Audit of the Official Languages

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Audit Report

Project # 09/10 01-06

Prepared by
the Audit and Evaluation Directorate

February 2011

Table of Contents

1.0 Summary

1.1 Audit Objectives

The audit project objectives are to determine the degree to which Canadian Space Agency (CSA) practices with respect to official languages comply with the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the official languages policies and directives of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and to assess the management framework for the CSA's Official Languages Program (OLP).

1.2 Audit Opinion

In our opinion, the existing management framework for the official languages is well controlled. Overall, the CSA complies with the OLA and with TBS policies and directives concerning official languages and its OLP management framework is appropriate.

1.3 Statement of Assurance

As Chief Audit Executive, I am of the opinion that sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support the opinion contained in this report. This opinion is based on a comparison of the conditions as they existed at the time of the audit against previously established audit criteria approved by management. The opinion is applicable only to the entity examined.

1.4 Summary of Findings and Recommendations

We found that overall, the workplace is conducive to the use of both official languages and that it fosters the vitality of as well as the development and recognition of official languages. The CSA also makes active offers of service to the public in both official languages and addresses members of the public in the official language of their choice.

We also found that the CSA has adopted an organization strategy, set up an accountability framework, drafted policies and guidelines, and implemented action plans, procedures for promoting Official Languages Program visibility, human resource management practices in the area of official languages, and monitoring and accountability reporting procedures.

However, we found some potential for improvement in the following areas:

Given that the CSA headquarters is located in a unilingual French region (St. Hubert) and that the David Florida Laboratory (DFL) is located in a bilingual region (Ottawa), we presented in a distinct paragraph, a recommendation that applies solely to the DFL.

Headquarters (St. Hubert) and DFL (Ottawa)

  • The CSA should ensure that it meets its obligations with regard to active offer of service in both official languages for the telephone service at the St-Hubert headquarters and the DFL as well as in the DFL reception area.
  • The CSA should set up procedures for handling complaints from the public and employees.
  • The CSA should increase its employees' awareness of
    • their rights and obligations with respect to official languages; and
    • the principles followed at the CSA with regard to the use of both official languages in email.
  • The CSA should
    • give additional consideration to installing a bilingual interface in Livelink; and
    • ensure compliance with the order in which the two official languages must be displayed with regard to the names of directories created in Livelink (i.e., French first, English second).
  • The CSA should conduct a new survey of its employees and include a question about freedom to draft documents in the official language of their choice. Such a question would disregard obligations under the OLA and the answers would be analysed per sector. There should also be a question to determine employee satisfaction in regard to freedom to use the official language of their choice in meetings. An action plan for each sector should be drawn up on the basis of this survey.
  • The CSA should consider the needs of Francophones for training in scientific fields and, if necessary, take measures to take official languages obligations into account in that regard.
  • The CSA should ensure that official languages action plans are disseminated to all employees.

DFL (Ottawa)

  • The CSA should meet with Francophone DFL employees in order to accurately determine their dissatisfaction with use of the language of work of their choice and implement necessary measures to increase their level of satisfaction.

Signature of the Chief Audit Executive

Member of the Audit team

  • Louis Martel, BAA

2.0 Audit Report

2.1 Background

The first Official Languages Act came into force in 1969 and established the equal status of English and French in all institutions of Parliament and the Government of Canada. The position of Commissioner of Official Languages (COL) was also created pursuant to this Act.

In 1988, the Official Languages Act was amended considerably. The Official Languages Act and Regulations, adopted in 1991, gave effect to the rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms adopted in 1982, and established criteria for the use of official languages in communications with the public and in the delivery of services to the public and to federal public servants.

In 2005, the Official Languages Act was amended again in order to remind federal institutions of their responsibilities to take constructive measures to support the development of official language communities and promote linguistic duality.

The primary objectives of the Official Languages Program are to deliver quality services to the public through institutional bilingualism, create and maintain a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages, and provide English and French speaking Canadians with equal opportunities for employment and advancement in federal institutions.

2.2 Audit Objectives, Scope and Approach

Objectives:

The audit project objectives are to determine the degree to which Canadian Space Agency (CSA) practices with respect to official languages comply with the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the official languages policies and directives of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and to assess the management framework for the CSA's Official Languages Program (OLP).

Scope:

The audit was conducted from July 2010 to February 2011. We used the audit evidence available during this period to formulate our opinion and draft our recommendations.

