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Minister’s Message

The Honourable Rona Ambrose

It is my pleasure to present Shared Services Canada’s 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities. This report outlines the new Department’s priorities for its first year.

Shared Services Canada (SSC) is renewing the Government of Canada’s information technology (IT) infrastructure to help modernize our operations. SSC’s whole-of-government approach is enabling IT infrastructure improvements which will underpin modern programs and services that are more secure, cost-effective and accessible for Canadians.

Maintaining and improving existing levels of service to our government partners will be this year’s primary focus for SSC. Through the initiation of our ambitious multi-year plans, however, we will also begin to build the solid foundation upon which our operations will be renewed in order to meet the changing needs of tomorrow’s public service.

In the course of implementing those plans, our transformative projects will see a consolidation and standardization of the government’s email systems, data centres and networks. For 2012-13, we will identify a single email solution and initiate a competitive procurement process. During this year we will also ensure the operational integrity of current data centre and network operations and develop our strategies to consolidate data centres and rationalize our networks and telecommunications.

The establishment of SSC signalled a new approach to the management of IT. With the launch of SSC, we are taking a major step forward in the modernization of how the public service operates. In the process, we are fully harnessing the power of IT, taking advantage of technological change and improving security across the government enterprise. In all our activities, we will be leveraging public and private sector best practices and, wherever possible, will be looking at ways to take advantage of the government’s buying power to contribute to returning the government to balanced budgets.

Through our efforts in 2012-13 and in years to come, I am confident that our new department will significantly contribute to improving the delivery of programs and services to Canadians, as well as to the sound management of the resources that they have entrusted to us.

The original version was signed by
Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Works and Government Services and
Minister for Status of Women

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

Shared Services Canada (SSC) is a federal department created on August 4, 2011, to fundamentally transform how the Government of Canada manages its information technology (IT) infrastructure. SSC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and will deliver mandated email, data centre and network services to its partner organizations in a consolidated and standardized manner to support the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services. SSC will also provide certain optional technology related services to government organizations on a cost-recovery basis.

With a whole-of-government approach to IT, SSC will create economies of scale to deliver more efficient, reliable and secure IT infrastructure services to Government of Canada departments.


SSC’s Opportunity

SSC was created to fundamentally change how the federal government manages its IT infrastructure in order to better support the delivery of programs and services to Canadians. SSC has launched a new and innovative approach to deliver a technology platform for a 21st century public service — one that is modern, reliable, secure and cost–effective.

Traditionally, the government’s infrastructure has been managed in silos, with each department establishing the services that it required to conduct its business. Over the years, that infrastructure became increasingly fragmented, as well as costly to manage and maintain. Duplication, unnecessary diversity and inefficiency resulted. Today, the government has over 100 different, largely incompatible email systems. Across the country it operates over 300 data centres and their use is not rationalized; some function well below capacity while others are struggling to meet the demand. Additionally, the government supports over 3,000 overlapping and uncoordinated electronic networks. Clearly, the status quo is not sustainable.

SSC’s ambitious plans for the provision of enterprise-wide IT services represent an eight-year journey that will yield better value for money and a more robust service backbone for modern government operations. These plans are founded on proven models from other public-sector jurisdictions and industry.

Governments and private-sector companies alike have demonstrated that streamlining and consolidating in the areas of email, data centres and telecommunications lead to substantial service improvement and efficiencies. For example, the government of British Columbia began its consolidation in 2002 and reduced the number of its data centres from over a hundred to two data centres by 2011. As a result, its data centre energy costs alone are expected to be 50% lower. The government of Ontario reports that at maturity, its IT consolidation is saving $100 million annually, which represents 10% of total IT spending and between 20% and 25% of IT infrastructure spending.

By learning from the lessons of other shared services organizations and leveraging their best practices, SSC is establishing a model and setting a pace that will deliver increased efficiency, better quality and service excellence to the Government of Canada. With a focus on service and quality, SSC will be purposeful in its investments, relentlessly pursuing common standards and efficiencies. Furthermore, the consolidation of IT services and assets will strengthen the government’s efforts to reliably and securely protect the information of Canadians. Building security into new infrastructure from the outset and collaborating with partners will help the government to better understand cyber threats and mitigate attacks.

The creation of SSC also presents an unprecedented opportunity to bring the government’s best and brightest IT talent together to form one Government of Canada "IT bench". The combined and complementary abilities will lead to more coordination and collaboration, and will result in more integrated approaches and solutions.

