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Infrastructure Canada’s third Program Activity is Internal Services, which promotes excellence in program and corporate management in support of Infrastructure Canada’s priorities. Internal services consists of the following services: Information Technology, Information Management; Financial Management; Human Resources Management; Legal Services; Facilities/Asset Management; Internal Audit; Evaluation; Public Affairs/Communications; and Management and Oversight.
The Minister, supported by the Deputy Head, is responsible for ensuring that Government priorities are pursued through Infrastructure Canada.
Infrastructure Canada is well-positioned to support the Government of Canada’s goals of a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and more prosperous communities. Success requires all parts of the organization to recognize the complementary roles they play within the Portfolio, and their respective roles in supporting the Minister in his responsibilities toward Parliament and Canadians.
Infrastructure Canada continues to pursue several enhancements to various modern management practices within the overall MAF. This is consistent with its vision to deliver, under prudent stewardship, quality programs that generate results for Canadians.
Infrastructure Canada is working to develop and implement phase 2 of the Treasury Board Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) Policy. The MRRS is designed to improve reporting to Parliament, provide the basis to support improved decision-making, and support the horizontal management of government priorities. Phase 2 consists of the development of a performance measurement framework and the development of a governance structure for decision making in the department.
The performance measurement framework will help gauge the performance of all departmental activities and programs, identi-fying performance indicators, expected results and targets. The framework will help to provide more information in future RPPs and departmental performance reports. Development of the performance measurement framework is being led by a working group consisting of representatives from all departmental branches. Infrastructure Canada will also seek inter-departmental advice and expertise.
Infrastructure Canada also continues to respect Government of Canada administrative policies in such areas as proactive disclosure, public opinion research, and communications.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Infrastructure Canada has lead responsibility for the department’s financial management and control framework and is supported in this role by a strong working relationship with the Comptroller General of Canada.
As Infrastructure Canada moves forward with implementation of the Building Canada plan, discussions will continue with central agencies regarding the establishment of a stable ongoing funding base for the department. Other priorities include strengthening financial policies and procedures and establishing a new suite of internal controls to ensure sound financial management. The department will also be restructuring its shared services arrangements with its delivery partners to ensure that services and costs are aligned with evolving requirements.
The risk management function serves to continue to promote and advance the department’s Integrated Risk Management (IRM) initiative. In 2008-09, Infrastructure Canada will update the 2007 Corporate Risk Profile (CRP), monitoring progress in implementing CRP mitigation measures, and completing risk profiles for each branch. To build on the IRM experience developed throughout the government, the lead on the department’s risk management initiative will participate in the development of an IRM network.
Infrastructure Canada respects and supports the career aspirations of its employees. It seeks their opinions and celebrates their achievements. The success of the organization depends on a dedicated, well-trained and diverse workforce. Infrastructure Canada’s new Human Resources (HR) strategy focuses on public service renewal, and concentrates on the following six key areas to ensure that the department has the right people to deliver programs and serve its clients.
The Clerk of the Privy Council emphasizes the importance of human resources planning to successful recruitment and to the renewal of the public service. Infrastructure Canada’s corporate HR plan is in place, and managers will develop HR plans at the branch and division levels.
An important tool in developing effective HR plans is an accurate, responsive human resources reporting system. The department, therefore, is enhancing its use of the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) operated by Public Works and Government Services Canada. HRIS will help the department fulfill some of the reporting requirements under the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA), and will facilitate effective human resources planning by providing accurate and up-to-date employee information.
Another aspect of the PSMA that requires attention is the Informal Conflict Management System. Currently, Infrastructure Canada has an agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for those services, but there is a need to establish its own system.
The HR plans will set out strategies to hire the right employees at the right time. The department will avail itself of all the options and flexibilities allowed under the Public Service Employment Act, including, as appropriate, non-advertised appointments. Recruitment approaches will include:
As a small entity, Infrastructure Canada faces challenges in retaining employees and offering comprehensive career development opportunities. In an effort to find out why employees leave the department, Infrastructure Canada developed an exit interview and has contacted former departmental employees. The results will be analyzed and the lessons learned shared with senior managers, with the ultimate goal of developing corporate and branch retention strategies.
A corporate employee orientation program has also been implemented so that new employees feel welcome and understand where they fit in the department.
Employees need opportunities to develop their skills and expertise so that they can advance in their careers. In addition to leveraging public-service wide development programs, Infrastructure Canada will consider creating internal development programs for all occupational groups, beginning with those groups that have been identified as seriously under-staffed.
Learning plans help employees identify activities that will assist them in attaining their career goals. A realistic goal for the department is that 90% of its employees have learning plans within three months of starting in their current position. There will be a mid-year review of each plan, done by supervisors in consultation with their employees.
Infrastructure Canada has exceeded its employment equity (EE) targets in almost all areas. The department will review its EE goals in terms of current and future organizational needs and take steps to ensure that the EE plan contains measures to help the department meet or exceed all targets. Given the changing nature of the Canadian workforce, in particular the increasing number of Aboriginals and members of visible minorities entering the labour market, very careful monitoring will be required well into the future to ensure that the department continues to reflect Canada’s growing diversity.
