Section 3: Analysis of programs and Internal Services

This section describes Statistics Canada's program activities and the financial and non-financial resources available to each. Planned activities, indicators, targets and timelines are identified for each program.

Programs

Internal Services

Program 1: Economic and Environmental Statistics

Description

The purpose of this program is to create a trusted, relevant and comprehensive source of information on the entire spectrum of Canada's economy to inform public debate on economic issues; support economic policy development, implementation and evaluation; and guide business decision making. It is the primary source of information for developing the country's fiscal and monetary policies, and for studying the economic evolution of Canadian industries and regions.

These statistics support various statutory requirements, among others, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, Land Claims Settlements Agreements, and the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement related to the Harmonized Sales Tax.

The outputs are also vital to research and to economic policy development, implementation, and evaluation by a number of federal departments, such as the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada, Industry Canada,Footnote 1 Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada,Footnote 2 and by provincial and territorial governments.

They are extensively used by the private sector for business planning and decision making and by international agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN).

Outputs include monthly and annual measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), current indicators of retail and wholesale trade, Canada's merchandise export and import statistics, estimates of agricultural income and expenditures, transportation statistics, and statistics relevant to the analysis of relationships between human activity and the environment, in Canada.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

In 2015-16, the Economic and Environmental Statistics Program continued to deliver timely and accurate economic and environmental statistics, as well as analytical data products. The program also continued to develop statistics in key areas such as the environment, energy, and financial stability, while maintaining or improving the data quality and timeliness that data users have come to expect.

In addition, the Agency continued to manage and reduce response burden. It did this by examining content changes to ensure that data are not already available from other sources and that sample sizes are appropriately managed. As well, it reviewed existing surveys to identify potential data duplication; it also conducted impact and feasibility studies to identify and minimize the likelihood of selection for multiple surveys, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Statistics Canada has also been moving expeditiously to adopt electronic reporting, the data collection mode favoured by many businesses.

This past year, Statistics Canada completed a comprehensive revision of the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts. In late 2015, the Agency released macroeconomic accounts estimates that incorporated statistical revisions more closely aligned with international standards. The comprehensive revision affected all programs in the Macroeconomic Accounts, including the Provincial/Territorial Economic Accounts and quarterly National Income and Expenditure Accounts. The major changes include statistical improvements (notably, more detailed estimates of government accounts and revised estimates of Canada's capital stock), changes to the treatment of defined benefit pension plans to align with international standards, and the incorporation of natural resource wealth into the quarterly national balance sheet accounts. Another major accomplishment was the staggered  release of the revision of government finance statistics.

In 2015-16, the Agency made progress in implementing the framework for environmental statistics. A priority under this framework was the development of new accounts for land cover and land use. The 2015 edition of the annual publication Human Activity and the Environment contained analysis and documentation of historical changes in land cover and land use in Canadian metropolitan areas. The environment program provided downloadable geospatial data files for the first time in its history. The program also released updated physical flow accounts for water use, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP) initiative is intended to increase efficiency and make the survey infrastructure more robust. When completed, it will provide a common processing environment for approximately 150 business surveys. In 2015-16, data for 60 annual economic surveys were collected, processed, analyzed and disseminated through the IBSP. The most significant change was the adoption of electronic questionnaires, which resulted in improved data quality, reduced burden, and more streamlined and efficient operations.

In 2015-16, the Agency built on the work done under the recently completed multi-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) Enhancement Initiative. The CPI is Canada's most-cited measure of inflation. Additional improvements increased the relevance and robustness of the CPI and ensured that it serves the needs of households, businesses and the public sector better. Particular highlights include developing a cyclical maintenance program to ensure that the CPI's methods and systems are always up to date, as well as experimenting with various alternate sources of price data to see whether the traditional reliance on in-store collection could be reduced.

Statistics Canada also undertook a survey of advanced technologies used by Canadian businesses. The survey identified the investment in and use of advanced technologies in the private sector. It also sought to identify barriers to the use of these technologies. The results were released in 2015-16.

The Agency began to update the database design and processing environment used for the ownership survey conducted under the Corporations Returns Act. This update will enable Statistics Canada to automate the schedules from the recently updated regulations and to increase the flexibility of the program to address emerging data needs, such as globalization, mergers and acquisitions. In addition, the ownership survey adopted the electronic questionnaire as its sole mode of collection, which has enhanced data quality, increased security and reduced respondent burden.

