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ARCHIVED - Official Languages Program in Organizations Subject to the Act: Appendix (Audit Guide) - March 1996


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APPENDIX A
- Definitions

Active offer
(Offre active)

indicating clearly and spontaneously to members of the public that services of comparable quality are available in the official language of their choice at designated offices and service points. In this context, reception in both official languages becomes particularly important. The public must feel that they have been given the choice of expressing themselves in either official language and that the office/service point is truly able to provide service in the official language of their choice. For example, the public should be greeted bilingually so that clients can choose the language in which they wish to express themselves and be served.

   

Automated system:
(Systme automatis)

for service to the public purposes, means an automated system made available to the public by a federal office or service point through which the public may obtain a service consisting of material or information originating with the institution; for language of work purposes, means a regularly or widely used automated system in a federal institution (including keyboards, instructions, manuals, managestional devices and other software) used for the processing and communication of data required or produced by a federal institutions after January 1, 1991 (this also applies to systems that are acquired but updated after the above date).

   

Bilingual position:
(Poste bilingue)

expression used in the Public Service to designate a position in which at least one duty requires the knowledge and use of both official languages. Some Crown corporations do not use the expression "bilingual position" but have duties which require the use of both official languages.

   

Central services:
(Services centraux)

internal services of a federal institution that are necessary for employees to carry out their job-related responsibilities, e.g. administrative, financial, legal, staffing, evaluation, audit and library services.

   

Communication:
(Communication)

includes any communication, whether written, verbal, visual, televised or electronic. The content and format must always reflect the equality of status of both official languages in federal institutions. Communications include signs, advertising, brochures intended for the public and for employees, publications and reports as well as information sessions and consultations.

   

Computer system:
(Systme informatique)

means any system and software used for communications purposes or to perform a task, for example, electronic mail,word processing software, computers and automated terminals, etc.

   

Conducive work environment:
(Milieu de travail propice)

work environment with an infrastructure that facilitates the use of both official languages and in which employees can work in the official language of their choice.

   

Equitable participation:
(Participation quitable)

a principle based on the concept that, regardless of their ethnic origin or first official language learned, English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians should have equal opportunities to obtain employment and advancement in federal institutions and, consequently, that the composition of the workforce of federal institutions should tend to reflect the presence of both linguistic groups in Canada, taking into account the characteristics of individual institutions, including their mandates, the public they serve and their location.

   

Imperative staffing:
(Dotation imprative)

applies to a bilingual position which must be staffed by a candidate who meets the language requirements of the position at the time of the appointment.

   

Language requirements:
(Exigences linguistiques)

means the essential language requirements in either official language or both official languages that enable employees to perform their duties in a manner which enables the institution to discharge its official languages obligations.

   

Nature of the office:
(Vocation du bureau)

this concept is used in respect of services whose nature is such that they must be provided in both official languages without referring to the level of demand; this includes notably offices providing various specific services that concern the health, safety or security of members of the public (for example, signage or the provision of first aid services), offices whose location makes it reasonable to provide services in both official languages (for example, in national parks or in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories) or offices that have a national or international mandate (for example, diplomatic missions and offices organizing events of national or international significance).

   

Personal services:
(Services personnels)

internal services which an institution provides to its employees as individuals, including pay and benefits services, health-related services, career guidance and counselling.

   

Regularly and widely used instruments:
(Instrument d'usage courant et gnralis)

common work tools: e.g. procedures manuals, policy manuals, guidelines, forms, questionnaires, etc., whether distributed electronically or on paper and produced by or on behalf of a federal institution. Can also include computer software.

   

Service point:
(Point de service)

a place where a service is provided in person, in writing, by telephone or by an automated system such as a counter, a video, a recorded message or a computer terminal.

   

Services provided to the travelling public pursuant to a contract:
(Services conventionns)

services, as described in the Official Languages Regulations, provided to the travelling public by third parties at federal airports, train stations and ferry terminals that must be in both official languages, at offices where there is significant demand. This includes, for example, restaurants, foreign exchange offices, duty-free shops, self-service equipment (banking machines), passenger screening and boarding services, public announcements and the provision of other information to the public, and carrier services.