In terms of official languages capacity, Infrastructure Canada has a highly regarded record, and has been cited for its progress in this area by the Canada Public Service Agency’s Official Languages Branch. The challenge for the department is to build on this work, while balancing the need for bilingual services with issues related to succession planning, employment equity, and bringing new recruits into the public service.
Public service values and ethics guide and support Infrastructure Canada’s employees in their professional activities, and serve to maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity of the public service. With the promulgation of the Federal Accountability Act and the Disclosure Act, there will be an increasing focus on values and ethics at all levels of the public service. Infrastructure Canada will, therefore, take all necessary measures to meet its obligations under both laws. As a first step, a departmental Code of Conduct will be developed.
Infrastructure Canada’s three-year plan for internal audits for 2007-08 to 2009-10 is summarized in Table 8 of the RPP, available electronically at the website of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rpp/2008-2009/info/info-eng.asp
An assurance audit of the adequacy and effectiveness of the management control framework of two infrastructure contribution programs – CSIF and BIF – was recently completed. The audit concluded that the CSIF and BIF contribution programs adhere to applicable legislation, policies and procedures. There are, however, weaknesses with respect to the monitoring, information for decision making, recruitment and retention of personnel and risk management that are impacting the management control framework of these programs. A management action plan addressing the recommendations formulated has been developed and approved by the departmental audit committee.
Audits expected to be initiated in 2008-09 include assurance audits of: the GTF and PTF management control frameworks; assurance audit of the management control framework of the Research, Knowledge and Outreach contribution program; information technology (IT) security; controls in place over HR data; and contracting and procurement.
A new Treasury Board audit policy with a three year phased implementation came into effect on April 1, 2006. Based on this policy and expected guidance from the Office of the Comptroller General, Infrastructure Canada will be further reviewing its roles, responsibilities, planned activities, and resource requirements for audit.
Infrastructure Canada’s evaluation function activities are increasing significantly, as some older infrastructure programs are scheduled to wind down and new programs are put in place (see Section III, Table 4 for details). The evaluations will provide useful information and lessons learned in order to guide the renewal of programs and the implementation of the new programs.
In 2007-08 Treasury Board allocated funding to improve Infrastructure Canada’s evaluation capacity. The department recruited new staff and is planning to continue to build its evaluation team to ensure that it has the capacity to deliver its evaluation plan.
Infrastructure Canada is committed to using information technology and information management products and services strategically to support its priorities. The Shared Information Management System for Infrastructure (SIMSI) is a secure, user-friendly, bilingual, web-based information management system that allows users to register projects online, monitor project status and access benefits and payment information. SIMSI is used as a key management tool by Infrastructure Canada and its federal and provincial partners in their oversight role for the current suite of infrastructure programs.
The main planned activities for 2008-09 related to SIMSI include the following:
In addition, the Information Management/Information Technology Directorate of Infrastructure Canada is implementing key stewardship processes in support of the Management Accountability Framework. These include a risk management process, key human resources processes, and detailed contract management processes. Compliance with the Management of Information Technology Security standards is being addressed with the creation of an IT Security group within the directorate responsible for ensuring all departmental applications and technical solutions are engineered within the standards. The Information Management group continues to work with program managers to ensure information management requirements are addressed early on in the design of new programs while monitoring and evaluating current requirements. Work to geographically reference projects supported by Infrastructure Canada will be completed in order to establish a standards-based baseline for project categorization, mapping and visualization.
The Communications Directorate of Infrastructure Canada informs a wide range of audiences about infrastructure funding and projects, and supports the department’s research program. Communications activities are coordinated and delivered with its portfolio partner, Transport Canada, as well as with regional development agencies, other federal partners, provincial, territorial and municipal governments and the private sector.
The Communications Directorate provides proactive media relations to support ministerial announcements and events. It also develops consistent communications approaches and products to increase awareness and understanding by Canadians of the federal role in meeting the country’s infrastructure challenges. As well, the directorate manages the on-line and phone query lines and the departmental and Building Canada websites.
Implementation of Building Canada will require communications support for agreements and project announcements, finalization of communications protocols for those agreements, partner agreements on project signage and implementation of a marketing program built around annual reporting to Canadians on the results of the plan.
Other functions of the directorate include outreach activities through participation in various conferences and forums to help raise awareness of federal infrastructure programs and departmental programs. For example, Infrastructure Canada plans to participate in municipal conferences, such as those of the FCM and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. The Communications Directorate also conducts media monitoring analysis to track current and emerging public issues and trends reported by the media as they relate to Infrastructure Canada’s policies, programs, services and initiatives. The directorate also uses public environment research to help ensure that the views of Canadians contribute to formulating policy and programs approaches. The findings of this research will support policy development initiatives and related communications strategies.
For more information, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or contact Infrastructure Canada at:
90 Sparks Street
National information line on infrastructure: 613 948-1148
Telephone toll free: 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232)
For more information on the Building Canada plan, visit www.buildingcanada.gc.ca