The Agency is in the process of making a number of key investments in the quality of its international accounts program. Statistics Canada released new data on the activities of foreign affiliates operating in Canada as well as Canadian affiliates operating abroad. These data provide new insight into the linkages between the Canadian economy and the global economy. Statistics Canada also released estimates of value-added exports—providing users with a new perspective on Canada's trade with the rest of the world. Finally, the Agency developed and tested a number of new collection instruments that will provide users with new measures of international trade in services and the role that Canada plays in global value chains.

Several other surveys are in the process of being redesigned. In particular, changes were made to surveys in the Energy Statistics Program to address data gaps, improve data quality and reduce response burden. As well, the Agency continued analytical work on its multifactor productivity program, firm dynamics and the changing nature of the Canadian economy. The program produced analytical reports on measurement and determinants of productivity growth in the mining and oil and gas sector; improvements in measuring productivity in residential care facilities; and links between participation in global value chains and productivity growth at the firm level. The program also produced an examination of Canada–United States barriers to trade in the pre- and post-9/11 eras, and it produced a study on the changing nature of the unincorporated self-employed and their importance to employment in Canada. As well, the program released experimental estimates on firm entry and exit, and associated employment changes. Finally, the Agency continued to increase the capacity of the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research to allow outside analysts from governments, research institutions and academia to use business microdata for research purposes.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Economic and Environmental Statistics 2015-16
Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Actual spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
127,982,162 127,982,162 129,904,043 130,488,036 2,505,874
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Economic and Environmental Statistics 2015-16
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
1,197 1,384 187

The difference between planned spending and actual spending results mainly from

  • salary expenditures reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments)
  • a permanent budget transfer of Socio-economic Analysis to the Socio-Economic Statistics Program.

The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) is mainly because of a change in reporting. Starting with the 2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities and the 2015-16 Departmental Performance Report, interviewers are included in the total FTEs. Furthermore, FTEs always vary slightly as a result of variances between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.

Performance results—Economic and Environmental Statistics
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Economic and Environmental Statistics. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
Expected results Performance indicators Targets Actual results
Canadians and public- and private-sector organizations use economic and environmental statistics for monitoring the economy, for policy development and research. Post-release corrections because of accuracy ≤ 4 releases or ≤ 2% of releases 0.80%
Number of data products released as scheduled 95% 100%
Up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase Fully compliant Minor deficiencies
Percent of technical reference guides up-to-date Table 1.3 Note 1 Fully compliant Fully compliant

The Economic and Environmental Statistics Program met its performance targets for releasing timely and accurate economic and environmental statistics. For accuracy, the program is on target, as 0.8% of the releases were corrected during the fiscal year. As for timeliness, the program exceeded its target, with 100% of products released as scheduled.

To ensure that users have the guidance they require to fully benefit from Statistics Canada's vast information holdings, the Agency must provide documentation that is comprehensive and up-to-date. In 2015-16, the Agency's objective was to identify statistical programs that required technical user guides and to ensure that these technical reference guides have roadmaps. All mandatory technical reference guides provided by the program were deemed available and timely, and roadmaps were provided as planned. These roadmaps indicate when the technical user guides will next be updated, as well as compliant with the new Directive on Documenting Statistical Metadata (effective since January 2016).

As for the indicator on up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase, the survey and program descriptions on Statistics Canada's website (IMDB pages) showed minor deficiencies. These relate to records for which there is information missing on such topics as quality evaluation, collection period and questionnaires. In total, 160 (75%) surveys or statistical program pages were deemed fully compliant and 53 (25%) were assessed as having minor deficiencies. Standards Division has begun the process of contacting subject-matter representatives from this program to resolve all deficiencies by January 31, 2017.

Program 2: Socio-economic Statistics

Description

The Socio-economic Statistics Program's purpose is to provide integrated information and relevant analysis on the social and socio-economic characteristics of individuals, families, and households, as well as on the major factors that affect their well-being. This information is used to inform public debate on socio-economic issues; support social policy development, implementation and evaluation; guide public and private decision making; it is the primary source for assessing the impact of changing economic circumstances on Canadians.

