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ARCHIVED - Alternative Service Delivery Policy Guide


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Introduction

The Policy Guide is a companion document to the Treasury Board Policy on Alternative Service Delivery (ASD). It provides background policy information and guidelines that are helpful in understanding the Public Interest Test questions and other issues that should be considered when undertaking alternative service delivery initiatives.

An Evergreen Document

The Policy Guide reflects the current wisdom from all relevant central agency policy centres. As policies and practices evolve, Treasury Board Secretariat will update the Policy Guide in order to reflect new considerations and principles.

Departments have a role to play in ensuring that the Policy Guide remains up to date. They are invited to provide general comments on the Policy Guide through e-mail or by calling the ASD team.

Inquiries regarding the Policy on Alternative Service Delivery, together with the application of this document may be directed to the Alternative Service Delivery Team at Treasury Board Secretariat.


Business Case

Does the analysis of costs, risks and benefits provide a compelling rationale for the initiative?

While significant to the analysis of an ASD initiative, the rationale to proceed with an initiative does not solely rest upon the business case, but must be considered in conjunction with the other Public Interest Test questions.

The business case should always be presented in terms of expected benefits, costs (or savings) and risk; any disassociation of these three concepts could be misleading.

A strong, unambiguous rationale should result from the business case in order to support the decision to change the method of program delivery.

The complete life cycle of the initiative should be considered in developing the business case when there is a finite time period.

The business case should analyse more than one alternative. This should include an analysis of potential innovative organisational arrangements for service delivery within the proponent's existing organisation.

New programs should be assessed with respect to the objectives, expected benefits, and costs of delivering them within an existing organisational structure in addition to considering the establishment of a new organisation.

The business case should identify and assess the associated risk with new program delivery proposals and present a strategy for managing the risk to ensure that ASD objectives are realized.

Benefits

There should be sufficient and rigorous analysis of non-financial, historical and prospective performance information supporting the perceived benefits of the ASD initiative.

Costs

The relationship between costs, inputs, outputs and results should be clear.

Qualified experts should undertake financial assessments and costing. If there is no expertise in doing cost analysis on site, consideration should be given to procuring these services from an accounting firm or financial advisors.

Wind-ups, for example in partnerships, should be considered in terms of termination payments, environmental aftermath, asset distribution, various human resources issues and the competitive state of the market place for possible re-tendering.

References

Risk

ASD initiatives change the risk profile of government programs and services both for the government and for its partners. Transformation in the provision of programs and services to Canadians can result in an overall improvement of the programs or services. For instance, a partner might be in a better position to manage certain aspects of risk because of their knowledge, skills, and the incentive structure they operate in.

ASD proponents should identify and assess the risks that government and its partners are undertaking as well as develop the management strategies for managing the risks. The proponent should provide the risk assessment and management strategies in the business case but also commit, with its delivery partner, to continually monitor, assess and manage risks of the ASD over time.

A particular focus of risk management with respect to ASD initiatives is the management of the government's relationships with partners to ensure that all parties understand and accept the risks undertaken and are sufficiently comfortable with managing the different aspects of program/service delivery, such as:

  • The environment in which each organisation operates;
  • Governance and accountability structures of the arrangement;
  • Performance expectations, measures and reporting;
  • Capacity of partners to deliver on its responsibilities and obligations;
  • Complaints and redress mechanisms, and;
  • Failure, contingency and termination of the relationship.

Risk management will typically include indicators and control mechanisms that periodically assess the effectiveness of measures in place to avoid unexpected outcomes as well as provide early warning of potential issues where corrective action is necessary.

Incremental risk factors should be identified, assessed and reflected in the Case Analysis so that decision makers have a full understanding of the risks and risk profile.

Management strategies must also be presented to address identified risk areas and ensure identified objectives and benefits of the initiative have the maximum chance of being realized.

Business Case Components

The following components can help build a strong business case:

  • Description of the current program and services as baseline;
  • Definition of anticipated program objectives/performance;
  • Evaluation of the range of alternative delivery structures against defined objectives;
  • Detailed analysis of the selected/feasible options in terms of benefits, cost and risk;
  • Recommendation, and;
  • Implementation plan.

Proponents of ASD initiatives should define their results commitments for each of the elements of the business case (cost, benefit and risk), within the Case Analysis, where appropriate.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Comptrollership Branch
Modern Comptrollership Sector

E-mail: CMO-MFC@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Official Languages

Have appropriate provisions been made for respecting Canada's official languages, as set out in Annex C of the Policy on ASD?

Decision-makers must understand how a specific ASD initiative might affect official language minority communities and determine the impact of policies and programs established by the government to protect official language rights.

The Policy on ASD has a requirement to ensure that appropriate provisions are made for respecting Canada's official languages. Refer to Annex C of the Policy.

For ASD initiatives that involve government transformations, and which would not be subject to the Official Languages Act, the government has adopted five key steps to support official languages requirements. These must be addressed in the Case Analysis.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Official Languages Branch
Research, Strategic Planning and Policy Development

E-mail: ollo@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Management of Human Resources

Have human resource issues been thoroughly considered, including public servant mobility, union issues, successor rights, continued employment offers, recall rights (in the event that employees are terminated), compensation, and pension?

