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Minister for International Trade
Minister of Foreign Affairs
As the new Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, it is our distinct pleasure to present the department's 2007-2008 Departmental Performance Report (DPR). This organization is Canada's face and voice to the world, working to advance Canada's political and economic interests in the international community as well as to apply Canadian experience to help address global issues. This department manages Canada's international presence - the country's comprehensive network of missions abroad - that is so critically important to advancement of Canada's global agenda.
This is an important time for the department, as it implements a Transformation Agenda in order to become as modern, flexible and effective as possible. This transformation is in keeping with results of the department's recent Strategic Review under the government's new Expenditure Management System, outlined in the 2007 federal budget. We are proud to be part of this department as it looks ahead to its 100th anniversary on June 1, 2009.
Throughout 2007-2008, the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was aligned with government priorities reflected in the October 2007 Speech from the Throne. The three leading areas of focus for the department were Canada's mission in Afghanistan; the United States and engagement across the Western Hemisphere; and growing/emerging markets, with a focus on China and India. The department made significant progress in these areas, in many other aspects of Canada's foreign and trade policies and initiatives, and in ongoing implementation of its Transformation Agenda. This report provides full information on the year's achievements, in summary form in Section 1, and in more detail for each program activity in Section 2.
We invite all Canadians to see for themselves the value-added benefits this department provides by reading this report as well as by exploring the department's Internet presence of more than 200 websites (see the home page at www.international.gc.ca/international/index.aspx). We would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the employees of the department and the diligence, commitment and professionalism with which they serve Canadians, both at home and abroad.
Deputy Minister for International Trade
|Leonard J. Edwards
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
We submit for tabling in Parliament the 2007-2008 Departmental Performance Report for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-08 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:
1.1. The Government's Three Foreign Policy and International Trade Priorities
In 2007-2008, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) was aligned closely with the government's key priorities related to foreign policy and international trade, which were reflected in the October 2007 Speech from the Throne. Those priorities are as follows:
To be able to deliver on these priorities, the department worked on its Strategic Review and Transformation Agenda, driven by four key factors. First, the government is firmly committed to restoring Canada's leadership role on global issues and to more effectively promoting Canadian foreign policy values, such as security, prosperity and democracy. These values permeate all aspects of Canada's approach to international affairs, including establishment of its international priorities. Second, in accordance with the Clerk of the Privy Council's objective of Public Service renewal, the department is actively recruiting, while making efforts to ensure it can attract and retain people with the complex skill sets it needs. Third, the department is taking action to better meet the expectations of Canadians with respect to accountability and financial management. Finally, the department is addressing the increased international engagement of Canadians and the higher demand this generates for consular, passport and trade promotion services.
1.2. Strategic Review and Transformation Agenda
1.2.1. The Strategic Review
In spring 2007, the department began an alignment exercise to ensure that its policies, programs and operations were in line with the government's three foreign policy and international trade priorities and to support the Prime Minister's commitment to restore Canadian leadership in world affairs. This exercise, which generated important lessons learned, was also aimed at increasing organizational flexibility, improving business practices and reviewing the department's representation abroad.
In the midst of this exercise (i.e. in June 2007), the government announced a Strategic Review process for all departments and agencies, under the new Expenditure Management System. This department was one of the first to launch a review of all direct program spending and operating costs, to identify where reinvestments could be made in support of government priorities, to look for ways to improve value for money in its programs and to ensure that it is in the right places with the right people doing the right things. The purpose was transformative change that would fundamentally reshape the department and its work.
1.2.2. The Transformation Agenda
Foreign and trade ministries worldwide are currently transforming their structures and operations in order to better address realities in the global environment in which they work.
Globalization, the main driver of change today, is making countries, societies and cities more and more interdependent, resulting in an increasingly complex and crowded international agenda. Traditional areas of peace and security, trade and prosperity - the bread and butter of foreign and trade ministries - have been joined by concerns for the environment, human rights and energy. Furthermore, increasing numbers of players, inside and outside government, now engage actively in international relations. For this department, the challenge is to focus on issues of core concern to its mandate, while using its particular strengths and assets - the International Platform, its knowledge of countries and markets, its experience in international forums and negotiations, and its expertise in international law - to assist its federal partners as well as business and non-governmental organizations in their international activities. This department, like other foreign and trade ministries, considers it important to provide proactive policy guidance and to foster coherence, coordination and integration of activities carried out by a growing number of federal partners with international operations.
This department's Transformation Agenda was strongly supported in the 2008 federal budget, which pledged $189 million for implementation. The Transformation Agenda will generate improved service delivery and create a leading-edge foreign and trade ministry that meets the test of relevance and accountability set by government. It is timely that the department is undergoing this transformation as it looks forward to its 100th anniversary in 2009. Once again, the department is demonstrating its ability to adapt to changing circumstances as well as reasserting its relevance to government and Canadians as a whole.
The Transformation Agenda is based on six principles:
The department has put in place a team to oversee implementation of its Transformation Agenda. The team is made up of full-time staff, "virtual" members with horizontal support across the department and experts in change management and communications from outside the department. Already, the department has made significant changes by strengthening:
Not all the changes described above are reflected in this Departmental Performance Report, which must be based on the PAA that was used in the department's 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities.1
1. Following the February 2006 reintegration of its Foreign Affairs and Trade components, the department prepared an interim PAA, at the request of TBS. It was approved by Treasury Board on August 1, 2006. The interim PAA was used in the department's 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities and, in keeping with TBS requirements, must also be used in this DPR.