   

Significant demand:
(Demande importante)

for a given federal office or service point, significant demand for services in English and French is determined using two types of rules:

  • rules of general application based primarily on census data (number and proportion) on the linguistic minority population;
  • rules governing certain specific services based primarily on the volume of demand in the minority language because for these services, the use of demographic data is not relevant.

APPENDIX B - Documents to be obtained at the beginning of the audit

As soon as possible upon beginning the audit, the auditors should contact those responsible for official languages in their institution in order to obtain the following documents:

  • Official Languages accountability framework;
  • letter of understanding between the Treasury Board and the department or agency or between the Treasury Board and the Crown corporation;
  • copy of the annual management report to the Treasury Board Secretariat required under the letter of understanding or the agreement;
  • up-to-date list submitted to the Treasury Board by the institution of its offices required to provide services in both official languages (including the National Capital Region) pursuant to the Official Languages Act and the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations;
  • language training plans;
  • internal policies and procedures;
  • complaints records and corrective measures taken or planned;
  • statistics and data derived from, among other sources, the Position Classification Information System (PCIS) and the Language Training Module (LTM), such as:
  • bilingual positions and the status of incumbents;
  • language training (hours of training and costs);
  • translation (costs);
  • bilingualism bonus;
  • reports on equitable participation, by region, by occupational group;
  • linguistic profiles of positions and incumbents;
  • others.
  • miscellaneous documents such as:
  • staffing (list of positions identified as bilingual, imperative appointments, etc.);
  • organization charts and position numbers; and
  • previous audit reports and follow-up of these reports.
  • list of widely used computer systems

Auditors are also encouraged to consult the Official Languages Information Network (OLIN) which contains all the relevant references with respect to official languages, including the Act, the Regulations, guidelines and circulars, as well as reports and statistics.


APPENDIX C - Legislation and main policies

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982;

The Official Languages Act, 1988;

The Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations, 1991;

The Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order and the related regulations;

The Treasury Board Official Languages Policies, Official Languages volume, Treasury Board Manual, June 1993; and

Other official languages policies are set out in other volumes of the Treasury Board Manual or in Treasury Board circulars:

  •  
  • Educational Allowances for the Children of Federal Employees, Chapter 7-3, Appendix B, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Employee Services
  •  
  • Treasury Board Directives for Deployment and Deployment Recourse, Chapter 1-7, Appendix A, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Human Resources
  •  
  • Appendix F, Official Languages, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Contracting
  •  
  • Annex A, Official Languages, Appendix C, Chapter 1, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Communications
  •  
  • Federal Identity Program, Chapter 2, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Communications
  • ALIGN="CENTER">
  • Official Languages and Information Technology, Chapter 2-1, Appendices A and C, and Standard number 5, Appendix A to Guidelines, Treasury Board Manual, Volume - Information Management

APPENDIX D - Principal Obligations of Federal Institutions Regarding Official Languages

I.    SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC

  •  
  • The Federal Institution must:

1. Communicate with the public in either official language:

  • at its head or central office (OLA, sec. 22);
  • at its offices in the National Capital Region (OLA, sec. 22);
  • at its offices in other regions of Canada or elsewhere where there is significant demand pursuant to the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations (OLA, sec. 22 and 23; Regulations);
  • in any circumstances prescribed by the Regulations where the nature of the office justifies it (OLA, sec. 24; Regulations);
  • in any circumstances prescribed by the Regulations where services to the travelling public are provided by a third party under contract (OLA, sec. 23; Regulations);
  • at any office of a federal institution, in Canada or elsewhere, that reports directly to Parliament on any of its activities (OLA, sec. 24).

2. Ensure that the services described in 1. are provided in both official languages where the services are provided by a third party on behalf of a federal institution (OLA, sec. 25).

3. Where a federal institution regulates organizations with respect to any of their activities in the areas of health, safety and security of the public, it must ensure, through its regulation of these organizations, wherever it is reasonable to do so, that the public can communicate with the regulated organizations and obtain services in both official languages (OLA, sec. 26).