The information is used extensively to evaluate and cost economic and social policy options and alternatives by federal departments, such as Employment and Social Development Canada, Industry Canada,Footnote 3 Justice Canada, Public Safety Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada,Footnote 4 Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,Footnote 5 Transport Canada, and Infrastructure Canada, as well as by provincial governments.

The Socio-economic Statistics Program supports statistical requirements specified by legislation or regulations in the areas of labour, immigration and employment equity. The program also provides information, analysis and measures on publicly-funded facilities, agencies, and systems designed to meet the socio-economic and physical needs of Canadians; on the characteristics of the individual Canadians and families they serve; and on the outcomes of the services they provide, such as justice, health, and education.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

The Socio-economic Statistics Program continued to deliver timely and accurate social and socio-economic statistics. Releases from a number of new or redesigned socio-economic surveys took place in 2015-16.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS), Statistics Canada's largest ongoing household survey, completed a sample redesign and moved to an online questionnaire in 2016. Preparations are underway for the redesign of the LFS collection and processing systems, which will take place over the course of several years, ending in 2018. Through the inclusion of additional questions on the LFS, the Agency developed measures of labour-market performance, by field of study, for the highest and most recent educational credential obtained. Data collection took place in 2014, and results were released in 2016.

New data and analytical products based on the 2011 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) and the 2011 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) were disseminated. Plans to conduct the 2017 surveys for the APS and the CSD continued to progress on schedule.

Results from the Canadian Income Survey were released in December 2015, including a revised series of income statistics that allowed for the comparison of 2012 and 2013 income data with data for earlier years.

Starting with user requirements, the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), a new quarterly survey of 100,000 businesses, was developed within 12 months, with the first release of data published in The Daily on August 13, 2015. The success of the JVWS is a demonstration of strong internal collaboration at Statistics Canada that enabled the organization to respond to emerging data needs by implementing a large-scale survey in a timely fashion.

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) was redesigned in 2015 to ensure continued relevance and data quality. As well, preparations were completed for a pilot children's health survey to be undertaken in 2016. As part of the regular cycle of the health-focused surveys, the 2015 Nutrition Survey collected data on food and dietary supplement consumption, dietary intake, and related factors.

In co-operation with representatives of the National Justice Statistics Initiative, the Agency completed the second phase of a multi-year project to create and deliver indicators of re-contact with, and pathways through, the Canadian criminal justice system. The first release of data for the province of Saskatchewan will be in 2016. Collaborative work was completed on a pilot Police Performance Metrics project involving the collection of national-level calls for service data.

The Agency is well advanced on a comprehensive redesign of the General Social Survey (GSS) Program and is moving to integrate multi-mode collection. In 2015-16, Statistics Canada conducted the GSS on Time Use, and also developed a new policy-relevant theme for the 2016 GSS on Canadians at Work and Home.

The Social Data Linkage Environment (SDLE) promotes the innovative use of existing administrative and survey data to address important research questions and inform socio-economic policy through record linkage. This fiscal year, the SDLE production version was launched, and several projects began, including the Extending the Relevance of Longitudinal Surveys project.

In 2015-16, the Agency engaged in an ambitious program of immigration research. Studies in this area shed new light on non-permanent residents in Canada, the educational and labour market outcomes of childhood immigrants, and immigrant business ownership. As well, all-cause and circulatory hospitalizations by generation status among immigrants was investigated using the 2006 Census, linked to hospital data.

Using multiple waves of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, several studies were published, including on oral contraceptive use among women and on differences by socio-economic and demographic characteristics, and on the association between bisphenol A exposure and behaviour problems of children.

Multiple studies were conducted on the topic of Indigenous people, including Inuit housing and health, the association between understanding Indigenous language and educational outcomes, and geographic trends in community well-being and association with health.

The Agency also published innovative studies documenting the effect of regional wage differences on labour mobility and job vacancies, retirement savings behaviours, life satisfaction across Canadian cities, and the earnings of postsecondary graduates from detailed fields of study.

The microdata access programs increased the number of, and expanded the types of, data files available to clients. The programs also increased access to data by enhancing metadata and improving the technological infrastructure. Building on the infrastructure and expertise established in the access programs, Statistics Canada continued its development of the Generalized Tabulation Tool, which will facilitate data tabulation for surveys across the social, health and labour statistics fields.