Method:

The audit included various audit procedures, including a review of internal and external documents, a review of internal and external surveys, a review of previous external audits, observations, tests, questionnaires and interviews. The audit criteria were established in accordance with the Official Languages Act, a TBS Audit Guide of the Official Languages Program management and best practices.

2.3 Findings, Recommendations and Management's Response

2.3.1 Objective 1

Determine the degree to which CSA's practices comply with the Official Languages Act and with policies, procedures and guidelines set out in the TBS's Official Languages Policy Framework.

Criterion 1.1: Communications with the public and delivery of services comply with Part IV of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that an active offer of service in both official languages and in the prescribed order is made, that members of the public are served at all times in the official language of their choice and that service for the public is of comparable quality in either official language.
Condition

The CSA has internal policies that comply with the OLA and TBS policies and directives that serve as a basis for greetings and services offered to the public in both official languages.

In general, management monitors and promotes the practice of making active offers of service to the public in both official languages, except in the following cases:

Greeting the public

Except for the assessment conducted by the TBS in 2003, the CSA has not conducted any other assessment of active offers of service made over the telephone, either at Headquarters or at the DFL.

The CSA has not conducted any assessment of active offers of service made to persons coming to the DFL.

We found in our tests and observations that

  • Greetings to members of the public arriving at the gatehouse of the Shirleys Bay Campus and even in the DFL reception area were not always made in both official languages.
  • The official languages symbol was displayed on the Shirleys Bay Campus gatehouse, but was not visible in the DFL reception area. However, as soon as DFL management was made aware of the situation by the audit team, the appropriate corrective actions were taken.
  • The voice mail greeting messages of some employees in bilingual positions are not in both official languages, either at Headquarters or at the DFL.

Service to the public

Except for the assessment conducted by the TBS in 2003, the CSA has not conducted any other assessment of service offered over the telephone, either at Headquarters or at the DFL

The CSA has not conducted any assessment of service offered to persons coming to the DFL

We found in our tests and observations at both Headquarters and the DFL that the service offered to members of the public coming in person was made in both official languages and that the quality of communications in both official languages was comparable. Signage (other than the official languages symbol) is bilingual, of similar size and visible in either official language.

Cause

Greeting the public

  • The deficiency found in the DFL reception area can be explained as follows: this is not an official reception area; the language profile for the receptionist position is not identified in and subject to official languages policies; and the employee was not made aware of his obligations to make active offer of service in both official languages.
  • As for the greeting messages of voice mails, this is a non compliance with the official languages policy that could be due to a lack of awareness among employees regarding their responsibilities in this regard.

Information in the DFL reception area

  • All visitors arriving at the Shirleys Bay Campus gatehouse are directed to the DFL building, where a DFL employee comes to greet them and then accompany them to rooms in the DFL.
  • A pilot project was carried out recently at the DFL to assess the possibility of setting up a proper reception area for the greeting of visitors. The reception area is currently under construction and this may explain why the Official Languages sign was not visible.
Effect Non compliance with the CSA's internal official languages policy and consequently with the OLA.
Recommendation
  1. The CSA should ensure that it meets its obligations with respect to active offer of service in both official languages made over the telephone at Headquarters in St-Hubert and at the DFL as well as in the DFL reception area.
Identified Responsibility Organization Human Resources Directorate and Security and Facilities
Function Chief Human Resources Officer and Director, Security and Facilities
Management Response DFL: On November 23, 2010, the Official Languages Adviser sent to the DFL's manager of office operations and facilities an information pamphlet that could be used to make DFL reception area commissionaires more aware of their obligation regarding the active offer of service in both official languages to members of the general public either arriving at the DFL in person or contacting the DFL by telephone. A sign bearing the active offer of service symbol was also sent to the manager so that it could be installed in a visible location in the DFL reception area. The manager of office operations and facilities confirmed in a return email that these measures had been implemented on January 5, 2011.
Management Action Plan Details of action plan
  1. Make all CSA employees in bilingual positions more aware of the importance of recording bilingual messages in their voice mail and of appropriate ways of recording said messages.

    Timetable: June 2011

  2. Carry out a satisfaction survey of members of the public who arrive in the DFL reception area once construction is completed.

    Timetable: Once a year at the same time that a satisfaction survey is conducted in the reception area in St-Hubert (February-April)

Criterion 1.1: Communications with the public and delivery of services comply with Part IV of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 2 Ensure that the public is satisfied with the official language in which CSA services are provided to them.
Condition

Based on surveys carried out at Headquarters by the CSA, our conclusion is that the clientele is satisfied with the use of official languages. In fact, no members of the public have filed complaints in recent years.