Where appropriate, proponents of ASD initiatives must elaborate results commitments for managing the transition of human resources, including:

  • Fair and equitable treatment of employees, and;
  • Capacity to assume a new HR framework.
A strategic human resource transition plan is critical when ASD initiatives entail the creation of a new organisational form.

Introduction

Human Resources issues in the public service arise within the framework of a series of statutes including the Financial Administration Act (FAA), the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA), the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) and the Canada Labour Code (CLC).

Human Resources considerations are critical to the success of an alternative service delivery (ASD) initiative, but they in themselves do not lead the decision-making process. The organisational form chosen to support the service or program mandate will set the overall boundaries around the range of options available in terms of Human Resources regimes.

An ASD initiative can affect almost every employee in an organization. Some employees will see their workload or work environment change, and some will take their careers in new directions within or outside the public service. Human Resources issues generally relate to staffing, recourse, successor rights, classification, terms and conditions, pensions, HR policies and representation. Decision-makers should be made aware of the amount or work and costs associated with the creation of a new classification system, of a new staffing regime, of new recourse mechanisms or with the need to build the capacity to establish and conduct effective labour-relation programs.

Human Resources - Planning the Transition

ASD initiatives should clearly define the mandate and purpose of the program, the desired accountability framework, expected reporting relationships, and sources of funding. These provide the foundation for human resources strategic planning and assist in determining which labour relations regime will apply, e.g. which labour jurisdiction will establish the minimum standards governing the way the new organisation will deal with its employees.

A Human Resources Plan is essential to ensure a smooth transition to the new ASD environment, particularly where there is a change in employer. This plan should cover the whole spectrum of Human Resources issues, from addressing the Human Resources regime to ensuring proper authority in legislation.

The Human Resources plan should include estimates of the new employer's needs, capacity or willingness to continue the current employees' jobs, and should discuss:

  • Identification of mechanisms for public service employees who will be offered positions in the new organisations;
  • Ease of adjustment for employees affected by the initiative, both those moving to the new employer and those remaining within the public service;
  • Estimated administrative costs for transfer, termination, pension and pay;
  • Detailed information obtained on the skills of the existing workforce;
  • Identification of significant stakeholders who need to be involved (i.e. Public Works and Government Services Canada, experts in pay and pension issues);
  • Likely transition scenarios;
  • Successor rights considerations.

The following values should be reflected when managing Human Resources in ASD initiatives:

  • Fair and reasonable treatment of employees;
  • Value for money and affordability;
  • Maximisation of employment opportunities for public service employees.

The extent to which these values can be realized will depend on the objectives of the initiative, the business case, and the uniqueness or marketability of the workforce. For example, the government has the greatest opportunity to maintain employment continuity where it is establishing a new service agency within the federal sphere, or where it is offering unique resources that can be very profitable to the private sector. Where the objective is to harmonize activities between levels of government, or to purchase products or services from an existing private sector supplier, there may be fewer opportunities for employment continuity.

Legislative Framework

Treasury Board is the Employer of federal departments and the portion of the public service specified in Part I of Schedule I of The Financial Administration Act (FAA), the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) and the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) as well other legislation, also applies to organizations for which the Treasury Board is the Employer. Some ASD initiatives will result in moving away from this regime into one of three regimes:

  • the PSSRA, Schedule I, Part II applies;
  • the Canada Labour Code applies, or;
  • the provincial labour codes or provincial public service labour codes apply.

In such instances, the new entity will have all the rights and responsibilities which the Treasury Board now has under the FAA (e.g., designing and implementing Human Resources policies, negotiating collective agreements, etc.). Human Resources planning is therefore critical to the success of an ASD initiative.

Work Force Adjustment Agreements

Work Force Adjustment agreements, which are negotiated between unions and the employer, ensure that all public service employees are treated fairly no matter what form the ASD initiative may take.

These agreements should cover those employees who are invited to join a new employer, those remaining in the public service, and those for whom no continuing employment is available.

Successor Rights

When a cohesive business or function is sold, transferred or otherwise divested, successor rights may apply. Successor rights are labour code provisions that allow a bargaining agent to continue to represent employees in a bargaining unit, thus providing the continuation of collective agreements until their terms expire.

When successor rights apply, the new employer becomes responsible for its predecessor's rights, privileges and obligations towards the employees covered under the collective agreement in effect at the time of the transition.

Example:

When a federal entity is created from one part of the public service1 and remains in the public service of Canada, successor rights2 will apply. For example, a new entity created as a separate employer continues to be governed by the PSSRA and section 48 of this Act applies. If the same entity is created as an organization outside the public service of Canada, it could be governed by the Canada Labour Code if the business, undertaking or work is federal according to section 2 of the Canada Labour Code or section 91 of the Constitution Act in which case, successor rights provisions of the Canada Labour Code would apply to the entity.

It is important to note that the contracting of activities that do not appear to be federal in nature (maintenance, cafeteria, etc...) could also be subject to successor rights. Further discussions are available on successor rights and obligations in the document Successor Rights and Obligations.

Additional guidance

Human Resources issues should not be underestimated. The anticipated success of ASD will not be achieved without a well-defined Human Resources plan. Human Resources are a key factor in any ASD initiative and successful management is critical.

