Archived – Organizational priorities

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To support decision-making by Canadians and their elected representatives, Statistics Canada remained committed to providing access to a trusted source of information. The main accomplishments in 2011–2012 were the data collection associated with the Census of Population, the National Household Survey and the Census of Agriculture, and the removal of user charges for information available on its website, at no incremental cost to Statistics Canada. Data access was increased by expanding the Research Data Centre Program, introducing the new Real-time Remote Access Program, and establishing the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research. The Agency also addressed two key data gaps, releasing information on job vacancies and on population projections for Aboriginal identity groups.

Finally, Statistics Canada continued to review and renew its organizational structures and processes to ensure optimal resource allocation and use.

In Table 1, the four priorities identified in the 2011–2012 Report on Plans and Priorities are identified, with their related planned activities listed and evaluated. These four priorities are to deliver ongoing economic and social statistics programs; conduct the Census of Population, the Census of Agriculture and the National Household Survey; continue to renew statistical programs; and improve the Agency's business processes and further integrate its results-based corporate infrastructure.

Table 1a - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Deliver a comprehensive set of statistical programs in conformity to Statistics Canada’s quality assurance framework.
Priority: Type: Footnote 1 Program activities
Deliver ongoing economic and social statistics programs Ongoing Economic Statistics, Social Statistics
  • Deliver timely and accurate economic indicators: Conducted the monthly and annual surveys on the economy that are used to compile the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the suite of economic indicators. Published the suite of economic indicators, such as retail sales, international imports and exports, as well as manufacturing shipments. Published the GDP on monthly and quarterly basis within two months of the reference period. Performed monthly collection activities for data to be used to compile the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Published the CPI monthly, within three weeks of the reference period.
  • Deliver ongoing key social statistics programs: Continued to deliver the Social Statistics program, including household surveys, such as the Labour Force Survey, others that yield trends on family income and expenditure, as well as establishment-based employment surveys. Produced information and analytical outputs on key social issues, including immigration, ethnicity, social engagement, youth, families, criminal victimization, gender, seniors and social well-being. Data sources included the General Social Survey, the Longitudinal Immigration Database and post-censal surveys. Produced information related to inputs, outputs and outcomes from the education system from a mix of household surveys, provincial and territorial sources as well as data from postsecondary institutions. The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics has continued to be the focal point of a federal–provincial–territorial partnership for collecting information on the nature and extent of crime and the administration of civil and criminal justice in Canada. Provided statistical information and analysis about the state of Canadians' health from the ongoing Canadian Community Health Survey and the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Maintained Canada's vital statistics and the Canadian Cancer Registry. Produced flagship publications, such as Canadian Social Trends and Perspectives on Labour and Income. Produced publications such as Health Reports, Analytical Branch Research Paper Series, Economic Insights and various working papers.
  • Increase support of key policy needs and initiatives: A justice information roadmap was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders in provincial and territorial governments as well as Justice Canada and Public Safety Canada. The roadmap presented a vision for a national justice information system and identified what resources are required to achieve it. The roadmap included an overview of key information needs and current data gaps that must be filled to meet the current and future data requirements of policy makers in the justice area. Work has continued with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada on a more flexible and responsive approach to meet its data needs. Continued developing a framework for education statistics in Canada and implemented the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies with the support of various federal, provincial/territorial and other organizations. The Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) was established to facilitate data access by the federal policy community, in a robust and secure environment, to meet ongoing policy information needs on business and economic issues. CDER will be formally announced to the academic community in October 2012.
Table 1b - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program and the Census of Agriculture.
Priority Type Footnote 1 Program activities
Conduct the Census of Population, the Census of Agriculture, and the National Household Survey Ongoing Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics
  • Conduct the 2011 Census of Population and the National Household Survey: Completed recruitment and training of approximately 35,000 field and processing staff. Implemented a public communications program. Completed collection operations and processed questionnaire returns. Started data quality studies. The first release of the 2011 Census, the Population and Dwelling Counts, took place on February 8, 2012.
