ARCHIVED - Canada Revenue Agency 2005-2006

WarningThe Standard on Web Usability replaces this content. This content is archived because Common Look and Feel 2.0 Standards have been rescinded.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

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%)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has Guidelines that reflect the Special Commitments of senior management, particularly in the area of official languages (OL). The CRA also has an instrument on the delegation of authorities, which describes managers’ responsibilities for the obligations set out in the Official Languages Act. These documents have been distributed to managers and are also available on the CRA’s Intranet site, the InfoZone.

The new 2005-2008 Action Plan for OL is supported by senior management and one of its objectives is to better integrate OL into Agency programs and operations. The action plan was first presented to the National Committee of OL champions and the Human Resources Branch Executive Committee, then to the Agency Management Committee. It was approved in November 2005. The plan will be posted on the InfoZone OL site. The Agency is particularly interested in the issue of monitoring. Because this is a priority of the OL Quality Management System (OL-QMS), self assessment tools will be developed for managers.

OL objectives are part of the performance reviews of the Executive Group. Since 2004, OL have been incorporated into the performance agreements of line managers (MG Group). The OL Division is currently developing a comprehensive monitoring framework which will, among other things, provide tools to assist managers in assessing their workplace and the quality of services they are providing.

Every year, each branch and region prepares an OL plan and submits a report on the implementation of the OL Program (OLP). Some regions include OL objectives in the performance agreements for team leaders, managers and employees who provide services to the public.

The CRA has implemented an integrated planning process. The new performance measure framework enables the Agency to remain focussed on its business objectives and on related achievement measures. This includes OL objectives.

The OL Division conducted a strategic review of CRA’s OLP. The purpose of this review is to develop mechanisms to improve support for carrying out the program on an Agency-wide basis, as well as a corporate strategy to build links between various initiatives and activities.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

In its 2004-2005 Annual Report to Parliament, CRA mentions OL several times, particularly in the performance section. It describes the strengths and weaknesses raised in the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ (OCOL) last report card.

The Corporate Business Plan for 2005-2006 to 2006-2007 does not mention OL as such, although there are many references to service delivery quality and how to improve it.

The OL Division has adopted a communication plan to be rolled out over a period of several months. The plan involves distributing pamphlets on language of work and bilingual service in person and by telephone, as well as updating the OL Intranet site.

The OL Division is reviewing its service delivery methods to maximize its support for management, and improve its strategic, awareness and communication roles. This review will improve the implementation of the CRA OLP and the delivery of high quality services in both official languages for both external and internal clients. The OL Division has also conducted an assessment of OLP implementation in one of its regions in order to determine the extent to which the region fulfills its OL obligations and respects employees’ and clients’ language choice.

Following the example of the OL Division, CRA’s Corporate Audit and Evaluation Branch has been given the responsibility of evaluating the Agency’s compliance with the Act. The Branch integrates OL into internal audits as needed. The 2005-2006 planning did not identify any significant risks in any corporate activities. The Internal Audit Division will conduct an OL audit at Headquarters on bilingual capacity in 2006-2007.

OL issues are brought to the attention of the Agency's Management Committee. Reports or updates are often presented at roundtables. The CRA Commissioner attends special events relating to OL and periodically sends messages to managers to reiterate his commitment to OL. Every year a presentation on OL is made to the CRA Board of Management.

The national champion for OL part of the Agency's Management Committee. The person responsible for OL is at the EX-01 level. This person gives presentations on OL to the Management Committee and participates in its discussions. All official language issues are brought to the attention of the national champion and meetings are held as required with the OL director. The National Committee of champions sits on a quarterly basis, which ensures that there is ongoing dialogue about all aspects of the program. The OL Division acts as liaison between the champions and the OL coordinators.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

c) Complaints (5%)

Managers are responsible for resolving the complaints and the OL Division assists them with advice and tools as required. A quarterly complaints report is sent to champions and OL coordinators for information and follow-up purposes. This report assists in analysing the trends and in determining the areas of weakness.

CRA and OCOL are negotiating an agreement on complain resolution.

OCOL has not identified any systemic problem.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

Service to the public - Part IV

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

77% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

The majority of the toll-free telephone lines are advertised in telephone directories as separate English and French lines. The preferred official language of clients for correspondence is identified every year based on the clients' personal income tax and benefit return.

The Saint John (New Brunswick) Tax Services Office, in partnership with local authorities, had a DVD produced to promote Saint John and the surrounding area. This tool will help recruit bilingual employees in order to increase the office’s bilingual capacity.

Fact Sheet

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 100% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 54% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 85% 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 79% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 86% of cases.

Fact Sheet

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

Subsection 4, Chapter 2, Section 2 of the CRA's Material Management Manual provides information regarding the OL obligations for contracting.

There are no examples of regular monitoring mechanisms.

Fact Sheet

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

The Agency is rethinking the way it provides in-person services to the public. Over the next two years, CRA will shift from in-person service without an appointment to a service model where the client will first be encouraged to call the telephone number or visit the Web site. In more complex situations, the client will have to schedule an appointment with an officer. The OL Division will ensure that the service transformation strategy includes an active offer in both OL.

Employees providing services to the public in both OL are reminded of their responsibilities through information and awareness sessions, written reminders, a brochure on the active offer of service, and the CRA video on service to the public: OL…A Matter of Service. Furthermore, the OL coordinator for Pacific Region has given a number of awareness sessions in the Pacific and Prairies Regions.

The 2005-2008 Action Plan for OLP renewal includes a number of specific measures, such as including active offer in the annual performance agreements of employees who provide service to the public, and ensuring follow-up.