Each department has its own Human Resources co-ordinator. That person should be the first point of contact. However, further information can be obtained from the Transition and Work-Life Policies Group at the Treasury Board (TBS) that can provide assistance and guidance in the application of Human Resources elements of this program.

References

The Human Resources Governance Structures table. This table summarizes how various human resources elements are governed under a departmental structure and how they could be affected by falling under a different labour relations authority as a result of an alternative service delivery (ASD) initiative.

Successor Rights and Obligations

Financial Administration Act (FAA)

Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA)

Public Service Employment Act (PSEA)

Canada Labour Code (CLC)

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Human Resources Management Office
Workplace Well-Being and Work/Life Balance in the Public Service Division

E-Mail: hr_connexions_rh@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/organisation/hr-rh-eng.asp#service


Organizational Effectiveness

Does the arrangement represent an appropriate balance between the flexibility required for high organizational performance and sound governance?

Where appropriate, the proponents of ASD initiatives should identify the results commitments for organisational effectiveness, such as:

  • Linkages between strategies and capacity to perform;
  • Awareness and ownership of organisational directions, and;
  • Leveraging through partnerships.

ASD initiatives often lead to profound changes to the organisational frameworks supporting program and service delivery. These changes bring to light the importance of strong leadership and a need to focus on employees and partners.

  • Leadership: the mandate, mission and strategic direction of the organisation is often defined or redefined with an ASD initiative. Leaders should demonstrate a clear understanding of their various stakeholders and the differing requirements of these groups when establishing a mission and objectives for the organisation.

Once established, the clarified mission and objectives must be communicated to all levels of the organization and an accountability framework put in place. The organization should ensure that people at all levels in the organization understand and are committed to the new strategic direction, and are involved in the change process with suggestions and ideas encouraged and implemented

  • Human resources focus: with changes to the organization's goals and objectives, it may be necessary to create a new human resources plan and determine staff training and development needs.
  • Partner focus: in many instances, ASD involves the search for partners or collaborators. These relationships with other levels of government or with other sectors (private, not-for-profit, volunteer) should be compatible with the strategic direction of the government and advance delivery objectives in a mutually beneficial manner.

Capable suppliers or service providers should be chosen through appropriate information and criteria, and the organization may want to establish co-operative working relationships, share information, and involve partners or suppliers in the development of new services and/or programs.

The National Quality Institute (NQI), and Treasury Board Secretariat, assisted by departments, public sector organisations, and quality councils, developed and adopted a framework for effective public service organisations in 1997.

Canadian Quality for the Public Sector is a comprehensive and practical framework for improvement and can assist departments and agencies to achieve effective citizen/client-focused service or program delivery through a process of continuous improvement, thus providing the means to assess organisational effectiveness. This framework can provide a guide to ensure that the above issues are appropriately addressed in the context of ASD initiatives.

Proponents of ASD initiatives should consider the NQI organisational effectiveness principles when managing change to the organizational framework ensuing from an ASD initiative.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Service Improvement Initiative Division

E-mail: sdi-aps@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/si-as/index-eng.asp


Service Improvement

Is the impact on service consistent with the needs, expectations and priorities of Canadians?

Does the relationship between co-deliverers ensure ease of access for Canadians to a wide range of government services?

A key driver of an ASD initiative is to make programs and services more citizen-centred. This means organising the delivery of services from the client/citizen perspective. This can be achieved by partnering to provide clusters of services; by setting up a stakeholder board, or; by providing organisations with increased authority to make them more responsive to citizens and clients.

The Policy Framework for Service Improvement commits those departments and agencies that have significant direct service delivery activities for Canadians to:

  • Adopt a comprehensive continuous improvement planning and implementation approach to service improvement and client satisfaction.
  • Establish documented baseline measures of client satisfaction for key services to the public, using Common Measurements Tool metrics.
  • Prepare and implement annual Service Improvement Plans based on clients' priorities for service improvement.
  • Establish targets for improved client satisfaction in key services to the public (minimum 10% improvement by 2005 compared to 2000 Citizens First survey results, or the organisation's own year 2000 baseline surveys).
  • Adopt and publish core service standards for each service channel (e.g. timeliness standards for telephone service, in-person service, electronic service, and mail service) that are linked to clients' expectations.
  • Incorporate results-based service improvement accountability for managers as part of existing performance management systems, commencing with Deputy Ministers.
  • Report within the existing annual RPP/DPR planning and reporting process (using common Public Service-wide metrics) on: a) service standards for all key public services; b) performance against service standards; c) annual improvements in client satisfaction; and, d) progress toward satisfaction targets.
Before moving to an organisational arrangement to achieve a more citizen-centred approach to delivering programs and services, there should be evidence that the programs and services are subject to (or that there is a plan to subject them to) a rigorous results based approach to improving client satisfaction.

The Service Improvement Planning and Implementation methodology of client feedback, service improvement planning and implementation, and monitoring progress towards satisfaction targets should be used as the basis for moving toward improved service levels.

