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The long run effectiveness of national statistical offices depends on their ability to respond flexibly to changes in their environment. To this end, they must support analysis, innovation and experimentation, maintain a strong professional capacity, keep their operational infrastructure in a good state of repair, and remain responsive to client sponsored surveys. Organizational flexibility and responsiveness is greatly facilitated by the presence of effective internal services and infrastructure. The Internal Services program activity is comprised of management and technical sub-activities that support the department’s other program activities. These sub-activities are also subject to regular evaluation and renewal so as to maintain the department’s operational capacity in a high state of readiness.

Three priorities have been identified this year for this program activity, all funded through internal reallocation of resources generated by efficiency gains.² They are the Collection Modernization Initiative, Strengthening the Financial Management Function and the Official Languages Training Program.

² As a result of the Strategic Review, this capacity to reinvest efficiency gains to renew operational infrastructure will be maintained but at a reduced level over the next three years.

Internal Services (Program Activity 4)

Collection Modernization Initiative

Planned Spending
($ thousands)
Collection Modernization-Phase 1

Collection modernization consists of several key components which together, would provide collection operations with a robust infrastructure, along with new tools to facilitate the planning and management of a multi-mode, integrated collection platform for all bureau surveys. The above funding allows the development of Phase 1 and includes the creation of the following tools;

a) A single repository of both current and historical operational data, accessible by all partners, that serves as the data source for collection management, analysis and reporting.

b) A master controller that would manage the survey samples across collection modes and locations according to a predefined collection plan, as well as monitor progress. It would also provide the interface to allow operational managers to dynamically reallocate work in response to evolving operational situations.

c) Hardware and software bridges that would permit the existing collection modes and systems to remain independent. At the same time, this approach will provide a “plug and play” capability to allow for replacement of individual collection components and functionality. This new layer of infrastructure would avoid the “big bang” approach to replacing aging functionality.

The functionality that would be available at the end of Phase 1 would significantly improve the operation effectiveness of collection, and should be considered independent of Phase 2 in terms of costs and benefits.

Planned activities:
In 2008-2009 the project will provide benefits to collection operations for Departmental surveys by providing more information and tools for survey managers in the Regional Operations programs and client programs to actively manage collection in a more integrated approach:
  • A multi-mode, multi-site collection infrastructure will be available to social survey clients, without requiring a major re-investment in existing survey instruments.
  • Workloads will be more actively managed in real time, with up to date information, thereby improving planning, scheduling and workload balancing of surveys. Survey managers will have a single interface designed to provide operational reports that reflect a survey wide view across all collection efforts. As well, operational managers will have a view across collection locations in addition to a modal view.
  • A business continuity solution will be implemented in order to respond to an outage in any collection site. The transfer of workload to other locations could occur in a timely manner without loss of operational data.
  • The standardization and re-use of modular collection components will be significantly enhanced, as well as help simplify and make more generic, various operational processes within collection.

Financial Management Function (Program Sub Activity 4.4)

Planned Spending
($ thousands)
Strengthening the Financial Management Function

This initiative has four main components:

  1. Increase in Common Departmental Financial System (CDFS) Costs
  2. Treasury Board Policy Suite of initiatives
  3. Treasury Board Submissions and External Reporting
  4. Audited Financial statements Readiness

1) The Common Departmental Financial System (CDFS)

The CDFS is a comprehensive financial management and reporting system designed specifically for the use of federal government departments and agencies. It is a Web based user interface available on the Federal Common Intranet Network “GENet”. CDFS interfaces with internal departmental administrative systems and with the mandatory government wide suite of Central Systems.

Functional and technical experts at Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) manage and maintain CDFS on behalf of their clients by providing comprehensive client support, including a Help Desk service for problem resolution. PWGSC charges yearly user fees to its Cluster of clients to offset the cost of this service. The interface with CDFS is a pivotal component of our new Corporate Administrative Systems. Maintaining both CDFS as our external financial system, as well as our relationship with PWGSC, will allow the organization to continue to benefit from its investment in its new integrated corporate systems.

The costs for this service have increased by $285K since 2005-06 and are expected to increase significantly as PWGSC, the largest current user of the system, moves from CDFS to SAP. In 2008-09 Statistics Canada will become the largest user of the CDFS application and PWGSC will be moving to a full cost recovery model to offset the costs of maintaining their services.

2) Treasury Board Policy Suite Renewal Initiative

This is in response to the Office of the Comptroller General’s (OCG) Initiative for improved financial management and the Treasury Board Secretariat’s (TBS) Policy Suite Renewal Initiative. To address key OCG priorities for financial management and analysis to rigorously oversee all aspects of government spending, Statistics Canada will strengthen its financial management function so as to provide appropriate financial management frameworks, develop policies and make available guidance on financial controls. At the same time, TBS will review 52 financial policies and directives, which will require additional policy interpretation and implementation in Statistics Canada and the provision of clear internal procedures to ensure compliance.

