ARCHIVED - Public Health Agency of Canada 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Public Health Agency of Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data

Rating

Management (15%)

a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

In September 2004, it was announced that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) would be created. Until then, the organization had been a branch of Health Canada. When the creation of the Agency was announced, PHAC and Health Canada reached an agreement regarding corporate services in which the majority of the Agency's human resources services, including official languages (OL), would continue to be provided by Health Canada's Human Resources (HR) Unit. PHAC is gradually moving away from this relationship and taking control of the management of its own HR operations.

For this reason, PHAC does not yet have its own accountability framework for official languages or an action plan for Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (the Act). The Agency is currently negotiating with Health Canada regarding the specific OL services to be provided by Health Canada. The components and scope of any OL action plan, as well as the contents of a future accountability framework, will be determined, in large part, by the outcome of these negotiations.

The administrative accountability processes and procedures related to the management of the Agency's OL program have not yet been fully implemented. However, in February 2007, management established a senior human resources management committee for this purpose. This committee is chaired by the Chief Public Health Officer and includes the Deputy Chief Public Health Officers, the Assistant Deputy Minister to whom the Human Resources Branch reports, and other senior managers. The Committee acts as an agency-wide monitoring and decision-making coordination centre for OL issues.

Moreover, PHAC has established a network of official languages coordinators to support the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The network held its first meeting in November 2006. Coordinators will provide input into the development and monitoring of the annual OL Action Plan for their region/directorate. They will be supported by headquarters personnel at the Human Resources Branch. Coordinators will monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and will share their observations with senior management in the region/directorate.

OL objectives have been integrated into senior managers' at risk compensation. Based on their performance agreement, senior managers must incorporate these objectives into their work.

D

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

PHAC is an institution required to report to Canadian Heritage on its activities under Part VII of the Act. The Agency produced a status report in 2005-2006 in this regard, which it submitted to Canadian Heritage. OL are not mentioned in either the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities nor in the 2005-2006 Performance Report. PHAC is currently developing a five-year strategic plan (2007-2012) based on three main themes. OL will be included in two of these themes (initiatives relating to Parts IV, V and VI under theme 3, and Part VII under theme 2.)

Since PHAC is a newly established organization, its audit personnel have not yet had the opportunity to conduct an internal audit that includes OL. However, the Chief Public Health Officer has indicated that OL should be included in all future internal audits.

In 2006-2007, OL were on the agenda of the Agency's Management Committee (AMC) on at least two occasions. The OL Champion is a deputy chief public health officer and a member of the AMC.

Employees responsible for monitoring the implementation of Part VII of the Act report to the same person as the employees responsible for Parts IV, V and VI. This practice tends to promote good coordination between the various parts of the Act. The Champion, Co-champion (Director General, Human Resources), and the Director, Planning, Recruitment and Accountability, consult with one another and participate in an ongoing dialogue. The latter is responsible for diversity and OL programs, and reports to the Director General, Human Resources. This practice has ensured good coordination of the Actwithin the institution.

B

c) Complaints (5%)

Only six complaints have been filed against the Agency since 2005, two of which are still under investigation and one of which was ruled to be unfounded. As a result, it is difficult to determine if PHAC has an effective mechanism in place to deal with complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL). Managers responsible for the sectors concerned are involved in resolving the problem at the root of the complaint.

To date, the Agency's management team has not been informed of the nature of the complaints filed against the institution, although this information has been provided to the Champion.

C

Sub-total:

C

Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

All PHAC offices offering services in both OL are now advertised in Burolis. PHAC sent an updated list to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC) in December 2006.

In total, 88% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2006.)

B

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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active visual offer was present in 85% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 20% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 90% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 85% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 77% of cases.

C

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

Half of the Agency's budgets are allocated to contribution programs. Recent contribution agreements signed by the Agency include a language clause developed by Health Canada in 2004. This clause specifies that the recipient of a contribution must clearly define the project's clientele, and in consultation with the institution, must take appropriate measures to comply with the Act. PHAC does not appear to specifically monitor compliance with these contractual provisions or the quality of the service offered in both OL under these agreements.