Where appropriate, the Case Analysis should clearly indicate results commitments for improvements expected in terms of levels of service and citizen access resulting from the ASD initiative, such as:

  • Service levels
  • Customer, client and citizen satisfaction
  • Access

References

How-to Guide for the Service Improvement Initiative

The Common Measurements Tool

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Service Improvement Initiative Division

E-mail: sdi-aps@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/si-as/index-eng.asp


Consultation

Will all those interested or potentially affected be informed of the initiative?

Is a consultation process required? How will this be undertaken?

The following guidelines provide step-by-step, practical advice to plan and implement consultation and citizen engagement processes.

STAGE 1: PREPARATION

  • Assess both the internal and external environments before deciding whether and how to engage the public in a particular issue.
  • Confirm the support of senior officials and ministers during the early planning stages, as ministerial commitment to the objectives and parameters of the initiative is critical to the credibility of the process.
  • Develop clear objectives and desired outcomes, preferably in collaboration with participants.
  • At the beginning of the process, establish performance indicators for evaluating the success of both the consultation process and outcome.
  • Identify other relevant processes and, where possible, coordinate the planning and implementation of new consultation activities.

STAGE 2: DESIGN

  • Ensure inclusive and representative participation by actively seeking the involvement of all parties who are directly affected by the issue.
  • Engage participants early in the process by providing meaningful opportunities for them to influence decisions before they are made.
  • Allow adequate time for meaningful participation, based on the complexity of the issue and the nature of the process. Build flexibility into the schedule.
  • Tailor the choice of approach, tools, participants and resources to the context.
  • Consider using a variety of public involvement techniques, especially where the issues at stake are complex, multi-faceted or national in scope.
  • Develop timely, accurate, objective and accessible information to support the process. Use clear language that is factual and sensitive to the needs of participants. Distribute consultation materials well in advance to allow participant to familiarize themselves with the issues at hand.
  • Specify feedback processes and mechanisms; how participants' views will be considered, by whom and when they can expect feedback.
  • Document participants input and share this information with participants to show that their views have been registered and considered.
  • Respect the equality of both official languages as established by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act.
  • Ensure that adequate human and financial resources are available.
  • Communicate the stages and outcome of the process, clearly linking the process to any decisions that are made.

STAGE 3: IMPLEMENTATION

  • Implement the process based on the work done in the Preparation and Design stages. Refer back to the objectives and desired outcomes to ensure the process is on track, and adapt if required.
  • Consider providing resources to groups and individuals to enable their participation, particularly if they might otherwise be under-represented.
  • From the outset, be clear with participants about their role, the timeframe for public involvement, the decision-making process and the time commitment they are being asked to make.

STAGE 4: FEEDBACK AND FOLLOW UP

  • Specify clearly how participants' views will be considered, by whom and when they can expect feedback. Give feedback on: what was heard; what was done with what was heard; and what decisions were made and why.
  • Provide participants with the consultation report to show how their views were documented and considered.
  • Follow up with timely thank you letters as a sign of respect and accountability.

STAGE 5: EVALUATION

  • Evaluate both the process and outcomes using the criteria and performance indicators established at the outset.
  • Involve participants in the evaluation and assessment stage; distribute the evaluation results to promote continuous learning.
  • Document and share best practices and lessons learned to preserve this knowledge within departments and across the government.

References

Consultation Guidelines for Managers in the Federal Public Service

Policy Statement and Guidelines on Consulting and Engaging Canadians

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Privy Council Office
Communications and Consultation Secretariat

Government of Canada offices with access to the publiservice intranet may also refer to the Privy Council Office, Communications and Consultations Secretariat website:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Government Communications Division

E-mail: Service.Innovation@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/communications/index-eng.asp


Communications

Is there a communication plan to make sure that key stakeholders, and citizens in general, receive complete, timely and objective information about proposed changes?

 

Communication plans or strategies should be developed for each phase of the ASD initiative - from conception to implementation and evaluation.

Communications should span the entire ASD exercise and should address all relevant stakeholders. Decision-makers and ministerial staff should be involved in communications planning and be apprised of anticipated reactions from interested groups and individuals. Ministers should also be informed, particularly when they are called upon to play a role in the communication plan or strategy.

While the target audiences may vary throughout the process, the communication plan should be thoughtful and reflective of the audience and initiative at hand. Effective communication is about being responsive to all the players, delivering consistent, strategic, timely messages, and responsibly managing issues throughout the entire ASD process so that:

  • the information is timely, accurate, clear, objective, relevant, complete and available in a variety of formats to accommodate diverse needs;
  • citizens are consulted and their interests and concerns are listened to and taken into account -communications must be two-way, so that the views and concerns of affected parties are addressed when establishing priorities or developing and implementing appropriate delivery structures for programs and services;
  • the Government of Canada is visible, accessible and accountable to the public it serves throughout the process of change;
  • there is a mechanism for comments and feedback that is effective and confidential;
  • Canadians' trust and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service of Canada are safeguarded; and
  • the honour and dignity of the State and public institutions in all communication activities are upheld.

The key principles of effective communications are discussed in the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada. Every government department or agency has its own communications experts who should be consulted for the purpose of developing communication plans and strategies.

Institutions must direct any questions about the Communications Policy to their respective heads of communications.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Government Communications Division

E-mail: Service.Innovation@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/communications/index-eng.asp


Decision-Making Role for Ministers

Does the new arrangement provide an appropriate decision-making role for ministers?