As part of the redesign of the Human Resources Branch InfoZone site, the OL Division conducted an in-depth review of the tools and documents available to managers and employees, including information on active offer.

As part of its commitment to provide Canadians with quality services focused on client satisfaction, the Agency regularly surveys the public and pays particular attention to any complaints and concerns that are raised. In its latest annual survey entitled, Measuring up: How Canadians View the CRA, the Agency asked respondents whether they agreed with the following statement: “You were served in the official language of your choice.” The previous year, 97% of respondents agreed with this statement (completely agree or agree). This result has remained unchanged since the initial survey in 2000. The tax services offices and tax centres also conduct client surveys entitled, Your Opinion Matters, which includes a question on OL. This feedback enables local authorities to take corrective measures to improve service, if necessary.

The annual plans and reports submitted by branches and regions provide information on the management of the OLP. Other measures, such as surveys conducted by specific branches or regions, also provide assurance on the quality of bilingual services.

Line managers are accountable for the implementation of the OLP and have to report on OL activities every year in their annual report on OL.

In order to further increase employee awareness of active offer, the OL Division has committed to developing a communication plan that includes distributing a pamphlet on active offer and service delivery in both official languages in person and by telephone. The pamphlet will be distributed before the busy tax filing season.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

Language of work - Part V

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

79% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both official languages are able to do so. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

For the time being, the CRA follows the Language of Work Policy of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada. The CRA has guidelines for designing products for the InfoZone site, and section 11 deals with bilingualism. The OL-QMS also contains procedures that deal exclusively with work tools, training, meetings, supervision and communications.

As a support measure for language of work, new projects were initiated as part of the Innovation Program: French-language training integrated into senior executives’ professional development, and second language learning and retention (French-language Toastmasters Club for the Greater Toronto Area).

Furthermore, some tax centres and tax services offices exchange employees for set periods of time. Employees improve their knowledge of their second language in another province while at the same time bringing their skills and knowledge in the area of taxes and service to the public.

Fact Sheet

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

The purpose of the OL-QMS project is to improve communication between the bilingual regions and Headquarters and to encourage the effective use of both OL in the workplace. The CRA reached 2,500 employees and managers in bilingual regions in March 2005, and approximately 4,000 other employees will be trained during winter 2006. Surveys will be done every year of employees who took part in the project in order to analyse employees' level of satisfaction with regard to language of work.

English and French are used in meetings of the Agency's Management Committee and Board of Management. In the meeting rooms, there are more and more posters recommending that meetings be held in both OL.

The curriculum for the management group development program contains sections on OL responsibilities. The OL component is fully integrated into the curriculum. OL are integrated into various sections of the training course for new managers (client service, human resources planning).

In order to monitor the implementation of the Language of Work Policy, a survey was conducted in January 2004 to measure the satisfaction rate based on five indicators: supervision, work instruments, training, communications and meetings. CRA also conducted a survey of all employees in November and December 2005; this survey included a number of questions on OL in the workplace.

OL-QMS provides employees with the opportunity to identify any "gap" in the procedures through a virtual mailbox. Measures can then be taken to correct the situation, and employees can remain anonymous if they choose.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 24% of the CRA workforce as a whole. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

Fact SheetFact Sheet

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

Anglophones account for 5.5% of the CRA workforce in Quebec. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

This statistic represents the participation rate of Anglophones in all the CRA offices in Quebec only (excluding Headquarters).

The 2005-2008 Action Plan aims to improve the representation of Anglophones in Quebec.

Fact Sheet

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 (12.5%)

In 2000, the OL Division developed and distributed to all managers a Guide for implementing Part VII of the Act. This guide is posted on the InfoZone OL site.

Local and regional offices keep in contact with official language minority organizations in order to learn about their needs and work with them. In the Northern Ontario Region, partnerships have been established with the Francophone community in order to discuss and develop strategies to address their realities and priorities. In the Prairies Region, local OL coordinators actively participated in Francophone community activities. In the Pacific Region, a DVD focusing on the history of Francophones in British Columbia was produced for employees. The assistant commissioner explains the concept of active offer of service in the DVD. Furthermore the Burnaby-Fraser Tax Services Office worked extensively with the Francophone community, including the French school board, to include a new learning tool Responsible Citizenship and Canada's Tax System in the curriculum in British Columbia secondary schools.

The CRA applies the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada by purchasing advertising space and time in the media to inform the minority community about its programs and activities, for example, to announce income tax clinics and job opportunities.

Regional and local OL coordinators organize awareness activities for employees, such as inviting minority organizations to CRA offices to meet employees.

Fact SheetFact Sheet

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

The Agency's action plan for the renewal of OL includes objectives to promote English and French.

The Agency has had a Managers' Charter for some years now. It states that, in demonstrating leadership, managers must strive to provide quality, timely and fair service to clients and colleagues in the official language of their choice. In doing so, they must recognize and respect equity and diversity in all their dimensions. This Charter is a means to promote equality of English and French in service delivery. The CRA Commissioner and OL national committee champion reinforce this message in their communications with managers.

Every year as part of Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, the Commissioner or the national OL champion informs all employees about the importance and richness of the Francophone community and encourages employees to take part in the wide variety of activities that are planned.

The CRA offers information and awareness workshops to employees in bilingual regions. The workshops cover linguistic duality and compliance under the OL QMS project.

The Saint John Tax Services Office is a member of Avantage Saint John Advantage, a group of local business people promoting the economic and cultural benefits of bilingualism. In this capacity, the Tax Services Office has produced a DVD to help recruit bilingual employees, in order to increase its bilingual capacity.

Fact SheetFact Sheet


Fact Sheet