ARCHIVED - Canada Border Services Agency 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Canada Border Services Agency

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data

Rating

Management (15%)

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

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has an accountability framework that describes, in detail, the official languages (OL) roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders (employees, managers, president, senior executives, OL champion and co-champion, OL Division, OL coordinators). It specifies the manner in which the duties under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) are to be carried out. The framework explains how the work is to be coordinated among all the stakeholders. This framework, which was approved by the Human Resources Committee on November 29, 2006, also includes a section on OL monitoring at CBSA, which provides specific performance indicators. The Agency's seven vice-presidents sit on this management committee.

Instead of an action plan, CBSA has developed a road map for official Languages that takes into account the four key principles of its OL strategy: policy development, monitoring, education and awareness, and language training. This road map, which was approved by the Management Committee, covers Parts IV, V, VI, and VII of the the Act and encompasses all of the CBSA's OL priorities, including those identified as a result of the audit of airport border crossings by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC). It also includes the priorities proposed in CBSA's draft OL Action Plan, which was developed following the audit conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) of services to the public at highway border crossings. It specifies objectives to be achieved, their time frames and the actions required to achieve them.

Periodic updates are made to track the progress achieved against the road map and are discussed by the Management Committee. The OL Division and the OL Coordinators' Network participate in this exercise. Middle and senior managers' performance agreements include OL objectives.

A

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

The Human Resources Branch's Strategic Plan for 2006-2008 addresses OL issues in its strategies to recruit the qualified and representative workforce required to carry out its mandate. More specifically, it deals with language training and learning retention to increase the Agency's bilingual capacity.

CBSA's 2005-2006 Performance Report includes a section on bilingualism that describes the creation of a new OL Division and the development of an OL strategic plan to create a workplace that recognizes the value of linguistic duality. CBSA's 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Prioritiesalso refers to OL under the modern HR management regime. CBSA is committed to improving its bilingual capacity by strengthening its OL Program.

CBSA's internal audit unit has been including OL criteria into its operational audits since January 2006. Its Internal Audit Manual specifies that auditors must be familiar with the Act. It also indicates that auditors must use the audit to identify any problems with the Act's implementation regarding OL Program management, language of work, equitable participation and service to the public. The OL Division and the internal audit unit work closely together.

OL are addressed by the Management Committee. For example, in April 2006, the Director of Official Languages (DOL) introduced objectives to strengthen bilingualism at CBSA. This issue was also discussed in September 2006 with the regional directors general. Another presentation was made to the Management Committee in October 2006 to discuss the accountability framework. The Champion and Co-Champion are deputy chairs, and both sit on the Management Committee.

The DOL, who is also responsible for Part VII, meets with the Champion on a monthly basis to discuss OL-related issues.

A

c) Complaints (5%)

CBSA refers to its Directive on the Resolution of OL Complaints when resolving complaints. The Directive was submitted to the management committee for approval on November 29, 2006. It considers complaints filed with OCOL as well as complaints submitted directly to CBSA.

CBSA uses an electronic tracking system to document and monitor the status of complaints. When a complaint is received, it is recorded and forwarded to the OL coordinator of the region or the branch involved. The OL coordinator and the appropriate manager investigate the complaint, and prepare a response, which is forwarded to the appropriate director general. The OL Division reviews the response prior to being sent to OCOL.

The information and any corrective action taken regarding the complaints are sent to the appropriate vice-presidents. As part of her monthly presentation to the Management Committee, the Director of OL provides a trend profile, which is used to identify systemic problems within the organization. All OL coordinators are informed of complaints and any corrective action taken, who then forward this information to team leaders. However, in certain cases, the corrective actions taken did not permanently resolve the problems.

A

Sub-total:

A

Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

In partnership with PSHRMAC and Statistics Canada, CBSA reviewed the application of Part IV of the Act (Communications with and Services to the Public) at all Agency ports of entry. Further to the restructuring of 2003, regional coordinators identified bilingual offices. In November 2006, the required updates were sent to PSHRMAC to update the information relative to CBSA offices in Burolis.

When offices are closed or moved, the Comptrollership Branch sends this information to the Director of OL who subsequently asks PSHRMAC to update Burolis.

A total of 85% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2006)

B

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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active visual offer was present in 99% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 16% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 87% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 85% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 89% of cases.

C

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

A standard language clause is included in the template used to prepare service agreements delivered by third parties.

There are no controls in place to verify whether services delivered by third parties are provided in both OL and are of good quality.