Handling of complaints

It should be noted that the CSA does not have a policy or procedure for handling complaints and no documentation was found in house. The CSA does have an informal dispute management system, which could cover employees' complaints regarding official languages, but not those filed by the public.

Survey

We found that no survey had been done in the DFL reception area.

Cause

Handling of complaints

The CSA does not have policies and procedures for handling complaints because of the low risk posed by its mandate and the type of work that it does. Because the CSA does not provide services to the general public in the same way as a department delivering social programs, it is less vulnerable to receiving complaints from the public.

Guidelines for the handling of official languages related complaints from employees or the public have not been implemented because the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (COL) has begun a review of its complaint management procedures in order to make them more informal. In October 2010, the CSA also obtained a COL presentation that outlined its new method of operating.

Survey

A survey has not been carried out in the DFL reception area because there is no official reception area, as previously mentioned.

Effect

Handling of complaints

Owing to the lack of documentation, it is not possible to verify compliance with complaint handling procedures.

Survey

Because no survey has been done in the DFL reception area, it is not possible to determine the public's level of satisfaction with services received and to take corrective action, if required.

Recommendation

In regard to surveys, Recommendation #1 applies to services offered to members of the public who come to the DFL in person. (Criterion 1.1, Sub-criterion 1)

  1. The CSA should establish procedures for handling complaints from the public and from employees in order to

    • Prevent recurrences of the problems observed;
    • Follow up on complaints until they are fully dealt with; and
    • Make the entire organization aware of corrective measures taken.

    These procedures should be in writing, approved by senior management and disseminated to CSA employees.

Identified Responsibility Organization Human Resources Directorate
Function Chief Human Resources Officer
Management Response In agreement with this best practice
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

Establish procedures for handling complaints from the public and from employees that are approved by senior management and disseminated to CSA employees.

Timetable: March 2012

Criterion 1.2: The language of work complies with Part V of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that the workplace is conducive to the use of both official languages.
Condition

We found that the CSA has an internal policy on official languages that pertains to services to employees, communication with employees, and work tools and computer systems. The policy complies with the OLA and with TBS policies and directives.

The CSA uses appropriate and sufficient means to ensure that employees are aware of their language obligations and the Agency's internal policies.

The CSA's internal policies and guidelines applicable to the regular and widespread use of computer systems include provisions relative to official languages.

We found that the CSA has the capacity to provide its services in both official languages, however a few shortcomings were noted.

Use of both official languages in the workplace

We found that employee supervision is governed by an internal policy that complies with the OLA and with TBS policies and directives. The language profile of supervisory positions is such that employees are able to choose the official language of their choice. The choice of official language used for supervision and for performance appraisals complies with the choice of official language of employees in bilingual positions and with the official language in which duties must be performed.

Employee services (e.g., pay and benefits) and centralized services (e.g., administration, finance, computer services) are provided and available in both official languages and are of comparable quality in either official language.

Senior management uses both official languages in meetings with employees, but for some employees, there is not a balanced use of French and English.

Training

Training is dealt with in detail under Criterion 2.1, Sub-criterion 1, where you will also find a related recommendation.

Documentation and communications

Documentation posted for employees on the CSA intranet site complies with the OLA.

The documentation from units providing employee and centralized services is of comparable quality in either official language.

Documents from management that are intended for employees (e.g., work plans, meeting agendas, minutes of meetings and memoranda) comply with the OLA.

Electronic communications intended for St-Hubert users are not always drafted and available in both official languages or do not comply with the prescribed order of presentation.

Computer systems

It was found in the review of work tools and regular and widely used computer systems that the interface of the Livelink application was in English only and that the names of directories were in English first, followed by the French.

Cause

Use of both official languages in the workplace

Except for a lack of awareness and reminders, there is no other apparent reason for the imbalance in the use of both official languages by some members of senior management during meetings with employees.

Documentation and communications

The reason for non compliance with the policy on official languages where electronic communications is concerned is simply a lack of attentiveness on the part of senders.

Computer systems

When installed, the Livelink application was not available in a bilingual version. In light of the Agency's specific requirements and characteristics, a decision was made to choose English as the language of the application and a dispensation was obtained from the Commissioner of Official Languages. It would have been difficult to justify the expense of using two systems in parallel and the cost of additional development to integrate both official languages.