SSC represents an intersection of need and opportunity. SSC is supporting effective government operations by delivering horizontal, enterprise-wide improvements to IT infrastructure that supports modern Government of Canada programs and services, and makes them more integrated, efficient and accessible for Canadians.

SSC’s Mandate and Responsibilities

SSC is mandated to simultaneously operate and transform the government’s IT infrastructure. Under the umbrella of that dual authority, SSC is responsible for providing its partner organizations with modern, reliable and secure IT infrastructure services that are cost-effective and which contribute to a greener government. In the process, it is building a new organization from the ground up.

From an operational perspective, SSC is stabilizing IT service delivery across the Government of Canada. With a focus on business continuity, it is maintaining existing service levels while working to improve them. SSC is supporting a significant number of projects in cooperation with its partners which will both modernize and streamline today’s IT operations. This is delivering early results, facilitating SSC’s contribution to the government’s deficit reduction efforts, and enabling it to plan and build capacity to take on the larger, more complex transformative initiatives.

In 2012-13, SSC will be launching the renewal of the Government of Canada’s IT infrastructure. Working collaboratively with its partners, SSC is identifying an email solution and developing initial plans to consolidate data centres and networks in a whole-of-government approach. Additionally, as a key security services delivery organization, SSC will work collaboratively with other cyber-security agencies to enhance information security across the Government of Canada in order to support the implementation of federal government’s new cyber-security strategy.

SSC will take advantage of every opportunity to work with partners to fulfill its mandate and realize its objective of improving delivery of services to Canadians in a secure, reliable and integrated manner. Partner departments and agencies have developed many innovative processes, principles and tools over the years and SSC will mine that expertise and leverage best practices. Collaborating and maintaining an open, transparent and meaningful dialogue with industry on IT modernization will also be a critical component of SSC’s success. SSC has mapped an engagement process that focuses on developing a sustainable and substantive relationship with the private sector.

As a new department, SSC is creating a dynamic corporate culture – one that builds on a broader public service ethos to embrace innovation as part of its brand. Supporting and challenging SSC employees is central to that undertaking. Working together, as a community, SSC will deliver service excellence, innovation and value for money as it builds a modern, reliable and secure IT platform for the Government of Canada.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

SSC’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA), as approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, supports the achievement of the following strategic outcome: Mandated services are delivered in a consolidated and standardized manner to support the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services for Canadians.

The current PAA is an interim structure that will be reviewed and refined in future fiscal years. In addition to Internal Services, a single Program Activity supported the immediate establishment of SSC in 2011-12 and enabled SSC to be included in the 2012-13 Main Estimates.

SSC is committed to participate in the 2013-14 amendment process which will add more detail to the PAA. In the interim, two concepts, Operate and Transform, are embedded in the PAA architecture in order to reflect the nature of the activities required to achieve the strategic outcome.

Program Activity Architecture

[text version]

Organizational Priorities

SSC has identified the following four priorities for 2012–13.

Priority #1 Type1 Program Activity

Maintain and improve the delivery of IT infrastructure services to the Government of Canada through an enterprise approach.


Efficient and effective IT infrastructure services are delivered across the Government of Canada


Why is this a priority?

Government of Canada IT operations enable and support the delivery of programs and services upon which Canadians depend. For the first time, an enterprise approach will be applied to IT infrastructure and network operations. The focus will be on providing and improving support to government programs and services.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Maintain IT operational integrity and business continuity:
    • Adopt an enterprise approach to monitoring IT operations; and
    • Identify and focus on support to mission-critical systems.
  • Improve IT service delivery:
    • Standardize, optimize and implement enterprise incident management, problem management and change management processes;
    • Enhance IT infrastructure and network operations governance, and facilitate decision-making at the enterprise level;
    • Align and develop the SSC operations team by establishing functional and regional portfolios;
    • Identify horizontal, enterprise opportunities to improve IT services; and
    • Identify opportunities to standardize IT architecture.
  • Streamline IT infrastructure and networks:
    • Maximize use of existing IT infrastructure to optimize storage of data and identify further optimization opportunities;
    • Implement standardized government-wide processes to optimize IT assets;
    • Dispose of unused telephone devices and lines;
    • Identify opportunities to modernize telephone equipment;
    • Identify opportunities to leverage and modernize videoconferencing services for the enterprise; and
    • Identify opportunities to optimize networks.
  • Enable and support program and business transformation projects:
    • Develop strategic relationships and complementary governance mechanisms with partners to support program operations and business transformation; and
    • Continue to implement IT projects inherited from our partners and work closely with them to identify consolidation opportunities.
  • Enhance IT security
    • In collaboration with our cyber security partners, identify standards, develop architecture, enhance service delivery, and identify IT infrastructure protection opportunities consistent with the implementation plans of the government’s new cyber-security strategies;
    • Work with our partners to validate disaster recovery capability for mission critical systems;
    • Work with Treasury Board Secretariat and our partners to develop an enterprise view of disaster recovery and business continuity; and
    • Identify opportunities to remove barriers between departments to improve the effectiveness of IT security.