C

d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

PHAC has not yet developed its own policy on service to the public in both OL.

Health Canada, which under the terms of its agreement with PHAC is responsible for communicating with the employees of both organizations regarding their obligations under Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, sent a variety of messages (e-mails, bulletins, articles in internal communication publications, etc.) to the Agency's employees throughout 2006-2007, in order to explain to them how to offer and provide bilingual services, and to remind them of their duty to do so.

New employees in all regions and directorates receive an orientation session on the Act.

To date, bilingual service delivery to the public in bilingual offices has not been monitored (e.g., audits, surveys, and reports on successes and shortcomings) in terms of the quality of the service provided in both OL. Since OCOL and PSHRMAC conducted their own observations or audits of service to the public in 2006, PHAC did not deem it necessary to conduct its own monitoring.

B

Sub-total:

C

Language of Work - Part V (25%)

a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

The Agency does not yet have its own language of work policy, but complies with PSHRMAC policy. PHAC currently procures its central services (e.g., training, compensation, computer support, etc.) from Health Canada, which intends to adopt a policy in this regard in April 2007. Health Canada is also responsible for training and keeping the Agency's employees informed of their rights in terms of language of work.

In total, 76% of senior management and 88% of supervisors in bilingual positions in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006.)

C

b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Health Canada sends out many communiqués, bulletins and reminders on employees' right to work in their official language of choice in designated bilingual offices for the purpose of language of work, and on the duty of managers to create a workplace that is conducive to employees exercising this right. All these messages are sent to PHAC employees at the same time.

AMC meetings are bilingual, but are conducted primarily in English.

To date, there has been no monitoring of the application of the PSHRMAC Policy on Language of Work (e.g., audits, surveys, reports, etc.), other than the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey.

This survey showed that overall, 69% of Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. Given the limited number of Anglophone respondents in bilingual regions of Quebec, OCOL was unable to take into account the results of the survey conducted by Statistics Canada on its behalf.

D

Sub-total:

C

Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 21.3% Francophone. (Source, PCIS, March 31, 2006.)

A

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

OCOL did not evaluate PHAC on this criterion given the small number of Agency employees in Quebec.

N/A

Sub-total:

A

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality - Part  VII (25%)

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of official language minority communities (12.5%)

As an institution that is required to report to Canadian Heritage, PHAC has an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act for its regional and headquarters operations. However, aside from the action plan preparation and approval process, the Agency does not have any permanent mechanisms in place to ensure that strategic planning, and policy and program development (for example, submissions to Treasury Board, memoranda to Cabinet, and federal-provincial agreements) take into account the requirements of section 41 of the Act. In 2007-2008, the Agency plans to develop and implement these mechanisms.

Senior management has been made aware of the obligations resulting from amendments to the Act and of the duty to take positive measures. The Planning, Recruitment and Accountability Division gave several presentations to the AMC in 2006-2007. The Department of Justice and Canadian Heritage also gave a presentation, and the AMC held discussions in this regard. Presentations on this subject were also given to several regional management committees.

The Agency has a national coordinator for the implementation of Part VII, who is supported by the OL coordinators' network. The Agency also participates in a national liaison mechanism with official language minority communities (OLMCs): two national advisory committees advise the Minister of Health and his portfolio agencies on matters related to Part VII. Provincial and OLMC representatives are committee members, and an OLMC representative chairs each committee—a spokesperson for Quebec's Anglophone community for the Anglophone committee, and a representative of Francophone communities outside Quebec for the Francophone committee. PHAC has a few members on each of these committees. Each advisory group meets formally twice a year. They serve as a two-way liaison and feedback mechanism and allow for follow-up on consultations held by both committees.

In the regions, employees who have a role in OLMC development have long been aware of the needs of these communities, as Health Canada was a designated institution and, since 2003, has also been a key institution of the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages. Until very recently, Agency employees were part of Health Canada and, as a result, were immersed in the same work environment. At PHAC headquarters, the Human Resources Branch gave a number of presentations on the amendments to the Act to various groups of managers and employees who develop policies and programs.