Responsible Minister(s)

A minister's decision-making role for a program or service may change as a result of an ASD initiative, particularly when a new organisational form is established. For example, ministerial responsibilities for both day-to-day decision-making and policy direction may be transformed to that of general ministerial monitoring. Ministers need to be appropriately consulted when there are proposed changes to their decision-making roles.

Changes to the decision-making role of ministers as a result of ASD initiatives must be fully defined. Concurrence on such changes must be obtained. Where applicable, an appropriate role for ministers should be defined in the implementation instruments.

Treasury Board Ministers

The oversight role of Treasury Board ministers may also change as a result of an ASD initiative. When a new organisation is formed, there could be requests for increased thresholds of authority or for exemption from certain Treasury Board policies. Either of these types of requests would thus reduce the scope of Treasury Board oversight.

An example of this would be the request for separate employer status. In this case the new organisation would become responsible for negotiating new collective arrangements to replace existing ones that were negotiated by Treasury Board.

When ASD initiatives propose changes to the relationship with Treasury Board, appropriate consultation should be undertaken to ensure that agreement is obtained and integrity is not compromised.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Privy Council Office
Machinery of Government
Langevin Block, Room 311
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3

E-mail: info@pco-bcp.gc.ca


Results-Based Accountability Framework

Are the arrangements appropriate for reporting results and other relevant performance information to ministers, Parliament and citizens?

Will a framework be in place to guarantee that Canadian citizens receive value for money and that accountability for the expenditure of public funds and responsibility to Parliament are preserved?

Accountability is a relationship based on the obligation to demonstrate and take responsibility for performance in light of agreed expectations.3

Accountability frameworks provide a foundation for improved program outcomes and better reporting on government performance to Canadians.

One of the more common approaches to managing performance expectations is to develop an accountability framework. Frameworks have been developed in collaboration with partners for many types of collaborative arrangements, including:

  • interdepartmental;
  • intergovernmental - domestic;
  • intergovernmental - international;
  • private sector;
  • not-for-profit sector; or,
  • a combination of the above.

The Government of Canada's approach to the development of an accountability framework includes three key steps:

  1. identifying key results, such as, what results will be delivered to Canadians;
  2. establishing a performance measurement learning approach; and,
  3. establishing a reporting approach.4

To provide for accountability in the usage of public funds and to ensure appropriate reporting to Parliament, proponents of ASD initiatives should develop an accountability framework. All parties involved in the initiative should use a co-ordinated approach to measuring, sharing and reporting performance information thus ensuring its availability.

In ASD arrangements, accountability may be shared or may overlap, as is the case with partnering and third party delivery initiatives. The federal government remains accountable for its own contributions and areas of responsibility. The accountability framework approach has been used in a number of federal departmental initiatives, and has been part of recent intergovernmental agreements.5

Performance information demonstrates progress and success in a credible manner. A performance measurement strategy therefore, requires identifying the best ways to measure different aspects of an initiative - service, progress and longer-term outcomes. The most effective frameworks are those that are flexible and can be adapted to meet the specific features and requirements of an initiative.

The accountability framework for an ASD initiative should reflect key results commitments made throughout the Case Analysis.

A performance or accountability framework includes the following components:

Identifying Results
  • Clear understanding of objectives, key results and strategic priorities
  • Clear articulation of roles and responsibilities
  • Realistic performance expectations
Measuring Performance
  • A performance measurement strategy
  • Short, medium and long term measurement
  • Other performance measurement mechanisms
Reporting
  • Provisions for balanced reporting
  • Reporting that is transparent, open, credible and timely
  • Sharing lessons learned

The following generic Results Based Accountability checklist has evolved over time, based on practical experiences. Its sources include:

  • Case studies and the Collective Results Database;
  • Treasury Board Secretariat and Office of the Auditor General accountability principles;
  • The accountability commitments and principles in the Social Union Framework Agreement.

Throughout the development of an accountability framework it is recommended that modest expectations be maintained initially. As the framework is implemented, it can be moved forward on an incremental basis.

See the accompanying Results-Based Accountability Checklist.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Comptrollership Branch
Results Measurement and Accountability

E-mail: rma-mrr@tbs-sct.gc.ca


A Results Based Accountability Checklist for Managers

Proponents and Partners understand and agree on: Proponents and Partners should consider:

 

Identifying Results
clear understanding of objectives, key results and strategic priorities
  • involving citizens and clients in defining key results, state what they are and show links to objectives
  • publishing results, eligibility criteria and service level commitments
  • focusing on outcomes (vs. process, activities and outputs)
clear articulation of roles and responsibilities
  • defining what each party is expected to contribute to achieve the outcomes
  • publicly recognising and explaining the role and contribution of each partner
  • public-sector values and conflict of interest issues
realistic performance expectations
  • clearly linking performance expectations to the capacities (authorities, skills, knowledge and resources) of each partner to ensure that expectations are realistic

 

