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The CBSA continues to make gains in its efforts to realize its third and fourth priorities: strong internal and external relationships, and a modern management regime. These priorities fall under the CBSA's Corporate Management and Direction program activity. Nonetheless, the recently completed resource base (funding) review has identified gaps for which additional resources are required in order for the CBSA continue to deliver on these priorities and maintain and enhance the integrity of its Corporate Management and Direction programs.
Some of the related initiatives for 2007-2008 are highlighted below.
The CBSA contributes to the economic prosperity of Canadians through the collection of approximately $27 billion of duties and taxes assessed against imports of goods and services. The CBSA has identified the initiation of a project aimed at the modernization and re-engineering of the revenue management process as essential to the efficient and effective execution and fulfillment of its obligations under this mandate.
Client-based accounts receivable, cash collection and refund payment processes and systems
Beginning in 2007-2008, the CBSA will begin a multi-year project to establish an integrated system and supporting processes for the collection of tax revenues, fees and penalties on a client-account basis to support the Agency's reporting of these revenues on an accrual basis and in the issuance of audited financial statements. The CBSA expects to deploy the commercial tax accounts receivables system by the end of 2009-2010. A number of existing legacy systems either do not meet Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) requirements or have inadequate internal controls. Among its many benefits, the replacement of these legacy systems will result in quicker and more efficient accounts receivable collection through electronic statement and cash collection processing, increased interest revenues from overdue accounts, a reduction in bad debts and more efficient overdue accounts processing. A complete project plan for the replacement revenue systems project will be completed by March 31, 2008.
Ensuring readiness to undergo financial statement audits
Under the Government of Canada's plan, the OAG will perform annual audits of departmental financial statements. The first CBSA financial statement audit will be conducted on the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The CBSA completed an audit readiness assessment in late 2006 that reviewed the Agency's ability to sustain an efficient financial statement audit. In response to the audit readiness review, the CBSA will put in place policies and procedures to control financial reporting and develop internal control frameworks for revenue and salary processes as well as work towards supporting system and process solution options.
Developing a human resources plan for 2008-2009 that integrates employment equity, official languages and a resourcing strategy
In 2007-2008, the Agency will develop a more detailed, integrated human resources plan that will serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of the Agency. This plan will identify current and future human resources needs for the CBSA and optimal strategies and activities for human resources management programs and services such as recruitment, retention, learning, employee development, employment equity, official languages, organization design, classification, wellness and succession management.
Beginning to develop a leadership framework that will include a support network
An important component of the CBSA's Human Resources planning in 2007-2008 is the development of a leadership framework that will help the CBSA to attract, develop and retain the best, brightest and most creative leaders; build a CBSA leadership capacity to develop sound policy, deliver excellent service and meet evolving CBSA business goals; allow the Agency to properly recognize managers and the unique work and role for which they are responsible within the Agency; and develop a support network, learning and development products, related policies, procedures and tools for managers.
Implementing the CBSA learning framework
In 2007-2008, the CBSA will begin the phased-in implementation of its learning framework in order to provide the support required to its high-performing employees. Implementing this phased-in approach will help the Agency to plan and report based on strong metrics, support CBSA and government-wide priorities and initiatives, and create a learning organization.
The Agency further recognizes the primary importance of continual learning in the workplace. By March 31, 2008, the Agency will create a CBSA learning policy, develop an Agency-wide learning plan and design a trainers' certification program. These actions to support learning will enhance development opportunities for employees at all levels and will ensure that challenges and risks related to workforce demographics are mitigated to the greatest possible extent. The learning framework will support achieving a sustainable workforce that is able to meet the continuing transformation of the Agency's business in the future.
The Public Service Labour Relations Act specifically recognizes that harmonious labour-management relations are essential to a productive and effective public service. In 2007-2008, the CBSA will continue its collaborative efforts with labour unions through communication and sustained dialogue with the aim of achieving fair, credible and efficient resolution of matters of concern. These efforts are expected to improve the Agency's efficiency and productivity, and to enhance the Agency's progress on its initiatives by increasing their acceptance by employees. Throughout the fiscal year, particular attention will be given to including union representatives on committees and working groups, building consultation infrastructures and resolving issues of concern by way of both informal and formal processes. The CBSA's Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS), through its network of ICMS regional advisors, coordinators and trained volunteer mediators, will continue to raise the profile and understanding of the ICMS as an alternative to formal dispute resolution within the Agency.
