ARCHIVED - Canadian Food Inspection Agency 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data

Rating

Management

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

The Official Languages (OL) Policy of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was revised and presented to the CFIA's senior management committee along with the OL Strategic Plan and the OL Accountability Framework in 2005. The revised policy strengthens program management and responds to Public Service Human Resources Management Agency Canada (PSHRMAC) OL policy, it also includes a section on Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

The development of the OL accountability framework is completed and has been communicated to major stakeholders. The documents along with the OL strategic plan will be posted on the Intranet.

CFIA has an instrument on the delegation of authorities, which establishes accountability for the obligations set out in various parts of the Act including Part IV, V, and VI. In addition, a mandatory five-day program, intended for all new managers who have delegated authority, includes a section on OL requirements.

As part of its corporate business plan, the CFIA is committed to re-energizing its OL Program. The President has made OL one of the two top priorities. The OL Annual Review is tabled and discussed each year at the sub-committee on Human Resources, which is co-chaired by the Vice President of HR and the Vice President of the Science Branch. The commitment to OL is further strengthened by a specific requirement to address OL responsibilities in accountability-based performance agreements for all Agency EXs, including the president.

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

The CFIA's 2004 05 Annual Report, the 2004-05 Performance Report, the Report on Plans and Priorities for 2005-06 as well as the 2003-08 Corporate Business Plan mentioned OL under the HR Management and Providing Sound Agency Management segments and in the 2003-2008 HR strategy, The Face of Excellence. Other operational documents have been produced such as Official Languages Requirements for Staffing.

National and area OL champions have been appointed. The mandate of the champions to promote and support OL was clearly defined and communicated to them. These OL champions have since held four meetings to discuss issues and challenges. They have also met with respective area management teams to discuss OL issues, develop, approve and implement area OL action plans covering Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the ACT. CFIA has also identified OL leads in each of the areas that support the OL program and their respective OL champions. The OL coordinator provides ongoing advice and assistance to OL leads and OL champions.

The President is an active member on the Committee of Deputy Ministers on Official Languages. OL issues are discussed at the meetings of the sub-committee on HR. The Senior Advisor to the president, who is the overall OL champion, sits on the Executive Committee and is invited to the senior management committee (SCHR) when OL issues are on the agenda; the OL coordinator is invited to meetings, when appropriate, to deal with OL issues. Discussions on OL matters/issues at various levels of management i.e. HR Operations Division conference calls, OL champions meetings and SCHR, continue to take place this year.

The responsibility for Part VII of the Official Languages Act is taken into account in the corporate-wide objectives, in accordance with the Government's action plan for OL, along with obligations under Parts IV, V, and VI.

c) Complaints (5%)

Complaints are directed to the OL coordinator, recorded and forwarded to the appropriate field office. The appropriate manager finds a solution to the problem and makes sure it is implemented and reports back to the OL coordinator, who liaises with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL).

The OL coordinator also maintains a complaint file and follow-up system to ensure complaints are responded to efficiently and effectively. In addition to this process, CFIA has implemented a mechanism to share information on complaints across the country through the HR managers in each area. Once a complaint has been resolved, the complaint and the implementation of corrective measures are discussed at the HR Operations Division conference call via the OL coordinator or shared through email. The HR managers bring the complaint and resolution to the area management table to ensure that CFIA managers across the country are aware of and can learn from the complaint.

OCOL has not identified any systemic problem.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

86% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Annual Review on OL 2004-05, April 2005)

Bilingual offices information appears in BUROLIS and in the Blue Pages. According to CFIA, designated offices have bilingual signage. A major review and reconciliation of BUROLIS has been conducted. Over 125 corrections to CFIA offices were made. CFIA worked closely with their Liaison Officer at PSHRMAC to implement corrections. The OL Section regularly updates BUROLIS.

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 51% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 18.5% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 77% 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 67% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 55% of cases.

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

Service agreements with third parties contain clauses on requirements stemming from the Act. For example, OL requirements apply to publications produced in conjunction with, or by, third parties under partnership or other agreements. The compliance with this policy is monitored, evaluated and reported on to the CFIA Executive Committee by Public Affairs.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Managers are responsible for informing employees and making sure they offer adequate bilingual service. A practical guide, "Achieving Balance", to help employees meet their obligations under the Act is available on the CFIA's Intranet. A Guide on how to deliver services in both OL has also been made available on the Intranet. OL obligations are covered in the CFIA's orientation program. CFIA guidelines are posted on the Intranet.

