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Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Overview of Program Activities

In 2007–08, the Agency’s strategic outcome was as follows:

A modern, professional public service dedicated to the public interest and supporting ministers in democratic governance, representative of the Canadian public and serving Canadians with excellence in the official language of their choice, with employees effectively and ethically led in a high-quality work environment respectful of their linguistic rights.

It is the Agency’s responsibility to help set the conditions to achieve this outcome, establishing policies and providing services to support departmental excellence, and taking steps to ensure the ongoing integrity of people management in the Public Service—it is departments and agencies in the Public Service that effectively take the day-to-day workforce and workplace actions to make it happen.

The program activities that pertain to this strategic outcome are:

  • modernized HR management and strengthened accountability;
  • effective, ethical leadership and a quality work environment; and
  • a representative and accessible Public Service.

Each of these program activities represents foundational elements of Public Service people management, providing a base for employee efficiency and effectiveness .

Program Activity 1: Modernized HR management and strengthened accountability

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Program activity summary

This program activity is about maintaining an HR regime that supports a renewed and modernized Public Service, balancing the responsibilities of HR professionals with the people management accountabilities of Public Service managers. Key aspects of the efforts to move forward include the following:

  • enabling and embedding HR modernization and Public Service renewal;
  • modernizing the Public Service classification system; and
  • strengthening HR accountability, performance measurement and reporting.

The plans and priorities for each key result area for this program activity, as well as highlights of achievements during the year, are described below.

Context and benefits for Canadians

The focus of this program activity is to update an HR regime that is too slow and cumbersome to support a renewed and modernized Public Service. The Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA), and the activities related to its implementation, set the foundation for the long-term transformation of the Public Service. These efforts take on even greater importance as they are now linked to the broader renewal of the Public Service, a priority that has been acknowledged by the Prime Minister and the Clerk of the Privy Council. The Agency has a lead role in the Public Service renewal process in terms of the overall governance of these efforts, and by generating many of the deliverables that support renewal.

Sustainable modernization of HR management requires up-to-date systems for organizing and evaluating the work that public servants do for Canadians. For this reason, classification modernization is a cornerstone of HR management across the Public Service and is directly linked to how results are delivered to Canadians. The vision is simple: to build and maintain an effective classification process that gets the right people into the right jobs at the right time; supports robust performance measurement; provides an accurate basis for compensation; creates pathways for the development of future leaders; and contributes directly to the operation of a well-structured, well-managed Public Service. By establishing the competencies associated with the different work of public servants, it is possible to set standards and directions on career progression, learning strategies and succession planning—all foundational elements needed to support the renewal of the Public Service.

Effective HR planning and accountability, the third building block supporting HR management modernization, are not only essential to balancing the greater delegation resulting from the PSMA, but also critical for achieving a strong culture of accountability. As the organization with overall stewardship for HR management in the Public Service, the Agency needs to ensure that it gathers the data necessary to assess overall performance, while also considering how best to align the efforts of the different players toward the common objective of excellence in people management.

Key Result Area 1.1: Enabling and embedding HR modernization and Public Service renewal

  • HR Modernization—Provide departments and agencies with ongoing advice and information, relevant tools, best practices, learning products, professional development events, and/or onsite assistance in support of HR modernization.

Funding support, tools and advice have been provided to departments and agencies in support of their efforts to implement the PSMA. A monitoring program is in place, in accordance with the Strategic Investment Framework, as part of stewardship of associated funds (PSMA Reserve). Support includes the development of the PSMA Practices and Lessons Learned website in partnership with central partners and departments. In addition, tools for small agencies have been provided on subjects such as integrated business and human resources planning, succession planning, performance management, strategic staffing and reporting.

Several departments and agencies have been assisted in the establishment and implementation of common HR business processes within their departments. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed by the Small Agency Administrative Network to support small agencies in developing corporate administrative shared services (CASS) in parallel and in synergy with the broader government CASS initiative.