1.2.3. Application of Lessons Learned
For the past few years, the department has recognized the need to modernize its operations and has been making steady progress on that front. In short, the Strategic Review and the Transformation Agenda represent the department's recognition of lessons learned at the highest level and application of those lessons throughout its operations. (Readers will find specific information on lessons learned with respect to each program activity in Section 2.)
The new PAA more clearly defines the department as a unified whole. The new governance structure will bring clearer direction and greater agility to departmental operations, and the Transformation Agenda is generating administrative and other improvements that will make the department more accessible to Canadians, more directly connected to government-wide priorities, and more flexible and effective in delivering services that Canadians need and expect.
1.3. Program Activity Architecture
1.3.1. Comparison of the Interim 2007-2008 PAA and the New PAA (Approved June 7, 2007, by Treasury Board)
The interim, short-term PAA (see Section 1.3.2) combined the strategic outcomes and program activities of the previously separate Foreign Affairs Canada and International Trade Canada. This resulted in four strategic outcomes for the reintegrated department: Canada's Interests Are Advanced Internationally, Canada's Commercial Interests Are Advanced Internationally, the Government of Canada Is Served Abroad and Canadians Are Served Abroad. While this PAA was generally consistent with the department's mandate, it presented the strategic outcomes as themes, rather than end results. This approach was not as effective as it should have been in defining the department's expected outcomes or in assisting with performance measurement, as noted in the department's 2006 Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment (www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/maf-crg/assessments-evaluations/2006/ext/ext_e.asp).
In developing the new PAA, the department made every effort to improve key elements. First, the strategic outcomes are expressed as end results, the long-term and enduring benefits generated by the department for Canadians. Second, the new PAA is more streamlined, with three instead of four strategic outcomes: Canada's International Agenda, International Services for Canadians, and Canada's International Platform (which encompasses the third and fourth outcomes from the interim PAA). Third, the new PAA is more logical, illustrating the upward progression from the sub-sub program activities and their outputs to the three strategic outcomes. This shows how all the department's activities contribute to achievement of its strategic outcomes, and how all activities fit into one cohesive whole. Fourth, the new PAA condenses the number of program activities from 14 to seven, making the operations of the department much simpler to understand. Finally, the new PAA is the first to fully reflect the department's reintegration as well as the first to be used to guide performance monitoring and evaluation. This should contribute significantly to the clarity and coherence of the department's results-based management as well as its public reporting. Use of the new PAA in the department's 2008-2009 planning and performance reports will ensure greater clarity in defining what the department does, how it does it, the results it seeks, and how it measures and reports on performance.
1.3.2. The Department's Interim Program Activity Architecture
The department's interim PAA was used as the basis for this report. It consists of four distinct but complementary strategic outcomes and 14 program activities (see Section 2). The first outcome is about the practice of Canadian advocacy and diplomacy to reflect the country's interests and values. The second reflects the international trade and commercial initiatives as well as related services provided by the department to Canadians. The third is about the department's management of Canada's network of missions abroad, and the fourth pertains to the department's consular and passport services provided to Canadians at home and abroad.
The department's strategic direction is identified in its PAA. The program activities enable advancement of the four strategic outcomes (in italics below), as follows:
1.4. Summary of Performance (Tables)
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade manages Canada's political and economic relations with other nations on a bilateral basis as well as through the international organizations to which Canada belongs. These include the United Nations, the G8, the World Trade Organization, the Commonwealth, La Francophonie, the Organization of American States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The department provides an assertive foreign policy that pursues Canadian interests, projects Canadian values worldwide and protects Canada's security. It supplies business (trade and investment), passport and consular services to Canadians travelling, working or doing business abroad. And it supports the international activities of federal, provincial and territorial partners at Canada's missions around the world.
1.4.2. The Department's Total Financial and Human Resources
|Financial Resources ($ millions)|
|Total for the department||2,832.4||2,874.6||2,670.9|
The department's 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities indicated planned spending for the fiscal year of $2,832.4 million. The department's spending authorities totalled $2,874.6 million, exclusive of non-budgetary items related to Export Development Canada (EDC). The department's budget is allocated through appropriations approved by Parliament, as identified in Table 2 of Section 3. The department has three voted appropriations (operating expenditures, capital expenditures, and grants and contributions) and a number of statutory authorities, such as contributions to employee benefit plans and the Passport Canada Revolving Fund. The department's Main Estimates for 2007-2008 totalled $2,681.2 million: $2,002.2 million budgetary, plus a $679.0 million non-budgetary item for EDC.
In addition to the appropriations voted through the 2007-2008 Main Estimates, the department received nearly $240.0 million of incremental appropriations through two Supplementary Estimates exercises in 2007-2008. Actual spending totalled $2,670.9 million. According to the department's vote structure, the $2,670.9 million of expenditures comprises $1,222 million in Vote 1 (operating expenditures, which includes salaries), $170.9 million in Vote 5 (capital expenditures), $742.4 million in Vote 10 (grant and contribution expenditures covering 74 grant and contribution programs) and $535.6 million in various statutory authorities. After adjusting for $543.0 million of non-respendable revenue and adding $78.0 million representing services received by the department without charge, the net departmental spending in 2007-2008 was $2,205.9 million. This financial information is reported by program activity in Table 1 of Section 3. The financial information is derived from the department's financial statements, and the actual expenditures are reported in the Public Accounts of Canada for the same fiscal year. Expenditures by program activity are allocated amounts adjusted for a further allocation across all programs of the department's corporate service expenditures.
Passport Canada is a special operating agency, which operates under a revolving fund, with revenue generated through fees. Passport Canada is not normally funded through Main or Supplementary Estimates. However, on an exceptional basis, the agency does receive appropriations. In 2007-2008, it was voted an incremental $55.0 million, through Supplementary Estimates, for measures to fund capital projects for national security initiatives and to address recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General.