  • Conduct the 2011 Census of Agriculture: Implemented a public communications program. Completed collection operations and processed questionnaire returns. Started data quality studies.
Table 1c - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Make highest-priority investments necessary to ensure both the continuity and the quality of the existing statistical program.
Priority Type Footnote 1 Program activities
Continue to renew statistical programs Ongoing Economic Statistics, Social Statistics, Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics
  • Renew the System of National Accounts: Established new structure for national accounts products and defined new outputs. Prepared to document changes to concepts, structure and outputs. Informed users of the changing structure and output, and helped them prepare for the release of the new estimates.
  • Modernize the government finance statistics program: Documented and implemented the first phase of the new International Monetary Fund standard. Provided outreach and training on the new accounting standards and classification to key stakeholders. Developed a quality assurance process for data that will be provided for the Federal–Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act. Finalized the publication schedule for the remainder of the data program.
  • Enhance the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program to better reflect current spending patterns: Incorporated the 2009 weighting patterns into the May 2011 reference month CPI based on changes in spending patterns between 2005 and 2009. Increased the product sample by 3,500 quotes per month to better reflect the prices Canadians paid for purchased goods and services. Introduced a new quality adjustment method for 28 products as well as sample and quality adjustment pilots for future implementation. The project met its hiring objectives, and rolled out two new training initiatives (a price index course and a data evaluation forum).
  • Reflect changes to accounting standards in survey programs: In the fourth quarter of 2011, the second wave of banks (those with an October accounting year-end) transitioned to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). They reported to the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements with IFRS-compliant financial statements, including a special one-time IFRS disclosure statement. In addition to banking, conversion to IFRS was adopted to a large extent in the following industries:
    • Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investment and related activities
    • Non-depository credit intermediation
    • Real estate and rental leasing
    • Oil and gas extraction and support activities
    • Manufacturing.
    The IFRS transition continues in the insurance sector, enterprises with rate-regulated activities, non-pension funds and financial vehicles as well as in investment companies and segregated funds. The funds sector has delayed IFRS migration from 2013 to 2014. Thus, collecting key data according to IFRS, and for enterprises that are voluntarily adopting these standards or the Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises, is underway but not yet complete. Also, the changes to financial statements brought by IFRS will require adjustment to the Agency's collection tools, which now comprise 15 questionnaire types not including the bank questionnaires. Industrial Organization and Finance Division is doing a content review to address this matter.
  • Begin the Labour Force Survey (LFS) redesign: A feasibility study was done to understand the various common survey tools and the new social survey processing environment in order to determine how they need to be adapted to meet LFS business requirements. A roadmap was developed for migrating the existing LFS systems and requirements to the corporate common tools environment. Resource requirements for the coming years were determined for moving the LFS to a common processing environment.
  • Initiate the 2012 cycle of the Survey of Financial Security (SFS): Key stakeholders were consulted early in 2011–12 to finalize the content of the 2012 SFS. Materials and systems related to survey collection were developed so as to be ready for data collection in the fall of 2012. The processing strategy was developed; preliminary plans for disseminating the 2012 survey data were developed.
  • Pilot online data reporting for household surveys: Evaluated the prototype of an online household survey-response application. Pilot tested the General Social Survey questionnaire, including an online option. Analyzed the results of the pilot test. Developed a prototype of an online LFS-response application and conducted qualitative testing to evaluate content, functionality and usability. Analyzed the results of the qualitative testing: the analysis has been used to further improve the electronic LFS questionnaire.
  • Expand the use of administrative data for statistical purposes: Using the Longitudinal Health and Administrative Data Initiative, examined the use of health care services among key groups such as older Canadians, immigrants and Aboriginal peoples. Added the cancer stage to the Canadian Cancer Registry for common cancers, in co-operation with provincial cancer registries and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Explored the potential to produce more small-area data and developed new research venues by linking the data to other surveys or administrative sources. Conducted a feasibility study to make better use of the Longitudinal Immigration Database for statistical purposes. Developed a range of new data products: industry-level databases used to produce the multifactor productivity program; and linked business microdatabases essential to research on firm dynamics, GDP by firm size, and business innovation and strategy surveys. Created microsimulation models integrating data from different sources to assess the impact of demographic, economic, social and health conditions or behaviours on various outcomes at the population level. This latter activity will help answer policy-relevant questions and analyze the impact of policy changes.