The Agency has not yet begun reviewing its policy and programs to determine which have an impact on OLMCs.

PHAC has taken several positive measures to support the development of OLMCs during the year. For example, in the Atlantic Region, Agency employees ensured that OLMC-specific issues were included in the terms of reference of research projects and in research reports conducted by or for the Agency, thereby ensuring that these issues are adequately addressed in the final research report. Moreover, PHAC ensures that OLMC representatives that receive program funding are invited to networking meetings and project management workshops. As a result, OLMCs are better informed of opportunities and best project management practices that help them better manage projects for which they have received Agency funding. They are then also more likely to receive additional funding in the future.

In Quebec, PHAC created a promotional kit outlining its services and programs, which is distributed to all appropriate OLMCs. This kit is available in both official languages. As a result, OLMCs are better informed of how they can take advantage of PHAC programs and services. Furthermore, Anglophone community agencies working in the related sector, as well as the CHSSSN (Community Health and Social Services Network, an association which represents OLMCs in Quebec) are now consistently invited to take part in regional consultations in Quebec, thereby allowing them to share their needs and concerns with PHAC employees.

This year, the Atlantic Region set itself the task of developing guidelines and training personnel on their obligations under section 41 in terms of program planning, funding procedures and decisions, and negotiation of contribution agreements.

All regions are in constant contact with OLMCs, and several regional management committees (such as the one in the Atlantic Region) use these relationships to complete their regular review of regional programs, services, policies and other initiatives. In Ontario, as in many other regions, PHAC consults with OLMCs when developing new priorities, policies and initiatives, as well as new programs.

In the Atlantic Region, OLMC advocacy associations helped formally assess the model used by PHAC to organize its work with these communities. OLMC concerns and experiences were integrated into both reports that were produced further to the assessment and its resulting recommendations. These reports were subsequently shared with OLMCs.

PHAC has not had to revise its action plan to ensure its compliance with the Act, since the Plan already included positive measures.

The Agency is currently developing a performance measurement framework for its activities relating to Part VII.

B

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

As an institution that is required to report to Canadian Heritage, PHAC has an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act for its operations in the regions and at headquarters. However, it must be noted that the plan focuses primarily on OLMC development and the availability of equivalent public health services in both official languages, rather than on the promotion of the use and equal status of English and French as such. Moreover, aside from the preparation and approval process for its action plan regarding section 41, PHAC does not have any permanent mechanisms in place to ensure that strategic planning, and policy and program development (e.g., submissions to Treasury Board, memoranda to Cabinet, and federal-provincial agreements) take into account the requirements of section 41 of the Act in terms of promoting the equal status and use of English and French.

Senior management has been made aware of the obligations resulting from amendments to the Act and of the duty to take positive measures. The Planning, Recruitment and Accountability Division gave several presentations to the AMC in 2006-2007. The Department of Justice and Canadian Heritage also gave a presentation, and the AMC held discussions in this regard. Presentations on this subject were also given to several regional management committees.

The Agency has a national coordinator for the implementation of Part VII, who is supported by the OL coordinators network. The Agency also has a few members on the two Health Canada advisory committees. These committees serve as a two-way liaison and feedback mechanism, and allow for follow-up on consultations held by both committees.

At PHAC headquarters, the Human Resources Branch gave a number of presentations on the amendments to the Act to various groups of managers and employees who develop policies and programs.

The Agency has not yet begun reviewing policies and programs to determine which have an impact on the promotion of linguistic duality.

PHAC has taken positive measures to promote both languages. For example, in April 2006, OLMC representatives from the Atlantic Region gave presentations to PHAC employees at a meeting for all staff. The representatives presented the history and culture of Acadians in the region, as well as the main language challenges faced by OLMCs in the health sector.

New employees in all regions and directorates receive an orientation session on the Act and are informed of the Agency's obligations under section 41.

The sites of some unilingual regional offices are available in both official languages.

A number of positive measures to support linguistic duality are included in the action plan submitted to Canadian Heritage.

The Agency is currently developing a performance measurement framework for its activities relating to Part VII.

B

Sub-total:

B

OVERALL RATING

C