Measuring Performance

a performance measurement strategy
  • identifying appropriate monitoring approach and review tools
  • using common databases or co-operative data collection where possible and share other information
  • factoring in performance and contextual information from external sources, e.g., societal indicators for broader context
  • investing in necessary information management/information technology systems.
short, medium and long term measurement
  • identifying how progress will be measured at different parts of the lifecycle of an initiative
  • developing comparative and using societal indicators where appropriate
other performance mechanisms
  • dispute resolution - establishing an approach for corrective action if partners' responsibilities are not fulfilled
  • appeals/complaints practices - establishing an approach when adjustments are needed to address citizens' complaints

 

Reporting
Provisions for balanced public reporting
  • identify the reporting strategy early in the initiative
  • consider incorporating performance information into existing reports (e.g., DPRs)
  • report publicly on citizens' appeals and complaints, and ensure confidentiality and privacy needs are met
Reporting that is transparent, open, credible and timely
  • use all forms of performance evidence to support reporting
  • provide easy public access to information
  • link costs to results where possible
  • use independent assessments
sharing-lessons learned
  • track lessons learned and good practices and publish them
  • establish mechanisms for improvements and innovations

Policy/Operations Linkages

Does the relationship with the proponent ensure strong links between policy and operations?

Some ASD initiatives will result in the separation of policy and operational functions of a program or service. The distinction of policy and operations may enhance organisational performance. However, appropriate linkages between the two functions are necessary in order to ensure that rigorous analysis of field information supports the development of policies and that such policies are developed with a clear understanding of operational requirements and imperatives.

ASD proponents should identify how appropriate and effective linkages between policy and operations will be ensured. Where appropriate, a Memorandum of Understanding could be developed to clarify how these linkages will be maintained.

When ASD leads to the greater distinction of policy and operational responsibilities, appropriate linkages should be established to ensure strong or appropriate relationships between them.

This section was developed by:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Expenditure and Management Strategies Sector
Alternative Service Delivery Team

E-Mail: asd-dmps@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Information Management

Will information resources be managed in a manner that supports program and service delivery objectives?

The overall objective of information management is to manage all information holdings as a corporate resource to:

  • support effective decision-making, meet operational requirements and protect the legal, financial and other interests of the organization and the public;
  • make the widest possible use of information by ensuring that it is organized to facilitate access by those who require it, subject to legal and policy constraints;
  • reduce response burden by eliminating unnecessary collection of information, and;
  • identify and conserve information holdings that serve to reconstruct the evolution of policy and program decisions.

Information holdings include all information under the control of the institution, regardless of physical mode or medium in which the information may be stored. They may include correspondence, memoranda, books, plans, maps, drawings, diagrams, pictorial or graphic works, photographs, films, microforms, sound recordings, videotapes, machine readable records, published material and any other documentary material.

Information-based resources include functions responsible for information holdings, e.g. computer data management, records management, libraries, forms management and information collection, as well as those responsible for information technology, e.g. data processing, telecommunications and office systems.

Sound information management practices are based on the premise that institutions:

  • plan, direct, organize and control their information holdings throughout their life cycle, regardless of the form or medium in which the information is held;
  • maintain a current, comprehensive and structured identification or classification system or systems that provide an effective means for organizing and locating information and, in composite form, comprise a corporate inventory for managing the institution's information holdings;
  • designate a senior official to be accountable for information management functions, and;
  • assess and define their information needs, together with the information systems, for any new or modified programs or activities at an early stage of the planning process.
Appropriate measures should be put in place to ensure that information holdings are conserved to preserve corporate memory.

References

Information Policy

National Archives

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Chief Information Officer Branch
Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division

E-mail: clf-nsi@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Access to Information

Will there be openness that is conducive to disseminating information to the public either formally through the Access to Information Act or routinely through informal channels?

The Access to Information Act and associated policies are based on the principles that:

  • information should be made available to the public,
  • exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific,
  • decisions relating to the disclosure of information should be reviewed independently, and
  • heads of government institutions are responsible for ensuring that their institutions comply with the Act and for making any required decisions.

The Act also states that it is intended to complement and not replace existing procedures for access to government information and is not intended to limit in any way access to the type of information that is normally available to the public.

Schedule I of the Access to Information Act lists institutions subject to the legislation. The Schedule is comprised of all departments as well as many agencies and Crown corporations. Newly created organizations within federal machinery that are responsible for programs and services that had previously been covered under the auspices of institutions subject to the Act should normally be added to the Schedule. Exceptions may occur if inclusion under the legislation would be injurious to the purpose for which the organization was created and contrary to the public interest.

To ensure Access to Information, there should be:
  • management practices to support the timely dissemination of information,
  • appropriately delegated responsibilities for the administration of access to information requests,
  • procedures to govern and promote the routine disclosure of information.

References

Access to Information Act

Access to Information Policy

Info Source

Office of the Information Commissioner

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Government Operations Sector

E-mail: clf-upe@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ip-pi/index-eng.asp


Privacy

Are there appropriate provisions to ensure the privacy of Canadian citizens?

Will there be a rgime in place that protects personal information from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure?

The Privacy Act protects the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by government institutions and provides individuals with a right of access to such information. The Act and associated policies are based on the general principles that:

  • the collection and use of personal information is essential to the performance of many federal government activities and programs but individuals have the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy, including a basic right to exercise control over their own personal information; and
  • public confidence in the government's management of personal information is necessary to the public trust in, and support of government programs.