In 2015-16, Maritime student data from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) were combined over time to facilitate analysis of student pathways through the postsecondary education system. This pilot also included combining the PSIS data for graduates with tax data over time. These results allow for research on student outcomes in the labour market, a key information need in Canada. The Education Longitudinal Linkage Platform demonstrates the power of combining administrative data with the goal of filling data gaps without imposing a new response burden on the Canadian population.

In 2015-16, the Agency also continued to strengthen its socio-economic microsimulation modelling capacity, which includes the following models:

  • The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M) simulates the effect of various tax and other policy interventions on socio-economic outcomes.
  • The Population Health Model (POHEM) performs comparative evaluations of health-related interventions on outcomes, such as the prevalence of risk factors and disease, costs and economic indicators, and health status and life expectancy.
  • The Cancer Risk Management Model (CRMM) allows for assessment of the effect of cancer control programs on population health and the economy. Cancer control programs include smoking reduction, organized screening for colorectal and lung cancers, and the evaluation of new treatment options.
  • The Demosim model generates population projections, taking into account key characteristics associated with the ethnocultural diversity of the population, such as visible minority and Indigenous populations.

Work began on a new platform for a simple dynamic model. This model includes demographic modules on mortality, interprovincial migration, and immigration and emigration, as well as modules on education, earnings and income.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Socio-economic Statistics 2015-16
Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Actual spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
94,887,730 94,887,730 101,692,699 101,784,521 6,896,791
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Socio-economic Statistics 2015-16
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
644 1,136 492

The difference between planned spending and actual spending results mainly from

  • salary expenditures reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments)
  • a funding reallocation made during the year from the Statistical Infrastructure Program, for the Labour Force Survey to better align resources with the Agency's priorities
  • budget carried forward from previous years to account for the cyclical nature of the Canadian Community Health Survey
  • a permanent budget transfer of Socio-economic Analysis from the Economic and Environmental Statistics Program.

The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) is mainly because of a change in reporting. Starting with the 2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities and the 2015-16 Departmental Performance Report, interviewers are included in the total FTEs. Furthermore, FTEs always vary slightly as a result of variances between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.

Performance results—Socio-economic Statistics
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Socio-economic Statistics. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
Expected results Performance indicators Targets Actual results
Canadians and public- and private-sector organizations use socio-economic statistics for policy development and research. Post-release corrections because of accuracy ≤ 4 releases or
≤ 2% of releases
0%
Number of data products released as scheduled 95% 100%
Up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase Fully compliant Minor deficiencies
Percent of technical reference guides up-to-dateTable 2.3 Note 1 Fully compliant Fully compliant

The Socio-economic Statistics Program exceeded its performance targets for releasing timely and accurate economic and environmental statistics. No releases required correction, and 100% of products were released as scheduled during the fiscal year.

To ensure that users have the guidance they require to fully benefit from Statistics Canada's vast information holdings, the Agency must provide documentation that is comprehensive and up to date. In 2015-16, the Agency's objective was to identify statistical programs that required technical user guides and to ensure that these technical reference guides have roadmaps. All mandatory technical reference guides provided by the program were deemed available and timely, and roadmaps were provided as planned. These roadmaps indicate when the technical user guides will next be updated and be compliant with the new Directive on Documenting Statistical Metadata (effective since January 2016).

As for the indicator on up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase, the survey and program descriptions on Statistics Canada's website (IMDB pages) showed minor deficiencies. These relate to records for which there is information missing on such topics as program end dates, quality evaluation and questionnaires. In total, 50 (78%) surveys or statistical program pages were deemed fully compliant and 14 (22%) were assessed as having minor deficiencies. Standards Division has begun the process of contacting subject-matter representatives from this program to resolve all deficiencies by January 31, 2017.

Program 3: Censuses

Description

The Census Program's purpose is to provide statistical information, analyses, and services that measure changes in the Canadian population, in demographic characteristics, and in the agricultural sector. It serves as a basis for public and private decision making, and research and analysis in areas of concern to the people of Canada. The program includes the Census of Population Program (including the National Household Survey) and the Census of Agriculture.