3) Treasury Board Submissions and External Reporting Scope Increase

The government's transformational agenda, which seeks strengthened accountability and oversight, has resulted in a significant increase in the scope of the work for the Finance Branch. The work associated with preparing, negotiating and supporting Statistics Canada’s Treasury Board Submissions and External Reports such as the Annual Reference Level Update, as well as, the Main, and Supplementary Estimates has increased considerably over the last five years. In addition, new and emerging issues including Horizontal Reviews and the Management Accountability Framework have expanded the complexity of the Department’s external reporting requirements.

4) Audited Financial Statements Readiness

In March 2004, the Government announced its intention to make it mandatory that all Departments and Agencies produce Audited Financial Statements, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) within 5 years (2008/2009). To this end, Statistics Canada needs to ensure that appropriate financial management frameworks are in place and that policies, processes and other controls are established so as to support for the ongoing annual audit of financial statements. In addition, the Federal Accountability Act identifies key measures for reform, such as the expanded role of the Auditor General to “follow the money”, strengthening auditing and accountability within departments and the creation of a Parliamentary Budget Officer to provide independent financial analysis about the nation’s finances. These innovations will create additional analysis and reporting requirements.

The project will provide assurance to the Chief Statistician that the all necessary measures have been taken to ensure Ministerial accountability and that sign-off of departmental Financial Statements is supported by solid processes and controls.

Planned activities:
In 2008-2009, Statistics Canada will continue to move forward on all four activities listed above by increasing capacity in the Finance Branch to meet the challenges ahead.

Official Languages Training Program (Program Sub Activity 4.3)

Planned Spending
($ thousands)
Official Languages Training Program

As of April 2007, departments are fully accountable for language training delivery and the associated costs. The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) will only provide specialized language training for employees with learning disabilities (on a cost-recovery basis after March 2007). Statistics Canada must have a strategy to create and maintain an effective bilingual capacity and address the need for:

  • A significant level of statutory training as a result of non-imperative selection processes, both full-time and part time
  • Part-time career development training to help create future bilingual capacity
  • Language training to employees with learning disabilities
  • Language testing capacity to support staffing, training and planning future capability for bilingual service delivery.

Projections for Departmental statutory training needs for the next four years indicate that Statistics Canada will have 119, 109, 56 and 56 employees to train, respectively, between FY 2007 – 2011. The first group of 119 represents existing statutory employees that must be trained to meet the language requirements of their position. The remaining groups are future projections based on analysis conducted by Statistics Canada’s Business and Labour Analysts. It is expected that the need for statutory training will continue well beyond 2011, for example, employees (56) that will have been appointed in 2010/2011 will not have completed their training until at least the following year.

Under this plan, participation in the full-time training program would be limited to 60 statutory employees per year. This will enable the Department to respect the exemption period for the total number of statutory employees to be trained (e.g. 119 in 2007-2008) when adding the 2 year extension allowed under the Official Languages Exclusion Order.

Statistics Canada’s part-time program has contributed considerably to language training for statutory purposes. Since April 2004, more than 30 employees have reached the linguistic level of their position through part-time training only. Others, who had initially been enrolled in and completed a significant number of hours as part of a full-time training plan but who were unable to finish their training in this manner, have been able to achieve the level required by enrolling in part-time training. Part-time training has also been integrated into longer term training plans that include a mix of part-time and full-time.

Planned Activities:
In 2008-2009, all employees requiring statutory training would undertake part-time language training as soon as possible following their appointment, as per our current procedures. This helps ensure a maximum number of training hours can be subtracted from the full-time training required. It also enables employees with much shorter training plans to achieve the level required without having to undertake full-time training. It is anticipated that 150 employees per year could take advantage of statutory part-time training.

Statistics Canada – Organizational Structure and Program Activities, 2008-2009 Budgets

Minister of Industry
Chief Statistician
Program Activities
ACS* Social, Institutions and Labour Statistics
ACS Business and Trade Statistics
ACS National Accounts and Analytical Studies
ACS Analysis and Development
ACS Com-munications and Operations
ACS Informatics and Methodology
ACS Management Services
Vote-Netted Revenues
Economic Statistics
($ thousands)
Social Statistics
($ thousands)
Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics
($ thousands)
Total Planned Spending
($ thousands)
* ACS - Assistant Chief Statistician
Totals may differ within and between tables due to the rounding of amounts.