The Agency has supported efforts to expand the use of Express Lane Staffing, which was initially developed at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. During 2007–08 it was implemented at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Environment Canada.

In a strategic partnership with the Public Service Commission (PSC), HR modernization workshops were designed, developed and delivered on informal discussion, staffing recourse, the Public Service Employment Act flexibilities and collective staffing. Almost 400 modernization workshops were delivered in 17 cities across the country (every province and territory and the National Capital Region) to more than 2,000 stakeholders—primarily targeting line managers but including HR advisors as well as bargaining agents.

A draft umbrella policy on employee performance management has been developed and circulated widely for consultation. Guidelines were issued to departments in April 2008 to align the performance management approach for certain senior excluded or unrepresented managers and specialists more closely with the executive performance management program.

A variety of tools and support services have been developed and provided to departments and agencies. These include a pilot online mentoring tool; knowledge standards for new Public Service employees; long-service program guidelines (drafted in consultation with departments, agencies and unions—now being finalized); it’s MY day magazine, aimed to build awareness of the diversity of career opportunities and pride among public servants; and a succession planning and management guide. In addition, tools for small agencies have been provided on subjects such as the Informal Conflict Management System, strategic staffing and staffing accountability.

New tools and templates were also developed to support departments and agencies in their human resources management of the executive group, including tools for organization design and classification, performance management and career transition. Also, a new interactive mailbox account has been established to allow departments to request and obtain advice and interpretation of executive management policies.

Information sessions have been provided on revised policy and directives on the management of executives and on the EX Performance Management Program (PMP) Gold Standard.

  • HR Modernization—Assess and evaluate progress in implementing integrated HR and business plans.

HR planning and its linkages to broader integrated planning have been underscored as an important priority for Public Service renewal. Ongoing support, policy advice and tools related to a range of HR planning issues, such as a government-wide symposium on integrated planning, have been provided to departments and agencies. A new integrated planning tool has been produced, tested and made available to departments in support of a key renewal priority. Work is underway to develop a Public Service-wide HR plan along with options for integrated enterprise-wide HR planning and reporting.

  • HR Modernization—Conduct workforce analyses and modeling to identify current and future tools related issues to needs of the Public Service.

Key demographic characteristics of the core public administration, as well as workforce availability, have been collected, analyzed and communicated. Key concepts currently used in the demographic analysis have been defined and documented as a basis for the discussion with separate agencies regarding integrating their human resources data into the broader analysis. Additional detailed demographic data on the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) community has been collected and is contained in a new ADM talent management database. Analysis of this data is frequently provided to the Privy Council Office and the Clerk for use at meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials and the Human Resources Management Advisory Committee. Demographic trends have been identified to assist departments and agencies with developing strategies to ensure workforce sustainability (renewing and the right capacity) and adaptability.

  • HR Modernization—Identify effective ways to ascertain employee attitudes and perceptions on both a regular and a targeted basis in order to provide comprehensive analysis to better support human resources planning and accountability at all levels of the Public Service.

A survey instrument has been designed to assist departments and agencies gauge employee perceptions and develop action plans to improve performance. Also, to aid in integrated planning, a census of EXs and EX feeder groups has been conducted to enhance understanding of the EX community’s demographics and perspectives.

  • Renewal of the Public Service—Provide research, policy and operational support to the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service and the Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Public Service.

The Agency provides policy leadership, coordination and analysis for the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Public Service and the Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Public Service Renewal, as well as for the Human Resources Management Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Senior Level Retention and Compensation (Stephenson Committee).

Policy support has been provided to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee in developing advice and recommendations to the Prime Minister in its second annual report, and through contributing to the development of the Clerk of the Privy Council’s 15th Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service. Research and policy support has been provided to the Stephenson Committee, including preparation of the Committee’s annual report, ministerial briefings and Treasury Board submissions on recommended salary increases and performance pay for executives. The Agency also provided secretariat support to these committees.

