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SECTION IV: OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST

Performance Summary of the Corporate Management and Direction Program Activity

Improving Financial Management

A number of initiatives were undertaken in 2006–2007 to improve the CBSA’s financial management:

  • With a view to solidifying accountability frameworks and managing corporate systems, information and technology effectively, the Agency established regional comptrollership centres and a National Financial Transaction Centre in Montral. A matrix outlining clear roles and responsibilities was completed and an expenditure and service level monitoring framework was implemented. 
  • Within the overall financial management framework of the Agency, various control points were assessed and gaps were identified in policies, processes and guidelines. 
  • A Financial Administration Control Framework was developed and implemented to ensure the integrity of non-tax revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities.
  • Cash management processes for tax revenues were reviewed, and the risks and gaps in controls were assessed and documented. 
  • A cash management monitoring and senior management compliance certification process was established. 
  • Year-end cut-off procedures for tax revenues and associated expenditures, assets and liabilities were reviewed and updated. 
  • A feasibility study and options analysis on the tax revenue assessment, re-assessment and client accounts receivable processes was initiated, and work is progressing on the implementation of a CBSA tax revenue ledger.
  • Improvements were made in integrating information from the CBSA’s three legacy organizations to ensure that financial statements conform to Treasury Board accounting standards.

Long-term Fixed Infrastructure Plan

In 2006–2007, the CBSA developed a fixed infrastructure management framework that is consistent with Treasury Board policy and recognizes that its portfolio of ports of entry is integral to the Agency’s mandate and mission. The CBSA is also completing its first long-term plan for the recapitalization of its portfolio of ports of entryand will be participating as a pilot department in implementing the new Treasury Board policies on investment planning and the management of projects.

The CBSA is completing the implementation of the long-term plans approved under the former Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The CBSA developed the Fixed Infrastructure Management Framework in 2006–2007. The Framework was used to establish the CBSA’s priorities over the next five years. In 2006–2007, port redevelopment projects were completed in Stanstead, Quebec, and Cascade, B.C., and the implementation of major redevelopment projects advanced in Andover, N.B., and Douglas, B.C. In addition, planning of major projects for a new port in St. Stephen, N.B., to provide the necessary training infrastructure at Rigaud, Quebec, to support the arming of CBSA officers and to eliminate work-alone situations was started in 2006–2007.

Integrated Risk Management Framework

The CBSA incorporates risk management in its strategic planning and priority setting and began in 2006–2007 to apply the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Integrated Risk Management Framework by completing the Agency’s first Enterprise Risk Profile. The Agency identified and ranked the key risks to its mandate and border management through the Profile. This Profile will support further work in 2007–2008 to establish an integrated risk management framework for the CBSA.

Internal Audit

The 2006–2007 fiscal year was a transition year for the internal audit function. An inspection of the Agency’s internal audit practices was completed by a consulting firm, which resulted in a number of recommendations to strengthen the capacity of internal audit as well as the management framework. Three internal audits (cash management, year-end cash cut-off procedures and systems under development — general controls) were completed and presented to the Audit Committee with management action plans. As a result, an action plan was developed to put in place the policy requirements required by the new TBS Policy on Internal Audit within the transition period (2006–2009). In addition, audit work commenced on a number of other subjects with final reports to be completed in the 2007–2008 fiscal year.

Evaluation

The multi-year risk-based evaluation plan was updated and implemented in 2006–2007. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that evaluation activities are strategically integrated into the Agency’s overall management activities and that resources allocated to evaluation activities provide the greatest value-added to the organization. Well-timed evaluation activities provide the CBSA with essential tools to ensure an accurate assessment of program outcome or impact, particularly in areas considered to be high risk. Evaluation activities are an integral component of overall program management. In 2006–2007, two evaluations were posted on the CBSA’s Internet site and four evaluation studies are underway for completion in 2007–2008.

Values and Ethics

The CBSA places great importance on supporting measures for ensuring integrity in the workplace. In 2006–2007, it made significant progress in raising the profile and awareness of values and ethics throughout the Agency. To complement the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, the CBSA developed and implemented its own Code of Conduct specific to the Agency’s unique jobs, roles and responsibilities. To improve the overall communication of information concerning values and ethics and the disclosure of wrongdoing in the workplace, a Values and Ethics section on the CBSA’s intranet site was developed along with a Values and Ethics network with representatives from all regions. In 2006–2007, the CBSA developed an ambitious Values and Ethics Program Action Plan for 2007–2008 to build on achievements such as the design and delivery of values and ethics components of the Port of Entry Recruit Training Program (POERT) and an anti-corruption pilot course for border services officers.

