ARCHIVED - Canada Revenue Agency 2004-2005

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2004-2005 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has Guidelines in which the official languages (OL) component is one of the Special Commitments of senior management. The CRA also has an instrument on the delegation of authorities in which accountability for the obligations set out in the Official Languages Act is established for managers. These documents have been distributed to managers and are also available on the CRA's intranet site, the InfoZone. The Corporate Action Plan for the Renewal of the Official Languages Program (OLP) for 2002–2005 was approved by the Agency Management Committee. The Plan is also posted on the OL InfoZone site.

A working group, composed of managers and employees at various levels, was created to define OL objectives, which were presented to and approved by the Agency Management Committee. A status report on the plan is updated quarterly and reviewed by the CRA National Committee of OL Champions.

OL objectives are part of the 2004–2005 performance review of the Executive Group. For 2004–2005, OL were 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.

In an increasing number of offices, the OL component is part of the employees' performance appraisal.

The CRA Commissioner sent a memorandum to management at all levels to reiterate the importance of implementing the Government Action Plan for OL and his commitment toward its implementation. Every year, each branch and region prepares an OL Plan and submits a report on the implementation of the OLP.

The CRA's Action Plan for OL is supported by senior management and one of its objectives is to better integrate OL into CRA programs and operations. The Agency is particularly interested in the issue of monitoring. This is a priority of the quality management system OL component. The Agency is also in the process of developing tools to help managers conduct self-assessment.

The CRA has implemented an integrated planning process. The "Balanced Scorecard" ensures that the organization is focussed on its business objectives and on related achievement measures.

With regard to OL, the measure used is the percentage of employees that meet the language requirements of their positions in the categories of supervision, executive group, services to the public and internal services.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

In the 2003–2004 report on plans and priorities, OL are in the sections on Corporate Management and Direction and Innovating for the Future. In its 2002–2003 Annual Report to Parliament, the CRA makes the connection between OL and service delivery, describes the language situation of members of the EX group and cites the importance of language of work in bilingual regions. An informal internal study showed that in approximately 15.0% of cases, at least one element of OL was considered during internal evaluations and audits conducted by the Audit and Evaluation Branch.

OL issues are brought to the attention of the Agency's Management Committee. Reports or updates (e.g., Project on the OL Quality Management System) are often presented at round tables. The Commissioner attends special events relating to OL. Presentations on OL are given as required. The most recent presentation was in April 2004 and it dealt with new policies. A presentation on the annual review is planned for the near future.

The national champion for OL (who is Assistant Commissioner of the Human Resources Branch) is part of the Agency's Management Committee. The champion for language of work and the champion for service to the public are also assistant commissioners and also sit on 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 director of OL. The National Committee of Champions sits on a quarterly basis, which ensures that there is ongoing dialogue about all aspects of the program.

The Internal Audit Division will conduct an OL audit at Headquarters on the bilingual capacity and in the Atlantic Region on the implementation of the OLP in 2005–-2006.

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c) Complaints

With regard to complaints addressed to the Commissioner of Official Languages, the director of the office responsible for the complaint receives the notice of intention to investigate. The Director of OL receives a copy, and the OL Division maintains a complaint data and follow-up system. Official language advisors follow up with the managers. The OL Division handles complaints that can be resolved quickly. A quarterly report on complaints is sent to champions and official language coordinators for information and follow-up purposes. This report assists in analysing the trends and in determining the areas of weakness.

Managers are responsible for resolving the complaints and the OL Division assists them with advice and tools as required.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

The public is informed of the offices or points of service providing services in both OL through Burolis. Official language minority associations are also provided with the list of offices providing services in both OL in their areas. The majority of the 1-800 telephone lines are advertised in telephone directories as distinct English and French lines. The preferred official language of clients for correspondence is captured every year from the clients' personal income tax and benefit return.

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 16528.

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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 100% of cases; active offer by the attendant was made in 22.2% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 77.8% of cases.

The telephone audit conducted by the Human Resource Management Agency indicates that active offer is made by attendants in 68.4%* of cases, in voice mail greetings in
 88.4%* of cases, while service is actually available in 100%* of cases.(* Separate results for the CRA were extracted from CCRA results.)

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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.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

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 a presentation of the CRA video on service to the public "OL…A Matter of Service".

In most Taxation Service Offices, "Your Opinion Counts" client survey cards are used to assess the quality of service in the official language of choice, among other aspects of service. Managers act upon negative comments.

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.

The CRA distributed a brochure on the active offer of services across the country.

Every year, the CRA holds an annual survey to measure external clients' satisfaction with services provided by the Agency. The 2003 survey shows that 97.0% of the respondents indicated that they mainly to completely agreed that they received their services in the official language of their choice. 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.