  • Renewal of the Public Service—In support of directions established by the committees, initiate and coordinate renewal activities.

The Agency worked horizontally with central agency partners, line departments and other partners as Public Service renewal initiatives move to implementation. Joint senior management meetings among central agencies have been held that resulted in an action plan with a number of initiatives that included both departmental and centrally led renewal initiatives. An enabling infrastructure strategy, which encompasses common HR business processes, the supporting IM/IT applications and the HR self-service portal, has been developed.

Clarity and alignment of central agency people management responsibilities has been provided through the initiation of a horizontal HR strategic review. Issues being discussed include HR and back office systems, recruitment services/operations, overall HR management strategy, systems development and implementation, policy development, etc.

Key Result Area 1.2: Modernizing the Public Service classification system

  • Policies and guidelines are renewed.

Progress was made on updating classification policies and guidelines. The new policy on job classification is in place and the directive on classification grievances will be effective upon approval by the Treasury Board. Four new supporting guidelines—the balance of the policy suite—have been drafted and are being finalized through consultation with departments. The policy suite has been designed to strengthen the management of classification within departments and at a government-wide level by clarifying roles, responsibilities and performance expectations. The objective of the policy suite is to ensure the consistent and appropriate classification of all positions within the core public administration.

The Agency has worked with the information technology (IT) community to develop standardized organizational models and pre-evaluated work descriptions, including competencies, for Computer Systems (CS) jobs. Based on the business needs of departments, this initiative has reduced the number of individual work descriptions from about 1,500 to 45, covering a population of 12,000 employees. These organizational models and work descriptions will significantly reduce the workload of managers and will improve the consistency of job evaluations. The HR community is now developing plans to implement generic organizational models and work descriptions.

The new Directive on Executive Group Organization and Classification was approved by Treasury Board and issued.

  • Classification learning programs and support services are provided.

To maximize policy effectiveness and the use of tools intended to simplify and streamline classification, classification learning programs and support services are provided. Over a three-year period, and in concert with the Canada School of Public Service, the Agency developed and implemented a learning curriculum to ensure the development of a qualified and competent classification workforce. Departments and agencies were consulted throughout the design and development of the curriculum, which was launched in 2007.

The Agency has strengthened its capacity to provide effective and comprehensive advisory services to departments and agencies on all aspects of organization and classification, including organizational design, which assists managers in optimizing their financial and human resources to meet their business objectives; an online exchange of best practices; and making available to departments information on specific issues that are applicable to all members of the classification community.

A number of other tools and supporting mechanisms have been delivered to enhance support to departments and to improve the operations of the classification system, including standardizing organizational models and generic work descriptions; leading implementation of modernization projects (the border services (FB) group, the economics and social science services (EC) group and the law (LA) group); and directing feasibility and analytical studies.

  • An effective monitoring program and a system for tracking costs have been developed.

A classification monitoring program has been developed and implemented. It includes the means to ensure integrity and consistent job evaluations across the core public administration and to mitigate risk. Departments and agencies now provide the Agency with an annual performance report, which is integrated into the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework (PCMAF) to provide an overall view of departmental performance. In addition, the Agency regularly analyzes performance using risk assessment tools and follows up with specific departments as required. A website for tracking costs was put in place to enable departments to report on the costs of classification standards modernization so that they incur during the current fiscal year.

Key Result Area 1.3: Strengthening HR accountability, performance measurement and reporting

  • Setting expectations for HR management across the Public Service.

To provide departments and agencies with an increased ability to understand and meet HR management expectations, the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) and the supporting data have been reviewed and enhanced. A roadmap for the introduction of a revised and improved approach to PCMAF Round VI data collection and reporting was developed based on lessons learned from PCMAF Round V and best practice research. This was done bearing in mind the need to reduce the reporting burden.

  • Improve information management through the Employee Passport initiative to transfer electronic employee records securely between departments.

