ARCHIVED - Passport Canada 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%)

Note: Since 1990, Passport Canada has been a special operating agency. Although Passport Canada is a governmental agency that reports to Foreign Affairs Canada, it operates like a private business and does not receive any annual parliamentary appropriation. The agency fully funds all of its activities through the fees it collects for issuing passports and other travel documents.

Passport Canada currently has 33 offices.

To make its services more accessible to all Canadians, Passport Canada has established partnerships with Canada Post and Service Canada, which now offer receiving agent services on its behalf. There will be close to 100 receiving agents across the country by the end of 2006.

Official languages (OL) responsibilities with regard to Parts IV and V of the Official Languages Act are described in the Framework document. Parts VI and VII are not mentioned in it. The accountability agreement between the CEO of Passport Canada and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada includes OL. The performance agreements of executives set out OL commitments for which they are accountable.

Passport Canada does not have an OL action plan. However, the general outlines of the actions it intends to take are mentioned in the Annual Review and the Human Resources (HR) Strategic Plan.

The agency was one of the institutions that participated in the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC) pilot project on the Scorecard, a management tool that helps institutions monitor their OL situation on an ongoing basis.

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

Passport Canada's 2004-2007 Corporate and Business Plan aims to provide reliable, practical service and to maintain the clients' high level of satisfaction, which includes, but does not specifically refer to OL.

The Report on Plans and Priorities and the Performance Report are submitted by Foreign Affairs Canada; the sections of these reports dealing with Passport Canada refer to improving services to meet the needs of Canadians but do not specifically mention OL.

OL are not included in internal audits. However, the agency conducts regular surveys to assess client satisfaction with its services. These surveys help identify gaps in the language of service to the public. In July 2005, the agency conducted an audit on the language of interviews and the quality of the documentation made available to the public.

The champion, who is also Director of OL, is an EX and sits on the Executive Committee. OL are discussed in this committee, as needed.

The champion and the Part VII coordinator work in close cooperation.

c) Complaints (5%)

A system is in place to review and resolve complaints and the managers responsible are involved in finding solutions. The Chief Operating Officer, Operations Bureau asked to be informed of each complaint received, which is done. The institution is in the process of implementing a mechanism to share lessons learned.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

Bilingual service points are identified in government directories and sites, in BUROLIS and in the Blue Pages of telephone directories. There is also the 1-800 line. Every service point in Canada has signs indicating that service is available in both OL.

95% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2005)

b) Findings on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to the observations of in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) in the fall of 2005, visual active offer was present in 82% of cases, active offer was made by agents in 36% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 91% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer was made by staff or by an automated system in 91% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 91% of cases.

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

The service agreements contain a clause on the provision of services in both OL. This is the case, for example, in the agreements with Public Works Government Services Canada for commissionaire services in Passport Canada offices. This is also the case for the agreements with Service Canada and Canada Post for their services as Passport Canada receiving agents. Client satisfaction surveys are used for monitoring purposes.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

The orientation sessions for new employees include OL responsibilities as well as service to the public requirements. Receiving agents are also given training on OL obligations, including those pertaining to service to the public.

There are regular reminders to employees concerning OL and service to the public. PPT NET, an Intranet site that is available 24 hours a day to all staff, also contains information on their OL rights and obligations, as well as on service to the public.

The new CEO asked Executive Committee members to conduct more monitoring and to focus more on the quality of services provided.

Monitoring is done though client surveys in order to verify their level of satisfaction with the quality of services, which includes OL. The very low number of complaints about service to the public may also be an indication of the quality of services.

Language of work - Part V

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

60% of EX incumbents and 76% of supervisors in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

Passport Canada is currently using the PSHRMAC language of work policy. There are support measures such as language training and translation services. The institution plans to launch an initiative offering employees the opportunity to take language training during the lunch hour. These sessions will take place throughout the year (except in the summer) and will be open to all unilingual employees (English or French) and to all bilingual employees who have not attained a language level of C.

A new OL policy will be released as part of the review of HR policies and guidelines, and will coincide with HR modernization.

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

The champion asks Executive Committee members to remind their employees to use their language of choice in the workplace. Language of work tools have been developed. There are messages on the Intranet that encourage managers and employees to use their first OL. The training for individuals who wish to become examiners includes language of work.

Executive Committee meetings (10 members) are conducted in both OL, depending on the participants' preference. The minutes are in both OL. Executive Committee meetings (six members) are increasingly conducted in both OL and the agendas and minutes are in both OL.

Passport Canada only uses the Public Service Surveys to learn about the language of work situation.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 36.9% of Passport Canada's workforce as a whole. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 26% of Passport Canada's workforce in Quebec. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

Development of official language minority 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%)

Passport Canada has no formal mechanism to ensure that strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities. However, it aims to increase clients' accessibility to services, thus ensuring that the development of minority language communities is not impeded. When changes to Passport Canada services are anticipated and consultations are required, Passport Canada will ensure that it will consult all of its clients, including minority language communities.

The institution does not have its own communication policy. However, advertisements comply with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and the purchase of space and time includes organs serving linguistic minorities.

Employees are informed of the requirement to provide services in the clients' official language of choice, which includes minority language communities, during their orientation and at other occasions.

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

Passport Canada considers that linguistic duality is implicit in all its activities and it ensures that clerks, examiners and agents processing passport requests reflect the bilingual character of the institution, especially through their active offer of bilingual services and through bilingual signage.

One example of an initiative to promote linguistic duality within the institution is the language and cultural exchange project for examiners. This program sends examiners to different regions so they can experience a different cultural and work environment. The exchange allows examiners wishing greater immersion to live with a host family for the duration of the exchange.

OVERALL RATING