C

d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

CBSA has developed a Policy on Communication with and Services to the Public. The Policy specifies CBSA's institutional obligations and those of its employees who work in a bilingual office. It also makes all personnel aware of the Agency's commitment to respect the equality of English and French. The Management Committee approved this Policy on November 29, 2006.

Employees who provide services to the public are advised on how to deliver these services through information sessions provided by regional coordinators. The content of these sessions depends on the target audience: managers, bilingual employees or unilingual employees. Regional directors general send out reminders to regional personnel. For example, on January 9, 2006, the Niagara-Fort Erie Regional Director sent out a reminder on the active offer of service to all employees. The frequency of these reminders varies from region to region. Some regions have also developed information kits for employees. The Director of OL hosts discussions on service delivery at management tables and with discussion groups to ensure employees fully understand their obligations and the rationale behind these obligations.

OL regional coordinators and superintendents perform spot checks to verify the availability and the quality of services to the public in the OL of the linguistic minority. In the Niagara-Fort Erie and Windsor-St. Clair regions, superintendents are required to complete, for each shift, an OL checklist to ensure that an active offer of service is made at all service points. The OL coordinator reviews these checklists to identify needs and trends. Performance appraisals of bilingual employees who serve the public include OL objectives. OL coordinators monitor Internet sites and check voicemail greetings. They also use as an indicator client feedback received through telephone calls, formal and informal complaints, and visits to CBSA offices.

A

Specific Problem

One specific problem being resolved: service delivery at CBSA service counters at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto and at border crossings in Ontario.

 

Sub-total:

C

Language of Work - Part V (25%)

a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

CBSA has developed a Policy on Official Languages of Work. Depending on whether a region has been designated bilingual or unilingual, the Policy, which was approved by the Management Committee on November 29, 2006, specifies language of work obligations in the following areas: supervision, personal and central services, training and development, work instruments, internal communications and language of meetings.

Meetings were held with management tables to discuss language of work. Regional coordinators provide information sessions on the use of the language of the linguistic minority in the workplace for employees and managers in bilingual regions. Through conference calls, the Director of OL regularly shares key messages with OL regional coordinators. For example, on June 29, 2006, the Director of OL met with regional coordinators to discuss the OL budget, OL information sessions, monitoring, language training and the 2006-2007 OCOL Performance Report. Pins and stickers with OL pictograms are available to identify bilingual supervisors and their offices. Posters are put up in boardrooms, encouraging the use of both official languages.

In larger offices, employees have access to resource centres where they can consult various language tools, books and pamphlets. In smaller offices, subscriptions to magazines and newspapers in the language of the linguistic minority are provided to employees. A mentoring program is also in place to help employees enhance or retain their second language skills. Cards of congratulations are sent to employees who have successfully completed language training.

As of March 31, 2006, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 95% of senior management and 85% of supervisors who must communicate with their staff in both languages in bilingual regions are bilingual.

B

b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Emails are sent out twice a year reminding managers and employees of their obligations and rights related to language of work. For example, on April 26, 2006, the OL Champion sent a reminder to her entire branch to encourage the use of both OL in the workplace and to provide information on certain tools available to employees. Information sessions offered by regional coordinators also serve as a vehicle for these reminders to managers and employees. Management Committee meetings are conducted in both OL.

CBSA is using the results of the Public Service Employee Survey and other internal surveys conducted by regions, branches and divisions to verify whether the Policy on Official Languages of Workis being applied. They also use the results of the performance appraisals of bilingual managers who have supervisory duties and of bilingual employees who provide personal and central services because these contain OL objectives. The presence or absence of language of work complaints also serves as an indicator to verify whether the Policy is being applied. The Director of OL and the OL coordinators monitor employees' signatures on emails, intranet postings, and out of office messages used for periods of extended leave.

The Public Service Employee Survey showed that overall, 68% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR), in New Brunswick and in bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 81% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.

C

Sub-total:

B

Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 22.4% Francophone. (Source, PCIS, March 31, 2006)

A

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

In Quebec, the workforce is 12.9% Anglophone. (Source, PCIS, March 31, 2006)

A

Sub-total:

A

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality - Part VII (25%)

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of official language minority communities (12.5%)

The road map, which serves as the OL Action Plan, is a permanent mechanism to ensure that CBSA's strategic planning, and the development of its policies and programs take into account the obligation to enhance the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs).