1There are three types of priorities: previously committed to – (committed to one or two fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report); ongoing – (committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report); and new – (newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR).

Priority #2 Type Program Activity

Launch the renewal of the Government of Canada’s IT infrastructure.

  • Identify an email solution; and
  • Develop initial plans to consolidate data centres and networks in a whole-of-government approach.


Efficient and effective IT infrastructure services are delivered across the Government of Canada


Why is this a priority?

The government currently runs 100 different email systems for its employees. It operates over 300 data centres across the country, which store data and computing equipment for departments. Across Canada today there are thousands of network connections and firewalls in government buildings that link together hundreds of thousands of users and devices. Engineered in silos, the overlap has created barriers to collaboration and productivity. This duplication and lack of coordination leads to inefficiencies and sub-optimal service delivery.

Plans for meeting the priority


  • Assess the current inventory of email systems and confirm requirements with partner organizations; and
  • Identify an enterprise-wide email solution in preparation for transition and implementation planning phases beginning in the next fiscal year.

Data Centres:

  • Complete the assessment of data centres, data centre infrastructure, and business uses of the infrastructure; and
  • Develop a strategy for data centre consolidation.


  • Complete the assessment of existing IT networks and telecommunications; and
  • Develop a strategy for telecommunications transformation and IT network consolidation.

Priority #3 Type Program Activity

Establish governance mechanisms and implement partnerships to clarify accountability, and adopt enterprise approaches for the management of IT infrastructure services.


Efficient and effective IT infrastructure services are delivered across the Government of Canada


Why is this a priority?

SSC has inherited an amalgam of IT infrastructure from 43 partner organizations. This necessitates the establishment of appropriate governance mechanisms to engage departments in order to clarify accountability and adopt enterprise approaches for the management of IT infrastructure. These activities directly support the realization of more efficient and effective IT infrastructure service delivery to the Government of Canada.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Establish external advisory committees to advise SSC on IT infrastructure operations and renewal;
  • Implement a partnership framework that clarifies the roles and responsibilities assumed by SSC and its partners;
  • Engage departments on SSC service delivery and performance;
  • Establish effective outreach to IT communities of interest across the Government of Canada and the external stakeholder community; and
  • Be transparent with partners by reporting performance regularly.

Priority #4 Type Program Activity
Implement efficient and effective business management processes and services in support of the SSC mandate. New Internal Services

Why is this a priority?

As a new department, SSC brings together resources from 43 partner organizations into a single entity. SSC must adopt best practices and implement administrative processes and services that are sound, efficient and effective for the operation of a new organization that must meet the needs of a diverse and complex client and stakeholder community.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Deploy business systems for resource management;
  • Implement corporate policies to support sound management;
  • Develop a human resources strategy for effective workforce management;
  • Develop a departmental investment plan;
  • Develop a corporate performance measurement framework;
  • Refine the PAA;
  • Identify opportunities to consolidate accommodations for employees and initiate the development of a long-term accommodation plan;
  • Create platforms to support virtual teams and leverage contributions from regional staff;
  • Establish efficient internal services modelled after leading practices in the public and private sectors;
  • Identify procurement and contract consolidation opportunities;
  • Develop a communications strategy to engage stakeholders; and
  • Establish a Departmental Audit Committee to provide effective oversight.

Risk Analysis

As a new department, SSC is aware of the magnitude of the challenges it faces and the associated risks. Our first priority is operational stability – maintaining and improving the delivery of IT services to the Government of Canada through an enterprise approach. This includes identifying and managing the risks that can represent threats to information security, business continuity and disaster recovery.

