ARCHIVED - Public Service Commission 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

N.B.: For the purposes of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) Report Card exercise, institutions are being reviewed from the point of view of their own performance and not as central agency or common service organizations if they have such obligations.

For comparison purposes, statistical data are based on the Public Service Commission as it existed on March 31, 2004, i.e., before significant parts of its operations and personnel were transferred to the new Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC), and to the new Canada School of Public Service.

While the PSC, as a department, has no formal Official Languages (OL) accountability or responsibility framework as such, its established procedures and operating practices contain a number of the expected elements, e.g., accountability contracts between managers include basic commitments with objectives relating to official languages that are reviewed each year. It might be persuasively argued that the very strong presence of both official language minority groups in the PSC's workforce (both Francophones throughout Canada, and Anglophones in Quebec) contributes to ensuring that the organization feels accountable on the OL front and that there is less need of formal, written documents. The Human Resources Management Committee (HRMC which is composed of the President and Vice-Presidents) meets regularly on human resources and OL issues internal to the PSC. This senior level committee exercises close supervision of numerous OL questions.

An OL action plan covering Parts IV to VI for the PSC as a Department was approved by the HRMC for 2004–2005 in March 2004, but it must be noted that it was thin on deadlines and specific deliverables. There is no provision for the PSC's Part VII obligations in the OL action plan other than internal activities for PSC employees during the Rencontres de la Francophonie. Still, the PSC is of the view that, in practice, the organization meets its Part VII obligations by ensuring that job possibilities are advertised equitably in all parts of the country.

At the level of the individual employee or manager, accountability is provided through the management mechanisms in place, such as regular supervision and an annual performance evaluation.

The Champion and the OL Director regularly examine the OL commitments made by the PSC and its managers and raise issues to the HRMC as needed. The Annual Review of Official Languages, which is posted on the PSC's intranet, is used as an accountability document. Commitments made in managers' accountability contracts are discussed at the HRMC during the quarterly and annual reviews.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

Pursuant to the Public Service Modernization Act, the PSC has developed a new Vision and Mandate statement that explicitly mentions PSC OL responsibilities. OL objectives are mentioned in the Report on Plans and Priorities and in the PSC Performance Report. The PSC Annual Report also mentions OL objectives.

There has not been a recent internal audit of OL at the PSC. After a risk evaluation that was carried out in 2003–2004, the PSC concluded that there were no major risks linked to OL for the 2004–2006 period of the PSC's audit plan. Consequently, there are currently no plans to audit OL within the PSC.

There is an ongoing dialogue between the various OLP stakeholders in the PSC. The OLP functional lead and the OL Champion (who is one of the vice-presidents) are active in the HR Management Committee meetings. OL are regularly discussed there.

The PSC makes a point of paying particular attention to its advertising activities and their link to the organization's Part VII responsibilities. To the extent that such advertising is linked to communications and service to the public, or to equitable representation efforts, the implementation of these Part VII activities is well co-ordinated with Parts IV and VI.

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c) Complaints

Complaints from OCOL are discussed in the PSC's senior HR Management Committee after being analysed by the relevant responsibility centres. The responsible managers are involved in solving the issue. The PSC learns from these complaints, via the senior HR Management Committee, and acts to ensure they do not reoccur.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

The PSC informs its public by publishing the location and contact information of its bilingual offices in the federal government's directory of points of service, Burolis. As well, there is a bilingual national 1-800 number published in public telephone directories across the country. However, while visiting service outlets in the fall of 2004, OCOL representatives noted that Burolis was not up to date, especially, as concerned points of service 93345 (Red Deer, Alberta) and 10202 (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

As of March 31, 2004, the Public Service's Position and Classification System (PCIS) showed that 94.3% 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, active visual offer was present in 100% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 28.6% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 85.7% of cases.

The results of the 2004 telephone service audit by PSHRMAC showed that active offer of service was made by staff 40.0% of the time and on telephone answering machines 100% of the time, while service was actually available in the two OL 87.5% of the time.

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

All service contracts have a clause on the provision of services in compliance with the OLA and each manager is responsible for ensuring that this clause is respected. However, there is no specific control mechanism on the application of the linguistic clause.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

The results of the 2003 PSHRMAC telephone audit were communicated to all PSC managers. The PSC now does regular (i.e., every 3 to 4 months) check-ups of active offer and of the adequacy of telephone service at its regional service points. (An employee from the Human Resources Services Directorate places the calls, evaluates the adequacy, and the Director reports the results to the HRMC). In the case of unsatisfactory results, the results are discussed with the responsible manager.