Values and ethics
We will continue to move forward with the implementation of the CBSA's Values and Ethics Action Plan. This will include carrying out activities to assist employees in identifying, assessing and resolving ethical issues in keeping with the responsibilities outlined in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service. Our two national Values and Ethics advisors, working with an Agency-wide network, will continue to consult with other departments and agencies to benefit from their best practices in establishing a robust values and ethics regime. In addition, we will take steps to measure and track the effectiveness of the CBSA's Values and Ethics program, and to build recognition within the Agency of the Values and Ethics advisors as a centre of expertise for employees at all levels dealing with ethical issues.
Occupational health and safety
In 2007-2008, the CBSA will take action on a number of fronts to promote and maintain an effective national health and safety program that protects the health and safety of all employees in the work place. The Agency will continue to work in concert with union representatives via the National Policy Health and Safety Committee to ensure that appropriate consultation takes place on all health and safety concerns affecting employees.
Key initiatives will include the development and implementation of mandatory health and safety training and awareness programs; the development of preventative measures to eliminate or control, to the greatest extent possible, the occurrences of injuries in the future; and the provision of health and safety advice and guidance throughout the Agency to support the development and implementation of new programs.
The CBSA is committed to building a representative workforce that reflects the diversity of the Canadian population by undertaking the following activities: developing and communicating a policy on duty to accommodate throughout the Agency; undertaking a targeted workforce analysis to identify under-representation of designated groups for some key occupations, such as border services officers and executives; and initiating an employment systems review to identify the barriers.
The Agency anticipates moving forward to implement its Frontière/Border (FB) occupational group, a group that was built on the CBSA's own tailored classification standard and structure that applies to the core business functions of border operations, management and program support. Collective bargaining is expected to commence in 2007-2008 for those employees who will be classified in the FB group.
Putting in place key components of an information management program including a vision, governance structure, implementation plan, policy framework and training and awareness components
In 2007-2008, the CBSA will begin to implement recommendations of the Information Management Capacity Check commissioned by the Agency, in order to establish an information management (IM) program that is compliant with and responsive to Government of Canada requirements, including applicable legislation.
The IM activity that will be undertaken in 2007-2008 will include beginning the process of developing: an IM framework (i.e. a vision, governance structure and implementation plan); a policy framework to manage information throughout the lifecycle including audit, evaluation and compliance; and training and awareness for both the regions and headquarters.
Stabilizing and strengthening the access to information and privacy function
In accordance with the principles of open government and the protection of the privacy of the individual, the CBSA must comply with the statutory requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
In 2007-2008, the CBSA will further reduce access to information and privacy (ATIP) request backlogs, allowing the Agency to meet legislative requirements for the majority of requests. The Agency will also finalize the organizational structure and develop a training and recruitment plan for the ATIP function to ensure future consistency with requirements.
Beginning to implement a strong performance measurement platform for the CBSA
The performance measurement platform for the CBSA includes reports and tools that enable the Agency to track its progress towards meeting its vision and priorities and to concisely demonstrate results and the benefit of programs and activities to Canadians. In 2007-2008, we will work to make our performance management platform more robust to better support decision making. Specifically, we will revise and complete the development of the Program Activity Architecture, including results, indicators and accountabilities in accordance with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat guidelines.
Long-term accommodations strategy
In order to meet both the immediate accommodation needs of the Agency and its future growth needs, in 2007-2008 the CBSA will undertake a review of the long-term accommodations strategy and develop a plan to ensure that the Agency has sufficient space to accommodate existing staff and its planned workforce growth for the next three years. This renewed strategy will take into consideration the Agency's initiatives and special projects, including those discussed elsewhere in this Report on Plans and Priorities.
The CBSA anticipates significant growth in its full-time-equivalent base over the coming three years, in both the regions and at headquarters. In 2007-2008, the Agency will continue its negotiations with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to ensure that our accommodation requirements are met. Additional measures will be taken in 2007-2008 to expand the CBSA national training facility in Rigaud, Quebec, to accommodate training for border services officers on the use of duty firearms; to explore options for the relocation of the CBSA Laboratory; and to formalize the PWGSC long-term accommodations strategy for the CBSA.