Like other federal departments and agencies, this department faces budgetary constraints. The majority of its salary, operating and capital expenditures are funded through voted appropriations. Over the last few years, the federal government has announced initiatives and realignment strategies to renew and modernize its expenditure management to ensure value for money, while improving efficiency. From the successive rounds of government-wide reallocation exercises that began in 2004, the department achieved cumulative reductions of over $106 million to its annual budget, of which $42.3 million was realized in 2007-2008. Although these reductions have been effectively managed by the department, they do result in a diminishment of the department's overall resource flexibility.
1.4.3. Human Resource Utilization
The department remains committed to building a bilingual, culturally diverse, gender-balanced and innovative workforce that more fully reflects Canadian society. It is also working to address the gap in resources for a number of key occupational groups.
|Human Resources (FTEs)|
FTEs refer to full-time equivalents - the human resources required to sustain an average level of employment over 12 months, based on a 37.5-hour work week. Details on FTEs allocated to each program activity are available in Sections 2 and 3. The department's workforce is made up of three groups. First, Canada-based rotational staff, mainly Foreign Service officers, administrative support employees and information technology specialists, relocate regularly between headquarters and Canada's missions abroad. Second, non-rotational staff work primarily at headquarters. Third, locally engaged staff work at missions abroad. (TBS guidelines require a discussion of the department's human resources capacity considerations and how they affected performance. This information is provided by program activity in Section 2.)
1.4.4. The Department's 2007-2008 Priorities and How They Link to the Strategic Outcomes
The following table lists the six priorities noted in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities.
|1. A safer, more secure and prosperous Canada within a strengthened North American partnership||Ongoing policy priority||Met|
|2. Greater economic competitiveness for Canada through enhanced commercial engagement, secure market access and targeted support for Canadian business||Ongoing policy priority||Met|
|3. Greater international support for freedom and security, democracy, rule of law, human rights and environmental stewardship||Ongoing policy priority||Met|
|4. Accountable and consistent use of the multilateral system to deliver results on global issues of concern to Canadians||Ongoing policy priority||Met|
|5. Strengthened services to Canadians, including consular, passport and global commercial activities||Ongoing management priority||Met|
|6. Better alignment of departmental resources (human, financial, physical and technological) in support of international policy objectives and program delivery both at home and abroad||New priority||Met|
These priorities, as well as the program activities and expected results, link to the department's four strategic outcomes in a logical manner, as demonstrated in the table below. This table also shows spending by each program activity and indicates how each program activity performed in achieving expected results.
|Program Activities by Strategic Outcome|
|PAA Elements||Expected Results||Performance
|2007-2008||Contributes to the Following Priorities|
|Strategic Outcome 1||Canada's Interests Are Advanced Internationally: In partnership with Canadians, Canada and its values are projected to the world, Canada's interests are pursued abroad and Canadians are better able to interpret the world.|
|Strategic Policy and Planning||Leading the formulation of Canada's overall foreign policy and commercial strategy and the interdepartmental development of whole-of-government strategies, including public diplomacy||Met||36.4||37.8||1, 4, 6|
|International Security||Integrating, advocating and advancing Canada's international security interests, bilaterally and multilaterally, as well as managing and implementing the department's policy and programming responsibilities with respect to security and intelligence||Met||373.0||426.7||1, 3, 4, 6|
|Global Issues||Advocating a stronger and more effective multilateral system, capable of addressing Canada's interests in global issues, in particular international economic relations and development, the environment and sustainable development, and human rights and human security||Met||496.2||478.4||1, 2, 3, 4, 6|
|Bilateral Relations||Conducting and promoting Canada's bilateral diplomatic relations in Canada and abroad||Met||163.4||146.5||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|Protocol||Managing and facilitating the presence of foreign diplomats in Canada, as well as planning and leading official travel by the Governor General, the Prime Minister, Ministers of the Portfolio and all official diplomatic events||Met||40.9||42.9||2, 5, 6|
|Strategic Outcome 2||Canada's Commercial Interests Are Advanced Internationally, both in Canada and abroad, in collaboration with Canadian business and other stakeholders.|
|Trade Policy and Negotiations||Analyzing, negotiating, advocating and representing Canada's international economic and commercial interests in Canada and abroad, in consultation with stakeholders||Met||58.1||45.7||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|World Markets/ Commercial Relations||Integrating Canada's economic, trade, investment, and science and technology interests at the regional and bilateral level, and managing commercial relations||Met||48.7||55.4||2, 5, 6|
|International Business Development||Managing and delivering international business services to Canadians||Met||737.1||508.4||2, 5|
|Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment and S&T Cooperation||Attracting, retaining and expanding foreign direct investment in Canada||Met||17.2||22.4||2, 5, 6|
|Strategic Outcome 3||Government of Canada Is Served Abroad: The government delivers its programs and achieves its results in a secure environment, through cost-effective and efficient services and infrastructure at Canada's missions abroad.|
|Common Services and Infrastructure (Support from Headquarters and Missions Abroad)||Managing and delivering headquarters- and mission-provided common services to government programs and partners operating abroad||Met||819.0||845.7||6|
|Strategic Outcome 4||Canadians Are Served Abroad: Canadians travelling and living abroad are provided with effective assistance, guidance, advice and services for their travel documents and consular needs.|
|Consular Affairs||Managing and delivering consular services to Canadians||Met||47.3||49.0||5|
|Passport Canada Special Operating Agency (Revolving Fund and Appropriated Funds)||Managing and delivering passport services to Canadians, through use of the Passport Revolving Fund as well as other funding arrangements||Met||(4.9)||12.0||5|
1.5. Summary of Performance (Text)
To provide a complete picture of the department's 2007-2008 performance, it is necessary first to explain the key factors that affected its operations as well as the principal methods used to measure actual accomplishments against the expected results that were identified in the Report on Plans and Priorities. This is the logic behind the way in which the performance information is presented below.