The Employee Passport initiative to transfer electronic employee records securely between departments was developed and made available for departments on the Human Resources Information System platform. An MOU was signed with five early adopter departments to define the Employee Passport business requirements for one of the key HR systems.

  • Assessing and enhancing HR management across the Public Service.

The HR reporting portal was launched to collect data for policy monitoring purposes and to inform the MAF V assessment. A post-mortem study on the portal effectiveness was conducted to further reduce the work behind the data collection and to streamline reporting, linking policy requirements (particularly within the Agency), multiple information sources, reporting cycles, and cross organizational information sharing and alignment.

Overall HR-related MAF reporting requirements were reduced by 50 percent with other reporting requirements being in steady decline (Official Languages now use a risk-based approach where fewer questions are posed to consistently good performers). Focus was placed on defining value-added measures and maximizing use of existing data sources available outside of the formal reporting system. Reporting for smaller agencies was tailored. Greater alignment of oversight and reporting requirements with organizational performance and risk (e.g. Staffing MAF/PCMAF/MAF) was pursued.

A staffing recourse case management system has been developed to enable the collection of data and the identification of issues, trends, benchmarks and other information, such as the time taken to resolve complaints.

  • Reporting on HR management across the Public Service.

The first annual report on human resources management was tabled in Parliament, as were the employment equity and official languages annual reports.

An Agency strategy on integrated reporting is being developed to provide a coherent and comprehensive picture on people management in the federal public service.

Program Activity 2: Effective, ethical leadership and a quality work environment

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  1. eported full-time equivalents do not include 94 full-time equivalents participating in leadership development programs.

Program activity summary

Competent, ethical, accountable and vibrant leadership is a key factor in successful HR management and establishing trust in the Public Service. This is particularly true in the context of greater staffing delegation resulting from the PSMA, in which leaders need to understand their HR responsibilities and how to fulfill them.

The Agency’s priorities are articulated around two key results areas:

  • foster effective learning and ongoing leadership renewal; and
  • promote and embed Public Service values and ethics at all levels.

The plans and priorities for each key result area for this program activity, as well as highlights of achievements during the year, are described below.

Context and benefits for Canadians

Learning and leadership development are critical elements for the success of any organization. This is also true for the federal public service and essential for providing high-quality services to Canadians and advice to the Government. The Agency is the Public Service focal point for these efforts and is always looking for ways to enhance how it recruits, develops, retains, supports and rewards leaders at all levels. An aging workforce and an increasingly competitive labour market make these efforts more important than ever before. Leadership development ensures that the Public Service has the leaders and talent it needs, now and in the future.

A strong culture of public service values and high ethical standards is fundamental and essential for maintaining public trust in government. The Results for Canadians framework recognizes the Government of Canada’s commitment to managing its business according to the highest public service values. The Agency plays a leadership role in advancing these efforts and developing and sustaining a strong culture of integrity within the Public Service. As expectations for a more transparent and accountable Public Service increase, the Agency’s role in this area has never been more important.

Key Result Area 2.1: Foster effective learning and ongoing leadership renewal

  • Renewed management of the executive cadre, supporting Public Service renewal and increased deputy head delegation and accountability.

A new integrated Policy on the Management of Executives, along with four companion directives (Executive Group Organization and Classification, Directive on Executive Compensation, Directive on Career Transition for Executives and Directive on the Performance Management Program (PMP) for Executives), was developed, approved by Treasury Board, and issued to departments and agencies. These provide deputy ministers with increased flexibility and authority to manage executive human resources.

The analysis of ADM appointment processes and reasons for delays was completed and further work on developing service standards for ADM appointments is underway.

Phase II of the ADM talent management tool has been developed and launched, in addition to the development of options for the expansion of the initiative to the EX cadre. Also, an executive talent management strategy has been developed.

  • Enhanced leadership development programs and initiatives, contributing to renewal of the Public Service.