Effect

Use of both official languages in the workplace

Lack in terms of carrying out duties and responsibilities by senior management to show leadership with regard to official languages and integrating and promoting linguistic duality in the organizational culture.

Documentation, communications and computer systems

Non compliance with the CSA policy on official languages, with CSA principles pertaining to the use of computer resources, and with the OLA and TBS policies and directives on official languages.

Recommendation
  1. The CSA should make all employees more aware of

    • their rights and obligations with regard to official languages; and
    • CSA principles pertaining to the use of both official languages in email.
  2. The CSA should

    • carry out a cost/benefit analysis and consider installing a bilingual interface in Livelink; and
    • ensure compliance with the prescribed order of presentation of both official languages where it concerns the names of directories created in Livelink, that is, French first and English second.
Identified Responsibility Organization Human Resources Directorate, Communications and Public Affairs Directorate and Information Management
Function Chief Human Resources Officer;
Official Languages Champion;
Manager, Information Management
Management Response In agreement with the recommendations
Management Action Plan Details of action plan
  • Continue to make employees and managers more aware of their rights and obligations with respect to official languages, particularly concerning the use of both official languages in email and in meetings. Awareness will be increased by issuing reminders in emails and sending out information bulletins and through the Official Languages Champion's awareness activities for senior management.

    Timetable: March 2012

  • Carry out a feasibility study of the upgrading of the 2010 version of Livelink to include a bilingual version of the interface.

    Timetable: March 2012

  • After carrying out a feasibility study, upgrade to the 2010 bilingual version of Livelink.

    Timetable: March 2013

  • Following this upgrade, verify the possibility of having the directories created in Livelink comply with official languages requirements, either by using functionalities of the 2010 version or by carrying out a feasibility study of the possibility of reversing the order of the directories created in Livelink in order to have French first and English second. This study will be based on technological possibilities, required resources and business requirements.

    Timetable: March 2013

Criterion 1.2:
The language of work complies with Part V of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 2 Ensure that employees are satisfied with the use of official languages in the workplace.
Condition

The CSA or the work units conduct surveys and/or interviews with employees (or use federal public service employee surveys) to determine their level of satisfaction with the use of both official languages in the workplace.

Awareness activities from 2004 to 2008

We found that a noteworthy improvement was achieved from 2004 to 2008 through awareness activities promoting a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages.

In that regard, the CSA implemented measures (policy on official languages, accountability framework, integrated human resources plan, and activities of the Official Languages Champion) making it possible for employees to use the official language of their choice in meetings.

Since 2003, employees have not filed any complaints regarding the use of official languages.

Drafting of documents

According to the results of the 2008 federal public service employee survey and despite the implementation of measures, Francophones do not always feel free to use the official language of their choice when drafting documents and email.

Meetings

Although there has been a noteworthy improvement, Francophones did not feel completely free to use the official language of their choice in meetings.

DFL

According to the results of a questionnaire sent to a sample of DFL employees in 2010, some Francophones were dissatisfied with the use of both official languages in their work units.

Handling of complaints

This topic is dealt with in detail under Criterion 1.1, Sub-criterion 2, where you will also find the recommendation.

Cause

Drafting of documents

In regard to the answers to the 2008 public service employee survey, which indicated that Francophones did not always feel free to draft documents in the official language of their choice, it appears that the wording of the question was not sufficiently specific.

The wording did not allow for a distinction to be made between correspondence falling within the framework of the Official Languages Act concerning services to the public and centralized services versus other correspondence between CSA employees.

Meetings

The Official Languages Adviser commented that it was surprising to find that a percentage of Francophone employees did not feel free to use the official language of their choice in their work unit meetings in 2008, given the fact that the CSA had conducted many awareness activities in that regard since 2004.

DFL

An explanation for the dissatisfaction of DFL Francophones with the use of both official languages is that the majority of DFL employees are Anglophones (±80%). As a result, most of the work is done in English, thus reducing opportunities for Francophones to work in the official language of their choice.

Effect

Because of the lack of a distinction between correspondence falling within the framework of the Official Languages Act and other correspondence, it is not possible to adequately assess an employee's freedom to use the official language of his choice, as is permitted under the OLA.