1.5.1. External and Internal Factors Affecting the Department
Among external factors, first, the importance of Canada-United States relations and Canada's strategic location in North America continue to be the foundation of Canadian foreign and economic policy. Second, new powers like China and India are reshaping the international landscape. Industrialized countries face fierce global competition and demographic challenges related to aging populations. Meanwhile, ongoing globalization is resulting in deepening interdependence and more shared risks, such as financial imbalances in the global economy, environmental degradation, effects of climate change, terrorism and the spread of transnational crime and disease. Likewise, the high price of oil is generating concerns worldwide about energy supply and conservation, development of new sources of oil as well as alternatives, and about the overall impact of these developments on the global economy and environment. Third, the NATO mission in Afghanistan continues to evolve while, more broadly, failed and fragile states as well as intra-state conflicts worldwide continue to pose threats to regional peace and stability. Fourth, multilateral organizations continue to face pressure to reform to keep pace with changing global realities. Finally, the department continues to face growing demand from its federal partners for use of the government's International Platform (i.e. its network of missions abroad) as well as increased demand from Canadians for passport, consular and commercial services.
Internal factors that affect the department's daily operations include the need for a quick, seamless transition to its new governance structure and ongoing implementation of its Transformation Agenda.
Risk Management: Clearly, the complex international environment in which the department operates is constantly evolving. As a result, the department's plans and activities are subject to sudden alterations in response to international instability, unanticipated policy shifts by other nations, and hostile actions, such as sabotage, terrorism or war in various regions of the world. A good example of this was the 2006 crisis in Lebanon, which required the department to reallocate resources quickly in order to help evacuate Canadians from that country.
The department continues to improve its assessment, management and communication of risks. In 2007-2008, the department updated its Corporate Risk Profile, which cites 15 strategic, operational and external risks and links them to the program activities in the new PAA.
Over the past year, the department also assembled an inventory of risk activities throughout its operations, assigned the coordination and integration of risk management to a specific unit, and conducted its first comprehensive training session to help increase risk management capacity and better integrate risk management activities. Other notable examples of the department's work in this area included:
The department's latest MAF assessment recognized that it "made good progress in integrated risk management during 2007, though still largely focused on the Corporate Risk Profile activity." As a result, the department's risk management was given an "acceptable" rating.
Challenges Faced by the Department: Treasury Board's most recent Management Accountability Framework assessment (Round V) recognized this department's improvements over the last year in values-based leadership and organizational culture and in management of finance, information technology, assets and projects. It also noted development of the new PAA, while acknowledging progress made with the department's integrated human resources plan. However, the MAF assessment also concluded that the department needs to make further headway on an integrated, department-wide business plan, on performance reporting that draws a clearer link between resources and results, on management of information related to the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, and on a stronger internal audit function. As Section 1.5.3 indicates, the department is already working to address many of these issues.
Opportunities Faced by the Department: First, Canada's membership in multilateral organizations and its missions worldwide enable the department to advance Canadian interests globally. Second, Canada's assets, including its knowledge-based, technologically advanced economy and diverse workforce, enable it to actively pursue global commerce. Third, Canada's emergence as a stable and reliable energy supplier could help increase its leverage on international issues.
Parliamentary Committee Work and Auditor General Reports of Relevance to the Department: In 2007-2008, the government issued responses to reports by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on Darfur, Canadian policy on Haiti, and Canada's role in international support for democratic development. The government also responded to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade reports on 10 steps to a better trade policy and the Canada-Korea free trade negotiations.
The Auditor General of Canada reported on the department's human resources management in May 2007. The department responded with a number of measures and in October 2007 released its Human Resources Strategic Plan for 2007-2010. Measures include significant investment to modernize and upgrade the PeopleSoft workforce database, expected to be completed in 2009. A national recruitment program was launched at Canadian universities to recruit employees for as early as spring 2009. A special risk allowance was introduced to compensate employees assigned to Kabul and Kandahar. The issue of spousal employment will be addressed in the context of the comprehensive review launched by Treasury Board.
In February 2007, the Auditor General reported on passport services, identifying the need for a thorough security risk assessment, a quality control program for entitlement decisions, stronger practices regarding access to the automated passport issuance system, and an integrated human resources strategy. Passport Canada has now developed a comprehensive security risk assessment. Its 2007-2008 annual report will provide further information on actions being taken to respond to the Auditor General's report. Also, in May 2008, the Auditor General reviewed the $25 consular fee collected from adult passport applicants. The report made various recommendations, which the department will be implementing.
Horizontal Initiatives Involving the Department: Throughout its everyday operations, this department puts considerable emphasis on its collaboration with a wide range of federal partners. The reason for this is twofold. First, many international issues have domestic dimensions and implications (and vice versa) and therefore must be addressed in a way that includes all relevant perspectives and stakeholders. Second, given that many federal departments and agencies are now active outside Canada, it is imperative that the Government of Canada's international agenda is addressed in a coordinated and cohesive manner that brings all federal partners together as members of one unified team.