Construction of new border infrastructure facilities
In 2007-2008, the CBSA will complete the construction and the majority of the work leading up to the commissioning in 2008 of a new port of entry at Douglas, British Columbia. This port of entry will be the highest-volume passenger vehicle land port of entry in the Pacific region. The CBSA will also seek Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat approval to begin a new major construction project at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, including the design, construction and commissioning of the new port of entry. When it is completed in 2008, the new port will provide a direct highway link between St. Stephen and Calais, Maine, thereby alleviating traffic congestion in downtown St. Stephen.
Allocation of 2007-2008 Corporate Management and Direction
Resources to Other Program Activities
(thousands of dollars)
Science and Technology- based Innovation
Human resources (FTEs)
6 Annual Reference Level Update
Other Programs and Services
Key partners and stakeholdersw.
Introduction and overview
This Human Resources (HR) Plan for 2007-2008 focuses on the immediate short-term need to address key workforce challenges for the coming year and sets the foundation for the further refinement of a more comprehensive, integrated and forward-looking HR Plan. The Plan is built on the business priorities identified by CBSA senior management. It is consistent with central agency direction for human resources planning and it is aligned with our over-arching strategic goal to develop the workforce to take on the challenges of the future.
Furthermore, for this planning cycle, the human resources management function has been engaged at the front end so that the HR Plan links directly to the four strategic priorities of the Agency.
The two components of the HR Plan are as follows:
The HR Plan is outlined below in the established format from the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada:
1. Business Goals/Strategic Priorities
In the context of Strategic Priority 4 – A modern management regime – our primary objective is to develop and implement HR plans and strategies to ensure that the CBSA attracts and retains a skilled and representative workforce, which is able to take on the challenges of the future and operate in a productive and healthy workplace. Our HR Plan will focus on key initiatives on how we manage our workforce with an emphasis on leadership, learning, labour relations, health and safety, integrated HR planning, employment equity, classification reform and values and ethics. This is our workforce and workplace "people management" component.
In the context of the other three strategic priorities, our HR Plan will focus on meeting the workforce recruitment and capacity building requirements in key priority areas.
Strategic priority 1 – Effective delivery of programs and services – our efforts will focus on HR strategies for building program expertise capacity in high-risk functions, on National Border Services Officer Recruitment and on the Arming Initiative.
Strategic priority 2 – Innovating for the border of the future – our efforts will focus on addressing workforce gaps in information technology, research technology and systems.
Strategic priority 3 – Strong Internal and external relationships – our efforts will focus on enhancing our strategic policy capacity.
2. Environmental Scan
External – Demographics and the labour market
The Canadian population is aging and workers are retiring earlier than in past generations. The percentage of persons retiring before 60 years of age rose from 29% in 1990 to 43% in 2000. Departures from the workforce will accelerate around 2010 as the oldest baby boomers begin turning 65. The workplace is also influenced by the continual expansion of the knowledge-based economy and the parallel increase in the level of education of the population. Additionally, the workplace must adapt to the needs and expectations of the generations entering the workforce today, as these differ from those of previous generations. Although no widespread labour shortages are expected, there may be shortages of specific skills. All organizations in both the private and public sectors must be ready to compete for increasingly scarce talent.
It is projected that by 2011, all labour force growth will result from immigration, leading to an increase in the workforce availability of visible minorities. Women constitute the second-largest contributor to labour force growth. Fifty-seven percent of all women aged 15 and over in 2003 had jobs, up from 42% in 1976. In contrast, 68% of men were employed in 2003, down from 73% in 1976. Thirty-five percent of the Aboriginal population is under the age of 15, in contrast to 21% of the total population that falls in this age group and the Aboriginal population is growing at a rate almost twice that of the Canadian population.
English-speaking Canadians represent the majority of the population (59.1%), followed by French-speaking Canadians (22.9%). Official bilingualism increased from 17% in 1996 to 17.7% in 2001. It ranges from 9% for English speakers to 14% among allophones to 43.4% among French speakers.