Non-compliance with the Official Languages Act

Recommendation
  1. The CSA should conduct a new survey of its employees and include a question about freedom to draft documents in the employee's choice of official language. The question would disregard obligations under the Official Languages Act and the answers would be analysed on a per sector basis. There should also be a question about employees' satisfaction with their freedom to use the official language of their choice in meetings. Using this survey as a basis, an action plan for each sector should be drawn up in order to correct deficiencies in problem sectors.
  2. The CSA should meet with Francophone DFL employees in order to accurately determine their degree of dissatisfaction with opportunities to use the language of work of their choice and take necessary measures to increase their degree of satisfaction.
Identified Responsibility Organization Human Resources Directorate, David Florida Laboratory
Function Chief Human Resources Officer; Director, David Florida Laboratory
Management Response
  1. Public service employee surveys cover employee satisfaction with the use of both official languages in meetings and the extent to which employees feel free to write in the official language of their choice. For the past several years, further to the results of these surveys, branch directors have been meeting with their employees to validate interpretations of the results and determine whether or not there is a need to take corrective measures for issues that have been raised. Since a federal public service employee survey is scheduled for 2011, it is not deemed appropriate at this time to conduct an in house survey dealing specifically with official languages. However, measures will be taken to obtain a better understanding of the actual degree of satisfaction relative to certain questions in the next survey (see action plan).
  2. It is a sensitive matter to target only Francophone DFL employees because there are not many of them and may feel uncomfortable about expressing their dissatisfaction, if it exists. Instead, we recommend an awareness activity for all DFL employees and managers that includes a straightforward dialogue about specific issues that affect them. An action plan specific to their situation could be drawn up, if deemed appropriate.
Management Action Plan Details of action plan
  • Suggest to the Treasury Board that the question about whether or not employees feel free to express themselves in writing in the official language of their choice be rewritten. The wording of the question should describe the context more clearly so as to exclude situations where employees must write in their second official language in order to fulfil their obligations under the CSA mandate and the Official Languages Act.

    Timetable: March 2011

  • If the Treasury Board does not accept the previous suggestion, the CSA will explain the various aspects of the question to its own employees before they complete the 2011 federal public service employee survey.

    Timetable: Before the launch date of the federal public service employee survey involving our employees

  • Increase DFL employees' and managers' awareness of their rights and responsibilities with regard to official languages and discuss specific issues related to their work context and circumstances.

    Timetable: June 2011

  • If deemed appropriate, draw up a specific action plan for the DFL.

    Timetable: September 2011

  • Validate the level of satisfaction based on the results of the upcoming 2011 survey.

    Timetable: March 2012

Criterion 1.3: Equal participation of English and French speaking Canadians in federal institutions complies with Part VI of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that members of both official language groups have an equal participation while respecting with the principle of merit.
Condition Ensure that members of both official language groups have an equal participation while respecting with the principle of merit.
Cause N/A
Effect N/A
Recommendation N/A
Identified Responsibility Organization N/A
Function N/A
Management Response N/A
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

N/A

Timetable: N/A

Criterion 1.4: The promotion of English and French complies with Part VII of the Official Languages Act

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that the CSA enhances the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities, supports and assists in their development, and fosters full recognition and use of both English and French.
Condition

The CSA has an internal policy on enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities, supporting and assisting in their development, and fostering full recognition and use of both English and French. This policy complies with the Official Languages Act and Treasury Board Secretariat policies and directives.

Through its various learning and self-learning plans and action plans, the CSA is demonstrating that it is carrying out its responsibilities appropriately to meet the objective of enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities, supporting and assisting in their development, and fostering full recognition and use of both English and French.

The strategic planning and implementation of the CSA's policies and programs take into account the development and promotion of linguistic minority communities.

To quote some examples:

  • Bilingualism is ensured when CSA personnel interacts with the public through conferences, workshops, meetings and exhibits. There has not been any complaint from the public in this regard.
  • With regards to contribution agreements, an analysis is included in the process in order to take into account Official Languages in our obligations and define the obligations of Third Parties (acting on behalf of the CSA).
  • In the Space Awareness program, education tools for teachers are developed taking into account linguistic communities' needs.
Cause N/A
Effect N/A
Recommendation N/A
Identified Responsibility Organization N/A
Function N/A
Management Response N/A
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

N/A

Timetable: N/A

2.3.2 Objective 2

Assess the CSA's Official Languages Program management framework

Criterion 2.1: Senior management has the necessary mechanisms to:

  1. identify, plan and coordinate language training,
  2. ensure that scientific training and others are available in both official languages.
Findings Sub-criterion 1

Ensure that:

  1. senior management has the necessary mechanisms to identify, plan and coordinate language training,
  2. scientific training and others are available in both official languages.
Condition

The CSA has a policy and procedures handbook providing guidelines for language training. The Agency has also set up procedures for identifying employees' training needs and for planning, co ordinating, monitoring and assessing the results of training.

