ARCHIVED - Service Canada 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Service 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 order to ensure the horizontal planning and implementation of Service Canada's official languages (OL) obligations, as well as a consistent service delivery to all Canadians, the institution developed an integrated OL governance framework that sets forth the roles and responsibilities in this area. It specifies the measures that will be taken to ensure the implementation of each part of the Official Languages Act (the Act) and the roles of the various stakeholders involved. The framework also sets forth the measures that will be adopted between September 2006 and March 2009 to ensure the application of each part of the Act, but does not specify how those responsible will be held accountable.

The OL Action Plan has been integrated into this governance framework, which Service Canada's Management Board approved in November 2006. The action plan describes the measures that will be taken for each part of the Act and establishes timelines for the first three years.

Service Canada has set up a governance structure for OL to follow the state of affairs in this area. Furthermore, the performance agreements of two assistant deputy ministers (People and Culture and Citizen and Community Services) and of senior managers, including the manager responsible for OL, include OL objectives. The monthly discussions of the OL Working Group and of the Integrated National Forum for National and Regional Representatives also promote sharing information on OL. Managers must develop their own action plans that are based on their own expertise in order to achieve the objectives established by the OL Action Plan. Service Canada has indicated that developing performance indicators and performance measurement mechanisms is one of its priorities for the coming year.

B

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

Service Canada's guiding principles, which are to deliver quality services to its clients in their official language of choice and achieve service excellence, have been integrated into the Service Charter, one of the institution's key documents.

The 2005-2006 Performance Report and the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Prioritiesof Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), the department that oversees Service Canada, mention OL and official language minority communities (OLMCs).

While OL are not systematically included in internal audits, the Internal Audit Branch, established less than a year ago, is attempting to determine how to support Service Canada's OL Program. However, OL issues are sometimes included in audits. For example, Service Canada is currently completing a salary and benefits audit in Alberta. Among other things, this exercise helped verify the processes used to determine eligibility for the bilingual bonus.

OL are discussed by the Management Board, and presentations on the Governance Framework were given in October and November 2006.

The OL Champion, who is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, sits on the Management Board.

Regular discussions are held by the main OL stakeholders (the OL Champion; the Director of the Official Languages Service for Citizens and Communities (OLSCC), who is also associate champion; the regional champion; the assistant deputy minister responsible for Parts V and VI and his Diversity and Official Languages team; and the assistant deputy minister responsible for Parts IV and VII). In addition, the monthly meetings of the Official Languages Working Group and monthly exchanges with the OL coordinators of the National Integrated Forum ensure good coordination.

B

c) Complaints (5%)

A mechanism to deal with complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) is in place and is described in an internal document. A record of complaints and their status is kept up to date. The managers in question must implement corrective measures to provide lasting solutions to the problems.

The management team is informed of major complaints and the solutions that were applied, as was the case for Job Bank. The departmental OL team provides managers and coordinators who are members of the National Integrated Official Languages Forum with interpretations and information regarding complaints, and shares best practices in order to increase awareness and prevent complaints. A quarterly report, containing a summary of the number and type of complaints received, is sent to coordinators who are members of the National Integrated Forum, who are then asked to share these documents with their program administrators.

A

Sub-total:

B

Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

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

Bilingual services to the public are advertised in the blue pages of telephone directories and in Burolis. In addition, to help the public find local service outlets, the Service Canada website contains a list, by region, of all its offices that indicates locations where services are available in both OL. Changes affecting these offices are advertised in the minority press, thus reaching the members of OLMCs.

A total of 92% 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 80% of cases, an active offer was made by staff in 8% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 70% 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 87% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 88% of cases.

D

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

Contracts and agreements with third parties include a clause providing that services to the public will be provided in both OL, where required. Guidelines for grants and contributions clearly state recipients' obligations in terms of OL.

Controls are put in place by the contractor, in the case of contracts, or by Service Canada employees responsible for the grant or contribution in question. OL complaints could also serve as a control mechanism.

B

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

Service Canada has developed guidelines on its obligations in terms of services to the public. This information is available on the intranet site and is included in the training given to new employees during their orientation program. In addition, Service Canada has integrated responsibilities for the delivery of services to the public in the official language of choice into the Service Charter.

Service Canada aims to build a culture of excellence with regard to service to clients in their official language of choice and to become a model within the government in this regard. Training given to service employees at its Regina college deals in detail with responsibilities related to service to the public, as does the one-week training on service excellence.

