Archived – Risk Analysis

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At Statistics Canada, integrated risk management is an ongoing and dynamic activity that supports corporate decision-making, and is a central theme of the annual integrated strategic planning process. An integral part of Statistics Canada's Risk Management Model is the Corporate Risk Profile, a high-level summary of the most critical risks being managed by Statistics Canada. The Corporate Risk Profile is used as a concise reference tool for decision-making and, each year, it is subject to a comprehensive review.

The Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 highlights six corporate risks. The response strategies described herein are already underway and will continue in 2014/2015.

Table – Risk Analysis
This table identifies and describes the Agency's three top corporate risks, and indicates the Agency's Risk Response Strategy, the risk's link to the Program Alignment Architecture and its link to organizational priorities.
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program
Alignment Architecture
Increased difficulties in reaching respondents An ongoing challenge to the quality of social statistics is the growing difficulty with collecting information from respondents. This risk was identified in both the 2012/2013 and the 2013/2014 Reports on Plans and Priorities. Mitigation strategies identified in the Agency's Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 comprise closely monitoring response rates and assessing potential biases in survey results; continuing the research and development of the dwelling-based Household Survey Frame as an alternative to existing frames; engaging respondents through various mechanisms (Statistics Canada, Government of Canada and other departments' websites as well as social media) to ensure high response rates; reviewing the possible use of administrative data sources, keeping in mind privacy concerns as these sources are used further; continuing to innovate to meet respondents' needs, which includes greater use of multi-mode data-collection options, such as e-questionnaires and mobile devices; continuing to investigate the possibility of conducting interviews by cellphone; undertaking additional studies; and incorporating lessons learned.
  • Socio-economic Statistics
  • Labour, Education, Income and Tourism Statistics
  • Health and Justice Statistics
  • Demographic, Aboriginal and other Social Statistics
  • Analysis of Socio-economic Statistics
  • Censuses
  • Census of Population
  • Census of Agriculture
  • Professional and Statistical Services
  • Cost-recovered Services related to Socio-economic Statistics
  • Cost-recovered Services related to the Censuses
Reputational risk related to respondent information Any releases of confidential information, or real or perceived breaches of Statistics Canada's informatics infrastructure and related business processes, pose the risk of damaging reputation, credibility, image and public trust. This risk was identified in both the 2012/2013 and the 2013/2014 Reports on Plans and Priorities. Mitigation strategies identified in the Agency's Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 comprise continually assessing the current state of informatics infrastructure accessible to the public, monitoring to identify the most vulnerable areas; ensuring that Statistics Canada programs are effectively supported by infrastructure services; continuously reviewing and improving dissemination release procedures and processes through simplification and streamlining; ensuring data stewardship and confidentiality of microdata used for statistical and research purposes, within the Agency as well as in Research Data Centres (RDCs), the Centre for Data Development and Economic Research and Real Time Remote Access; ensuring that IT security policies, directives and practices are up to date and take into consideration shared responsibilities with other departments when managing challenges and vulnerabilities; enhancing IT infrastructure security protection and security alignment; and training and raising awareness of Statistics Canada employees on matters related to security of classified and designated information. All programs are affected
Common tools and government wide priorities Statistics Canada is responding to government-wide priorities and is working towards their implementation. At present, the Agency is not using any of the software tools that have been prescribed for corporate systems—i.e., the back-office systems that support human resource and financial administration and records management. The Agency’s existing systems are efficient by any standard and, in the short term, re-assigning staff from core activities to implement new systems would pose a risk to providing the statistical program. While the Agency has no provisions in its financial planning for the adoption of these corporate systems in 2014/2015, it will continue to contribute its time and knowledge by actively participating in the government-wide governance bodies and working groups for the financial management transformation initiative. Statistics Canada strongly believes that the experience and knowledge it brings to managing in an integrated and efficient fashion will help shape a robust government-wide transformation plan in this domain. Statistics Canada’s current assumption is that its migration to these common platforms will begin in 2017/2018. Additional efforts to prepare for these transitions will continue in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.

This risk was identified in both the 2012/2013 and the 2013/2014 Reports on Plans and Priorities. Mitigation strategies, identified in the Corporate Risk Profile for 2012/2013 to 2013/2014, comprise actively participating in government-wide working groups related to GCDOCS, PeopleSoft, SAP, Pay Modernization, CHRBP and Chief Informatics Officer Branch initiatives; effectively managing relationships with stakeholders and partners in central agencies (e.g., Bank of Canada, Department of Finance); maintaining ongoing communication between representatives from program areas, corporate services, informatics and information management to ensure coordination of initiatives; coordinating IT services to support multiple initiatives to meet corporate business needs; developing an action plan for the implementation of GCDOCS with key activities identified; considering all major initiatives as projects with a dedicated project manager assigned and following the Departmental Project Management Framework; acquiring and developing the expertise required for the implementation of a corporate Electronic Records and Document Management System; and establishing rigorous corporate change management processes, with appropriate support, training and communication tools for managers and employees. In addition, Statistics Canada has established and provided initial funding for a Network Transformation Initiative that will consolidate Statistics Canada’s working network into one external-facing network to support the transition to government-wide solutions.
All programs are affected

One significant issue is that technological advances have made it more difficult to reach people. Call display and call screening hinder the Agency's ability to get a respondent to answer the telephone. As well, more and more households have only cellphones or use Internet phones. All of this makes it more challenging to ensure representative samples and high response rates.

Another concern is that any releases of confidential information, or real or perceived breaches of Statistics Canada's informatics infrastructure and related business processes, pose the risk of loss of reputation, credibility and image. An ongoing challenge is ensuring that Statistics Canada's evolving needs for informatics support are effectively met by infrastructure services managed by Shared Services Canada.

To help respond to the risks described above, Statistics Canada is moving forward to consolidate the Agency's working network into one external-facing network to support the transition to government-wide solutions.

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