Frontire/Border Classification Standard

In December 2005, the Treasury Board approved the Frontire/Border (FB) classification standard, a classification tool designed to recognize and evaluate the specialized skills and abilities required in CBSA work. Work activities from the three legacy organizations have been grouped into jobs that support the CBSA’s organizational structure, including the Port of Entry Vision. In 2006, all jobs that were to be converted to FB were evaluated using the new standard and, in February 2007, some 9,000 CBSA employees received a letter providing their new FB level and generic work description. Collective bargaining, which is now underway, will result in the negotiation of FB salaries and a collective agreement for the new group. 

Relations with Unions

The Agency continually worked on strengthening relationships with its stakeholders. Regional representatives participated in collective bargaining and essential service agreement negotiations, and the CBSA is also working closely with the TBS on these initiatives. The CBSA had significant dealings with the Customs Excise Union on collective bargaining, and it continued to work in a collaborative manner with bargaining agents in the areas of labour relations, occupational health and safety, grievance handling and the processing of exclusions. Two Employee Assistance Program (EAP) union-management committee meetings were held in 2006–2007. Feedback on our products and recommendations regarding new activities and initiatives during these meetings has been implemented and is now part of the Agency’s EAP.

Informal Conflict Management System

The Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) is a mandatory program under the Public Service Labour Relations Act. It emphasizes conflict prevention measures and dispute resolution methods that are based on the mutual interest of parties and on redress mechanisms that reflect the rights of the parties. The CBSA’s ICMS function is jointly guided by CBSA management and its bargaining agents through the Joint Informal Conflict Management System Steering Committee. During 2006–2007, in the ICMS program’s first full year in operation, awareness sessions and training courses were delivered to 3,525 employees to increase communications skills and promote conflict management. The CBSA was the first federal organization to put an “abeyance protocol” in place to respect formal complaint process timelines while employees seek informal resolution.

Human Resources Planning

The CBSA produced a Human Resources Plan in February 2007. The document, which is part of the Agency’s 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities, focuses on the immediate short-term need to address key workforce challenges for 2007–2008 and sets the foundation for the further refinement of a more comprehensive, integrated and forward-looking human resources plan for 2008–2009. Built on the business and strategic priorities identified by CBSA senior management, the plan sets out the five human resources (HR) gaps/priorities for action and strategies to address them. These gaps/priorities are the Arming Initiative; national border services officer recruitment, training and development; program expertise; information technology; and policy capacity.

In particular, the Agency recognized that there are several key program areas, such as immigration and food, plant and animal inspection, that are particularly vulnerable to the erosion of program expertise. The CBSA will undertake targeted efforts to deal with the key areas.

While the foundation for the Agency’s HR planning program has been laid, more work is required to complete branch and regional HR plans and to integrate HR planning with business planning to ensure that HR planning is a primary consideration in both new business initiatives and ongoing business planning. 

The work begun in 2006–2007 on the Human Resources Plan and the CBSA’s strategic priorities will support the Clerk of the Privy Council’s priorities for public service renewal; namely, planning, recruitment, employee development and enabling infrastructure.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA undertook a project to improve the quality of HR data in its Corporate Administrative System. As this project is completed, one of the key improvements will be an enhanced ability to generate complex demographic reports that will provide such information as linguistic and gender profiles, retirement projections and employment equity representation. These reports will greatly enhance the CBSA’s ability to ensure that its HR planning reflects the current and future needs of the organization. 

Training and Development 

The CBSA Port of Entry Vision includes “Improved border security and facilitation through integration of legacy agencies, including a single level CBSA officer job, integrated management, support and systems structure.” The key to successfully implementing this initiative is the establishment of cross-training for border services officers working either in immigration, customs or food, plant and animal inspection to increase our multi-faceted capacity. 

As of 2006–2007, all new border services officer recruits are now required to go through identical assessment and training before receiving offers of employment with the Agency. A Curriculum Advisory Board, consisting of regional directors, chiefs and training coordinators, was created to provide guidance, advice and support to the CBSA on the Port of Entry Recruit Training (POERT) program and a new delivery model was implemented for the program, including distance learning and in-service training components. 

