrate organizational functions and systems, among other things. It was indicated that senior management is integrating the various components of the OL program into all plans drafted as part of organizational changes and initiatives.

No OL audit has been carried out or planned as part of the integrated internal audit system.

A champion and co-champion were appointed as deputy chairs. Both are sitting on the management committee and are pro-actively bringing the OL issue to the management table. The proposed Corporate Action Plan will be submitted to the management table for approval. There is regular contact between the OL functional authority and the OL coordinator for Part VII.

The Agency may shortly present an OL policy to its employees, as well as guidelines that will clarify its application within the CBSA.

c) Complaints (5%)

Complaint resolution guidelines were once again shared with all regional coordinators in the reminder of August 31,  2005. They will also be discussed with the regional directors general. They were also posted on the Intranet site in the fall of 2005.

The action plans in response to recommendations made by OCOL are shared with the regions.

Agency employees may submit their comments, complaints and suggestions via the CBSA Intranet site. The OL Division handles the resolution of internal complaints. Managers are involved in the resolution of complaints, regardless of whether complaints were filed with OCOL or internally. There is no formal mechanism for building on the lessons learned.

OCOL has identified serious systemic problems regarding the active offer and provision of services in both official languages at some border crossings.

Service to the public – Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (4%)

In partnership with the PSHRMAC and Statistics Canada, the CBSA is currently reviewing the application of the regulations at all Agency offices that provide customs services, and at ports of entry. It will subsequently be able to update, in BUROLIS, information on offices.

During the course of observations of service in-person and on the telephone performed in the fall of 2005, OCOL representatives noted that BUROLIS was not up to date, particularly in the case of the following points of service no. 93430, 2985, 94603, 12914.

87% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, October 31,  2005)

b) Findings on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to the observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 92% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 61% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 92% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer of service by staff or by an automated system was made in 89% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 81% of cases.

c) The service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services(2%)

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

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Official languages awareness sessions were given in 2004-2005 to all customs inspectors at sites in the Niagara/Fort Erie and Windsor/St. Clair regions, following action plan implementation. Furthermore, official language minority communities are invited to submit their comments on the active offer and provision of services to the coordinator for the Windsor/St. Clair region.

The OL Division is preparing an information kit that will help employees to become more familiar and better understand their rights and obligations under the Act and is currently examining the exemplary practices required to initiate a dynamic dialogue on official languages internally and is planning to incorporate these best practices into its OL action plan.

Managers must regularly remind all employees in bilingual positions to make sure they greet all clients in both official languages (active offer). Headquarters sent a reminder to all regions on August 29, 2005. Shift supervisors monitor the provision of the active offer of service during each shift and complete reports to that effect. A pilot project on the observation of the active offer and service delivery took place in the Windsor/St. Clair and Niagara/Fort Erie regions. Both regions included a monitoring component in their manager performance agreements.

Managers must review their OL action plan annually and ensure progress is being made in areas related to service to the public and report to the regional coordinator. The regional coordinator must submit an annual report to the OL Division.

Language of work – Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy (12.5%)

96% of EX incumbents meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, October 31, 2005) CBSA has not been able to confirm the percentage of supervisors in bilingual positions in bilingual regions who meet the language requirements of their position.

CBSA indicates that there were no changes to the language profiles of designated bilingual positions during the transfer of employees from the three entities to the CBSA.

Policies and guidelines specific to the Agency are under development and are expected to be completed by March 31, 2006. The OL Division is currently developing an information kit for all managers and employees on language of work.

CBSA provides mandatory language training to all employees who were subject to non-imperative staffing for bilingual positions. As a member of the Ottawa Interdepartmental Language Training Program, the CBSA provides part-time career development language training. Equipped with its own language training directory, the CBSA continues to offer oral interaction exam preparatory courses for Levels B and C, as well as retention courses for Levels B and C, to all employees.

b) Establishment of an environment conducive to both official languages (12.5%)

The Intranet is used to inform managers and employees of their language of work rights and responsibilities. There were no regular reminders, but the information on the Official Languages Act on the Intranet site has improved.

Managers are responsible for monitoring compliance with the language of work policy. A reminder was sent to them via their regional coordinators about language of work and was posted on the Intranet site in October 2005. Regular quarterly reminders will also be posted. There is still no formal reminder mechanism for employees.

Both OL continue to be used during meetings at all levels. Upcoming tools development includes signs for all conference rooms reminding employees that they can speak in their language of choice during meetings.

There is currently no mechanism in place to monitor the application of the language of work policy, which would make it possible to verify that the work environment is conducive to the use of both official languages.

Equitable participation – Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

Francophones account for 21.5% of the CBSA workforce as a whole. (Source: PCIS, October 31, 2005)

b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec (5%)

Anglophones account for 13% of the CBSA workforce in Quebec. (Source: PCIS, October 31,  2005)

Development of official language minority 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 (12.5%)

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

Furthermore, after holding consultations with Francophone community groups, the District of Windsor/St. Clair published an article in Le Rempart asking clients to contact the CBSA representative for their region to share their comments on their level of satisfaction.

The CBSA is still planning to purchase advertising space and time in media serving official language minority communities during its media or recruiting campaigns.

b) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

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

Initiatives that promote Canada's linguistic duality include the internal promotion of events such as Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.

The CBSA encourages its managers to establish partnerships with educational institutions and other local organizations, and to visit job fairs to encourage the equitable recruiting of members from both official language communities.