Institutions are responsible for complying with the "Code of Fair Information Practices". The Code is common to all privacy rgimes. It requires, among other conditions, that institutions:

  • only collect personal information that is directly related to an authorized program or activity,
  • collect personal information directly from the individual and inform them of the use,
  • use personal information only for the purpose for which it was collected, for a use "consistent" with the purpose or with the informed consent of the individual, and
  • provide individuals with access to their personal information and allow a right of correction.

The Schedule of the Privacy Act lists institutions subject to the legislation. The Schedule is comprised of all departments as well as many agencies and Crown corporations. Newly created organizations are normally included since they are responsible for programs and services that had previously been covered under the auspices of institutions subject to the Act. Exceptions may occur if inclusion under the legislation would be injurious to the purpose for which the organization was created and contrary to the public interest.

Organizations that are not covered by the Privacy Act may be subject to broader legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, passed in April 2000. This legislation is based on the Canadian Standards Association Privacy Code, which protects personal information in accordance with principles similar to those enumerated above.

Responsibilities for the protection of personal information requests must be appropriately delegated.

Employees and clients must be informed of the purposes for which their personal information can be collected, used and disclosed.

References

Privacy Act

Privacy and Data Protection Policy

Info Source

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Chief Information Officer Branch

E-mail: clf-upe@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ip-pi/index-eng.asp


Values and Ethics

Is there confidence that the expected organizational culture (a framework of values and ethics) will materialize?

In the creation of alternative arrangements for service delivery, decision-makers must ensure that their purposes in public policy are fulfilled in a manner that is consistent with Canadian values and expectations, and that any new governance framework reflects the appropriate sets of values and ethics that are expected from those representing the government.

The Public Service Values and Ethics Framework

The Task Force Report on Values and Ethics in the Public Service has reaffirmed the need for a public service guided by the highest professional and ethical standards. In its report, A Strong Foundation, the Task Force describes four families of values that are at play. These are:

Democratic values. The democratic values underpin the role of the public service in supporting Canada's unique brand of parliamentary democracy. They shape our understanding that authority rests with democratically elected office holders who are accountable to Parliament and, ultimately, to the people of Canada. Loyalty to the public interest, as represented by the democratically elected government and expressed in law and the Constitution, is one of the most fundamental values of the public service, and many other values such as integrity, neutrality, equity, fairness and impartiality are linked to it or draw their strength from it.

Professional values. The professional values refer to both "traditional" and "new" values. They include serving Canada and Canadians with professional competence, efficiency, impartiality, non-partisanship, creativity and innovation. They involve providing the best advice to the government of the day as it serves the common good under the Law and the Constitution. They also mean the delivery of quality services to Canadians.

Ethical values. They include honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and discretion. They are no different from ethical values in other parts of society. What makes them distinctive is the intersection with the democratic and professional values of the public service. Their distinctiveness in the public service lies in the capacity to hold a public trust and to put the common good ahead of any private interest or advantage. Public service employees are careful stewards of public resources. Public service employees defend the need for openness and transparency in what they do and in how they do it.

People values. They are those values public service employees live by - courage, decency, responsibility, respect and humanity. They include those we show each other in the workplace - respect, civility, fairness and caring and they enhance our respect for diversity. People values are also expressed in their leadership through participation, openness and communication.

Consideration of Values and Ethics in Alternative Service Delivery

Promoting and ensuring sound values and ethics is a vital part of good governance. The Government of Canada is committed to managing its business according to the highest public service standards. The same core values should be endorsed by new organizations being created within the federal government as they continue to represent the public trust.

Ensuring that government mandates are fulfilled in a manner that is consistent with core values is challenging when programs or services end up being delivered by third parties. This happens in instances where services are being contracted-out or as a result of partnering or collaborating arrangements. In these instances, the government should clearly communicate its ethical standards to groups and individuals with whom it does business and give a clear indication that it expects these standards to be respected.

Decision-makers might want to use the following set of principles as a guide to define the standards they want to maintain when developing their contractual, partnership or delegated arrangements. This set of principles was developed by the Office of the Auditor General from information gathered from the Tait Report, PWGSC and Canadian private sector companies and proposed in its Report of October 2000.

Set of Principles for Interaction Between the Public and Private Sectors6

  • Respect the law, contracts and agreements.
  • Ensure no conflicts of interest.
  • Respect the public service value of acting in the public interest.
  • Support common values such as
  • Being honest, open and co-operative;
  • Being equitable and fair;
  • Standing behind commitments;
  • Treating people fairly;
  • Proactively protecting the environment;
  • Mutually contributing to doing things better.
  • Maintain high performance standards such as
  • Exceptional quality
  • Competitive pricing
  • Superior product support
  • On-time delivery
  • Continuous improvement
Decision-makers should ensure that the core values of the public service are endorsed by new entities being created by the federal government as they continue to represent the public trust.

Decision-makers should identify the core values that are key to the delivery of their programs and services, and ensure that the essential principles and guidelines supporting these values are customised and built into arrangements with contractors and partners.

A meaningful and on-going dialogue should be maintained with delivery partners and contractors to allow professional public servants to emphasise the core public service values. This can happen through joint decision making or other management forums.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Office of Public Service Values and Ethics

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/veo-bve/index-eng.asp


Federal Identity and Visibility

How will this program, service or initiative be identified when communicating to Canadians?