The Census of Population Program provides detailed information on population sub-groups for small geographic areas, which is required to assess the effects of specifically targeted policy initiatives, and serve as a foundation for other statistical surveys. Population counts and estimates are used in determining electoral boundaries, the distribution of federal transfer payments, and the transfer and allocation of funds among regional and municipal governments, school boards, and other locally based agencies within provinces.

The Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels, and is mandated by the Statistics Act.

The program meets statistical requirements specified constitutionally, and supports those in statutory requirements and regulatory instruments. All per capita measures in fiscal policies and arrangements, in other economic analysis, and in program and service planning, come from this program's statistical information.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

In late 2015, the Government of Canada announced its decision to reinstate the long-form census. All of the changes required to implement this decision were completed for both the electronic and paper questionnaires, as well as for the collection and processing systems. Preparations for collection activities were completed, including the following:

  • operational testing of the systems and related infrastructure
  • opening field offices and recruiting public servants
  • final setting up of the Data Operations Centre
  • printing questionnaires and letters for collection, preparing maps and other geographic tools to support operations
  • finalizing the communications campaign, which included paid advertising.

Collections in Northern Canada began in February 2016.

To support the Census of Population, an integrated communications strategy was developed that used proactive social marketing practices to develop and deliver messaging that would encourage all Canadians to self-respond. The strategy leveraged a multi-mode approach and deployed behavioural economics strategies to target audiences that had previously proven difficult to enumerate. The approaches were designed to lower operational costs by reducing the number of non-response follow-up cases.

Statistics Canada also increased development efforts for the 2016 Census of Agriculture. These efforts included elaborating methods, processes and tools; testing systems and tools; analyzing results; and integrating lessons learned from the previous census. Data collection for the largest and most complex agricultural operations began in 2015-16. The Agency also undertook final preparations for the start of the main data-collection period in 2016-17. This work involves an ongoing investigation of how administrative sources and technologies, such as remote sensing, can improve the quality and efficiency of the program and reduce respondent burden.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Censuses 2015-16
  Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Actual spending (authorities used Difference (actual minus planned)
Gross expenditures 153,382,820 153,382,820 143,077,849 143,002,356 -10,380,464
Respendable revenue -7,939,148 -7,939,148 -7,974,616 -7,974,616 -35,468
Net expenditures 145,443,672 145,443,672 135,103,233 135,027,740 -10,415,932
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Censuses 2015-16
  Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
Gross expenditures 959 1,087 128
Respendable revenue -34 -60 -26
Net expenditures 925 1,027 102

The difference between planned spending and actual spending is explained mainly by budget being carried forward from 2015-16 to 2016-17.

The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents is explained by funding received in-year for additional content for the 2016 Census long-form, and by changes in planned salary expenditures, made after the submission of the 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities. As a result of the cyclical nature of the censuses, budget and spending profile may vary slightly between years.

Performance results—Censuses
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Censuses. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
Expected results Performance indicators Targets Actual results
Canadians and government policy makers use Census of Population and Census of Agriculture data to make informed decisions. Up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase Fully compliant Minor deficiencies
Percent of technical reference guides up-to-dateTable 3.3 Note 1 Fully compliant Fully compliant

To ensure that users have the guidance they require to fully benefit from Statistics Canada's vast information holdings, the Agency must provide documentation that is comprehensive and up to date. In 2015-16, the Agency's objective was to identify statistical programs that required technical user guides and to ensure that these technical reference guides have roadmaps. All mandatory technical reference guides provided by the program were deemed available and timely, and roadmaps were provided as planned. These roadmaps indicate when the technical user guides will next be updated and be compliant with the new Directive on Documenting Statistical Metadata (effective since January 2016).

As for the indicator on up-to-date metadata in the Integrated Metadatabase, the survey and program descriptions on Statistics Canada's website (IMDB pages) showed minor deficiencies. These relate to records for the Census of Population – Reverse Record Check missing questionnaires and the Agriculture Frame Update Survey missing quality evaluation and questionnaires. In total, 4 (67%) surveys or statistical program pages were deemed fully compliant and 2 (33%) were assessed as having minor deficiencies. The records for the Census of Population and National Household Survey were fully compliant. Standards Division has begun the process of contacting subject matter representatives from this program in order to resolve all deficiencies by January 31, 2017.

Program 4: Statistical Infrastructure

Description

Statistical infrastructure comprises activities and services that are administered to support a strong statistical system.

