ARCHIVED - Service Canada 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Service 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 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 has an integrated OL governance framework that sets forth the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders involved in this area. The framework also specifies the measures that will be taken between September 2006 and March 2009 to ensure the application of each part of the Official Languages Act (the Act), and specifies how those responsible will be held accountable.

Service Canada’s action plan for the implementation of Part IV is in the draft stage. The document indicates the fiscal year in which the objectives must be met, as well as the expected results. However, there is no indication as to who will be responsible for implementing activities or how accountability is to be ensured. Regional director generals will be asked to develop a regional action plan for the implementation of Part IV, which will need to reflect the objectives established in the national action plan.

An informal action plan for the implementation of Parts V and VI supports the measures set forth in Service Canada’s integrated OL governance framework. This plan has been approved by management. The document indicates the fiscal year in which the objectives must be met, as well as the expected results. However, there is no indication as to who will be responsible for implementing activities or how accountability is to be ensured.

Service Canada has implemented an OL governance structure that monitors this situation in this regard. Furthermore, the performance agreements of two assistant deputy ministers (People and Culture and Citizen and Community Services) and of senior managers 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. Regional and headquarters’ executive management must develop their own action plans that are based on their respective mandates in order to achieve the objectives established by the OL Action Plan.

Service Canada has established an internal partnership to develop its action plans in accordance with the strategic planning requirements of each of the institution’s various sectors. The Internal Audit Office is responsible for determining the performance indicators that correspond to each objective set out in the OL Action Plan, specifically with regard to Parts IV and VII.


(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 Priorities of 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 Office at Service Canada is currently considering establishing measurable performance indicators for the OL Program and is working to integrate OL into programs and services offered.

OL are discussed by the Management Board, and a number of presentations were given this past year on the results of OL compliance audits and observations on compliance with OL requirements in terms of service delivery at Service Canada.

The OL Champion, who is the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Operations, as well as the two executives/ADMs responsible for all parts of the Act sit 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 co-champion; the assistant deputy minister responsible for Parts V and VI and for section 91, the Diversity and Official Languages Division; 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.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (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 the 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.

Complaints are also discussed during conference calls with Service Canada’s official language coordinators. An annual 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.




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 Web site 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 90% 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 OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 32% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 74% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 92% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 97% of cases.


(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. The contracting policy sets out mandatory bilingualism requirements regarding the preparation of documents on behalf of the institution.

During the initial visit, program officers responsible for contribution agreements review agreement clauses on proponents’ OL obligations with contractors. 


(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. This year, the OL unit is working on including a component in the orientation program curriculum that will cover language of service in detail.

In 2007, the OL unit conducted an active awareness-raising campaign via email, newsletters and various forums to remind employees about the importance of active offer over the telephone and in person. In this regard, all regional executives were asked to complete a questionnaire on active offer. OL coordinators will analyze the answers to identify priority areas in order to enhance service delivery in both OL.

OL complaints also serve as control mechanisms. In 2007, Service Canada reviewed its call centre service delivery practices after a recurring problem was identified through the complaints filed.

The institution’s points of service make client cards available to the public to collect information on their level of satisfaction with the services received. The card contains a section reserved for comments. The OL unit is working to include a question to determine whether the service was provided in the OL of the clients’ choice.




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 is currently revising this brochure). A language of work self-evaluation guide was produced for managers, and is available on the departmental OL Web site.

Finally, the People and Culture Branch produces a newsletter on Parts V and VI and section 91 of the Act. This communication tool informs employees and keeps them abreast of the status of OL in the institution, refreshes their knowledge of the Act and of their obligations, and provides tips and best practices.

In total, 93% of senior management in bilingual positions is bilingual, while 91% of supervisors in a bilingual region meet the requirements of their respective position (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

The Newsletter on Parts V and VI and Section 91 of the Act is produce quarterly, and is distributed to assistant deputy ministers and regional executives, who are asked to share the newsletter with their managers. OL coordinators also receive a copy. The information contained in the newsletter covers reminders, enhancement and promotion of various tools (self-evaluation guide for managers, project codes for language training to determine the cost of online second language training and learning tools).

Through the weekly newsletter accessible to all Service Canada employees, the OL unit sends out reminders and important information. This year, the newsletter contained messages on language rights, online second language learning tools, the employee satisfaction survey on language of work, and the activities organized during Public Service Week and Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.

The institution is currently developing an action plan for recruiting and retaining more Anglophones in its Quebec offices. With this initiative, representation of institutional bilingualism will be greater and both languages will be used more effectively in the Quebec workplace.

Management Board meetings take place in both OL. Furthermore, every six weeks the Management Board meeting takes place in the region, which facilitates the use of both official languages and which gives greater visibility to institutional bilingualism across the country.

The survey, conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL, showed that 72% of all Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR), New Brunswick and bilingual regions in Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 35% of Anglophone respondents were of the same opinion.




Equitable participation—Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 33.3% Francophone.  (Source: PCIS , March 31, 2007)


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 3.8% Anglophone. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




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

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 official language minority communities (OLMCs) and promote linguistic duality, both in the institution and in Canadian society. 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.

Several presentations were given in 2007 to make senior managers in all sectors aware of their obligations as a result of the amendments to the Act, especially the duty to take positive measures. The three-year action plan (2007–2010) for the implementation of section 41 was updated and adapted to the new requirements of the Act, as well as to Canadian Heritage specifications. The plan was established in partnership with the Policy, Partnerships and Corporate Affairs group to develop measurable performance indicators. It takes OLMC needs into account, based on 2006 consultations and the results of the OLMC Summit that was held in the fall. The plan can be easily accessed from the Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) and Service Canada Web sites.

The Official Languages Service for Citizens and Communities is responsible for the implementation of Parts IV and VII. 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.Advocacy associations from both minority communities have received a list of members belonging to the Service Canada official language coordinators’ network. All coordinators in the network have received training on results-based management, as well as support to enhance their knowledge of OL, particularly with regard to their roles and responsibilities. With the merger of the two OL networks, the coordinators’ role was modified and communicated. In June, a national workshop helped to increase members’ OL knowledge.

Service Canada has begun reviewing its service and communication policies to identify those that have an impact on OLMCs and on linguistic duality. This year, the Publications Policy was revised to systematically include minority media and to formalize a permanent mechanism for communications with and approvals by the Office of the Comptroller.


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


Service Canada has taken a client segmentation approach to better serve Canadians. OLMCs are one of the eight segments of the approach. Among other things, this approach has helped produce a profile of OLMCs. The horizontal nature of the approach fosters active participation in developing profiles and service strategies of the other segments that are being established at Service Canada. The head of the OLMC segment systematically provides relevant information so that OLMC needs are taken into consideration in other segments, and so that relevant information is incorporated into each strategy.

Service Canada has taken positive measures to foster OLMC development such as the Enabling Fund, through which Service Canada is managing 14 contribution agreements with non-governmental organizations, such as the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Community Table, which focus 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 trends and specific needs identified during the consultations were taken into consideration in the regional and headquarters’ action plans for Part VII. This consultation report was made available to the public and to OLMCs.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


Employees who are involved in promoting linguistic duality were made aware of their obligation to take positive measures during presentations tailored to the institution’s various segments. Information on section 41 of the Act was also included in the summary of orientation sessions given to employees from some programs.

Service Canada has taken positive measures to promote the equal status and use of English and French both internally and within Canadian society. During Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, Service Canada organized activities at national headquarters and in the regions, including a breakfast in Manitoba for Regional Management Board members to help them learn about traditional Franco-Manitoban culture.