The current OL policy gives examples of monitoring vehicles: on-site visits, review of written material, clients surveys, audits related to the service in both OL. A mid-year telephone monitoring exercise of bilingual service points in CFIA offices across the country was conducted in September and October 2005 to verify the active offer, the voice mail messages and the provision of adequate service in the language of choice. The results of this exercise will be communicated to the individual offices involved and they will be asked to implement any corrective actions necessary.

The OL communications plan includes regular reminders to employees on obligations under service to the public. (Latest article was released in the November 2005 edition of CFIA's national publication entitled, "Contact", and in all area-specific publications.)

Language of work - Part V

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

84% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both official languages are able to do so. (Source: Annual Review on OL 2004-05, April 2005)

The overall OL policy covers language of work rights and obligations for managers and employees. Additionally, the staffing guidelines outline managerial responsibilities with respect to language of supervision.

It is up to the chairperson of each meeting to remind attendees that they may use either language. The CFIA intends to improve liaison activities with local managers to increase awareness. Unit self-evaluation is used to control policy compliance.

The Agency offers language and retention training through the Developmental Language Training Program, in its third year running, and has invested $450,000 for 2005-06. A comprehensive toolkit, Recent Language Training Graduates was developed and is disseminated to all graduates. The toolkit includes a congratulatory letter (signed by the employee's most senior manager and the OL champion in the area) and a wealth of information to help employees maintain and use their second language in the workplace.

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

Actions have been taken to address areas of concern found in a 2003 employee survey. Results have been presented to senior management and to employees. The next survey is planned for 2006-07.

The OL communications plan includes regular reminders to be sent out to employees and managers on rights and obligations under language of work. The internal newsletter, Contact, sometimes carries OL messages or articles, and OL messages are circulated to all staff through the internal Z list. Bilingual posters were sent to all regions designated bilingual, for language of work purposes, for use in central areas (e.g. boardrooms, reception areas, lunchrooms, etc.).

There are several Francophones on the Executive Committee. Members are encouraged to use their language of choice during meetings. The OL coordinator monitors e-mails on a regular basis to ensure that messages are sent out simultaneously in both OL.

The Atlantic area also conducted an OL Assessment Survey on all its offices to assess how each office is carrying out its obligations and to verify their level of compliance with respect to language of work and service to the public. This is considered a best practice and will be shared with all areas across the country.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 26% of the CFIA workforce as a whole. (Source: Annual Review on OL 2004-05, April 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 3% of the CFIA workforce in Quebec. (Source: Annual Review on OL 2004-05, April 2005)

Actions are underway in that area to validate statistical data and are identified in the Quebec area's OL action plan including the development of a recruitment strategy to increase Anglophone representation.

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

The OL coordinator is responsible for communicating information on Part VII to the organization. Memorandums to Cabinet are sent to the OL coordinator for review and to ascertain the possible impact on OL minority communities.

The OL communications plan calls for message to be sent to all employees to raise awareness of the needs of the minority communities with regards to Part VII.

CFIA met with Canadian Heritage representatives to seek a better understanding of CFIA's obligations under Part VII. New guidelines on Part VII will be developed in accordance with the CFIA OL policy.

The CFIA also developed an Official Languages Strategy for Atlantic Canada.

The new OL policy, released in 2005, includes a section on Part VII of the Act. Part VII is also included in the area management teams' action plans developed in September 2005.

The CFIA's Publication Policy contains OL requirements that include advertising in the minority language media. It stipulates that all CFIA publications targeted at an external or broad internal audience must be published simultaneously and of equal quality in both OL. The compliance with this policy is currently monitored and evaluated and will be reported on to senior management, by Public Affairs to the CFIA Executive Committee.

Prior to ceasing bilingual services in four CFIA offices, consultations took place with the local OL minority communities to determine if services are required in both official languages. Options were discussed and they came to a mutually agreed decision in each instance.

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

According to CFIA's Corporate OL Communication Plan, the President sent out a message to all employees reiterating his commitment to "embracing linguistic duality and diversity" within the Agency in July 2005.

The President and national OL champion have identified OL as a priority and sit on the senior management HR committee with CFIA senior management. The President and champion can influence, promote and educate at this level. The CFIA states that its organizational culture takes the country's linguistic duality into account.

OVERALL RATING