ARCHIVED - Public Works and Government Services Canada 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

In September 2005, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) published the findings of its audit on the management of the Official Languages Program (OLP) at the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

In response to this audit, PWGSC is in the process of developing an official languages (OL) accountability framework, which is expected to come into effect in June 2006. PWGSC will also update its Strategic Action Plan for 2006-2009. This plan will include expected outcomes and will be discussed by the Executive Committee (chaired by the Deputy Minister) and approved by its members. The institution's annual reviews will henceforth, be approved by this same governance committee. The Department is continuing its analysis, with the aim of recommending performance objectives for executives.

Although "The [current] plan does not provide for any control measures to ensure that objectives are achieved" (page 9 of the OCOL audit), PWGSC has committed to implementing effective OL monitoring and control mechanisms in 2006. The current Strategic Action Plan has made it possible to implement a certain number of initiatives, such as development of a sectoral OL plan by each branch.

The Department conducts an analysis of all its positions to determine the organization's linguistic capacity. Over the past three years, this analysis has made it possible to measure the yearly progress achieved in terms of the linguistic capabilities of the incumbents of bilingual positions.

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

The OCOL audit report notes problems with the visibility of the OLP, including "...a lack of leadership from senior management in the OLP. " (page 1)

The current Strategic Action Plan is designed to enhance communications and managers' commitment, and to integrate OL into everyday management. Following the implementation of the plan and publication of the OCOL report, OL now enjoy a certain (and increasing) degree of visibility among managers. However, the OCOL audit demonstrated that until the fall of 2005, senior management had not granted sufficient visibility to OL in the organization.

The 2005-2006 Report on Plans and Priorities and the
2004-2005 Performance Report deal mainly with departmental support for implementation of the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages (Dion Plan). However, the emphasis is placed solely on the Translation Bureau and there is no mention of the other sectors of the Department.

PWGSC has not yet done an internal OL audit. However, PWGSC's OL Directorate is conducting an analysis to help identify the areas where the Department must make greater efforts to increase its bilingual capacity and to ensure the delivery of quality service in both OL and to correct anomalies in departmental OL data.

The Official Languages Program is increasingly the subject of discussions by the various governance committees. In future, the annual reviews of OL submitted to PSHRMAC and to Canadian Heritage will be discussed by various management committees. The OL champion and the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the OLP sit on the Executive Committee. Although the OCOL audit revealed that, "...the OL champion and her role were not known within the Department," the accountability framework currently being developed will correct this deficiency, so that the OL champion is able to exercise more influence on senior management. The OL Director participates in the discussions concerning OL.

Management of Part VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) is integrated with organization-wide objectives. The Executive Committee will be responsible for coordination of Part VII, as it will be for Parts IV, V and VI.

c) Complaints (5%)

Complaints to OCOL are recorded in an official register and a follow-up is conducted. Managers are responsible for analysing complaints and taking the necessary corrective measures in consultation with persons in charge of OL. The Director General, OL Staffing, Employment Equity and Learning immediately informs the Assistant Deputy Minister of the sector concerned when a new complaint is received. Throughout the complaint resolution process, the Assistant Deputy Minister of the organization is informed of the corrective action taken. When there are repeated complaints, the Assistant Deputy Minister sends reminder e-mails to his/her staff in order to eliminate the deficiencies.

However, given the fact that complaints about language of work persist, OCOL considers that there is a very serious problem in this area.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

Points of service are listed in BUROLIS. All the points of service have been reviewed by the Department. Following this review, the Department identified new points of service. The directors of these organizations have been advised in order to ensure adequate linguistic capacity.

86% 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 observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 67% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 17% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 75% of cases.

According to observations of telephone service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 62% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 69% of cases.

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

PWGSC uses standard language clauses in the agreements (for example, for building maintenance or travel services for public servants).

The March 2004 study on leases conducted by OCOL, indicated that only 18% of the leases for which PWGSC is responsible contained language clauses informing its tenants of the official languages requirements. Since the release of the report, the Department has been ensuring that appropriate clauses are systematically inserted in lease contracts (in certain cases, it may be necessary to wait until the renewal of multi-year leases).

To date, there are no examples of regular monitoring of services provided by third parties in PWGSC's own contracts.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Managers must ensure that the spirit of the Act is respected. PWGSC provides tools to designated bilingual offices so they can fulfill their obligations, while a network of part-time OL coordinators handles regional initiatives. A presentation on service to the public has been developed and sent to all regional coordinators to help them better understand their obligations and provide informed advice to managers.

PWGSC offers a workshop for middle managers on the expectations of supervisors in terms of service (value-based approach). This workshop deals with Part IV. Those employees who deal with the public attend a briefing session on the impact of the Act. The publication of new OL policies by the Treasury Board caused the Department to offer numerous sessions aimed at the various departmental levels of management.

