The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is proud of the progress it has made toward meeting its strategic outcome of "efficient and effective border management that contributes to the security and prosperity of Canada" and believes it has made great strides in the relatively short time span of three years since its creation in December 2003.
The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment conducted by the Treasury Board Portfolio (TBP) recognizes the advances made by CBSA in addressing a variety of management challenges.
Over the course of the year leading up to the 2005-06 MAF, CBSA responded to a number of recommendations and areas of concern that TBP raised as management priorities for the Agency in its first MAF assessment. For instance, we:
Despite these accomplishments, Agency management was aware that some areas for improvement remained. These were brought to the fore in the 2005-06 MAF assessment by TBP. Because of the time that has elapsed since the finalization in spring 2006 of the 2005-06 MAF assessment, a number of measures that have been implemented to address these areas, and the progress made against them, are not reflected in the document. We are pleased to report on this progress.
After seeking guidance from both the Office of the Auditor General and the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Agency has made tangible improvements in integrating information from its three legacy organizations (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency) to ensure that financial statements conform to Treasury Board Accounting Standards. The Receiver General / Treasury Board public accounts report card has not yet been received for the 2005-06 fiscal year, however, CBSA submitted all plates for the Public Accounts on time in accordance with the published schedule.
The MAF assessment encouraged CBSA to continue developing its Performance Reporting Framework to include a complete set of performance measures in respect of the Agency's Management, Resources and Results Structure/Program Activity Architecture. The Agency is currently in the process of refining its Program Activity Architecture and developing a complete set of related performance measures to support a fully developed Performance Reporting Framework.
The Agency began to build the foundation for an HR Planning process in 2005-06. In addition to the HR Planning training sessions delivered in the late fall of 2005 and early spring 2006, an HR Planning Guide and Toolkit was distributed to managers and HR advisors in mid-winter 2006. CBSA also has an active Planning Network Committee that meets regularly (bi-weekly), the mandate of which includes integration of the corporate, financial, and human resources planning processes in the Agency.
A human resources planning framework, based on the central agency model, was approved by senior management. An integrated process for human resources planning and operational business planning has been implemented. A succession planning process for executives has been launched.
CBSA also undertook a project to improve the quality of the HR data in its Corporate Administrative System. As this project is completed, one of the key improvements will be an enhanced ability to generate complex demographic reports providing such information as linguistic and gender profiles, retirement projections, and employment equity representation. These reports will greatly enhance our ability to ensure that our HR planning reflects the current and future needs of the organization.
A number of audits, including one by the Office of the Auditor General in early 2005, assessed CBSA's level of compliance with the Official Languages Act. In response to various findings and recommendations that will assist CBSA in improving the way it meets its obligations under the Act, CBSA has signed formal action plans with the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. To help satisfy commitments made under these plans, CBSA created a separate Official Languages Division in December 2005 and developed and approved an Official Languages Strategic Road Map. The Official Languages program was revamped to reflect four strategic priorities: policy development, education, language training and monitoring. A memorandum of understanding was signed with the Canada School of Public Service and language teachers have been placed on assignment in CBSA (cited as a best practice in the public service).
After the 2005-06 MAF assessment was finalized by TBP, the Agency completed its first Workforce Identification Campaign to determine the representation levels of the four employment equity groups. This voluntary survey obtained a response rate of over 80%. The results will allow CBSA to identify gaps between labour market availability and employee representation and ensure that our workforce is reflective of Canadian society. The National Union Management Employment Equity Committee was established and has met several times since 2005-06. Also, the Employment Equity employee advisory committees have been established and populated at the regional and national levels. All regions and HQ have identified an EE champion to promote the awareness of EE.
The Agency recognizes that effective and efficient public sector management is crucial to meeting the needs and expectations of Canadians and maintaining their trust and confidence in government. To this end, CBSA remains committed to working with the Treasury Board Portfolio to continue to identify and address management challenges and priorities and to ensuring we provide Canadians with the security and prosperity they deserve by means of the most modern, efficient, and effective border management regime possible.