ARCHIVED - Public Works and Government Services Canada 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

(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 at the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). In July 2007, OCOL followed up on the recommendations in order to measure the progress made by PWGSC. The Department has implemented most of the recommendations contained in the audit report.

An official languages accountability framework is in place. It sets out the Deputy Minister’s expectations of the main Official Languages Program stakeholders and summarizes the manner in which the obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) are to be fulfilled.

In addition to the accountability framework, on July 6, 2007, PWGSC issued a departmental policy on official languages to the entire staff, including three guidelines on OL (pertaining to Parts IV, V and VI of the Act). The guidelines on support to official language minority communities (Part VII) are scheduled to be adopted in 2008.

In the summer of 2007, PWGSC set up a new Departmental Policy Committee (DPC), a senior management committee chaired by the Deputy Minister, which replaced the former Departmental Operations Committee (DOC), which had been chaired by the Associate Deputy Minister. OL issues and the monitoring of the implementation of the OL Program are regularly discussed by the DPC.

PWGSC has updated its OL Strategic Action Plan, which includes specific objectives and identifies stakeholders and timelines. The Plan was discussed and approved by the DPC. Quarterly progress reports on the Department’s performance are submitted to the DPC and then distributed to all senior management (deputy minister, associate deputy minister, all assistant deputy ministers and the OL ambassadors). The progress reports contain detailed data on the equitable participation of Anglophones and Francophones, the language requirements of positions, staffing processes, OL complaints and language training.

These reports serve as a follow-up mechanism for the Deputy Minister and the branch and region heads to closely monitor progress on OL in their respective organizations and to take corrective action, if necessary.

In addition to the quarterly progress reports, the Associate Deputy Minister receives biweekly reports on human resources issues, including OL, and regular updates on OL complaints.

As a follow-up to the initiative implemented during the previous fiscal year, i.e. the inclusion of OL in the performance objectives of all  non-EX managers who are required to supervise or ensure the delivery of services in both OL, during the course of the current fiscal year, the Department included OL in the performance objectives of all senior management who have such responsibilities.

The Department has further strengthened its OL governance by setting up the new OL Governance Committee (OLGC). The institution’s annual reviews and action plans are now discussed and approved by the OLGC before being submitted to the DPC.


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

The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities make several references to the objectives of the OL Program. The Department also has a scorecard that contains reporting mechanisms for the implementation of these programs.

As part of the communication strategy aimed at strengthening the visibility of OL at the Department, the Statement of Commitment by Senior Management Regarding Official Languages, which sets out the four OL values, i.e. respect, transparency, professionalism and excellence, was distributed in August 2007 to all members of senior management and in offices designated bilingual for service to the public purposes. In a communiqué that accompanied the Statement, the Deputy Minister asked managers for their personal support in posting the Statement of Commitmentin a visible area in their workplace, in addition to demonstrating leadership and setting the example for Department employees.

The Department’s Audit and Evaluation Branch has integrated OL in its planning.

There are two champions working at PWGSC:

  • the ADM, Real Property, as champion of corporate culture and bilingual service delivery; and

  • the CEO of the Translation Bureau, as champion of the promotion of linguistic duality and enhancement of the vitality of official language minority communities (OLMCs).

The Co-champions are both members of the Department’s management committees. Most OL issues are discussed by the DPC, which includes all assistant deputy ministers, branch heads, the ADM, Human Resources who is responsible for implementing the OL Program. This year, the issues dealt with service to the public performance, Part VII of the Act, the Official Languages Exclusion Order,and increasing the Department’s bilingual capacity, among other things.

The new OL Governance Committee is chaired by departmental OL champions and is composed of the ADM, Human Resources, and OL ambassadors who are directors general and regional directors who represent all the Department’s branches and regions. The Deputy Minister is an ex-officio member of the Committee. The Committee meets every three months to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the implementation of the OL Program and the Department’s performance. The OLGC reports directly to the DPC.