Internal – The public service and the CBSA
Public service renewal is a main priority of the Clerk of the Privy Council. The CBSA challenge is one of renewal and expansion. Our labour force is expanding as security comes to the forefront of the Agency's agenda. In addition, our mandate is changing as the security agenda captures more profile. Competition within other specialty labour markets, such as for human resource practitioners (PE group); financial managers, (FI group) and IT professionals (CS group), is also increasing as the demographics of the aging labour market are compounded by the rising level of specialized preparation required for these and other groups of employees.
The social policy imperatives regarding the representative workforce that can provide service in both official languages challenge the CBSA in relation to other employers because, not only are we recruiting a specialized workforce, but it must also be one that meets the criteria associated with the Employment Equity Act and the Official Languages Act as well. The HR strategy for the CBSA, particularly for specialized positions, must be focused on employee development, succession planning and retention strategies as much as recruitment.
The HR management context
The Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA) promotes an integrated approach to HR management and stresses both accountability and flexibility in HR practices. The CBSA has taken steps, and will continue to take steps that capitalize on this flexibility. The creation of the new Frontière/Border (FB) classification standard, the Informal Conflict Management System and our strong staffing policy suite demonstrate our ability to lever the PSMA as a mechanism to meet our challenges.
3. Gaps/Priorities for Action
Based on our HR needs in the Agency's three strategic priorities, five gaps/priorities have been identified for attention in the upcoming fiscal year:
4. Strategies to Address Gaps
a) Arming Initiative
Arming CBSA officers will enable them to carry out enforcement activities to a greater extent before involving police agencies, and it will also enhance security by allowing officers to mitigate risks associated with operating in uncontrolled environments. This will provide greater flexibility while undertaking enforcement activities.
The CBSA will begin training and equipping 3,600 border services officers at land and marine ports of entry with duty firearms. An additional 800 officers who are performing inland enforcement functions will also be similarly trained and equipped, and plans are also under-way to take on 400 new permanent officers who will be assigned to current work-alone sites.
It is critical that appropriate care be taken to ensure that the essential policies and training are in place before implementation. The CBSA is committed to ensuring that this Initiative is implemented safely, professionally and without unnecessary delay.
The Human Resources Branch will provide support, advice and consultation on this Initiative. The Branch will work with the Arming Task Force on HR policy development and implementation; ensure that the Agency resourcing strategy reflects the needs of the Arming Initiative; provide advice on employee and labour relations issues as they arise; ensure that mechanisms are in place to accommodate individuals who are unable to meet the requirements of the new regime; and assist with change management as the Initiative is implemented.
b) National Border Services Officer Recruitment (training and development)
The National Border Services Officer Recruitment requires significant upfront planning not only with the eight CBSA regions but also with the CBSA Learning Centre in Rigaud, Quebec. This streamlined, national process of recruiting meets the Public Service Commission of Canada's policy on national area of selection, avoids staffing duplication, ensures availability of pre-qualified candidates and facilitates the recruitment of a workforce representative of the Canadian population.
The border services officer is the feeder group for many of the Agency's positions, as well as being the largest single complement (approximately 4,950 employees or 35% of the jobs in the Agency). This national initiative is designed to ensure that there is a steady flow of trained officers, where and when they are needed.
Analysis of the current regionally based recruitment process has indicated that a number of factors, such as the wide variation in local labour markets, the different needs at the local level and capacity issues at the CBSA Learning Centre have challenged the effectiveness of current recruiting practices. A nationally co-ordinated process will result in a smoother flow of incoming officers, who can be made available in the areas of the country where they are needed most, regardless of their region of origin.
The first national poster will be ready in spring 2007. As individuals who are recruited through the national recruitment program complete their mandatory training and are available for placement, it will be easier to staff hard to recruit geographic areas and will greatly increase the employer's flexibility.
c) Program expertise
The CBSA is a relatively new agency that came together from program areas of three complex legacy departments. Each of those departments functioned within a unique context, with specific legislative mandates and business processes. Since components of the legacy departments merged, it has become apparent that the inherited program expertise is at risk. As a result, there are several key program areas within the CBSA, such as immigration and food, plant and animal inspection that are particularly vulnerable to the erosion of program expertise.
