ARCHIVED - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 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

(Note: On December 12, 2003, Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) was reorganized into two new departments: Social Development Canada (SDC) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The Human Resources and Skills Development Act was only tabled on November 16, 2004).

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) had an accountability framework that included official languages (OL) indicators and was distributed to all senior managers. The former department also had an action plan that outlined key roles and responsibilities, set deadlines and designated responsible officials. The three-year plan was approved by the Executive Committee and distributed to all Executive Heads.

HRDC documents will serve as a basis for new Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) tools.

The Department ensures that its commitment to the official languages is reflected in performance agreements with assistant deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

HRDC's 2004–2005 Report on Plans and Priorities deals with improving service to Canadians, official language minority communities, the support fund for these communities and an equitable workplace. The performance report deals with an equitable workplace, official languages complaints and the official language minority communities.

The official languages are not included in internal audits, and there have not been any internal OL audits since 1998. However, client satisfaction surveys have been conducted by managers.

Co-ordination between the Champion and officials responsible for parts IV, V, VI and VII of the OLA is good.

The OL Champion, an Associate Deputy Minister and Deputy Labour Minister, is a member of the Deputy Ministers' Committee and also of the Executive Committee. There are frequent OL discussions. Performance agreements for middle and senior managers also have an OL section, considered a priority.

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c) Complaints

OL complaints from OCOL are processed by the OL Director's Office, in the Human Resources Branch. They are reviewed, logged and sent to the responsible program manager, who must act on the complaint.

Complaints regarding service to the public and language of work are considered performance indicators that are part of the departmental performance report. A quarterly complaints report is distributed and monthly conference calls take place to discuss them. If a national impact is identified, all those involved are informed.

OCOL notes very serious systemic problems concerning the following: the labour market development agreements still do not take into account the Commissioner's recommendations that date back to 1997; the establishment of the single-window network does not always take the needs of official language minority communities into account, and the poor quality of the machine translations of job offers has been a persistent problem for ten years despite the Department's commitments.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

The lists of offices and service points are provided in Burolis and in the Blue Pages. Most regions advertise the list of bilingual service points in minority language newspapers. The OL symbol is posted in visible areas of points of service. HRSDC has a wide range of 1-800 lines offering bilingual service.

While visiting service outlets in the fall of 2004, OCOL representatives noted that Burolis was not up to date, particularly with regard to service outlet 93509.

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that, for the former Department, 86.6% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public met the linguistic requirements of their position.

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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, there was active visual offer in 86.7% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 13.3% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 80.0% of cases.

The telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency showed there was an active offer from staff 54.2% of the time and in voice mail greetings 87.7% of the time, while service was available in 70.8% of cases.

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

The guidelines on grants and contributions deal explicitly with official language obligations and have been distributed to regional OL representatives who provide advice in this area.

Service agreements with third parties contain a clause on the provision of services in both official languages when required. There is no monitoring of services provided by third parties. The Department indicates that managers are aware of their obligations with respect to the Treasury Board contracting Policy.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

Official languages are part of orientation for new employees and electronic individual learning programs. Employees serving the public are reminded often of their OL obligations with respect to service to the public.

Line managers are accountable for the quality of bilingual services provided. The Department evaluates the quality of bilingual services through client satisfaction surveys (on Employment Assistance Services, for example) and complaints analysis. There does not appear to be a report on survey results. However, a complaint report is sent to executive heads on a quarterly basis.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) for HRDC indicated that 86.3% of supervisors who had to supervise in both official languages were bilingual. The same source revealed that 73.7% of EXs who had to supervise in both official languages were bilingual.

There is a national language of work policy as well as tools to raise employee awareness of their OL rights and responsibilities. The information is also on the HRSDC Web site. The Department has included an OL module in the human resources management training course for all managers. Some regions and a number of units at headquarters have translation and proofreading services to help employees draft correspondence in English and French and provide comparable quality in both OL.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

There are posters in meeting rooms encouraging employees to use their preferred official language.

Employees and managers are informed of their rights and responsibilities with respect to language of work on a regular basis through Web site updates and announcements sent to all employees by e-mail. Best practices in the regions are outlined in the annual report submitted to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency. Management committee meetings are held in both OL.

The results of the Public Service Employee Survey for the former Department (HRDC) show that 74.0% of Francophone respondents from the NCR and the bilingual regions of New Brunswick and Ontario "strongly agree" or "mostly agree" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 45.4% of Anglophones have the same opinion.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) for the former department indicated that overall Francophones made up 33.0% of the workforce.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) for the former department indicated that Anglophones made up 3.0% of the workforce in Quebec.

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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

In 1996, Human Resources Development Canada created the Secretariat, Official Language Minority Communities (SOLMC), now under the new department, with a view to encouraging and maintaining a dialogue between official language minority communities and the Government of Canada. The Secretariat aims to foster greater understanding of the needs and obligations of both parties and develop a strategic approach for the Department.

The Secretariat supports measures to assist official language minority communities and — through departmental and interdepartmental coordination, in close cooperation with the various sectors within HRSDC as well as federal partners — oversees activities to implement projects at the local, regional, and national levels.

With the support and guidance of the Secretariat, a network of co-ordinators responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the OLA, at Headquarters and in the regions, promotes section 41 and raises awareness in their respective directorate or region.

The National Committee on Economic Development and Employability was created for the purpose of fostering the development and the vitality of French-speaking communities in Canada. It is made up of Government of Canada officials and representatives from Francophone minority communities outside Quebec. The National Committee for Human Resources Development in the Anglophone Community of Quebec was also created. The purpose of this committee is to establish a co-operation framework for all activities aiming to foster the long-term development of human resources and community capacity building for the English-speaking communities of Quebec.

The Official Language Minority Communities Support Fund, created in 1999, has been a key mechanism allowing HRSDC to fulfill Canada's commitment to strengthen the vitality of official language minority communities. The Department is focussing on the Fund's future directions and the support it provides to the network of the two national committees.

All Treasury Board submissions must be reviewed by the OL Director, thereby ensuring that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the needs of the official language minority communities. As well, the OLD works closely with the official responsible for Part VII of the OLA.

On December 15, 2003, HRSDC updated a document on the purchasing of advertising space and time in media used by Anglophone or Francophone minorities. HRSDC officials use this policy as a basis for working with ad agencies.

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

Treasury Board submissions are reviewed by the OL Director, who ensures that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the promotion of linguistic duality.

The Department took part in the 400th anniversary of Acadia last summer and held its Part VII conference in Nova Scotia in order to raise its profile during the event. Internally, in partnership with PWGSC, the Department organizes a Journée de la Francophonie, where Francophone choirs are invited, brochures on OL are distributed, etc. No examples of activities pertaining to Anglophones in Quebec were provided.

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OVERALL RATING

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