Professional and Statistical Services include the development of sound statistical methodology, standardized concepts and classifications (including geographic concepts), the development and provision of statistical metadata, the development and maintenance of registers of enterprises and addresses for statistical purposes, and the provision of advice with respect to the Statistics Act, and data-sharing agreements.

Operational Statistical Services provide support to data collection activities for Statistics Canada's surveys, such as data capture, coding, editing, interviewer hiring and training, and the provision of advice to clients regarding statistical products. It also includes the production of Statistics Canada's catalogued publications, online databases, as well as the dissemination of Statistics Canada's official release vehicle, The Daily.

The Continuity and Quality Maintenance Program includes the co-ordination of the aspects of the Agency's Integrated Strategic Planning Process that ensure the continuity and quality maintenance of programs.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

In 2015-16, the Statistical Infrastructure Program continued to support a strong statistical system.

An important accomplishment in 2015-16 was the development and testing of components of the Integrated Collection and Operation System required and planned by the census programs to support the collection of all surveys. This multi-year transformational project delivered on its objective of providing the infrastructure and functionality required to conduct the 2016 censuses of population and agriculture collection operations. Results include the collection management portal, a tool to manage collection operations and communications with field staff, the Internet applications, and the management information system required to monitor the progress of survey programs.

Under the Corporate Business Architecture initiative, Statistics Canada established a policy framework for statistical information management across the Agency. In addition to developing a strategy to adopt GCDOCS as a corporate tool, a multi-year project was launched to make it easier for all employees to find, access and re-use statistical metadata and data from both survey and administrative sources. The first release showcased a new powerful search capability, allowing searches by survey, variable, concept and even classification.

Statistics Canada currently has responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Open Data Portal on behalf of the Government of Canada. The portal serves as a central location for making government data freely available for use by Canadians and Canadian businesses; most of the data in the portal at present comes from Statistics Canada. The Agency also disseminates aggregate data, as well as analytical and information products through its website. Microdata are accessible through the research data centres, the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research, and Real Time Remote Access.

In 2015-16, methodological work continued to explore new frontiers to support a number of programs (such as census collection, weighting and variance estimation) and projects (such as measuring the effect of electronic collection on the Labour Force Survey). The suite of generalized methodology systems grew with implementation of a new estimation system (G-EST) for the Integrated Business Statistics Program, with substantial progress on confidentiality (G-CONFID) and record linkage (G-LINK) systems, and with development of a prototype for Small Area Estimation and its assessment in four key programs.

The Big Ideas II Conference, held in 2015, celebrated grassroots innovative ideas on the theme of local-area data. All-staff presentations highlighted local data projects already underway in the organization; a speaker series showcased innovation in municipal, federal and academic arenas; and, in a unique boot camp process, senior managers mentored idea submitters and promoted ideas with promise beyond the concept stage. A number of these projects will move to a proof of concept stage next year.

In 2015-16, Statistics Canada worked with other federal departments and agencies to explore the extent to which significant gains could be made if administrative programs and data collections were modified to better support statistical uses, greater engagement were secured from provinces and territories, and existing legislative and policy frameworks were modified to strongly support the statistical use of administrative data sources.

Work continued in 2015-16 on a project to update and modernize Statistics Canada's dissemination strategy. Several milestones were reached, including the completion of a beta test, a series of usability tests and migration of information to the new model. Development of external features and internal tools and processes is well underway. The new model is scheduled to be launched in spring 2018.

The Agency's core strategy for ensuring robustness is to develop and maintain a 10-year plan that identifies all investments required to ensure the efficiency, continuity and quality of all statistical programs. This plan is a key part of the Integrated Strategic Planning Process, a rigorous multi-year planning framework that incorporates all Agency requirements for financial, information technology and human resources. In 2015-16, the 10-year plan included investments in the redesign of major survey programs to ensure their continued relevance and effectiveness; in the introduction and implementation of relevant standards, such as the new International Monetary Fund standard for government finance statistics; and in a comprehensive review of the potential for administrative and other alternative data sources to replace, complement or supplement the Agency's statistical programs.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Statistical Infrastructure 2015-16
Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
105,110,975 105,110,975 108,827,938 87,473,605 -17,637,370
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Statistical Infrastructure 2015-16
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
1,123 954 -169

The difference between planned spending and actual spending for this program results mainly from:

  • budget provision for expired collective agreements
  • structural budget realignments to meet the new guidelines on internal services
  • unused amounts to be carried forward to 2016-17 to support the Agency's Integrated Strategic Planning Process. 