Over the course of 2006–2007, numerous training and learning activities and workshops were developed and delivered on various CBSA programs and initiatives related to automated systems, finance and administration, HR, information technology, management and leadership, orientation, access, security and various skills and competencies. Some of the new learning products included courses on interviewing skills; minister’s delegate authorities under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; immigration training for investigators; food, plant and animal inspection; and a basic instructional techniques course to support the rollout of a national instructor certification program. Handoff training on these products was delivered to regional trainers. In conjunction with the Canada School of Public Service, CBSA managers validated their delegated authorities, new managers underwent mandatory training and new employees attended the orientation course. Five “Managing for Results” workshops were also delivered to CBSA middle managers.

Official Languages

The CBSA is among the top five organizations in the Government of Canada for the management of its Official Languages Program and received an “exemplary” rating for the three criteria (accountability framework, visibility of official languages in the organization and complaints). Moreover, the 2006–2007 Annual Report of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages recognized the CBSA language training and described it as a “fine example for other departments.” The recent CBSA report card confirmed the accomplishments made by the Agency over 2006–2007. The CBSA report card’s overall rating moved from “fair” to “good” in 2006–2007. This improvement reflects the CBSA’s commitment to not only meet our official languages obligations but to go beyond compliance toward creating an environment that recognizes and values bilingualism.

A culture change has also been noticed through the complaint process and from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Canada Public Service Agency perspective. With the millions of travellers that go across our border each year, only 28 complaints of the 353 filed at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages concerned the CBSA, 25 complaints out of 357 were filed in 2005–2006.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • A new model for language training was adopted and a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Canada School of Public Service for 10 teachers for in-house language training.
  • 66 headquarters employees were on full-time language training during 2006–2007 and 48 received training to maintain their second language.
  • There were 867 registrations for the Ottawa Interdepartmental Language Training Program, a program designed to offer part-time language training to employees in the National Capital Region.
  • Every region offered language training to maintain and build bilingual capacity. A total of 694 regional employees went on language training and 75 benefited from telephone tutoring with our teachers.

Networks of official languages coordinators were created at CBSA locations across Canada, and official languages is now integrated in the POERT program. Resource centres were established and tools were developed with input from both employees and managers. Information sessions on the need to serve the public in both official languages and the importance of bilingualism at the CBSA were given across the country. Internal policies to support government policies were developed on communications with and services to the public and on language of work, as well as a directive on the resolution of official languages complaints.

Privacy Management Framework

The CBSA has begun to develop its Privacy Management Framework. Once complete, the Framework will augment the CBSA governance structure, roles and responsibilities, and serve as a monitoring vehicle for privacy-protected information. It is expected that the Privacy Management Framework will be ready for approval by senior management by the end of 2007–2008.

Information Management Strategy

An information management (IM) capacity check using Library and Archives Canada methodology was completed in 2006–2007. In September 2006, the CBSA Information Management Steering Committee endorsed the capacity check as well as a high-level strategy and action plan. Ten IM awareness sessions were given to employee groups from headquarters and the regions. An Agency-wide subject file classification guide was developed and used as the basis for individual file system plans for clients at headquarters. To increase the storage capacity for corporate records, a portable file system was installed and emphasis was placed on identifying additional records for disposal in accordance with Treasury Board policy and guidelines.

Strategic Legislative Plan

An Agency legislative plan for 2007–2008 was finalized and approved by the Executive Management Committee in the fourth quarter of 2006–2007. The CBSA consulted with Public Safety Canada officials to develop elements for the plan and to obtain their agreement. It will be revised as priorities shift and as other government departments bring forward legislation that impacts the CBSA.

Sustainable Development Strategy

On December 13, 2006, the Minister of the Environment tabled the CBSA’s first Sustainable Development Strategy 2007–2009 along with those of other federal departments and agencies.  The Strategy took effect on April 1, 2007, and it is based on a series of commitments that reflect a different way of making decisions and conducting daily activities, while still fulfilling the CBSA’s mandate. It incorporates the government-wide priorities related to sustainable development (SD) governance and greenhouse gas emissions developed under the direction of Environment Canada and the Office of Greening Government Operations. The strategic direction for the Sustainable Development Strategy 2007–2009 is to increase awareness, understanding and skills necessary to meet SD challenges and to integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions into the CBSA’s management processes.