Three major horizontal files to which the department contributed over the past year were the Enhanced Representation Initiative (ERI), the North American Platform Program (NAPP) and the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF). The ERI, completed on March 31, 2008, involved several federal departments and agencies. The ERI provided a coordinated and integrated approach and direction to managing and advancing Canada's advocacy, trade, business development, science and technology, and investment interests in the United States. Building on the increased representational capacity, programming and collaboration fostered through the ERI, departments and agencies are now involved in NAPP, which will integrate key elements of the Global Commerce Strategy to enhance Canada's competitive position in the United States market. The GPSF provided Canadian assistance in response to critical international peace and security challenges. The department collaborated on the GPSF with federal partners including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National Defence Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. (See Section 3, Table 9, which will be available online at www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/st-ts-eng.asp once the 2007-2008 DPRs have been tabled in Parliament.)
1.5.2. How the Department Assessed Its Performance
Efficient and effective performance measurement is a key element of results-based management, to which the department is committed. Use of the following performance measurement tools entails consultation with TBS and continuous refinement, based on application of lessons learned and best practices. First, the department's latest MAF assessment and its recently completed Strategic Review provided excellent feedback for use in strengthening management performance and ensuring better results for Canadians. Second, the department uses RMAFs (Results-based Management and Accountability Frameworks) and RBAFs (Risk-Based Audit Frameworks), along with the most recent audits and evaluations of operations at headquarters and missions abroad, operational data and client feedback. Third, the department evaluates employee contributions to advancement of its priorities and strategic outcomes by means of mandate letters and performance management agreements (for heads of mission and senior executives) and performance agreements for other staff. Fourth, the department is finalizing its Management, Resources and Results Structure - Program Activity Architecture Performance Measurement Framework, which will specify long-term outcomes, with performance indicators for each level of the new PAA.
Using information supplied by these tools wherever possible, departmental units provided evidence of their accomplishments against the planned outcomes and performance indicators identified in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities for which they are accountable. This information, which forms the basis for this DPR, was reviewed and approved by senior managers.
1.5.3. How the Department Successfully Addressed Priorities and Advanced Strategic Outcomes
Despite increasing demand for its services from inside and outside government, the department successfully addressed priorities (departmental and government-wide) and advanced its strategic outcomes in 2007-2008. To show the link between what the department said it would do and what it actually accomplished, this section highlights the main achievements in relation to the four strategic outcomes (in bold) as well as government and departmental priorities (in italics).
Three introductory notes: First, the following performance summary focuses on government and departmental priorities, according to TBS guidelines, with only some discussion of the department's ongoing work. Section 2 provides more details on ongoing initiatives, while showing how they link to the priorities. Second, the priorities are not discussed below in numerical order, as in the table in Section 1.4.4, but rather in the order that pertains to the strategic outcomes. Third, many departmental priorities pertain to more than one strategic outcome. However, because what follows is a summary, only the most salient priorities are discussed under each outcome.
Strategic Outcome 1: Canada's Interests Are Advanced Internationally: Given Canada's strategic location in North America, the department's first priority in support of this outcome was a safer, more secure and prosperous Canada within a strengthened North American partnership. Leading achievements: this continent's safety, security and prosperity were all addressed in the action plan on issues such as trade, investment, security and education, which was the result of the North American Leaders' Summit in August 2007 in Montebello, an event organized by the department. To further enhance security, Canada and the United States renewed the Integrated Lines of Communications Agreement on military transportation cooperation and signed the Civil Assistance Plan, a framework for reciprocal military support in response to natural disasters and other crises. Recognizing the importance of effective advocacy of all Canadian interests in the United States, the department led discussions with federal partners on a successor to the Enhanced Representation Initiative, a program that provided an integrated approach to advancing Canada's interests in the United States (see more on the North American Platform Program in Section 1.5.1). A recent measure of the success of Canadian advocacy is the role it played in bringing about a delay in implementation of the United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) until June 2009. WHTI, now in place for air travel, will eventually require all Canadians and Americans entering the United States to have a passport or other secure identity document.
Canada-Mexico security relations were strengthened through the Canada-Mexico Joint Action Plan, which will facilitate bilateral cooperation on defence, security and public safety. Canada-Mexico security consultations resulted in a more coordinated approach to counterterrorism, crime and drugs. The second round of political/military talks between the two countries, co-chaired by the department, dealt with continental issues (natural disasters and engagement with the United States) and international matters (Afghanistan and the G8).
The department's third priority, which supports this strategic outcome, centres on greater international support for freedom and security, democracy, rule of law, human rights and environmental stewardship. Canada is in Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild their country as a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society, in keeping with the government's key foreign policy priority of Afghanistan. Canada is there, with over 60 other nations and international organizations, at the request of the democratically elected Afghan government and as part of a UN-mandated, NATO-led mission. Canada has been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to keep the international community focused on Afghanistan. Canada has been a leader in advocating for, as well as providing, an increased level of reconstruction aid and the necessary military forces to support it.
Canada's stature in the world has been enhanced as a global and influential player as a result of this mission. Canada is one of the top five contributors in development aid, is one of the top four in troop contributions and is one of the key players on the diplomatic front in Afghanistan. Through the Global Peace and Security Fund, Canada engaged in 24 projects supporting Afghan security forces, over 20 projects related to justice, counter-narcotics and counterterrorism capacity in Afghanistan, and 17 initiatives resulting in stronger law enforcement and intelligence collection related to illicit drug control. Canada worked with its allies on securing additional troops for Afghanistan as well as funding for reconstruction and development. In March 2008, a vote in Parliament extended Canada's commitment in Afghanistan until 2011, responding to recommendations of the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan.