  • Evaluate new methodological approaches for the 2016 censuses: Identified constitutional and statutory requirements for the 2016 censuses. Reviewed different methodological approaches to conducting censuses. Consulted key stakeholders on issues of data relevance, data access and privacy. Developed methodology options for the 2016 censuses.
  • Study the feasibility of using income tax data for future censuses of agriculture: Building on the studies initiated with the 2009 Census Test data, the Agency used 2011 Census of Agriculture data to further refine linkage methodologies and analysis on the coherence and compatibility of census data with tax data, and determine the impact of using tax data as a replacement. Statistics Canada also reviewed its agriculture statistics program and produced a report of the results. The review included investigating agriculture data requirements at multiple levels and examining agriculture census and survey programs abroad. The review evaluated options for a future model of the agriculture statistics program. The review will be a basis for more detailed studies in the coming year.
Table 1d - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Develop a state-of-the-art, user-centric dissemination model that aligns with the principles of the Government of Canada Open Government initiative.
Priority Type Footnote 1 Program activities
Improve the Agency's business processes and further integrate its results-based corporate infrastructure Ongoing Internal Services
  • Further integrate risk management, planning and evaluation activities: Updated the corporate risk register and risk profile based on program area risk registers. Integrated risk management process and corporate risk profile reviewed by Departmental Audit Committee. Continued to integrate risk management in the corporate planning process. Continued improving the performance measurement framework. Piloted the Departmental Project Management Framework across the Agency, with full implementation starting April 1, 2012. Strengthened the Agency's evaluation process and developed a rolling five-year evaluation plan of direct program spending.
  • Develop and fund a multi-year capital plan to ensure the efficiency, continuity and quality of all statistical and support programs: The five-year integrated departmental investment plan covering all assets, acquired services and projects was approved by Treasury Board Secretariat. Completed the Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment and Project Complexity and Risk Assessments, including supporting evidence for all projects in the investment plan. Documented a 10-year outlook of planned investments across the Agency, which has been integrated into the strategic planning process.
  • Align human resources capacity with the long-term investment strategy: Aligned the Agency's human resource goals and objectives with the priorities of the government of Canada, Public Service Renewal objectives and the new Departmental Investment Plan. Completed recruitment of 40,107 employees to deliver on the 2011 Census of Population, the Census of Agriculture and the new National Household Survey—2,528 under the Statistics Canada Census- and Survey-related Term Employment Exclusion Approval Order, and 37,579 under the Statistics Act. Revised recruitment and development programs to build and support the Agency's workforce. Implemented revised training programs for new executives. Implemented Year 2 of the five-year employment equity plan in the areas of recruitment, learning and language training to promote a diverse workforce. Implemented a more tailored collective staffing model designed to meet business needs.
  • Strengthen the corporate statistical information management (IM) framework: Significant progress was made towards implementing the directives on the management of statistical microdata files and the establishment of a new directive on the management of aggregate statistics. A pilot on the identification of information resources of business value was completed: this is an important step towards compliance with the Treasury Board Directive on Recordkeeping. Training and awareness programs on IM policy and strategy were delivered. In particular, creating an IM liaison group and intranet site significantly raised awareness and engagement of all program areas in developing and implementating IM initiatives and agency directives.
  • Consolidate the procurement, management and evergreening of the Agency's desktop equipment: Determined the appropriate replacement cycle for each type of equipment. Developed a financial strategy that ensures the long-term viability of the centralized service. Developed a procurement strategy for each equipment type that minimizes costs to the Agency while ensuring that user needs are met with respect to equipment performance. Implemented the procurement strategy and ensured timely delivery. Implemented the processes needed to sustain the service over time.
  • Launch a comprehensive review of the dissemination model: On February 1, 2012, Statistics Canada removed all user charges for information available on its website, including data from the CANSIM statistical database. Significant usability improvements were made to the CANSIM interface. Implemented social media and online tools to stay connected with users and better understand their requirements and expectations. Undertook significant user consultations to better understand how the current dissemination model meets user needs, and identify priorities for improvement.

Note:

Footnote 1

Type is defined as follows: 'previously committed to'—committed to in the first or second fiscal year before the subject year of the report, 'ongoing'—committed to at least three fiscal years before the subject year of the report, and 'new'—newly committed to in the reporting year of the DPR.

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