Critical Incidents Statistics

In 2006, the CBSA began publishing annual critical incident statistics on the Internet. These statistics are now, and will be in the future, publicly available before the tabling of each fiscal year’s Departmental Performance Report. The critical incidents statistics for 2006–2007 can be found on the CBSA’s Web site at http://cbsa.gc.ca/agency-agence/reports-rapports/work-travail/menu-eng.html.

Appendix A: Examples of Key Partners and Stakeholders

  • Government
    • Public Safety Canada and portfolio partners:
      • Canadian Security Intelligence Service
      • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
      • Correctional Service of Canada
      • National Parole Board
    • Other federal departments and agencies:
      • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
      • Canada Revenue Agency
      • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
      • Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
      • Passport Office
      • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
      • Health Canada
      • Public Health Agency of Canada
      • Department of Justice
      • Canadian International Development Agency
      • Department of Finance
      • Privy Council Office
      • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
      • Canadian International Trade Tribunal
      • Transport Canada
      • Regional development agencies
    • Provinces and territories
    • Municipalities
    • Foreign governments and agencies, including the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom
  • Law-enforcement agencies
    • Federal, provincial and municipal police forces
    • Foreign border and enforcement agencies, particularly the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Stakeholders and advisors
    • Canada Border Services Advisory Committee
    • Border Commercial Consultative Committee
    • Bridge, port and airport authorities
    • Multilateral organizations:
      • World Customs Organization
      • World Trade Organization
      • European Union
      • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
      • G8
      • Four Country Conference
      • Intergovernmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies
      • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    • Industry, trade and tourism associations, chambers of commerce
    • Non-governmental organizations
      • Canadian Red Cross
      • Canadian Council for Refugees
      • Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security
      • Ethno-cultural groups
    • Academic and research communities

Appendix B: Status of Commercial Programs Reviews and Policies as of March 31, 2007


Policy/Program

Status of Review

Licensing of Customs Brokers Program

An initial review of the program has been completed.
It was intended to look at both the licensing and account security programs to ensure that policies and procedures remain appropriate in the changing customs environment.

Cash Management Processes

A review of the existing CBSA cash management processes and practices was completed. It served to identify areas for improvement outside regulatory or systems changes. This review is the first step in proposing cost-effective solutions to problems identified in order to more effectively manage CBSA revenue, to improve client service and to provide a better environment for employees involved in the cash management process.

Warehouse Policies

Sufferance warehouses are privately owned licensed facilities for the storage of freight that is under the control of the CBSA. The policies governing the licensing and operation of these warehouses were reviewed by the CBSA with the objective of updating them to conform to modern transportation logistics, security of goods, etc.

Recommendations include changes for the storage of firearms, greater CBSA flexibility in providing on-site service and fewer restrictions on the types of goods that can be stored at a warehouse.

Carrier, Cargo and Release Policies

A review was completed to identify outdated policies and inconsistencies governing the importation of commercial goods and to ensure that policies were aligned with the future direction of the commercial program. Key issues that were identified include inconsistency of policy application among modes and regions and various policies that are no longer relevant and should be rescinded. New policies are required to reflect current and future program requirements.

Requirements of Other Government Departments (OGDs)

The CBSA has initiated a review of the programs and requirements that it administers on behalf of OGDs at the border through the OGD Single Window Initiative. Key departments have been identified and are engaged in the project through a number of committees and working groups.

Participating OGDs include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Industry Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. These OGDs are working with the CBSA to determine the desired end-state for electronic reporting of their requirements.

Postal and Courier Reviews

The postal review began in spring 2006 with the objective of identifying gaps in the program and recommending short-, medium- and long-term solutions. Representatives from each of the three customs mail centres continue to work with the review team to develop solutions to modernize the CBSA postal program. 

The Courier Low Value Shipment Program review will examine the design and operations of the present program and provide recommendations for its improvement that will meet the needs of the CBSA, importers and industry.

There have been few changes to the program since the early 1990s, yet volumes have increased by 433%. This growth has presented challenges to the operation of the program and exposed weaknesses, and this will be considered in the review. The review team intends to consult internally in the CBSA and also widely with industry, OGDs and stakeholders.  A needs analysis will be conducted and finalized before the end of the year.