With Canada's assistance, Afghanistan has made important progress. Today, there are close to six million children, one third of them girls, enrolled in schools. This compares with 700,000 boys enrolled in 2001. Per capita income doubled between 2002 and 2007. Over 80 percent of Afghans now have access to basic medical care, an increase from 9 percent in 2004. Since 2002, over five million Afghan refugees have returned, and 90 percent of them secured employment within six months of their return. Meanwhile, Canada is continuing to assist the Government of Afghanistan in becoming self-sufficient through projects aimed at training officials, judges, police and military forces.
In terms of generating greater international support for the issues noted in the third departmental priority, Canada chaired two of six G8 working groups on international terrorism and organized crime, and promoted consensus-based approaches within the UN Global Strategy to Combat Terrorism. Canada continued to play a leadership role in leveraging its sizable investment in Haiti to get other partners, especially in Latin America, to commit resources to Haiti's stabilization and reconstruction. Following Canada's call, Latin American partners increased their contribution to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The department allocated $3 million from the Glyn Berry Program (http://geo.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/cip-pic/aboutthegbp-en.aspx) to strengthen its contribution to democracy support, as part of the government's response to the report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development entitled A New Focus on Democracy Support. Through provision of political support and financial assistance, Canada strengthened the capacity of the Organization of American States to promote democracy across the western hemisphere, while coordinating high-level exchanges and whole-of-government engagement in the region. These initiatives were all aligned with Canada's commitment to engagement across the western hemisphere, which focuses on promotion and enhancement of prosperity, security and the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Canada played a leading role in international organizations to increase action on important security and human rights issues. Canada continued its commitment to the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Significant accomplishments included dismantling of 12 decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines and a $9 million contribution toward shutting down Russia's last weapons-grade plutonium-producing reactor. Meanwhile, Canada led the resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly that expressed concern about human rights abuses in Iran. The department worked on developing a Canadian nuclear policy with Iran, providing advice in relation to domestic developments in Iran. The department also coordinated Canada's position on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and advanced it internationally.
In other work related to this priority, the department participated in the Annapolis Conference to relaunch the Middle East Peace Process, while Canada convened meetings of the Refugee Coordination Forum to address the needs of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and on the Iraq-Syria border. Collaborating with the Canadian International Development Agency, the department continued to monitor delivery of the $300 million reconstruction package for Iraq (approved by Cabinet in 2003 and set to close in March 2010). In addition, Canada pledged $300 million for security and justice reform in the Palestinian Authority. The department also funded 96 projects on crisis response, conflict prevention, peace operations and stabilization in the priority countries of Afghanistan, Sudan and Haiti and in four other fragile states, significantly increasing capacity with respect to police and correctional staff, security and peacebuilding, and border management.
Meanwhile, the department's Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program funded 147 projects, notably in the Americas, Asia and Afghanistan. The department's Democracy Dialogue 2008: Canadian Approaches to Democracy Support in the Americas brought together 143 Canadian and international participants, and the department organized the first Canada-Caribbean Ideas Forum in Bridgetown, Barbados, during the Prime Minister's visit in July 2007. The accomplishments in Haiti and the rest of the Americas region contributed directly to achievement of the government's second foreign policy and international trade priority of engagement across the western hemisphere. In fact, the department developed the Prime Minister's vision of a more prosperous, democratic and secure hemisphere into an integrated, whole-of-government policy platform and action plan that has added coherence and strategic focus to Canada's initiatives in the region. The department successfully identified policy goals, realigned existing programs and resources, and harnessed support of federal partners to promote and enhance prosperity, security and the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the Americas.
Canada bestowed honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of "her long struggle to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Burma" - fulfilling a commitment made in the October 2007 Speech from the Throne - and took other actions on Burma, including imposition of the toughest sanctions in the world.
The department implemented several grant and other programs in the United States and Mexico to promote teaching and research about Canada, facilitate student mobility, and increase awareness of the Canadian visual and performing arts. About 100 study awards were granted through the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program. The Canada-Mexico Scholarship Program provided 15 postgraduate awards to Mexican students. Negotiations commenced to formalize the Canada-U.S. and Canada-Mexico youth mobility arrangements to promote increased exchanges within North America. Under the Arts Promotion Program, grants totalling more than $1.5 million supported the activities of 70 Canadian artists in the United States and Mexico, while 14 grants totalling $355,000 supported American and Mexican buyers attending Canadian film and television festivals.
The department improved its country and regional strategy process to ensure priorities were addressed and resources were reallocated accordingly to help create the Afghanistan Task Force and the Secretariat for the Americas Strategy. The department developed and implemented a whole-of-government Americas Strategy in order to focus the work of missions as well as government departments and agencies on this key government priority.
In relation to the department's fourth priority of accountable and consistent use of the multilateral system to deliver results on global issues of concern to Canadians, the department worked with many Canadian partners to promote Canada's integrated Northern Strategy (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=2016) through Canada's membership in the Arctic Council. Canada played a lead role in adoption of key management reforms at the UN, including establishment of an independent audit advisory committee. As chair of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie, Canada is working with federal partners as well as the Quebec and New Brunswick provincial governments on preparations for an effective Francophonie Summit in Quebec City in October 2008. Canada and Japan collaborated before and during the UN climate change conference in Bali, held in December 2007, to support the position that all major greenhouse gas emitters should take on binding commitments to reduce emissions (see Section 220.127.116.11). Canada participated in development of the G8's structure dialogue (the Heiligendamm Process) with five emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa).