Bilingual information sessions dealing with Service Canada's key objectives and the need to establish a culture of service excellence, given by the Deputy Head to employees in the National Capital Region (NCR), have increased awareness about the need to offer services in both OL. On May 19, 2006, a reminder on service to the public was published in Info Service Canada, as was a message from the Assistant Deputy Minister, People and Culture, reminding employees serving the public of their responsibilities in this area and providing them with a series of direct links to various concrete tools.

The Office for Client Satisfaction conducts an annual telephone survey of clients, which includes a question on service delivery in the official language of choice. A compliance checklist for delivering services to the public was developed and sent to OL regional representatives.

B

Sub-total:

C

Language of Work - Part V (25%)

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

Service Canada has developed language of work guidelines, which address all rights and obligations in this area. This information is available on the intranet and is included in the training provided to new employees during their orientation program.

The intranet site contains a large amount of information on OL and language of work and provides relevant links. Measures have been taken to enhance the use of both OL in the workplace. Translation and revision services, as well as full-time or part-time (during or after working hours) language training are also offered. The language of work brochure initially developed by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) is still available to managers and employees (although the institution plans to revise these tools in the coming year). The bilingual information sessions on Service Canada's key objectives and the need to establish a culture of service excellence that was given by the Deputy Head to employees in the NCR have also raised awareness about language of work.

As of March 31, 2006, the PCIS indicated that 91% of senior management and 91% of supervisors who must communicate with their staff in both languages in designated bilingual regions are in fact bilingual.

B

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

In April 2006, the Acting Director, Diversity and Official Languages, sent a reminder to managers and employees at the national headquarters that specifically addressed language of work. The reminder provided a direct link to the Department's brochure and to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC) policy. In its November 24, 2006 issue, Info Service Canada discussed language training.

Management Board meetings are conducted in both OL.

The results of the PSHRMAC survey on language of work at Service Canada have been the subject of a detailed analysis in order to identify and correct any shortcomings regarding language of work, as required. The Department took PSHRMAC's observations into account in its Annual Review of Official Languages and has developed an action plan. Complaints related to language of work also serve to determine whether the workplace is conducive to the use of both OL.

The Public Service Employee Survey showed that overall,75% of all Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and the bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 51% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.

C

Sub-total:

B

Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 33.3% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006).

A

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

In Quebec, the workforce is 3,4% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006).

D

Sub-total:

B

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%)

Permanent mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the obligation to foster the development of OLMCs. For example, memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions are reviewed by a consultant who can properly assess the effect on OL to ensure that they take this obligation and the impact on OLMCs into account. Service Canada also adopted a customer segmentation approach to reach Canadians more effectively. OLMCs are one of the eight segments of this approach, which helps, among other things, to establish a profile of OLMCs. The horizontal nature of this approach leads to active participation in the establishment of the profiles and service strategies of other segments being developed by Service Canada. The OLMC segment manager systematically provides appropriate information so that the needs of OLMCs are taken into account in the other segments and that the relevant data are integrated into each of the strategies.

On December 5, 2005, a presentation, followed by a discussion, was made to the Management Board to make senior managers aware of their obligations as a result of the amendments to the Act and the duty to take positive measures. The Integrated Official Languages Governance Framework, which reflects the amendments made to the Act, was presented to and discussed by the Management Board on October 25 and November 8, 2006.

The Official Languages Service for Citizens and Communities (OLSCC) is responsible for the implementation of Part VII (OLMC development). It coordinates the network of coordinators responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the Act. This network also acts as a regional and national liaison with OLMCs. Associations from both minority communities have received a list of members belonging to the coordinators' network.

On February 16, 2006, Service Canada hosted a meeting, organized by Canadian Heritage, of national coordinators responsible for implementing Part VII from key federal departments and agencies. In order to raise awareness among employees involved in OLMC development, the OLSCC invited all the coordinators responsible for section 41 from national headquarters and the regions to attend the meeting. In June 2006, Service Canada organized the National Workshop on the Implementation of the Act, which was an excellent opportunity for OLMCs and Service Canada colleagues to discuss the major issues OLMCs are confronted with. At the workshop, representatives from the Anglophone and Francophone minority community were invited to give a presentation on their priority issues. A visit to a community services centre serving a Francophone minority population in Ottawa was also organized.

Service Canada has not yet begun reviewing its service policies to identify those that have an impact on OLMCs. As one of the partners involved in the implementation of HRSDC programs, Service Canada is currently participating in reviewing the Enabling Fund, which is specifically intended for organizations whose mandate is to contribute to OLMC development. The Tripartite Committee, which brings together representatives from the Anglophone minority community, Francophone minority communities, HRSDC and Service Canada, created data capture mechanisms to contribute to an analysis of all the community projects funded by the Enabling Fund.