There does not appear to be any particular monitoring of the quality of services in both OL provided to the public at bilingual points of service (monitoring, audits, special studies, surveys, reports on successes and deficiencies, etc.).

Language of work - Part V

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

91% of EX incumbents of bilingual positions are bilingual, while 84% of supervisors and EXs in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position.
(Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

A language of work policy was being developed in December 2005. PWGSC offers manager awareness and training workshops on OL values. Most of the usual support measures for a department are available, such as translation and revision service, language training, etc.

In order to encourage managers to improve their command of both OL, the Translation Bureau offers The Language Nook/Le Coin linguistique, a user-friendly Extranet site offering language advice to public servants. Messages from OCOL are also disseminated on the departmental Intranet.

A $300,000 budget is granted to the "La Relève" group (employees who have strong potential) to help them reach the C level in oral interaction (non-mandatory full-time training).

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

PWGSC does not consistently take advantage of opportunities to issue reminders to employees encouraging them to use the language of their choice. It is up to managers to make these reminders. All boardrooms have a sign inviting employees to use the language of their choice. The Department reports that it uses different occasions to remind managers that they must inform employees that they can use the official language of their choice at meetings involving members of both language groups.

Both OL are used in the Senior Management Committee meetings.

There are no examples of regular monitoring to determine if the language of work policy is being appropriately implemented. The Department plans to establish OL monitoring and control mechanisms as part of the development of its accountability framework.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 45.2% of PWGSC's workforce as a whole. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 3.7% of PWGSC'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%)

The Department does not systematically review all memoranda to Cabinet or Treasury Board submissions with official language minorities in mind, but such a practice is being considered.

As a key department, PWGSC produces an annual summary of activities carried out under section 41. This summary is tied to a three-year plan (currently 2005-2008), a component of which deals with enhancing the economic development of official language minority communities. When Bill S-3 was passed, it was expected that a PWGSC officer would be assigned to Part VII of the Act on a full-time basis (requests for assistance from volunteer organizations, etc.). The Department has a network of regional section 41 coordinators who work on this file on a part-time basis.

According to its 2004-2005 annual report on OL submitted to Canadian Heritage, PWGSC took part in various meetings at which representatives of official language minority communities explained their priorities, thereby enabling the Department to better understand these communities' realities. PWGSC has undertaken its own consultations of minority communities in order to determine how the Department can better meet their needs in keeping with its mandate. During the mid-term consultations for the Action Plan for Official Languages, PWGSC participated in the discussions between representatives of Quebec's Anglophone communities and the federal departments in Ottawa.

The OL Director sits on Canadian Heritage's minority press committee. As a central agency with a responsibility for government communication practices, PWGSC's policies and practices are consistent with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada. In order to ensure transparency, PWGSC has also implemented new information management systems, which will enable it to monitor, track and make public its advertising spending in minority official language media in 2006-2007.

Employees (other than those involved in section 41 activities) are made aware, to some degree, of the needs of the minority communities during orientation sessions whose content is posted on the Intranet. Regular meetings are also held with the Human Resources directors to make them aware of their overall obligations, including that of enhancing the vitality of the OL minorities.

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

The section 41 Action Plan attests to the Department's significant commitment in this respect, but the Department does not systematically review all memoranda to Cabinet or Treasury Board submissions in terms of the promotion of linguistic duality.

PWGSC has established a partnership with the City of Ottawa in the context of the City's Business Assistance Project, sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage, with the aim of helping businesses to improve services to clients in both OL. The project offers City and PWGSC commercial tenants a range of services that will allow them to offer more services in French to their clients and improve the delivery of these services. Project managers have developed tool kits, which have been sent to PWGSC's commercial tenants.

The following are a few initiatives taken by PWGSC that have continued this year to promote linguistic duality: active participation of the Translation Bureau in the establishment of the new language technology centre (Gatineau); a joint venture with the Université du Québec en Outaouais and the National Research Council; co-operation between the Translation Bureau and the universities that offer translation programs in order to train the next generation of translators (CO-OP program); and presentations in the context of Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie on the importance of Canada's Francophone heritage and on the importance of honouring the French language and culture.

Each year, PWGSC offers some hundred used and surplus computers to minority associations and distributes some 50 hotel discount cards which allow official language minority communities to take advantage of reduced rates at a number of participating hotels. A departmental communication officer is a member of the Chambre économique de l'Ontario. PWGSC offers the software Termium (terminology database) to non-profit official language minority groups free of charge. The Department participated in the 2005 Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and supported the Jeux de la francophonie canadienne in Winnipeg by providing funding to cover translation costs.

PWGSC has assigned a full-time resource on a term basis to the Regroupement de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) [coordinating group on economic development and employability]. PWGSC supports efforts to maximize the economic development of the communities and the language industries through its student translation partnership program offered by the Translation Bureau.