The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents is mainly because of the structural budget realignment to meet the new guidelines on internal services, along with changes in the planned salary expenditures made after the submission of the Report on Plans and Priorities to better align with the Agency's priorities.

Performance results—Statistical Infrastructure
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Statistical Infrastructure. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
Expected results Performance indicators Targets Actual results
An infrastructure of statistical services and activities is administered to support an effective statistical system. Percentage of programs using methodology services 100% 100%
Percentage of programs using statistical infrastructure services 100% 100%
Percentage of programs using operational statistical services 100% 100%

The program met its performance targets.

Program 5: Cost-recovered Statistical Services

Description

This activity produces high-quality, cost-recovered statistical services that meet the needs of specific federal and provincial institutions and other clients. The projects are grouped according to type, with the groupings comprising projects that involve Economic and Environmental Statistics, Socio-economic Statistics, the Censuses, as well as Statistical Infrastructure and Internal Services.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

By undertaking cost-recovery work, Statistics Canada fulfills its second strategic outcome and ensures that data are made available to all Canadians. Federal departments use Statistics Canada's cost-recovery services for surveys, microdata linkages and access, special tabulations, impact studies, satellite accounts, and associated studies.

Statistics Canada continues to expand its microdata access programs by increasing the number and types of data available for access by researchers. As a result, the programs saw an increase in the number and types of users who accessed their services. Plans to open new Research Data Centres across Canada continued. A second Federal Research Data Centre, funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, opened in March 2016, which broadened federal government researchers' access to Statistics Canada's microdata. Development projects to facilitate access through new tools and to improve metadata also continued throughout the year.

With funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, Statistics Canada completed the International Statistical Fellowship Program. This initiative strengthens national statistical systems in developing countries, addresses gaps in leadership and management, and creates capacity to produce reliable statistics. The Agency also started the Project for Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean, a seven-year project aimed at helping Caribbean statistical offices to improve their statistical infrastructure. Over 60 agreements have been signed with countries to undertake projects targeting the various priorities of the countries.

Statistics Canada also engaged in program and knowledge-transfer activities, such as joint training with international organizations, regional symposiums and the documentation of managerial best practices.

The seventh edition of Women in Canada, a compendium of papers on different themes related to women living in Canada, was initiated in 2015-16, and a number of papers were published, with more to come in 2016-17.

New data and analytical products based on the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) and the Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) were also disseminated in 2015-16.

A number of new surveys were developed for collection in 2016-17, such as the 2017 round of post-censal surveys, namely the CSD and the APS, and the Nunavut Inuit Labour Force Analysis project.

New projections of Indigenous populations were prepared and released in the fall of 2015.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Cost-recovered Statistical Services 2015-16
  Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Actual spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
Gross expenditures 112,060,852 112,060,852 112,025,384 96,359,919 -15,700,933
Respendable revenue -112,060,852 -112,060,852 -112,025,384 -96,359,919 15,700,933
Net expenditures 0 0 0 0 0
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Cost-recovered Statistical Services 2015-16
  Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
Gross expenditures 616 1,013 397
Respendable revenue -616 -1,013 -397
Net expenditures 0 0 0

The Agency's statistical program is funded from two sources: direct parliamentary appropriations and cost-recovery activities. Statistics Canada has the authority to generate $120 million annually. In recent years, “respendable” cost-recovery revenues have contributed $90 million to $105 million annually to the Agency's total resources and have thereby provided funds for approximately 1,000 full-time equivalents. A large portion of these respendable revenues comes from federal departments to fund specific statistical projects.

In accordance with government-wide presentation standards, all numbers in the Budgetary financial resources table (dollars) are presented net of respendable revenue. As shown in the table, respendable revenue less actual expenditures results in a net authority of zero.

All numbers in the Human resources table include full-time equivalents funded by respendable revenue. The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents is mainly because of a change in reporting. Starting with the 2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities and the 2015-16 Departmental Performance Report, interviewers are included in the total full-time equivalents. Furthermore, full-time equivalents always vary slightly as a result of variances between the average salary rates paid and the estimated average salary rates used in calculations at the planning stage.