In addition to the OLGC, which is composed of ambassadors, the Department is supported by two OL coordinators’ networks. Within each branch and region, an OL coordinator is responsible for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, while another is responsible for Part VII.

A secretariat responsible for issues pertaining to the strengthening of Part VII within the Department was created in May 2007. The Official Language Minority Communities Secretariat reports to the Official Languages Division, but works closely with the Champion for the promotion of linguistic duality and the vitality of official language minority communities, the OLGC and the Part VII coordinators’ network.

There is currently good coordination among the Co-champions, the ADM, Human Resources and the Director of Official Languages. Because the ADM, Human Resources, and both Champions sit together on a number of committees, they have many opportunities to share information and thus ensure good coordination of all parts of the Act.

Official languages are very visible within PWGSC thanks to the Department’s awareness campaign. The weekly OL bulletins “Did you know” have been posted on the home page of the Department’s intranet site for the last year. Furthermore, the departmental policy on OL, the OL accountability framework, the Commissioner of Official Languages’ annual report, the Department’s performance report and the annual reports submitted to the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA) and Canadian Heritage can be found on the OL Division’s intranet page.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (5%)

Complaints filed with OCOL are recorded in a database. Notices of complaints are sent to the senior executive responsible for the branch or region concerned. Representatives of the branch or region concerned—including the manager responsible for the particular sector—work with the OL Division to identify and implement corrective measures. The senior executive responsible for the branch or region concerned approves the corrective measures submitted to the OL Division. The manager responsible for the sector then implements the corrective measures in cooperation with the OL Division. In many cases, the measures are included in an ADM memo to all employees to ensure that the situation does not reoccur.

The quarterly progress report includes a detailed section on complaints submitted to senior management. The complaints are also included in the weekly highlights report submitted to the associate deputy minister.

The ADM, Human Resources, is also kept informed of the entire complaint process, from the filing of the complaint to its resolution.

The complaint findings are sent to the heads, directors, OL coordinators and managers concerned and they report on the corrective measures put in place to ensure that the situation does not reoccur.

Internal complaints are resolved using the same process as the one used to resolve complaints filed with OCOL.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

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

PWGSC offices that provide bilingual service to the public are listed in Burolis and the blue pages of telephone directories.

In total, 84% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: Position and Classification Information System [PCIS], March 31, 2007).


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

According to observations of in-person service made by the OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 88% of cases; an active offer by staff was made in 26% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 79% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by the OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 82% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 96% of cases.


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

PWGSC uses standard language clauses in agreements (e.g., building maintenance and federal employee travel services).

In April 2006, the Department changed the wording of the clause in the commercial lease agreements used in the National Capital Region (NCR) to require commercial tenants to serve the public in both official languages. The new clause is inserted in leases as they are renewed.

The ADM, Procurement, reminded all procurement officers to make sure that the contracts contain a clause to ensure that third parties acting on behalf of PWGSC comply with the Department’s language requirements.

There is no control mechanism for services provided by third parties, with the exception of complaints.


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

PWGSC issued a departmental policy on official languages accompanied by three guidelines (including one on service to the public). The policy and guidelines set out the requirements for communications with and the delivery of bilingual service to the public as well as active offer. They make employees aware of the Department’s commitment to respecting the equal status of English and French.

Currently, PWGSC conducts two telephone audits per year on active offer and bilingual service delivery at all offices required to offer services in both OL. As such, in 2007, the Department conducted a telephone audit of all its designated bilingual offices, including all the various services offered, for a total of 60 different telephone numbers listed in Burolis.

In response to the observations, reminders of the requirement to provide service in both official languages have been sent to all employees. The Department repeats the observations on active offer and service to the public in both OL at designated bilingual offices. Following the audit in the summer of 2007, a comprehensive information kit on service to the public was sent out in August 2007 to all directors of designated bilingual offices.

