ARCHIVED - Social Development Canada 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data

Rating

Management

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

Note: On December 12, 2003, the Government of Canada announced the reorganization of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) into two separate departments: Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) and Social Development Canada (SDC).

With the launch of Service Canada on September 14, 2005, HRSDC and SDC were subjected to major changes. SDC's workforce fell from 12,000 employees to approximately 1,400 employees. The Department now focuses its activities on social development policies.

For the purposes of this evaluation, the following information deals with the situation within the Department prior to the launch of Service Canada.

SDC developed a People Component for its Management Accountability Framework. The framework was presented to and approved by the Senior Management Committee. Its aim is to create an enabling workplace that ensures respect and support for official languages. It also states that staff will be required to apply principles that show respect for official languages (OL).

SDC currently uses HRDC's OL action plan. However, the Department intends to update this action plan by the end of the fiscal year.

Senior managers are accountable in their performance agreements for the achievement of OL objectives. For example, they are required to increase linguistic capacity and use of both OL in their workplace. OL responsibilities are set out in the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework, which also includes performance indicators. Complaints also make the Department aware of the degree to which its senior managers are meeting OL objectives.

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

OL are addressed in the 2005-2006 Report on Plans and Priorities. There are also many references to OL in the 2004-2005 Performance Report.

OL are not systematically included in internal audits. However, the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework contains performance indicators and requires that surveys be conducted to report on expected outcomes each year.

The OL champion is a member of the Management Committee, and the committee discusses OL as needed. For example, the OL policy will be discussed by the committee once it is updated.

The OL champion meets regularly with the people in charge of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act, who work in close cooperation.

c) Complaints (5%)

Complaints are forwarded to the manager responsible, who must resolve the issue and implement lasting solutions. A quarterly report is produced, and complaints are discussed in the monthly conference calls held by the Department's OL Division, which include representatives of all the regions. The conference calls cover a variety of OL issues, as well as new initiatives, priorities and best practices. The people in charge of OL follow up to confirm that the corrective measures have been taken. Complaints are also addressed in the performance indicators included in the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

Services to the public are identified in BUROLIS and in the Blue Pages.

94% 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 the observations of in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) in the fall of 2005, active visual active offer was present in 77% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 31% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 89% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 89% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 94% of cases.

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

Service agreements with third parties contain a clause aimed at ensuring the delivery of services in both OL, and managers are aware of that requirement. However, there is no monitoring of the quality of the services provided by third parties.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

OL are part of new employee orientation and e-learning programs. Staff who serve the public are frequently reminded of their responsibilities through circulars, internal articles, videos, etc. The institution also provides employees with tools and publications that answer their questions about language of service to the public.

Line managers are responsible for the quality of the bilingual services provided. The Department uses client satisfaction surveys and complaints analysis to evaluate the quality of bilingual services. A quarterly report on complaints is sent to senior managers.

Language of work - Part V

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

84% of senior managers in bilingual positions are bilingual, while 93% of supervisors in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

SDC currently uses HRDC's language of work policy.

The Department provides language training, and translation and revision services. A language training program for senior management that used one-on-one tutoring and small group sessions was also tested. The Department plans to expand the program over time to make it available to employees who identified language training in their learning plans.

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

The Department uses the tools that HRDC developed, such as a brochure on language of work and a guide for managers who work in bilingual regions. The Intranet site covers all aspects of OL, including language of work. It also includes practical second language evaluation tests and links to second language learning sites.

Information sessions for new employees include official languages and language of work.

Meeting chairs are bilingual and they encourage their staff to use the OL of their choice. Posters encouraging the use of both OL will also be put up in all conference rooms as was done at the Department's previous offices.

Reminders about OL, including language of work, are made to all staff (circulars distributed in the regions, reminders to visit the official languages Intranet site, orientation and awareness sessions).

Management Committee meetings are conducted in both OL. Senior managers' performance agreements include standing commitments against which the following performance measurement criteria are evaluated: increase in linguistic capacity and use of both OL in the workplace.

SDC's Accountability Framework aims to create an enabling workplace that respects and supports OL. One of the indicators planned for assessing the situation is employee satisfaction with use of the OL of their choice in their workplace. Complaints are one of the factors considered in measuring senior managers' performance with regard to OL. The Department also relies on feedback from employees to assess the language of work situation. For example, the "Dear Denise" e-mail gives staff an open forum in which to express their opinions, report situations or ask questions about OL. (The answers are posted for everyone to read and anonymity is assured for employees who do not wish to be identified.) Public Service Surveys and discussions during information sessions are other mechanisms used to determine whether the workplace is conducive to use of both OL.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 32.4% of SDC's work force as a whole. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 3% of SDC's work force in Quebec. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic uality - 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's OL Division reviews Treasury Board submissions in order to identify any impact on the development of OL communities.

In April 2004, the Department designated the Director, Horizontal Initiatives and International Relations, as the person responsible for Part VII of the Act. This is a good fit with the other horizontal issues he handles.

Since his appointment, the Director has put together his team and established a network in the regions. He has emphasized the following elements: knowing and understanding communities and establishing productive relationships in order to listen more closely to communities and become truly aware of their needs. He has also raised awareness of the needs of OL communities within the institution and works closely with the Privy Council Office and Canadian Heritage. He has met with representatives of the Commission nationale des parents francophones regarding early childhood programs and the Fédération des aînés francophones du Canada regarding the New Horizons program.

SDC is proud of its accomplishments related to early childhood and daycare agreements, two areas that are currently of particular interest to the OL communities consulted.

Although the institution does not have its own communications policy, it does comply with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and purchases space and time from media outlets that serve OL communities. That requirement is addressed in information sessions on OL.

Staff are informed of OL communities' needs in meetings, in orientation sessions for new employees and in training sessions.

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

Treasury Board submissions are reviewed by the Department's OL Division in order to take the promotion of linguistic duality into account.

During celebrations related to Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2005, the Department organized an interdepartmental event (in cooperation with HRSDC and Public Works and Government Services Canada) in order to enhance the visibility of the French language within the institution.

OVERALL RATING