Review of Special Services (Customs) Regulations

The regulations provide a mechanism for clients to obtain services, which are of direct benefit to them, for a fee. Internal consultations regarding the program and fee changes have taken place, and other government partners have been consulted. Proposed changes to the regulations and to a related section of the Customs Act (section 167), as well as a draft policy proposal, are being developed.


 


[1] Planned spending comprises Main Estimates and additional funding earmarked for the CBSA in the 2006 federal budget.

[2] Total authorities comprises Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates and transfers from Treasury Board centrally financed votes.

[3] As of March 31, 2007.

[4] In keeping with Treasury Board Secretariat direction, the CBSA allocated resources of the Corporate Management and Direction program activity to the other three program activities in this table. See Section IV for more information on Corporate Management and Direction.

[5] The variance between planned and actual spending is attributable to two major factors. The first is the Agency’s lapse at the end of 2006–2007, for which explanations are provided above. The second is the result of a review of resource allocations by program activity designed to more accurately align financial expenditures and human resources utilization to the pertinent program activities. This review was completed after publication, in the 2006–2007 Report on Plans and Priorities, of the planned spending and related human resources in the tables above. It identified technical adjustments to better reflect realignment of resources from the Security program activity to other program activities, in particular, the Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity. The results of this realignment were first reflected in the 2007–2008 Main Estimates and more accurate planned spending and human resources allocations will be presented in all future reports to Parliament.

[6] When a foreign national arrives at a port of entry, the CBSA officer will inform the individual of the length of time that he or she can remain in Canada. Usually it is a period of six months but this may vary. If the foreign national remains in Canada longer than the specified time, he or she would then be referred to as an overstay.

[7] Such as Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

[8] The multiple borders strategy is about pushing the border out by focusing on the interdiction of risks to the security and prosperity of Canada and its allies as far away from the actual border as possible. This model highlights the fact that there are various points along the continuum of international travel at which the CBSA has the opportunity to identify and stop those who would pose threats to Canada. Control of our national border begins abroad in both the countries of origin and of transit. Each point along the continuum represents both an opportunity and an intelligence challenge.

[9] MIOs work with other government departments, international partners, local immigration and law-enforcement agencies and airlines to combat irregular migration to Canada, including people smuggling and the trafficking of illegal migrants.

[10] ILOs work in host foreign government organizations to enhance ongoing cooperation between the two organizations in the mutual interest of improved border-related intelligence outcomes.

[11] The fight against impunity refers to investigating and preventing entry to Canada or removing from Canada individuals who have committed or were complicit in war crimes and/or crimes against humanity and have not been held accountable for their crime.

[12] As a result of the ongoing quality assurance and quality control of the information in the CBSA’s operational databases, these statistics differ from those published in the 2005–2006 Departmental Performance Report.

[13] “Other actions” include administrative reviews of enforcement sanctions that have been appealed further to the Federal Court, as well as complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

[14] “Trade program decisions” include trade administration disputes, as well as CITT and Federal Court appeals of trade administration decisions.

[15] The variance between planned and actual spending is attributable to two major factors. The first is the Agency’s lapse at the end of 2006–2007, for which explanations are provided above. The second is the result of a review of resource allocations by program activity designed to more accurately align financial expenditures and human resources utilization to the pertinent program activities. This review was completed after publication, in the 2006–2007 Report on Plans and Priorities, of the planned spending and related human resources in the tables above. It identified technical adjustments to better reflect realignment of resources from the Security program activity to other program activities, in particular, the Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity. The results of this realignment were first reflected in the 2007–2008 Main Estimates and more accurate planned spending and human resources allocations will be presented in all future reports to Parliament.

[16] Refer to Table 8: Status Report on Major Crown Projects.

[17] The CBSA undertook a review of its allocation to better match the expenditures and the FTE utilization against each program activity. As a result, an adjustment has been made to the breakdown by program activity in the 2007–2008 Main Estimates.

[18] In the 2006–2007 Report on Plans and Priorities, the interest and penalties information was included under “Other” revenue. In order to provide more transparency, the portion attributable to interest and penalties has been separately displayed.

[19] The CBSA’s delegated authority is $1 million for real property, general projects and new technology (with a $3 million replacement limit). All of the major projects listed above have received Treasury Board project approval and expenditure authorization for the objectives of the project implementation phase.