The CBSA will undertake a comprehensive succession management program to deal with these key areas. The program areas will be formally identified, the skill sets and behaviours understood, and necessary training and development accessed. In the immediate term, mechanisms for exchanges with other departments, as well as other methods of knowledge transfer, including mentorship, will be identified and implemented.
Work will take place in the 2007-2008 fiscal year to address the needs identified above. The Human Resources Branch will take the lead on the creation of a framework for development/apprenticeship processes for specific shortage areas and branches will be able to tap into that framework.
d) Information technology
Environmental scans reveal that workforce requirements increasingly call for more "technology-savvy" workers and skilled project managers. As a leading science and technology-based organization, attracting and maintaining a highly skilled and capable workforce is critical to our success. Our existing and new systems will continue to use more advanced technologies to manage and deliver our border programs and provide the right information at the right time regarding travellers and goods entering Canada. More and more we will use tools and advanced technologies that will change the face of the border management and further enable "pushing the border out." Advanced technology and science is changing the way we do business. It is imperative that we have the critical professional skills and knowledge base to be able to develop, deliver and maintain advanced technology solutions for the future. It is also critical that we ensure our employees in the field have the essential skills and training to use these advanced systems and technologies, which will help in making our border not only safe, but also "smart."
We currently have a cadre of over 400 staff in the Computer Systems (CS) occupational group. Although there are some CS employees who are nearing retirement, overall it is a fairly young workforce. A key focus is retention and development of existing staff while at the same time expanding the existing workforce to address anticipated needs and targeting highly specialized advanced skills where there is currently a shortage. Significant recruitment of CS staff and gathering a thorough understanding of the impact of technology on field staff are currently underway.
A review of the National Capital Region resourcing work plan indicates that there will be no fewer than five processes for CS individuals at varying levels in the coming fiscal year, with projections that this level of recruitment will continue in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Processes are both internal and external, which indicates that the Agency is prepared to leverage the flexibility offered by the new Public Service Employment Act in its recruitment processes. This level of activity indicates that there is wide recognition that a full complement of well-trained and diverse IT professionals is mission critical, especially as the Agency continues to develop and implement leading-edge science and technology-based solutions and systems in support its mandate.
The science-based nature of the Agency also necessitates that we continue to nurture and enhance our capabilities in specific science and engineering areas.
The Agency will begin to enhance its understanding of how changes in technology will impact the skill sets of the broader workforce. This enhanced understanding will facilitate the effective recruitment, development and retention of staff required to support the ongoing shift in our approach to business. We will identify the skill sets and behaviours required to work in the increasingly information-intensive and science and technology-enabled world of border management, and as well identify the necessary support required for optimum performance and incorporate this into our workforce development activities.
e) Policy capacity
Given our business direction to build and leverage strong national, international and internal government relationships, we need to enhance the level of policy expertise within the Agency. There is a need for individuals who can research, analyze, and recommend on key policy initiatives, as well as ensure that suggested policy initiatives make sense in the field – and this skill set is unique. It consists of both professional preparation and specialized program skill and knowledge. The level of educational preparation for these positions is high and competition for individuals with these skill sets is severe. To meet this challenge, the Agency will initiate the creation of a recruitment, development and retention plan that will support our requirements for generic policy capacity.
5. Monitoring, Evaluating and Refining the Plan
Work on detailed action plans for each of the five identified priorities noted above will take place towards the end of the 2006-2007 fiscal year, with implementation to begin early in 2007-2008.
The final evaluation of the Plan, in relation to the identified priorities and related strategies, will take place early in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The results of the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey will serve as a yardstick against which to measure our progress in developing a fair, healthy and safe workplace and a principled, productive and adaptable workforce.
This document provides the highlights of a high-level plan, based on the gaps between the current state of HR at the CBSA and our future direction.
As the Agency works through the implications of each series of activities identified, there is an expectation that the Plan and associated interventions will evolve based on issues and needs as they are identified. There is an expectation that the act of developing the HR Plan within a volatile and expansionary environment will lead to several iterations, which will only increase the effectiveness of the process and the calibre of results.