Strategic Outcome 2: Canada's Commercial Interests Are Advanced Internationally: The department made substantial progress during the year toward the achievement of its second strategic outcome, guided by the government's Global Commerce Strategy. The department's second priority of greater economic competitiveness for Canada through enhanced commercial engagement, secure market access and targeted support for Canadian business underscores the fact that Canadian prosperity is due in no small part to this country's openness to international trade and investment. Market plans for 13 priority markets are bringing coherence to Canada's commercial policies and programs, and are helping integrate Canadian companies into international value chains and global commercial networks. In support of the government's second and third key foreign and trade policy priorities of the United States and engagement across the western hemisphere and growing/emerging markets, with a focus on China and India, the department is devoting new resources to priority markets, including China, India and the Americas.
The department's reinvigorated bilateral commercial negotiations strategy is also bearing fruit. Canada concluded free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the European Free Trade Association and Peru, its first new FTAs in six years. The department also made good progress in FTA negotiations with Colombia, and concluded bilateral investment agreements with India and Jordan as well as air services agreements with eight countries. During the Canada-European Union summit in June 2007, leaders agreed to cooperate on a study to assess costs and benefits of a closer economic partnership. Under the department's Foreign Investment Promotion Strategy, Canada's commercial network at home and abroad is employing new tools and programs to articulate a strong business case for partnering with Canadian companies and to promote Canada's strengths as a destination for global investment, enterprise and innovation. The department continued Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) negotiations with 13 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe and successfully concluded FIPA negotiations with India and Jordan. Canada concluded new or expanded air agreements with Ireland, Kuwait, Jordan, Iceland, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico and Barbados, and launched negotiations with the European Union for an open skies framework covering 27 countries.
Implementation of the Global Commerce Strategy has enabled the department to develop a series of strategies that address a number of gaps in previous investment efforts, and leverage opportunities presented by the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The groundwork is now in place for engaging foreign audiences in a multifaceted and systematic way. The Global Commerce Strategy also funded capacity building for critical innovation policy, and a number of agreements, at various levels, were signed with key innovation partners.
In relation to the department's fifth priority of strengthened services to Canadians, including consular, passport and global commercial activities, the leading achievements included a revision of the service menu offered by the Trade Commissioner Service to better reflect the trade environment in which Canadian companies compete; opening of a new TCS satellite office in Quebec City; development of new tools and provision of training to trade commissioners to support Canadian companies making international investments; start of a pilot project for a new, sector-focused model for delivery of TCS services to Canadian companies; production of six country/regional financing guides for high-risk markets; strengthening of service delivery to softwood lumber exporters through improvements to the Export Import Controls System; and continued deployment of TRIO, an electronic system for managing client and contact information, to TCS employees.
Strategic Outcome 3: Government of Canada Is Served Abroad: The department's sixth priority for 2007-2008 - better alignment of departmental resources (human, financial, physical and technological) in support of international policy objectives and program delivery both at home and abroad - enabled it to advance all four strategic outcomes. Leading achievements: as part of the department's alignment exercise, the Missions Board and Corporate Services Board were mandated to examine how administration, procurement and services could be provided more efficiently and cost effectively to this department and its federal partners with representatives at Canada's missions abroad. To provide a management focal point and centre of expertise in the oversight and delivery of common services to departments and agencies using the network, the department established a new International Platform Branch under one ADM.
The department successfully provided common services and infrastructure at 168 missions in 109 countries. With respect to these services, very few complaints from clients were sent to headquarters for resolution (representing less than 0.3 percent of employees abroad), and all were successfully resolved. The department approved close to 467 requests for position changes, including 207 from partner departments and agencies. The department is negotiating a new memorandum of understanding with its partners as a means of further improving its provision of common services abroad to the Government of Canada.
Strategic Outcome 4: Canadians Are Served Abroad: The fifth departmental priority of strengthened services to Canadians, including consular, passport and global commercial activities, focused on enabling Canadians to be active globally. Leading achievements: the department met its commitments with regard to strengthened consular services by achieving several measurable results. First, it assisted almost 1,000 Canadians abroad during 38 international emergencies, and opened more than 255,000 new cases, a 4 percent increase over the previous year. Notable achievements were the successfully mediated return of an abducted child from France to his father in Canada, and the department's collaboration with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to ensure the safe departure of 145 Canadians and their non-Canadian family members from Gaza. Second, working with National Defence Canada, the department developed operational plans for assisting Canadians in 14 countries. Third, efforts to increase client feedback paid off: in 2007-2008, client response more than doubled, and 93 percent of clients were satisfied or very satisfied with the services received. While this result, based on 2,708 client feedback forms, is lower than the 96 percent rate reported the previous year, it is based on more than twice as many forms received and is therefore a fuller, more credible reflection of client satisfaction. Meanwhile, recognizing through the Strategic Review that there was a need for a more robust structure to manage consular workloads and to ensure the right facilities and skilled personnel are in place, the department upgraded the Consular Affairs Bureau to the Consular Services and Emergency Management Branch, led by an ADM. This has laid the foundation for improving efficiency, human resources planning and working conditions. A new Emergency Management Bureau was created to handle new responsibilities that the department has assumed under the federal Emergency Management Act (assented June 22, 2007). As part of the Strategic Review, the department proposed allocation of additional resources to consular and emergency management programs.
With respect to strengthened passport services, Passport Canada opened 67 new receiving agents, increased its call centre capacity, and hired and trained nearly 1,500 new staff. It implemented the Simplified Passport Renewal Program, which accounted for more than 30 percent of all adult passport applications in 2007-2008, with no negative impact on the security or integrity of the documents. It continued development of its projects on facial recognition and security and intelligence case management. Faced with unprecedented demand for passports (4.8 million passports were issued, up more than 30 percent from the previous, record year), the agency made concerted efforts to return wait times to acceptable levels. While Passport Canada met most performance targets, demand outstripped capacity by nearly two to one in the early months of the fiscal year. Plans were put in place to address these capacity issues, enabling all channels to meet service standards by December 2007.
