ARCHIVED - Canadian Food Inspection 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

The current OL Policy explains roles and responsibilities but does not cover accountability mechanisms.

The CFIA indicates that the future Human Resources Performance Measurement Framework will be a useful accountability mechanism for OL. The CFIA also points out that quarterly reporting on OL will become available to senior managers in 2005.

Segments on OL are to be found in the 2003–2008 Human Resources Strategy, The Face of Excellence. 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 Official Languages Annual Report is tabled and discussed each year at the sub-committee on HR, which is co-chaired by the VP HR and the VP Operations. The Atlantic Area of the CFIA has an OL Strategy/Action plan for 2003–2004 outlining the obligations, elements to improve, targeted results, performance indicators and timeframe.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

OL objectives are mentioned partially in the CFIA 2002–2003 Annual Report, in the 2003–2004 Performance Report, in the Report on Plans and Priorities for 2004–2005 as well as in the 2003–2008 Corporate Business Plan. Other operational documents have been produced such as Official Languages Requirements for Staffing. No specific measures have been taken but the government's Action Plan for Official Languages has renewed interest in the OL Program within the CFIA. No audits have been carried out on OL objectives.

National and area OL champions have been appointed and a clear mandate to promote and support OL has been approved. Meetings are to be held four times a year to discuss issues and challenges. The first meeting was held in November 2004.

The sub-committee on HR meets about 12 times a year to discuss HR matters on 10 occasions, the issue of OL was discussed. Last year, OL was discussed at least four times by this committee. The OL champion, a senior executive, is a member of this committee; the person responsible for OL management is invited to meetings, when appropriate, to deal with OL issues.

On an annual basis, headquarters staff conducts two spot checks of active offer (calls to service outlets).

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

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c) Complaints

Complaints are directed to the OL Co-ordinator, recorded and channelled 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 Co-ordinator, who liaises with the Commissioner of Official Languages (COL).

The case of the reorganization of the Shippagan office highlighted certain weaknesses in the implementation of Part VII.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

Telephone lines offering bilingual service are listed in the Blue Pages and bilingual offices appear in Burolis. Designated offices have bilingual signage. It is up to management and departing employees to pass on the corporate knowledge on the client's language needs (specific clientele). Employees know their sectors and adapt to their clientele.

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 30463.

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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 69.2% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 7.7% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 46.2% of cases.

The latest telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency indicated that active offer by staff was done 56.3% of the time, on telephone answering machines 76.7% of the time, while actual service was provided in both OL 79.1% of the time.

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

Service agreements with third parties contain clauses on requirements stemming from the OLA. However, there are no examples of regular monitoring of services offered by third parties.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

A practical guide (Achieving Balance) was published two years ago to help employees meet their obligations under the OLA. The guide is available on the CFIA's intranet.

Managers are responsible for informing employees and making sure they offer proper bilingual service. Unit self-evaluation is used; as with other quality issues, managers are expected to ensure that bilingual services are up to standard. There is no distinct reporting system on the quality of bilingual services.

An employee and manager toolkit on how to deliver services in both OL (Deliver Service in Both OL) was sent out to those offices that recently gained an obligation and to those offices that received a telephone audit and under-performed.

OL obligations are covered in the CFIA's orientation program. CFIA guidelines are posted on the intranet. Twice a year, the CFIA carries out spot checks. A member of headquarters calls local offices to see if the greeting is bilingual (voice mail and live greeting). Checks are anonymous. If the live greeting is unilingual, the information request is made in the other official language to assess the quality of the response. The current OL policy gives examples of other monitoring vehicles: on-site visits, review of written material, clients surveys.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

71.7% of supervisors located in bilingual regions who are required to be bilingual meet their language requirements (Source: 2003-2004 CFIA Annual OL Report).

The overall OL policy covers language of work. Additionally, the staffing guidelines outline managerial responsibilities with respect to language of supervision.

Over the past year, four messages dealing with OL issues were sent out to employees; all of these messages were meant to sensitize employees to OL objectives and some of them carried language-of-work messages. The internal newsletter Contact is sometimes used as a vehicle. OL issues are addressed in messages circulated to all staff (Z: list) both in specific areas as well as nationally from headquarters.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

The employee survey asked six questions related to OL. The results have been analysed and 75.0% of the responses were positive. Respondents indicated that they were provided with the tools to accomplish their work, had access to training, and felt comfortable with communications in the language of their choice. Nonetheless, responses to these questions from employees whose first language is French were consistently below those for employees whose first language is English. Action plans to address areas of concern will be put in place in the upcoming year.

It is up to the chairman 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.

There are several Francophones on the Executive Committee. Members are encouraged to use their language of choice.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

CFIA staff is 25.9% Francophone country-wide (source: 2003–2004 CFIA Annual OL Report).

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

In Quebec, 2.9% of staff is Anglophone (source: 2003–2004 CFIA Annual OL Report).

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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

As a result of the Shippagan Court case, the CFIA developed an Official Languages Strategy for Atlantic Canada. This is part of an increased emphasis on Part VII of the OLA. The new OL Policy, to be released in 2005, will include a new section on Part VII of the Act. Currently, there does not appear to be a strategy for all regions.

CFIA representatives met with Canadian Heritage representatives. There are plans to review policies and guidelines from OL minorities' perspective and to systematically factor in Part VII of the OLA (British Columbia Francophones, for example) during the current fiscal year.

Regional offices are responsible for advertising; CFIA National Headquarters is planning to implement an advertising monitoring framework to ensure compliance with the communications policy.

As part of the CFIA Action plan, information sessions are offered to managers on the importance of consulting minority OL communities to identify their needs and to take these into account in the planning and implementation of operational decisions.

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

The CFIA states that its organizational culture takes the country's linguistic duality into account. For example, in 2003, the FCIA created a President's Outstanding Contribution Award for an outstanding achievement in the OL field. Examples of external promotional activities were not provided.

Over the past year, four messages dealing with OL issues were sent out to employees; all of these messages were meant to sensitize employees to OL objectives and to promote linguistic duality.

The national OL champion and area OL champions have committed to developing an action plan to further promote OL. Actions plans are forthcoming.

The national OL champion has identified OL as a priority and sits on the senior management HR committee with CFIA senior management. The champion can influence, promote and educate at this level.

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OVERALL RATING

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