The Federal Identity Program (FIP) is the Government of Canada's corporate identity program. It covers some 160 Government of Canada institutions in all regions of Canada and abroad.

The objectives of the Federal Identity Program are:

  • to enable the public to recognise clearly Government of Canada activities by means of consistent identification;
  • to improve service to the public by facilitating access to Government of Canada programs and services;
  • to project equality of status of the two official languages consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act;
  • to ensure effective management of the federal identity consistent with government-wide priorities, and to achieve savings through standardisation;
  • to promote good management practices in the field of corporate identity and information design.

Core components of the FIP policy that require specific attention in the creation of an organization, partnership or other arrangement for program or service delivery include:

  • Titles of Government of Canada organizations: Creating or changing titles of organizations and their acronyms;
  • Corporate identity applications: All applications have specific requirements with regard to FIP and the proper use of identifiers of the Government of Canada. These applications include signs, vehicles, stationery, forms, advertising, publications, Web sites, displays, exhibits and motor vehicle markings;
  • Visual equity of the two official languages: This applies to all corporate identity applications;
  • Collaborative arrangements: Collaborative arrangements with the private sector and other governments or jurisdictions must incorporate FIP requirements to ensure visual presence and visibility for the Government of Canada, its programs and services. It is important to note that the "Canada" wordmark, the flag symbol and the Coat of Arms are protected by trade mark;
  • Primacy of the Government of Canada: The identity of the Government of Canada has primacy over the identity of individual institutions and is not to be overshadowed by unique identifiers and symbols.

Each institution of the Government of Canada has designated a FIP coordinator and this person is the first point of contact to seek advice in relation to specific ASD initiatives. Within organizations, FIP coordinators are generally located in Public Affairs or Communications Branch.

References

The Federal Identity Program Manual

For alternative service delivery arrangements that engage organizations outside of the Government of Canada, interpretation and application of the FIP policy should be done in conjunction with Treasury Board Secretariat.

FIP requirements must be included in any partnership agreement or enabling legislation.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Federal Identity Program

E-mail: Information@fip-pcim.gc.ca

Web Site: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fip-pcim/index-eng.asp


Initiating the Legislative Process

Implementing a new organization or delivery arrangement will sometimes require legislative approval.

Depending on the nature of the change sought and on the related policy issues, one of two processes can be followed by the government in providing legislative drafting instructions to the Department of Justice.

The first process is the Memorandum to Cabinet (MC). An MC will typically outline the various policy proposals to be made in relation to the initiative and propose drafting instructions reflective of those decisions.

The second process is an exchange of letters between the responsible Minister(s) and the Prime Minister dealing with the creation of a new federal institution (a Prime Ministerial prerogative).

For both the MC and exchange of letters processes, the legislative drafting instructions should reflect the policy formulation in a clear, concise, and complete manner to facilitate the creation of the Bill.

Drafting instructions should not be elaborated before the policy choices are understood, justified and decided upon.

Pre-announcements of new federal entities (such as through a Budget or Speech from the Throne) must incorporate a timeframe sufficient to allow for meaningful consultations with central agencies.

The requirement for the involvement at the outset of central agencies, particularly the PCO Machinery of Government Secretariat, is essential. Machinery of Government will provide advice on the development of ASD options, the drafting of machinery proposals and exchange of letters and other process and content issues surrounding the development of MCs and legislative drafting instructions.

Once a decision has been taken regarding the type of alternative service delivery desired there must be a clear understanding of the information required and procedures to be followed for the development of the drafting instructions.

Guidelines for law-making may be found in:

Chapter 3 of the Guide to the Making of Federal Acts and Regulations is available from the Justice Department.

It is also beneficial to plan for a rapid and easy access to the proponent's senior departmental officials throughout the drafting process.

Advice with regards to drafting instructions can be sought from departmental legal services. Legal services can in turn consult with the Public Law Group and Central Agencies Portfolio of the Department of Justice and with PCO Machinery of Government.

This section has been developed in collaboration with:

Privy Council Office
Machinery of Government

E-mail: info@pco-bcp.gc.ca

Web Site: www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/

Department of Justice
Public Law Group and Central Agencies Portfolio

E-mail: webadmin@justice.gc.ca

Web Site: www.justice.gc.ca/


Endnotes

(1)    "Public Service" means the several positions in or under any department or other portion of the public service of Canada specified in Schedule Iof the PSSRA [Return]

(2)    Successor Rights as described in section 48.1 of the PSSRA - Part II Collective Bargaining and Collective Agreements [Return]

(3)    Discussion Draft on Modernizing Accountability Practices in the Public Sector [Return]

(4)    Managing for Results 1999, Volume 1, p. 5; available by request via e-mail to the TBS Library [Return]

(5)    Examples of frameworks include the National Child Benefit, Canada-Saskatchewan Agri-Food Innovation Agreement, Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund, First Nations Forestry Program, Great Lakes Action Plan - Great Lakes Basins 2020, St. Lawrence Vision 2000 Action Plan, Managing for Results 2000 [Return]

(6)    Source: Chapter 12 of the Auditor General Report of October 2000, Exhibit 12.4 [Return]