The Directive on the Administration of Leadership Development Programs – Management Trainee Program and Career Assignment Program has been provided to departments and agencies. The corporate leadership development programs continuum has been reviewed and recommendations to update the programs in the context of Public Service renewal have been made.

The first cohort of the Government of Canada Fellows Program had eight participants—four from the federal public service and four from other sectors.

  • Effective implementation of the Policy on Learning, Training and Development.

Guidelines on required training were developed, and orientation sessions were delivered to new Required Training Coordinators in departments and agencies.

Key Result Area 2.2: Promote and embed public service values and ethics at all levels

  • Through a comprehensive and sustained learning and communications strategy, create widespread employee awareness, understanding and application of public service values and ethics, including obligations under the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service.

An online values and ethics course for all employees has been finalized in partnership with the Canada School of Public Service. Also, essential training initiatives and support for Senior Officers for Disclosure in departments have been developed and delivered.

  • Additional support is provided to departments and agencies for meeting their accountabilities.

With the support of the Agency, new initiatives on assessing and planning values and ethics programs were launched at Western Economic Diversification Canada and Transport Canada.

The MAF assessment tools for values and ethics have been significantly revised to ensure that consistent and credible performance evidence is systematically collected and used in departmental performance monitoring and deputy minister accountability.

  • Key Treasury Board policies that support a culture of public service values and ethics are in place and effectively implemented.

Revisions to the Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace are in progress. The Policy on the Indemnification of and Legal Assistance for Crown Servants is under review, and the revised policy will be presented to Treasury Board in 2008–09. Consultations are underway on the development of a code of conduct for the federal public sector, a requirement under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA).

  • Support is provided to government on legislation for disclosure of wrongdoing, including protection from reprisal for those who make disclosures.

The disclosure regime created by the PSDPA has been implemented, including the establishment of Public Sector Integrity Canada, which investigates disclosures of wrongdoing from public servants as well as complaints of reprisal, and of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.

The Canada Public Service Agency provided timely information, advice, support and training to all federal public sector organizations including developing and distributing communication tools, which are available through the Agency’s website (overview of PSDPA; guides for organizations; information documents for supervisors and employees; frequently asked questions; and a list of departmental Senior Officers for Disclosures); delivery of orientation workshops for Senior Officers and presentations to key audiences and functional groups (e.g. National Joint Council, Regional Federal Councils); and establishment of a working group for consultation on PSDPA implementation issues.

Program Activity 3: A representative and accessible Public Service

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Program activity summary

The Employment Equity Act commits the government to achieve equitable representation and participation within the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

The Official Languages Act commits the government to serve Canadians in the official language of their choice, to enable employees in bilingual regions to work in their language of choice and to ensure equitable participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in federal institutions.

In this regard, the Agency’s priorities are articulated around two key results areas:

  • achieve and maintain employment equity; and
  • achieve and maintain official languages commitments.

Context and benefits for Canadians

Canada’s diversity is a fundamental part of the fabric of its society and a strength that is recognized at home and abroad. Capturing this strength is the goal that underpins a representative Public Service. Promoting and achieving greater diversity of views linguistically, geographically and culturally in the Public Service contributes to the development of better policies, improved and responsive program design and the delivery of more effective services for all Canadians. Achieving and maintaining equity in employment is also about aligning organizational culture and associated behaviours and practices. Achieving concrete results in this area requires consistent, focused and sustained efforts.

Canada’s continued changing demographics, and the rapid growth of visible minority participation in the Canadian workforce, add to the Agency’s imperative to help departments and agencies meet their employment equity goals. Support for recruitment and career development of visible minorities and the creation of a positive and inclusive work environment are key to drawing out the benefits that can be realized by fostering rich diversity in the Public Service workforce.