Clients interacting with the CRA through the Internet are also invited to send their suggestions on how the CRA can improve its Web site. This includes OL.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

75.6% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both OL are able to do so (March 2004 data. Source: OL Annual Report 2003–2004, Canada Revenue Agency).

For the time being, the CRA follows the Language of Work Policy of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada. The CRA's own policy on language of work, which will include guidelines, is being approved. The CRA has guidelines for designing products for the InfoZone site, and section 11 deals with bilingualism.

The OL Quality Management System (OL-QMS) also contains "procedures" that deal exclusively with work tools, training, meetings, supervision and communications. In addition, the 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. OL are incorporated into various sections of the training given to new managers (client service, human resources planning).

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

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. This project deals particularly with training and development, work tools, supervision, communications and meetings. The CRA expects to reach 2,500 employees and managers in bilingual regions by March 2005. Under the OL-QMS, surveys will be done every year of employees who took part in the project. This will enable the CRA to analyse employees' level of satisfaction with regard to language of work. The OL-QMS will also help to educate and inform employees about their rights. The CRA feels that the OL-QMS is an excellent way to continue to improve the situation.

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 contains sections on the OL responsibilities. The OL component is fully integrated into the curriculum.

In order to help employees communicate with the OL Division and express their concerns, each announcement or memo that deals with OL contains the Division's e-mail address. This address is also on the OL site, which also posts good OL practices and contains a variety of information for managers and employees.

English and French are used in meetings of the Agency's Management Committee. Although most members are Anglophone, French is often used.

Before the reorganization, the CCRA conducted an employee survey similar to the PSHRMAC survey in order to determine satisfaction levels with respect to the use of the two official languages in the workplace.

Every month, the OL Division sends champions and official language co-ordinators a list with hyperlinks to all articles or documents that deal with OL. In March 2004, the CRA also set up an interdepartmental OL committee to share good practices among institutions and to promote mutual assistance.

Some financial centres and financial service offices exchange employees for set periods of time. Employees improve their knowledge of the 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.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

23.05% of employees in Canada are Francophone.

(Source: OL Annual Report 2003–2004, Canada Revenue Agency)

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

4.7% of employees in Quebec are Anglophone.

(Source: OL Annual Report 2003–2004, Canada Revenue Agency)

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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

The Agency's action plan for the renewal of OL includes objectives to promote English and French. In 2000, the OL Division developed and distributed to all managers a Guide for implementing Part VII of the OLA. This guide is posted in InfoZone on the OL site.

The CRA sits on the OL sub-committees of Federal Regional Committees. Local and regional offices keep in contact with official language minority organizations in order to work with them. The CRA has various programs to help minority communities, such as the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. One of the projects selected in 2003 under the Innovation Fund is designed to teach students in British Columbia's Francophone community about the key role that the CRA plays in ensuring Canada's socio-economic welfare.

In the Pacific Region, vignettes in the form of short "infomercials" were broadcast on the French CBC network during filing season. They were part of a series titled "Tax Tip of the Week."

The CRA applies the Government Communications Policy 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. Here are some examples:

The Saint John Tax Services Office placed a recruitment ad in Le Journal des Chambres de commerce de l'Atlantique. The Summerside Tax Services Office placed a recruitment ad in La Voix Acadienne. The Sherbrooke Tax Services Office published external competition notices and announcements of income tax clinics in The Record (newspaper). In Montréal and Laval, external competition notices are published in The Gazette, and in Laval, income tax programs and other things are advertised in The Westend Chronicle, The Suburban, and The Regional Quebec. In the Southern Ontario Region, job opportunities, government services, office moves and tax clinics are advertised in Le Rempart, L'Express, Le Métropolitain, Le goût de vivre, L'Observateur, L'Annuaire des ressources francophones de Toronto, Le Régional and L'Ami. In the Prairies, the ads are placed in L'eau vive, Le Franco-albertain and Le Chinook.

Regional and local official language co-ordinators organize awareness activities for employees, such as inviting minority organizations to CRA offices to meet employees. Every year as part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, the Commissioner or the National Champion of OL 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.

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

To ensure that linguistic duality is respected, senior management performance agreements include a commitment on OL. For 2004–2005, OL were incorporated into the performance agreements of line managers.

An OL site on InfoZone also provides information to employees and managers and promotes the OLP. In addition, the orientation session for new employees on InfoZone provides links to the OL site.

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. The Saint John office invited the Association régionale de la communauté francophone de Saint John to its celebrations of La semaine de la Francophonie. The initiative was featured in Le Saint-Jeannois community newspaper.

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.

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

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