The Department’s awareness campaign, which includes weekly bulletins on official languages, its electronic newsletter, Dialogue, and communiqués in PWGSC In the Know, provides all employees with information on linguistic obligations.




Language of work—Part V (25%)

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

A policy and guidelines (one of them on language of work) were adopted and distributed by the DPC in 2007. These guidelines set out the rights and obligations related to the supervision of employees, language of meetings, internal communications and work tools.

The human resources management guidelines specify how to ensure that the Department has adequate language capacity to foster a workplace that respects employees’ language rights.

The standard support measures for a department are in place to facilitate use of the official language of the linguistic minority (language training, translation and revision services, awareness tools, etc.). To encourage employees to increase their proficiency in both official languages, the Translation Bureau has set up The Language Nook/Le Coin linguistique, a user-friendly site that offers language tips for public servants. The Department also promotes the Campusdirect self-learning tools.

Since April 1, 2007, PWGSC has 11 language instructors who teach part-time language training courses in the NCR to foster employees’ career advancement and second language skills retention.

The PWGSC language training program includes 46 types of language training courses and workshops. The Department’s Learning Centre also provides support to employees who want to develop their OL skills.

The Department has developed a language training policy that should be approved by March 31, 2008.

During the 2007 Linguistic Duality Week, employees were able to get information on the Department’s language training program and the self-learning tools from the booths that were set up for this event.

Representatives from the Canada School of Public Service were on hand to help employees familiarize themselves with the learning tools of Campusdirect and the Translation Bureau.

In total, 94% of senior management in bilingual positions are bilingual, while 84% of the supervisors in bilingual regions meet the requirements of their respective position (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In order to help create a bilingual workplace and promote both OL in the workplace, new posters encouraging employees to use the language of their choice have been created and distributed in the bilingual regions. In addition, the Department provides information sessions on OL to new employees and awareness sessions to senior executives and managers that focus primarily on creating a workplace that is conducive to OL and designating the language profile of positions. A two-day OL training course is offered to OL coordinators and human resources advisors.

PWGSC participated financially and actively in CPSA’s OL information campaign by holding focus groups on the campaign’s key messages and logo. The tools developed for the campaign were distributed to Department employees during Linguistic Duality Week.

The Department’s OL champions issued reminders to employees, encouraging them to participate in the language of work survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the OCOL.

The survey showed that overall, 78% of Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 72% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.
The Department has launched a review of language profiles of positions, which will continue until April 2009.




Equitable participation - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 47.7% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 3.7% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality—Part VII (25%)


The Secretariat for Official Language Minority Communities was established in May 2007. Its mission is to support the development of OLMCs within the context of PWGSC’s mandate and in accordance with the Act. The manager of the Secretariat is also the national coordinator for section 41.

The Secretariat supports the Department in analyzing the potential impact of policies, programs and services on OLMCs. It also represents the Department in various interdepartmental consultation networks and maintains regular contact with official language minority representatives.

OLMCs have been informed, by letter, of the creation of the Secretariat and several community organizations, including the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE Canada), the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, have been contacted.

The role of the Secretariat is clearly defined in the Department’s Guidelines on Support to Official Language Minority Communities, which is an appendix to the departmental Official Languages Policy. The guidelines will be approved in March 2008. They set out  the Department’s obligation to take positive measures to support OLMCs, and the Department’s approach to assessing the impact of its policies, programs and policies on OLMCs through use of the Treasury Board’s impact analysis tool. Finally, the guidelines make clear the obligation to consult with OLMCs and to submit both action plans and achievement reports on  Part VII.

In addition to the PWGSC’s Official Languages Policy, the Department has an Official Languages Accountability Framework, which includes development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality as main objectives.