History has demonstrated that execution of IT projects can carry high risk. Whether developing applications or consolidating infrastructure, there is associated risk. SSC is putting in place rigorous management processes that will help to mitigate risks with its infrastructure consolidation and renewal initiatives and which will provide the ability to adjust quickly. The organization will closely monitor project progress to support continuous alignment of priorities, plans and delivery.

SSC is building an entire department from the ground up. SSC employs a highly skilled workforce of approximately 6,700 employees dispersed across almost every Government of Canada workplace in Canada. Other jurisdictions and private sector organizations have emphasized how important it is to pay special attention to human resources and the development of a positive organizational culture in times of significant transformation. That is why SSC has focussed particular attention on the transition of its people to the new organization, the manner in which they are deployed within the organization and their alignment with mandated initiatives. SSC recognizes that its employees are an invaluable resource and has committed to a range of activities that include establishing effective Human Resources structures and placing an emphasis on strong talent management throughout the Department.

Given SSC’s extensive transformation mandate, which has an impact on financial resources, the organization recognizes the risks that implementation entails. Through its ongoing, proactive engagement with partners and stakeholders, SSC will appropriately size, structure and judiciously manage its transformation initiatives. SSC will closely monitor all projects with a focus on management excellence and will proactively manage all risks. By honouring its commitments to partners and delivering service improvements, SSC will build a reputation of service excellence.

Further assessment of key risks, their likelihood and the impact on the organization will be developed within a corporate risk profile under an Integrated Risk Management Framework which has been identified as a priority during the first year of operation.

Planning Summary

Financial Resources ($ millions)

  Planned Spending
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Gross Expenditures 1,842 1,446 1,434
Less Respendable Revenue (368)    
Net Expenditures 1,474 1,446 1,434

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
6,700 6,700 6,700

Figures in the table above do not include certain DFAIT staff, Canadian Forces military personnel, and RCMP civilian members who are engaged in the delivery of IT infrastructure services on our behalf. At this time, there is insufficient information to determine exact numbers, or the split between the IT Infrastructure Services program activity and Internal Services.

Strategic Outcome: Mandated services are delivered in a consolidated and standardized manner to support the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services for Canadians.
Performance Indicators Targets
Performance indicators are currently under development and will be presented in the 2012-13 Departmental Performance Report (DPR). Performance targets are currently under development and will be presented in the 2012-13 Departmental Performance Report.

Planning Summary Table
($ millions)
Program Activity Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
Efficient and effective IT infrastructure services are delivered across Government of Canada. 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 Well managed and efficient government operations.
Gross Expenditures 1,627 1,231 1,221
Less Respendable Revenue (368)    
Net Expenditures 1,259 1,231 1,221
Human Resources      
Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) 5,550 5,550 5,550

Planning Summary Table
($ millions)
Program Activity Planned Spending
Internal Services 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Gross Expenditures 215 215 213
Less Respendable Revenue      
Net Expenditures 215 215 213
Human Resources      
Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) 1,150 1,150 1,150

Expenditure Profile

SSC’s mandate includes the objective to deliver savings in IT Infrastructure services for the medium term. Planned spending will decrease over the next three years by $40M as the department anticipates savings in the short term, with further reductions planned beyond this.

Guidelines for the Report on Plans and Priorities instruct departments to provide a graphical trend depiction of spending for a total of seven fiscal years: three fiscal years of actual (historical) spending, one fiscal year of forecast spending, and three fiscal years of planned (future) spending. SSC is a new department and can only report on planned spending. Given that the resulting graph is missing four of the seven fiscal years, and cannot depict a trend, the graph has not been provided in this initial Report on Plans and Priorities.

Forecast spending for 2011-12 in the amount of $968 million is not reflected in the SSC Report on Plans and Priorities as this amount is currently embedded within the planned spending of the 43 partner organizations. Planned spending for 2012-13 includes an appropriation of $1,474 million and respendable revenues (vote netted revenues) of $368 million. Figures for 2013-14 and beyond include appropriations only as the department currently has no vote-netted revenue authority beyond 2012-13.

Revenue is derived from two sources. The primary source of revenue is the delivery of mandatory services and optional services, including IT security, to the partner organizations. The second source of revenue is derived from the delivery of these same services on a cost-recovery basis to departments and agencies other than the partner organizations.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational appropriations, please see the 2012–13 Main Estimates publication.