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Infrastructure Canada’s third Program Activity is Departmental Administration, which promotes excellence in program and corporate management in support of Infrastructure Canada’s priorities. Departmental Administration consists of:
The Corporate Services sub-activity is further divided into: Information management/information technology; Finance; Administration; Human Resources; Corporate Planning and Reporting; Internal Audit; and, Evaluation.
The Minister, supported by the Deputy Head, is responsible for ensuring that Government priorities are pursued through the Infrastructure and Communities Portfolio.
Infrastructure Canada is well-positioned to support the Government of Canada’s vision for sustainable communities. Success requires all parts of the organization to recognize the complementary roles they play within the Portfolio, and their respective roles in supporting the Minister in his responsibilities toward Parliament and Canadians.
Effective portfolio management is imperative to maintain an organization that is properly positioned not only to deliver on the organization’s priorities, but also to help the Government achieve its overall strategic objectives.
Following the completion of the latest Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment with Treasury Board Secretariat, Infrastructure Canada continues to pursue several enhancements to various modern management practices within the overall MAF. This is consistent with its vision to deliver, under prudent stewardship, quality programs that generate results for Canadians.
Infrastructure Canada continues to respect Government of Canada administrative policies pertaining to proactive disclosure, public opinion research, communications, etc.
A key step in strengthening modern management practices within Infrastructure Canada was the establishment of the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The move responds to a recommendation of a major independent review of Infrastructure Canada’s program operations conducted in early 2005 that Infrastructure Canada’s financial and auditing functions be strengthened. The CFO leads comptrollership activities in areas such as risk management and control, performance and financial accounting and reporting, and financial policy framework and standards. The CFO, as in all departments, maintains an ongoing working relationship with the Comptroller General.
Infrastructure Canada respects and supports the career aspirations of its employees, seeks their opinions, and celebrates their achievements. The success of the organization depends on a dedicated, well-trained and diverse workforce, and our human resources strategy will focus on the following five key areas to ensure we have the right people to deliver our programs and serve our clients.
i) Modernization and Public Service Renewal
The Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA) is the key to building the renewal of the federal public service. Now that the legislation is fully implemented, the emphasis will be on ensuring that the appropriate management infrastructure is in place to take full advantage of the flexibilities offered by the Act and the associated administrative reforms. Policy development, learning activities, implementing and sharing best practices, communications, and monitoring will be central elements. By concentrating on those areas, the Infrastructure Canada will fulfil its responsibilities related to: clarifying roles, responsibilities and accountabilities; creating a culture of teamwork; striving for excellence; building leadership capacity; and, improving our ability to think about and plan for Canada’s future.
ii) Building the Workforce
Infrastructure Canada will continue to seek out and hire people with the right knowledge, competencies and skills needed to accomplish its work. Particular emphasis will be placed on succession planning, staff retention, and recognition and awards. More efficient staffing processes will be developed to ensure employees are recruited when they are required.
Efforts will continue to ensure that Infrastructure Canada fulfils its responsibilities related to required training for new public servants, first-time supervisors and managers, existing managers, and certain functional specialists. The organization’s continuous learning policy will be linked with succession planning, key leadership competencies and operational needs. A corporate learning strategy will ensure that individual learning plans have a corporate focus.
Infrastructure Canada has excellent capacity to communicate with the public and with employees in both official languages, and it will do its utmost to maintain that capacity, taking into account issues related to succession planning, to recruitment from outside the federal public service and to Employment Equity. The organiza-tion is committed to providing equal opportunities for employment to the four designated EE groups, so, to that end, it will conduct a staff self-identification campaign early in 2007-2008. Measures to address any gaps identified will then be developed.
v) Values and Ethics
The passage of the Federal Accountability Act has created an even greater emphasis on public service values and ethics, and on the need to maintain and enhance Canadians’ confidence in federal institutions. Infrastructure Canada will put in place measures to ensure that it meets the spirit and intent of the new legislation.
Infrastructure Canada is committed to using information technology and information management products and services strategically to support its priorities. The Shared Information Management System for Infrastructure (SIMSI) is a secure, user-friendly, bilingual, Web-based information management system that allows users to register projects online, monitor project status and access benefits and payment information.
The main planned activities for 2007-2008 related to SIMSI include the following:
Other planned activities that engage the collaboration of various stakeholders include:
Also, to ensure alignment with federal accountability requirements, the IM/IT unit will focus on participating in Treasury Board policy and guideline renewal and implementing a robust information management program.
The communications function of Infrastructure Canada informs Canadians about funding and projects that support their communities through the range of the federal infrastructure investment programs. The organization also communicates about its role in cities issues and about its research program. Communications activities are coordinated and delivered with its portfolio partner – Transport Canada, regional development agencies, other federal partners, and with provincial, territorial and municipal partners.
The communications function also includes proactive media relations strategy to support ministerial and organizational announcements and events. The function develops consistent communications approaches and products to increase awareness and understanding by Canadians of the federal role/involvement in infrastructure. With the recent commitments by the Government to additional infrastructure investments, it is anticipated that Infrastructure Canada will see an increase in the number of announcements. As well, the directorate manages the on-line and phone query lines.
Budget 2006 committed to an unprecedented level of infrastructure funding that was reinforced in the November 2006 Economic and Fiscal Update, Advantage Canada. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has consulted over the summer months with provinces, territories, municipalities and stakeholders. These consultations will inform the development of the compre-hensive infrastructure plan outlined in Advantage Canada. To support the infrastructure plan, the Communications Directorate will develop a brand, including a look for the new infrastructure programs, which will be incorporated into the Infrastructure Canada and partner corporate identity programs as appropriate.
The communications function undertakes outreach activities by participating in various conferences and forums to help raise aware-ness of federal infrastructure programs, cities and communities initiatives, and associated research efforts. For example, Infrastructure Canada will look to participating in municipal conferences, such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities 70th Annual Conference and Municipal Expo in Calgary in June 2007.
The Communications Directorate conducts media monitoring analysis to track current and emerging public issues and trends reported by the media as they relate to Infrastructure Canada’s policies, programs, services and initiatives. The Directorate also uses public environment research to help ensure that the views of Canadians contribute to formulating policy and programs approaches. Infrastructure Canada is currently planning to conduct a comprehensive nationwide public opinion research on Canadians’ thoughts and attitudes towards a variety of community related issues, which will be conducted in 2007-2008. The research will help feed into fund renewal policy development and related communications strategy.
For more information, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or contact Infrastructure Canada at:
90 Sparks Street
Telephone: 613 948-1148
Telephone toll free: 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232