The recently established Official Languages Governance Committee (OLGC) receives information regularly on the obligations under the Act, the Part VII Action Plan, and the annual Achievement Report. The OLGC advises senior management on how the Department can achieve its official languages objectives, including those relating to Part VII of the Act. Members are expected to provide operational support so that the Department can meet its Part VII obligations, and are responsible for approving action plans, including the Department’s Triennial Action Plan for Part VII (2008–2011) to be submitted in May 2008 to Canadian Heritage.

The Department has identified a senior manager who is the Champion for the promotion of linguistic duality and development of official language minority communities. The Champion co-chairs the OLGC.

The Departmental Policy Committee (DPC) receives regular information on the Department’s obligations and activities with respect to Part VII, including positive measures and best practices. It is also responsible for approving action plans and achievement reports.

PWGSC has also established a network of Part VII coordinators who represent various branches and regions and act as liaisons between PWGSC and OLMCs in the regions.

PWGSC employees are informed of OLMC needs and the requirement to promote linguistic duality through the quarterly bulletin Dialogue, Linguistic Duality Week, the bulletin “Did you know…”, the accountability framework and the departmental policy on OL.

Senior management in the Department was made aware of the significance of Part VII of the Act during discussions related to the adoption of the annual status report submitted to Canadian Heritage. Since the Act was amended, the manager at the Secretariat has made a number of presentations on the resulting obligations to various managers who may play a role in OLMC development. The OLGC is responsible for reviewing all potential positive measures. During visits to the NCR, regional directors general were also made aware of the amendments to the Act by the OL Division.

Moreover, the three ADMs (the two Co-champions and the ADM, Human Resources) who are the most familiar with the OL Program see many submissions to the Treasury Board and sit on a number of committees that review memoranda to Cabinet. The Associate Deputy Minister, who is very aware of OL issues, sees all memoranda to Cabinet. As a designated department, PWGSC produces an annual report of activities carried out under section 41. That report is related to a three-year plan (currently 2005–2008), one component of which is aimed at strengthening economic development in OLMCs. PWGSC uses the Treasury Board analysis grid when making Treasury Board submissions.

(a) Development of official language minority communities (12.5%)


The Secretariat meets regularly with community representatives, including meetings with its major community partners: the Fédération des communautés francophones etacadienne du Canada, the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE Canada), the Community Table and the Quebec Community Groups Network. Part VII coordinators in the regions also meet periodically with OLMCs (e.g., the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse) or take part in events that increase their understanding of OLMC needs and priorities (e.g., Symposium on Official Languages in Ontario).

PWGSC is represented on the Comité national de développement économique et d’employabilité for the French linguistic minority community and the National Human Resources Development Committee for the English linguistic minority community. The Department is an official signatory of the memorandum of understanding for both committees.

PWGSC co-chairs the Consultative Committee on Advertising and Official Language Minority Media in order to raise government awareness about the importance of advertising within OLMCs. The committee includes four OLMC representatives.

These meetings allow the Department to consult regularly with OLMCs. As a result of the Department’s participation in these activities, the Secretariat has identified four priorities that fall within PWGSC’s mandate: translation services, the government procurement system and access to federal government contracts, lease negotiation, and media purchases in minority media. These priorities will be examined closely and could provide  the basis for the 2008–2011 Triennial Action Plan. However, the Department has already begun work on these issues. In particular, as a pilot project, the Department is providing resources to its main community partners to assist them in meeting some of their translation needs. PWGSC’s Triennial Plan contains detailed activities to achieve results and identifies performance indicators to measure success.

PWGSC is supporting human resource development within the Anglophone community in Quebec by ensuring that its recruitment campaigns are active in English-language universities.

In order to promote Anglophone participation in Quebec, PWGSC consulted with twelve federal institutions on the institutional strategies and factors that facilitate the hiring of Anglophones in Quebec. PWGSC also consulted with representatives of the Community Table and the Quebec Community Groups Network and will examine the results of these discussions to identify key recommendations.