4. Provide the services described in 1. and 2. effectively in both official languages (for example, at the required linguistic level, both with respect to written and oral communications (OLA, sec. 27).

5. Ensure that the services described in (1) and (2) are offered actively in both official languages by ensuring compliance with the following (OLA, sec. 28):

  • reception services, both telephone and in-person, are bilingual and the ensuing services are delivered in the caller's choice of language;
  • bilingual services are identified by the official languages symbol;
  • signs and notices are in both official languages; and
  • publications are available in either official language.

6. Use the media that will allow effective communication in each official language when communicating with the public in both official languages (OLA, sec. 30 and the letter clarifying the obligations set out in sections 11 and 30 of the OLA, May 6, 1991).

7. Ensure that the signs identifying all offices are in both official languages and that each language is given equal prominence (OLA, sec. 29).

8. Publish notices or announcements required or authorized by an Act of Parliament in at least one English-language and one French-language publication in each region concerned or, if such publications do not exist, publish these in both official languages in at least one publication in general circulation in the region concerned (OLA, sec. 11 and the letter clarifying the obligations set out in sections 11 and 30 of the OLA, May 6, 1991).

9. Provide any documents tabled in the Senate or House of Commons in both official languages (OLA, sec. 8).

10. Ensure that federal-provincial agreements which meet criteria set out in the Act are made in both official languages (OLA, sec. 10).

11. Ensure the respect of the equality of status of both official languages when a federal institution and a third party acting on its behalf, organizes, hosts or participates in fairs, exhibitions, competitions or games of national or international scope that are open to the general public (Regulations, paragraphs 10(b) and 10(c)).

12. Ensure that federal institutions providing grants or contributions to voluntary non-governmental organizations serving the public composed of members of both official language communities take the necessary measures to ensure that the recipients respect the spirit of the OLA.

II.     LANGUAGE OF WORK

  •  
  • The Federal Institution must:

1. Ensure that work environments are conducive to the effective use of both languages, so as to accommodate the use of either official language by its employees, in the following locations:

  • the National Capital Region;
  • New Brunswick;
  • certain parts of the Gasp Peninsula, Western Quebec and the Eastern Townships;
  • the Montreal Region; and
  • certain parts of Northern and Eastern Ontario (OLA, sec. 35).

2. In the regions described in 1.:

  • provide personal and central services, and regularly and widely used work instruments in both official languages, including regularly and widely used automated systems acquired or produced by the institution since January 1, 1991 (OLA, sec. 36);
  • ensure that supervisors, where it is appropriate to do so, are able to communicate effectively (for example, at the required linguistic level) in either official language with their subordinates in bilingual positions (OLA, sec. 36);
  • ensure that senior management as a whole is able to function in both official languages (OLA, sec. 36) and that managers have the necessary linguistic knowledge.

3. At offices of the institution in regions other than those described in 1., ensure comparable treatment of English as minority language and French as minority language, as well as comparable treatment of English as majority language and French as majority language (OLA, sec. 35).

4. Ensure that its head or central offices communicate in the language(s) of the office receiving the communication.

5. Ensure that every federal institution that has authority to direct, or provides services to (central agencies or common service organizations), other federal institutions accommodates the use of either official language by officers and employees of those institutions (OLA, sec. 37).

III.     EQUITABLE PARTICIPATION

  • The Federal Institution must:

1. While fully respecting the merit principle, ensure that all Canadians, both English-speaking and French-speaking, have equal opportunities to obtain employment and advancement in the institution (OLA, sec. 39).

2. Ensure that its staff tends to reflect the presence of the two official language communities in Canada, taking into account notably the institution's mandate, location and clientele (OLA, sec. 39).

IV.     MEASURES SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONAL BILINGUALISM

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS OF POSITIONS OR FUNCTIONS

  • The Federal Institution must:

1. Ensure that the language requirements of functions or positions are based on real requirements for communications with the public or with federal employees (OLA, sec. 91 and the letter of July 4, 1991 on section 91 of the OLA and hiring practices.