Commitment to official languages is a fundamental Canadian value as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act. It commits the government to serve Canadians in the official language of their choice (Part IV); to enable employees in bilingual regions to work in the official language of choice (Part V); and to ensure equitable participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in federal institutions (Part VI).

Notwithstanding major progress since the enactment of the Official Languages Act more than 35 years ago, achievements in some areas remain fragile or below expectations. Rights and obligations are sometimes misunderstood and misperceptions persist within and outside the Public Service about legal obligations and policy requirements.

The plans and priorities for each key result area for this program activity, as well as highlights of achievements during the year, are described below.

Key Result Area 3.1: Achieve and maintain employment equity

  • The Public Service is representative and inclusive.

To facilitate implementation of the policies on employment equity and duty to accommodate, a national duty to accommodate conference was held in October 2007 and an employment equity conference was held in March 2008. Each conference was complemented by regional workshops, which attracted over 400 participants, with a focus on the managers’ community, and included the development and distribution of tools directed at managers. Evaluations completed for the workshops showed that 80 percent of the participants found the sessions to be a useful learning experience.

Partnerships and alliances have continued to be strengthened. The Agency continues to actively support three employment equity councils. In this regard, effective working relations were also established with employment equity deputy minister champions to ensure that the Agency provided them with adequate support to enable them to successfully exercise their role.

  • The Public Service has access to modern and fully integrated employment equity policies, directives, tools and support.

The employment equity and duty to accommodate policies were drafted. A draft employment equity strategy was also developed, which is aligned with the revised policy and places an emphasis on visible minorities. It has been the subject of consultations with various committees and advisory groups and is in the process of being finalized.

  • Results are more transparent and accessible to Canadians

Common themes related to leadership and planning were identified, based on lessons learned from departments and agencies with consistently high MAF results with respect to employment equity, and best practices were developed for others to adapt.

Key Result Area 3.2: Achieve and maintain official languages commitments

  • Service and accountability to Canadians with regard to official languages are improved.

The official languages (OL) dashboard has been developed and launched. This is a model reporting and information system that maximized departmental reports for a variety of uses, including being an essential information and planning tool for departments and agencies themselves. A regular audit cycle has been completed yielding a very high participation rate.

Continual support has been provided to institutions to ensure that official languages are an integral part of their operations. Ongoing support was provided to official languages champions in departments and agencies, notably through a national conference held in June 2007 and a forum on best practices held in November 2007. High-quality and appropriate policy advice and interpretations on a wide range of strategic issues, including the official languages transferpolicy and the development of tools related to linguistic profiles, have been provided on a timely basis.

The Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations have been amended in response to the Federal Court judgment in the case of Doucet v. Canada.

  • The stronger shared vision of service delivery to Canadians in both official languages and of a bilingual workplace in regions designated as bilingual is in place, based on the underlying public service values.

The use of official languages in the workplace in regions designated as bilingual has been promoted. For example, a successful OL champions network and learning event was held in Prince Edward Island in collaboration with the local Francophone community, and another was held in Saskatchewan for OL managers.

A pilot project learning event was launched in the Pacific Region, in partnership with the Public Service Commission, the Canada School of Public Service and Public Works and Government Services Canada. The event was designed to develop and provide up-to-date information about the policy context for language training (LT) and testing; integrating LT in business and human resources plans; the latest online learning tools and LT services; the latest developments in language testing; and the latest contractual arrangements for LT and qualification of LT suppliers. In addition, there was a sharing of best practices from both national and regional perspectives, in consultation with participants that included HR specialists, training coordinators, OL specialists and managers.

  • Objectives are met for increasing bilingual capacities within the executive and the executive feeder groups, thereby fostering the use of both official languages in the workplace in regions designated as bilingual.

The Agency encouraged institutions to make continued efforts in this regard through different forums and networks. The data shows an increase of two percent for members of the EX group within the core public administration that met their position’s language requirements. As of March 31, 2008, 96.4 percent of executives met these requirements, compared with 94.4 percent the previous year.