After the PSHRMAC audit, the PSC created the central 1-800 number to better serve its clients nationally in the language of their choice.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

According to the 2003–2004 Annual Report on OL to TBS, 94.6% of EXs and 92.9% of supervisors in bilingual positions meet the language requirements of their position.

Managers and employees are informed of their rights and obligations through the PSC policy posted on the Intranet. The PSC has a complete range of supports for its employees so that they can work in either, or both, OLs.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

Meetings of all management committees take place in both OL. Since the OL are part of the PSC's culture, meetings are really bilingual and everyone is free to speak either of the OL.

From a non-statutory central fund, the PSC runs its own in-house language training courses for employees and managers so that they can maintain and develop their other OL for career development purposes. Since April 2004—and the entry into effect of the new governmental policy concerning imperative staffing, all PSC employees can now take six hours a week of such training, at the expense of the employer.

Mandatory information sessions for all PSC managers were held early in 2004-2005 on the new PSHRMAC policies, including language of work.

In the last 12 months, senior management has sent out three official communications to all employees on different aspects of the OL program.

The 2002 Public Service-Wide Employee Survey showed that 89.2% of Francophone respondents of the bilingual regions of Ontario, NCR and New Brunswick and 85.4% of Anglophone respondents from bilingual regions of Quebec "Strongly agree" or "Mostly agree" with the language of work regime.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

According to PSHRMAC's PCIS system, as of March 31, 2004, 63.0% of all PSC employees were Francophone.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

According to PSHRMAC's PCIS system, as of March 31, 2004, 24.0% of the PSC's Quebec employees were Anglophone.

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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 PSC has no specific central mechanism for taking account of the needs of minority communities at the national level when developing policies and programs or doing strategic planning. Consultations with minority language representatives do not take place at the national level but do at the local level. However, the PSC's very mission and mandate, the organization's large budget for advertising in the OL minority media, and the integrative role played by the ADM of Policy (who is also the OL Champion), can be seen as forms of central mechanisms serving to take account of the needs of minority communities.

The PSC views government recruitment and advertising as important tools for the social and economic development of OL minority communities. Federal government job opportunities that are advertised by the PSC (and other organizations to which it has delegated staffing authority) make equal access to employment possible for OL minority community members. This in turn has a positive effect on the economic and social development of these communities, and the chances for full participation in Canadian society by the members of those communities. Moreover, the advertising itself supports the minority media in these communities, thus further contributing to the viability and vitality of these localities.

PSC managers are responsible for making their employees aware of the needs of OL community members when necessary. In the regions, local managers build networks with OL community leaders and local organizations for potential recruitment purposes.

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

The PSC makes the point that, by the very nature of their work and their commitment to full bilingualism in all that they do, they help build a greater respect and acceptance for bilingualism in Canada, and for both languages. An example of this is their regular presence in the media, on campuses, at job fairs, and so on. Therefore, as in a), above, even though no formal mechanism exists to explicitly integrate Part VII concerns into central strategic planning and thinking, the PSC nonetheless feels that it does meet its language promotion obligations through the organization's efforts in the area of equitable hiring.

Moreover, several interesting ad hoc initiatives have been organized such as the PSC's presence at English CEGEPs in the Quebec region and the development of a DVD in partnership with other departments to allow for a self-assessment of knowledge of the second official language.

Other initiatives taken by the PSC to promote linguistic duality include a major project run jointly with the Edmonton Public School District. Together with the PSC, the school district tested 95 Grade 12 students in June 2003. The students wrote the same second language evaluation tests used by the Government of Canada to test federal public servants' knowledge of written and oral comprehension in French. The standards were the same as those applied to public servants. The promise that successful passing of the test would be recognised by the PSC, for future employment purposes with the federal government, was enough to boost student French immersion class registrations throughout the school district by nearly 30.0%. During the second year of the pilot project a similar arrangement permitted the testing of some 500 more Grade 12 students, this time throughout the province.

In addition, in Ottawa, the PSC's "Café international" during the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and the provision of second language development courses to the Commission's staff were other noteworthy initiatives undertaken by the PSC to promote both OL.

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