2. Ensure compliance with TBS policies on imperative and non-imperative staffing of bilingual positions.

A. Language Training

  • The Federal Institution must:

1. Give employees who meet the eligibility criteria in TBS policies access to language training at government expense.

2. Ensure compliance with TBS policies on language training.

B. Producing Texts in Both Official Languages

  • The Federal Institution must:
    • Ensure compliance with the TBS policies on the production of texts in both official languages.

C. BILINGUALISM BONUS

  • The Federal Institutions must:
    • Ensure compliance with the TBS policies on the bilingualism bonus.

Abbreviations

OLA: Official Languages Act

OLEEB: Official Languages and Employment Equity Branch of the Treasury Board Secretariat

Regulations: Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations

TBS: Treasury Board Secretariat


APPENDIX E - Obligations Specific To Certain Types Of Institutions

SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC (audit objectives to be developed)

1. Use of the media (sections 11 and 30 of the Official Languages Act; Chapter 1-5, Part I, Official Languages volume, Treasury Board Manual)

2. Documents tabled in the Senate and the House of Commons (section 8 of the Official Languages Act);

3. Treaties and agreements concluded with other States, and federal-provincial agreements (section 10 of the Official Languages Act)

4. Grants and contributions made to voluntary non-governmental organizations serving the public (Chapter 1-4, Part I, Official Languages volume, Treasury Board Manual)

5. Participation in events of national and international scope open to the general public (paragraphs 10(b) and 10(c) of the Official Languages Regulations and Chapter 1-3, Part I, Official Languages volume, Treasury Board Manual)

6. Regulatory authority in the area of public health and safety (section 26 of the Official Languages Act)

LANGUAGE OF WORK (audit objectives to be developed)

1. Communication between the offices of central agencies or common services organizations which have authority to direct other institutions or which serve them (section 37 of the Official Languages Act and Chapter 2-3, Part II, Official Languages volume, Treasury Board Manual)


APPENDIX F - Guide to Internet Use in the Federal Government - Section on the Use of the two Official Languages on the Internet

Issue

The Official Languages Act ensures respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada and the equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all federal institutions, including Crown corporations.

The circumstances in which federal offices using the Internet must provide their information in both official languages are set out below. This guidance reflects the requirements of the Official Languages Act and its Regulations.

Guidance

  • Offices required to serve the public in both official languages must ensure not only that information originating with them and put on the Internet as a service to the public is available in both official languages, but also that both official language versions of that information are posted on the Internet at the same time.
  • An office that is not required to serve the public in both official languages may put on the Internet in only one official language communications intended for the public in the area it normally serves but must indicate that these communications come from an office that does not have to provide services in both languages.
  • All communications put on the Internet must be identified by the bilingual departmental FIP signature or other institutional identification to identify the source of the communication (the FIP sets out principles regarding the order of the official languages in the signature as well as in other applications). As well, when an office must provide these communications in both official languages, the two languages must be presented in such a way that upon entry to the departmental site (e.g., WWW home page or gopher menu) it is clear to users that the presentation style gives equal treatment to each language. This can be done, for example, by presenting access instructions in both languages and then directing users to each separate language version through appropriate devices. See also the Federal Identity section of this guide.
  • An office required to serve the public in both official languages must ensure that, when it puts on the Internet material originating from another federal office, this material is presented in both official languages. Unilingual material originating with, or made available by, organizations other than federal institutions may be posted on the Internet by a federal office as material of possible interest to its clientele, as long as it does not alter the material and clearly indicates its non-federal source.
  • Official languages policy related to language of work requires regularly and widely used work instruments acquired or produced by or on behalf of a federal institution to be available in both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language of work. Thus, material placed on the Internet as this type of work instrument or as a central service to employees working in a bilingual region must be available in both official languages. Federal institutions should also ensure that regularly and widely used software for gaining access to material on the Internet can be used by employees in either official language in bilingual regions. In unilingual regions, this software should be available in the language of work of those regions.
  • Offices must ensure that, when communications to the public are put on the Internet by another person or organization on their behalf, these communications respect all official languages requirements that would apply if these offices were providing them.
  • Offices must ensure that the French version of any document that they put on the Internet includes any accents required in French. Employees required or entitled to use the French version of documents should also be able to view and print them with accented characters.