The existing procedures enable the organization to meet the language requirements of bilingual positions, meet the CSA's future operational requirements and develop language skills required to facilitate employee advancement in the federal public service.

Language training

According to a survey of employees conducted in 2008, there is a lack of access to French language training for Anglophone employees, particularly at the DFL. However, we found in our audit that there were still opportunities for second language training and upgrading offered to St-Hubert and DFL employees. Although group language training courses have been suspended, they have been replaced by private courses and small group courses.

Scientific training

We found that scientific training courses and related documentation and course notes were often solely in English.

Training other than scientific training

Training and skills upgrading in other fields is given in both official languages and courses are provided at the same time.

Cause

Scientific training

The main reason for the lack of scientific training in both official languages is a shortage of specialized resources (human and material) in French in scientific fields.

Effect

Scientific training

The lack of scientific training in both official languages may result in dissatisfaction on the part of Francophone scientists and place them at a disadvantage in relation to their Anglophone colleagues.

Recommendation
  1. The CSA should consider the needs of Francophone employees in regard to scientific training and, if need be, take necessary measures so that obligations with respect to official languages are taken into account.
Identified Responsibility Organization Human resources Directorate, Scientific Branches
Function Chief Human Resources Officer; Directors general of scientific branches
Management Response On November 24, 2010, the Official Languages Champion and the Official Languages Adviser gave a presentation to Executive Committee members to make them aware of the fact that scientific training was sometimes offered in English only because of the difficulty of finding similar material in French, competent instructors able to provide the training in French, and even interpreters with the ability to translate highly technical and specialized material simultaneously. Even though everyone agrees that this issue is not easy to resolve, there are nonetheless measures to be recommended to improve the situation.
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

Through directors general of the scientific branches, make employees who plan scientific or technical training courses aware of the need to analyse the following:

  • Determine whether the course material exists in French, either in Canada or in the international market;
  • Determine whether there are other options for providing the training in French or bilingually;
  • Determine the cost of these alternative options to ensure that they are feasible with allocated budgets;
  • Document these analysis in order to be able to do accountability reporting and follow up on them, if need be; and
  • Include a question about the language of training in satisfaction surveys filled out by participants.

Timetable: March 2012

Criterion 2.2: Written material is produced in both official languages and language quality is comparable.

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that there is an internal policy on the production of written material in both official languages and that the language quality is comparable in either official language.
Condition

The CSA has an internal policy on the production of written material in both official languages. This policy complies with the Official Languages Act and Treasury Board Secretariat policies and directives and includes measures to ensure that written material is of comparable quality in either official language. Consequently, the quality of written material is comparable in either official language.

We found that most CSA research documents were written in English and not translated because of the high cost of translation and the sometimes high-risk nature of specialized, in-depth subject matter. It appears to be an issue that all scientific departments face.

To remedy to the situation, an interdepartmental committee has been set up and it has been recommended that this committee be informed of the CSA's concerns in this matter.

Cause N/A
Effect N/A
Recommendation N/A
Identified Responsibility Organization N/A
Function N/A
Management Response N/A
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

N/A

Timetable: N/A

Criterion 2.3: Information in the official languages information system (database) is accurate

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that official languages information is accurate, complete and updated and can be used to monitor implementation of the Official Languages Program and measure and monitor results.
Condition

You will find below a non-exhaustive list of information found in the CSA's Transport Integrated Personnel System (TIPS):

  • Classification
    • Incumbents of manager positions
    • Group and level
    • Type of language requirement
  • Staffing
    • Staffing activities
    • Acting appointments
  • Training and Profile (TAP)
    • Employees not meeting the profiles of their positions
    • Profiles of positions
  • Official languages
    • List of positions along with the language profile of the position, incumbent's name and incumbent's language profile

The following is a list of management reports on official languages produced and/or used by the CSA:

  • Federal public service employee survey
  • Internal surveys and audits
  • Management Accountability Framework (MAF)
  • Official languages management dashboard
  • Demographic profiles
  • Complaint files (Commissioner of Official Languages and/or CSA)

We concluded in our review that the management reports are useful for decision making.