PWGSC donated computer equipment to the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise and provided subscriptions to Termium to OLMCs everywhere in the country, including the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). Also, more than 400 organizations representing OLMCs receive hotel cards that give them access to reduced rates while travelling on business.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

In order to encourage all federal public service employees to increase their proficiency in the two OL, the Translation Bureau has developed Le Coin linguistique/The Language Nook, a user-friendly site that offers language advice to federal employees.

The Department’s awareness campaign helped increase the visibility of linguistic duality within the Department. PWGSC has demonstrated innovativeness and leadership by being the first federal department to organize Linguistic Duality Week from December 3 to 7, 2007. The goal of this event was to raise the profile of both OL, to take advantage of opportunities to experience bilingualism and to familiarize PWGSC employees with the cultures of both OL. At the opening ceremonies, to which all PWGSC employees from the NCR were invited, in the presence of PWGSC’s OL Champions, ADM, Human Resources, and the Associate Deputy Minister, the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Minister of PWGSC and the Deputy Minister of PWGSC gave speeches on linguistic duality. For three days, booths representing various departments and organizations that deal with OLMCs were set up to inform employees on various aspects of linguistic duality. Activities were held in the Department’s five regional offices.

At the opening ceremonies for the event, at Department Headquarters, the PWGSC Minister and Deputy Minister, as well as the Commissioner of Official Languages gave a speech. A video in which PWGSC employees described the benefits of linguistic duality in their personal and professional lives was also shown.

Departments and agencies, including the Canada Public Service Agency, the Translation Bureau, the Canada School of Public Service, Campusdirect, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA), Canadian Heritage, the Community Table and the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada), participated in the event by setting up information booths for three days to present their products and to introduce themselves to PWGSC employees.

The 2007 Linguistic Duality Week was also celebrated in the Department’s regional directorates. The Pacific Region organized a potluck and a presentation on language training. The Western Region launched a pilot project on maintaining French at work called “Parlons français”. Two articles on linguistic duality appeared in the electronic newsletter for the Ontario Region. One of the articles focussed on the National Service Call Centre, a completely bilingual unit of the regional directorate, while the other provided a profile of official language minority communities in the Ontario Region. The Quebec Region organized a second-language dictation contest. In the Atlantic Region, the employees participated in an electronic quiz and they attended a Campusdirect presentation on self-learning tools.

Each year, PWGSC also participates in Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. For the occasion, PWGSC created 13 posters representing the provinces and territories to help departmental employees increase their knowledge of OLMCs and the minority media.

PWGSC contributed human resources for the awards ceremony for Les lauriers de la PME (these awards recognize entrepreneurial excellence in Francophone and Acadian communities), which took place on November 10, 2007. The Department is an official partner off the Business Assistance Program, which helps businesses in Ottawa to provide services to the public in both OL.

In 2007–2008, the Translation Bureau launched two new products for all federal employees: Linguistic Recommendations and Linguistic Reminders.

Linguistic reminders, a useful addition to linguistic recommendations, provide advice on how to handle language difficulties that language professionals know how to deal with, but that the general public may struggle with. By giving reminders of correct usage, the Bureau provides federal employees with tools for communicating more effectively with their fellow Canadians.

Linguistic recommendations help standardize usage within the federal public service. They propose effective solutions, and have been particularly well received by those who have to wrestle with language problems on a day-to-day basis, often without any clear or standard solutions.

Moreover, the Translation Bureau also launched, in partnership with the House of Commons, a new service that will ensure French subtitling during Question Period.

The Bureau, in collaboration with the Language Industry Association, published a brochure aimed at promoting language professions.

Lastly, the Translation Bureau provided the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Chaudière-Appalaches, which is working with the Megantic English-speaking Community Development Corporation, with the authorization to reproduce and incorporate the Glossary of Health Services/Lexique des services de santé into its lexicon for health and social services professionals in the Chaudière–Appalaches region. The Translation Bureau provided authorization as part of its support for OLMCs, in this case Quebec’s Anglophones.