Service Canada has taken positive measures to enhance the development of OLMCs. Among other things, it developed the segmentation strategy, which includes the horizontal work initiated at the segment level to ensure that segments take into account the needs and realities of OLMCs. The Enabling Fundis a concrete example of a positive measure that enhances the development of OLMCs. Through this Fund, Service Canada is currently managing 14 contribution agreements with non-governmental organizations, such as the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswickand the Community Table, which focuses exclusively on the vitality of OLMCs.

In the context of the market segmentation approach with a view to providing better service delivery to citizens and communities, the OLSCC is currently involved in consultations with OLMCs. For example, the guiding principles that will direct the segmentation strategy for OLMCs are based on consultations with organizations representing OLMCs on the accessibility and delivery of services offered by Service Canada. The framework of the consultations, conducted by the University of Moncton's Institut canadien de recherche en politiques et administration publique was established in close cooperation with the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, the Quebec Community Groups Network and the National Human Resources Development Committee for the English Linguistic Minority. These consultations were held between June and October 2006 in Moncton, Edmonton, Sudbury, Montréal and Ottawa.

Because the final results from these consultations are not yet known, feedback for informing representatives about the consultations is currently given through e-mail. An internal communications plan has been developed to ensure that the results of the consultations are disseminated. Service Canada is currently developing an external communications plan.

The current action plan for the implementation of Part VII, a joint plan with HRSDC, was revised in 2005 and expires at the end of March 2007. However, OLMCs were not consulted when the action plan was being revised. The plan will include a mechanism to assess results, which will include performance indicators.

B

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

Permanent mechanisms are in place to ensure that strategic planning, policy development and service modelling take into account the obligation to promote the equal status and use of English and French. For example, memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions are reviewed by a consultant who can properly assess the effect on OL to ensure that they take this obligation into account. Service Canada has also developed an integrated OL governance framework to contribute to the establishment of a culture of excellence in order to make Service Canada a government model in terms of respect for OL. This framework will continue to actively promote Canada's linguistic duality, specifically through exemplary institutional bilingualism.

On December 5, 2005, a presentation, followed by a discussion, was made to the Management Board to make senior managers aware of their obligations as a result of the amendments to the Act and the duty to take positive measures. The Integrated Official Languages Governance Framework, which reflects the amendments made to the Act, was presented to and discussed by the Management Board on October 25 and November 8, 2006.

The OLSCC is responsible for the implementation of Part VII (promotion and use of English and French in Canadian society). It coordinates the network of coordinators responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the Act. This network also acts as a regional and national liaison with the appropriate associations, which have received a list of members belonging to the coordinators' network.

Employees who are involved in promoting linguistic duality were made aware of their obligation to take positive measures during the national workshop, which members of the network of coordinators responsible for all parts of the Act attended. Information on section 41 of the Act was also included in the summary of orientation sessions given to employees from some programs. In addition, the OLSCC gave a presentation to the Internal Audit Branch to raise awareness among members to their director's new role as coordinator for the implementation of section 41 of the Act and to encourage them to think about how he could contribute to the implementation of the Act, including the promotion of linguistic duality.

Service Canada has not yet begun reviewing its service policies to identify those that have an impact on the promotion and use of English and French. However, the institution has made a commitment to review its service procedures in order to promote English and French.

Service Canada has taken positive measures to promote the equal status and use of English and French both internally and within Canadian society. At Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, Service Canada organized activities to promote the equal status and use of English and French for the public and for its employees at the national headquarters and Place Vanier. More than 300 people attended the activities, which sparked participants' interest in Francophone culture. As part of Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, several other events were held in the regions. A newsletter on official languages issues is distributed every two weeks to the network of coordinators responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the Act.

The current action plan for the implementation of Part VII, a joint plan with HRSDC, was revised in  2005 and expires at the end of March 2007. It reflects the institution's activities in relation to the promotion of linguistic duality at the regional and national level. OLMCs were not consulted when the action plan was being revised. However, Service Canada intends to hold consultations with the communities when it develops its 2007-2010 action plan. The current plan includes positive measures for the promotion of linguistic duality. For example, the institution has developed activities to provide young people with the opportunity to gain work experience in their official language of choice through the Youth Employment Strategy programs.

The action plan will be accompanied by a mechanism to assess results, which will include performance indicators.

B

Sub-total:

B

OVERALL RATING

B