In order to raise awareness among senior management to the obligations resulting from amendments to the Act, in September 2006, the Director of OL presented CBSA's OLMC development responsibilities in its capacity as a non-designated institution to the Management Committee.  The Management Committee held discussions on this subject and CBSA will now start developing a strategy to take the amendments to the Act into account.

The Director of OL, who is responsible for Part VII, worked with OL regional coordinators to establish a committee for implementing Part VII. Regional coordinators liaise with OLMCs at the regional level. A list of the relevant advocacy associations was shared with the regional coordinators, who are responsible for contacting these associations to identify themselves. For example, in the Windsor-St. Clair region in Ontario, the regional OL coordinator met with representatives of various Francophone associations to publicize employment opportunities at CBSA. This region also works closely with the Windsor Employment Resource Centre. In May, the Director OL met with the Association des francophones de Victoria in British Columbia to better understand its mandate and take its needs into account.

Awareness sessions on the needs of OLMCs were held with OL coordinators, directors and managers in order to share and explain the information provided by Canadian Heritage. The action plan for Part VII was also shared with these individuals.

OL policies and programs have been reviewed to establish those impacting on the development of OLMCs. The human resources planning exercise includes a revision of some of the Agency's programs and policies, and takes into account recent changes to the Act. For example, during this exercise, CBSA reviewed the position of border services officer. From now on, this position will be staffed on a national basis to ensure that incumbents are representative of the minority population.

As a positive measure supporting the development of OLMCs, CBSA actively contributed to the development, creation and implementation of three bilingual service centres in Manitoba that consolidate a wide variety of federal, provincial and local government services in a single location to meet the needs of Franco-Manitobans. Without these three bilingual service centres, services offered by the provincial government and the local administrations would be in English only. In light of his participation to this initiative's committee, the Regional Director General, Prairies Region, received the Ronald Duhamel Award.

The Agency discussed with senior management how to factor in the needs of OLMCs when there are prospective changes. For example, when a bilingual office designation is subject to change, CBSA takes into account the impact of this change on OLMCs. Consultations took place with affected OLMCs when the application of the regulations on services to the public was being reviewed.

OL regional coordinators are asked to consult with regional and national advocacy associations, and to establish partnerships with other federal institutions, as was done in the Manitoba Region.

CBSA has developed an action plan to promote the development of OLMCs in the regions. This plan includes a component to assess the achievement of results. In addition, an initial review of Part VII is expected to be completed in January  2007.

B

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

The road map, which serves as the OL Action Plan, is a permanent mechanism to ensure that the CBSA's strategic planning, and the development of its policies and programs take into account the obligation to foster the equal status and use of both English and French.

In order to raise awareness among senior management to the obligations resulting from amendments to the Act, in September 2006, the Director of OL presented CBSA's responsibilities regarding the promotion of linguistic duality, in its capacity as a non-designated institution, to the Management Committee. The Management Committee held discussions on this subject and CBSA will now start developing a strategy to take the amendments to the Act into account. 

The Director of OL, who is responsible for Part VII, worked with OL regional coordinators to establish a committee for implementing Part VII. Regional coordinators liaise with OLMCs at the regional level. A list of the relevant advocacy associations was shared with the regional coordinators, who are responsible for contacting these associations to identify themselves.

Employees who develop policies and programs that can have an impact on the promotion of linguistic duality were not made aware of their obligation of taking positive measures. However, CBSA is confident that the promotion work done through the language training program contributes to the staff's awareness of this obligation.

Certain policies and programs have been revised to identify those that have an impact on the advancement and use of English and French. Such was the case during the human resources planning exercise.

As a positive measure to foster the full recognition and the use of both English and French internally and in Canadian society, the Agency has implemented a solid language training program. CBSA works in partnership with the private sector, colleges and universities to delivery language training, and has signed agreements with the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) and other departments to share resources (instructors and facilities). In fact, CSPS encourages other departments to use the CBSA model. Tutoring programs over the telephone were also implemented. CBSA promotes opportunities to work in the language of the linguistic minority among OLMCs, in order to publicize employment opportunities at the Agency. Job postings are advertised to associations or federal councils in various regions through newspapers and other media. In addition, the Toronto Region coordinator met with college and university students in Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins to inform them of career opportunities at CBSA. The Agency also established a network of senior management level ambassadors who participate in regional management tables.

CBSA has developed an action plan, which takes into account the promotion of linguistic duality and includes a component to assess the achievement of results. An initial review on Part VII is expected to be completed in January 2007.

B

Sub-total:

B

OVERALL RATING

B