Performance results—Cost-recovered Statistical Services
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Indicators for Cost-recovered Statistical Services. The information is grouped by Program Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Actual Results (appearing as column headers).
Expected results Performance indicators Targets Actual results
Government policy makers, institutions and private-sector clients use Statistics Canada's cost-recovery services. Volume of cost-recovery contracts conducted by Statistics Canada—Statistical Surveys and Related Surveys 264 254
Value of cost-recovery contracts conducted by Statistics Canada—Statistical Surveys and Related Surveys $80,698,000 $89,956,980
Value of cost-recovery contracts conducted by Statistics Canada—custom requests and workshops $5,729,000 $4,385,410

There were 254 cost-recovered contracts undertaken by the Agency for Statistical Surveys and Related Surveys, for a total value of $89,956,980. The total value of all cost-recovery contracts for custom requests and workshops ($4,385,410) was lower than expected.

Internal Services

Description

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Program performance analysis and lessons learned

2015-16 activities

The Departmental Project Management Framework (DPMF) was reviewed and streamlined in 2015-16 in response to improvement proposals received from users of the framework and from audit recommendations. The DPMF applies to all projects with total costs of $150,000 or more. Effective management of projects is key to providing value for money and demonstrating sound stewardship in program delivery. In addition, the Agency ensures that all direct program spending is evaluated every five years.

Human resources goals and objectives are aligned with the priorities of Statistics Canada and the Government of Canada through the continued implementation of the three-year Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan (2015-16 to 2017-18). In 2015-16, the Agency began hiring for the 2016 Census Program, and continued to support employees to contribute fully and perform their best by completing the implementation of the new Performance Management Directive.

The Agency continued to provide the advice and support required to deliver its programs effectively. To this end, the Agency actively participated in the government-wide financial and human resources management-transformation working groups tasked with developing plans to adopt common business processes and systems. The Agency is also working diligently to implement the new Phoenix pay system.

Responding to the Treasury Board directive on recordkeeping, Statistics Canada made progress on its five-year project to implement GCDOCS as a corporate electronic document and records management system.

Statistics Canada is continuing its multi-year implementation plan to convert its office space to Workplace 2.0—the new Government of Canada space standard.

The Agency is working with Shared Services Canada to modernize the delivery of information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. In 2015-16, work was conducted on a network transformation roadmap, and this work continues. To support employee productivity, workstations on the Agency's internal Network A received network connectivity to certain external applications. Census production will be carried out in the census enclave, set up specifically for Statistics Canada and located at the Data Operations Centre in Gatineau. Migration to the new Government of Canada common email service was completed successfully. The Agency also continued the migration from Centrex phones (land lines) to cellphones.

Engagement with the public continued using Web 2.0 tools, including social media platforms, chat sessions with Statistics Canada experts, blog discussions, online tutorials and videos promoting highlights of major releases.

The Daily is Statistics Canada's official release bulletin. In June 2015, the modernized Daily was launched online. The redesign was based on feedback from users. The Daily now includes interactive charts, automated tables, indicators and photos. It features new navigation and increased search capability, and can be displayed on any device. In addition, this innovative product enhances user experience and provides analysts with built-in automation features that increase quality and consistency across statistical outputs.

Finally, as part of an ongoing effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of back-office processes, the Agency implemented an electronic requests and approvals process for the purchase of goods and services. This replaced the paper-based Goods and Services Acquisition Form. This new, automated workflow results in time savings for all involved.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)—Internal Services 2015-16
Main estimates Planned spending Total authorities available for use Actual spending (authorities used) Difference (actual minus planned)
51,666,281 51,666,281 62,163,757 62,786,663 11,120,382
Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])—Internal Services 2015-16
Planned Actual Difference (actual minus planned)
488 586 98

The difference between planned and actual spending results mainly from:

  • structural budget realignments to meet the new guidelines on internal services
  • salary expenditures reimbursed by Treasury Board (for example, parental leave payments).

The difference between planned and actual full-time equivalents is mainly because of the structural budget realignments to meet the new guidelines on internal services.

Notes

Footnote 1

Now called Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

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Footnote 2

Now called Global Affairs Canada.

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Footnote 3

Now called Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

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Footnote 4

Now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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Footnote 5

Now called Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

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