Enabling Activities (Corporate Services and Human Resources): The department's enabling activities registered results related to achievement of its sixth priority of better alignment of departmental resources (human, financial, physical and technological) in support of international policy objectives and program delivery both at home and abroad. This also enabled the department to advance all of its strategic outcomes. Leading achievements: sharp focus continued on the department's Transformation Agenda (see Section 1.2.2). The department conducted a Strategic Review to be able to deliver better results for Canadians (see Section 1.2.1). Also of critical importance was development of a new Program Activity Architecture to fully reflect reintegration of the department's Foreign Affairs and Trade components. The new PAA will significantly improve alignment of the department's resources to priorities and enable better reporting of plans and performance.
By establishing its new governance structure (see Section 1.2.2), the department has improved its review and oversight functions. It also established a new Chief Financial Officer position, and will implement the related model in 2008-2009. Executive Committee monitored departmental expenditures, funding pressures and budget variances through monthly FINSTAT reports (monthly financial reports to the Deputy Ministers). The department also created a new Departmental Audit Committee, with an independent chair from outside the department. The Office of the Chief Audit Executive was created, reporting directly to the Deputy Ministers, and a new corporate secretariat unit was established. The department's MAF assessment noted its sustained effort to improve management of financial resources.
With respect to human resources management, the department achieved results in employee recruitment, training and development. In the past year, the department launched or concluded collective promotion processes for every category of its executive-level staff. Below the executive level, the department hired over 160 new Foreign Service political and trade officers as well as management/consular officers to replenish the department's rotational cadre. An Official Languages Strategy was developed, and a much-needed strategy to develop the foreign-language proficiency of diplomatic staff was initiated. Training requirements were met, and new executives underwent training on the essentials of managing in the Public Service. Training was also provided to introduce renewal of the political-economic program, the New Way Forward, while the intercultural effectiveness training curriculum of the Foreign Service Developmental Program was enriched with a new course, Afghanistan Online Cultural Resource. In response to the Auditor General's report of May 2007, the department developed and implemented a human resources planning tool to improve planning and management of resources at missions abroad. A total of 125 salary scales were revised, ensuring wage competitiveness in local markets and compliance with local labour laws.
With regard to Access to Information Act and Privacy Act (ATIP) requests, the department received 18.2 percent more requests than during the previous year. The volume of work and a shortage of experienced staff affected performance. To address this issue, the department took several steps that included increasing its permanent capacity, training new ATIP analysts and departmental officials, developing a new case management strategy and introducing a more streamlined ATIP process.
Consistent use of the materiel management module at missions abroad has strengthened and improved monitoring and analysis of all departmental contracting activity. Furthermore, the Centre of Expertise for Service Contracts was expanded to improve contract management. The department delivered major property projects for the fiscal year on time and on budget. It implemented a new information management/information technology (IM/IT) governance structure as well as IM/IT investments, which were also completed on time and on budget, meeting client expectations.
The department increased awareness and understanding of Canada's foreign and trade policies among domestic and international audiences by providing strategic communications services. These services were strengthened through increased use of e-communications (including Facebook) and improvement of standards for website management. The department issued 208 news releases, responded to over 3,000 media calls, analyzed media coverage of Canadian foreign and trade policy and programs, and provided communications support for international events and visits.
The department continued to give a harmonized look and feel to its 200 websites in order to strengthen Canada's brand at home and abroad. Last year, the department's Internet presence received 19.3 million hits, and online subscriptions to its news releases, media advisories and speeches increased by 15 percent over the previous year. The Trade Commissioner Service website (www.infoexport.gc.ca/ie-en/MarketReportsAndServices.jsp) was redesigned, involving the posting of about 530 new market sector profiles, while subscriptions to CanadExport (Canada's official source of news and advice on trade, export and investment opportunities, at http://w01.international.gc.ca/canadexport/splash.asp) increased to 19,000. This compares with 5,600 in 2006, before CanadExport became available online. National ad campaigns were launched to market TCS services to Canadian business and attract new employees.
Work on the department's Transformation Agenda included creation of the International Platform, the Chief Financial Officer position and the Consular Services and Emergency Management Branch; the launch of interdepartmental processes for governance of Canada's International Platform and for reallocations within the International Assistance Envelope; and development of a communications strategy, including creation of the InnovAction team to provide an interactive forum for generating and promoting employees' innovative ideas, as well as establishment of an interactive Transformation intranet site.
1.6. What's in Section 2
The information presented in Section 2 is based on the interim PAA (see chart below). Section 2 provides more background information and more specific performance information by program activity. It begins with a definition of the program activity under discussion. It then summarizes - in both table and text formats - whether the planned outcomes were met. The program activity's planned and actual human and financial resources are identified. For each planned outcome, specific evidence of achievement is provided. The summary information is followed by a synopsis of lessons learned over the fiscal year, and how they are being, or will be, applied. Each discussion ends with a brief explanation of performance issues related to the program activity's human resources capacity.
The department's performance has been reported on the basis of the six strategic priorities set out in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities. Over the course of the year, the department identified four key priorities, based on the 2007 Speech from the Throne and other government statements (Afghanistan; United States and engagement across the western hemisphere; growing/emerging markets, with a focus on China and India; and launching the department's transformation process). While the department began work on these four key priorities in 2007-2008, related performance information has been reported under the six strategic priorities identified in the 2007-2008 RPP.