We also found that existing prevention and detection controls ensure the integrity, accuracy and reliability of official languages information and found no major deficiency in the official languages information systems.

Cause N/A
Effect N/A
Recommendation N/A
Identified Responsibility Organization N/A
Function N/A
Management Response N/A
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

N/A

Timetable: N/A

Criterion 2.4: The CSA has an appropriate infrastructure for managing and monitoring the implementation of the Official Languages Program.

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that the CSA has an appropriate infrastructure for managing and monitoring the implementation of the Official Languages Program.
Condition

Official languages related duties and responsibilities are clearly set out with respect to planning, developing policies, co ordination, communications and information, monitoring, follow-ups and management reports.

We found that official languages are an integral part of the CSA's 2010-2013 Integrated Human Resources Plan (IHRP). This three-year plan documents the analysis of the CSA's internal and external environments that may have an impact on the workforce as well as identifies the main human resource issues and proposes overall strategies.

An Official Languages Champion and an Official Languages Adviser have been appointed and they regularly get involved in all aspects of official languages.

Management responsibilities

The persons responsible for managing the Official Languages Program have the required authority to carry out their duties effectively. Managers (Vice-President, Directors General, chief officers, senior management and managers) are also accountable for official languages where it concerns the achievement of objectives set out in the official languages operational plan. The Official Languages Program is included in the organization's overall objectives and in senior management (EX) performance appraisals.

We found in our review that managers participate in official languages action plans by setting objectives and deadlines and proposing initiatives, activities and performance indicators. The Official Languages Adviser reviews everything and does the necessary follow-up.

Official Languages Program objectives and the CSA's overall objectives

Except for the weaknesses listed below, we found that the CSA's overall objectives encompass the Official Languages Program objectives. The weaknesses are the following:

  • Official languages action plans not disseminated to all employees;
  • Insufficient dissemination of policies, plans and procedures to all employees; and
  • Lack of mechanism for handling complaints.

The objectives and policies may be consulted on the CSA's intranet site.

Cause

Official languages action plans

The drafting of a communications plan for the action plans was not deemed pertinent at the time. It was considered sufficient that employees be able to consult the accountability framework and the internal policy on official languages on the official languages page of the intranet site.

Policies, plans and procedures

With respect to policies, plans and procedures pertaining to official languages, the reason for a lack of communication is the lack of emphasis on employees' rights and obligations with respect to official languages. This point ties in with Recommendation No. 3 under Criterion 1.2, Sub-criterion 1.

Handling of complaints

The lack of mechanisms for handling complaints is dealt with in detail under Criterion 1.1, Sub-criterion 2, resulting in Recommendation No. 2.

Effect The lack of emphasis on and/or direct communication with respect to official languages, the lack of relationships between Official Languages Program objectives and the CSA's overall objectives and the lack of guidelines for handling complaints pertaining to official languages may impact the soundness of the management of the Official Languages Program.
Recommendation
  1. The CSA should ensure that official languages action plans are disseminated to all employees.
Identified Responsibility Organization Human Resources Directorate, Communications and Public Affairs Directorate
Function Chief Human Resources Officer, Official Languages Champion
Management Response In agreement with the recommendation
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

The official languages action plan will be disseminated to all CSA employees by email and posted on the official languages page of the intranet site.

Timetable: Upon approval by the President

Criterion 2.5: The senior management is truly committed to the Official Languages Program and shows leadership.

Findings Sub-criterion 1 Ensure that senior management is truly committed to the Official Languages Program and shows leadership.
Condition

An internal policy states that senior management and all managers will provide necessary leadership in the area of official languages. This internal policy complies with the Official Languages Act and Treasury Board Secretariat policies and directives.

The accountability framework for official languages requires a senior management commitment. We found that the program management infrastructure allowed senior management to be informed of the situation in regard to official languages and implement required measures, if need be. This infrastructure attests of senior management's leadership with regard to the Official Languages Program.

We also found that all correspondence from senior management was bilingual. Abridged versions of minutes are available in both official languages on the CSA intranet site. According to our observations, the importance that the CSA gives to directives and instructions issued by senior management with respect to official languages is adequate.

Cause N/A
Effect N/A
Recommendation N/A
Identified Responsibility Organization N/A
Function N/A
Management Response N/A
Management Action Plan Details of action plan

N/A

Timetable: N/A