Archived – Program activity 4: Internal services

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Program activity description

Internal Services comprises activities and resources that support programs and other corporate obligations: management and oversight services; communications services, legal services, human resource management services, financial management services, information management services, informatics services, methodology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, as well as travel and other administrative services.

Table 1 2011–-2012 Financial resources ($ thousands)
Planned spending Total authorities Footnote 1 Actual spending Footnote 1
82,637 103,016 93,840
Table 2 2011–-2012 Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
Planned Actual Difference
908 969 -61
Table 3 Performance indicators for internal services
Expected results Performance indicators Footnote 1 Targets Actual results
Organizational efficiency Rating on 21 areas of management defined in the Management Accountability Framework Obtain rating of 'strong' or 'acceptable' in 90% of areas of management Fourteen areas of management were evaluated as part of the 2011–2012 Management Accountability Framework. Statistics Canada obtained a rating of 'strong' or 'acceptable' in 13 areas, or 93% of the areas of management.
The rating for Integrated Risk Management and Effectiveness of Information Management both increased to 'acceptable' from 'opportunity for improvement' in 2010–2011.
Although the Quality and Use of Evaluation received a rating of 'opportunity for improvement', a great deal of work has been done and continues in this area. A neutral evaluation function has been established within Statistics Canada, as well as a Departmental Evaluation Plan covering 100% of the Agency's programs.
Financial reports to Policy Committee provided as planned Monthly Statistics Canada met all its financial management targets. All financial reports to Policy Committee were provided as scheduled.
Departmental Staffing Accountability Report Rank in the top quartile of agencies and departments (response rates and overall results) Statistics Canada has ranked in the top quintile in the average length of internal appointment processes across the Public Service in the Departmental Summary of Staffing Management Accountability Framework indicators developed by the Public Service Commission for the 2011–2012 Departmental Staffing Accountability Report. Much of this success can be attributed to the Agency's collective staffing model.
A new staffing model was introduced in June 2010 to meet Statistics Canada's core business needs. The new model, fully implemented in July 2011, emphasizes domain-specific collective processes and is designed to better align with employee expectations and subject-matter needs. Efficiencies have been gained through the collective approach to staffing as result of fewer selection processes, a streamlined and organized approach as well as the ensuing pools of qualified individuals.

Performance summary and analysis of program activity

The Internal Services program activity achieved success towards the priority it identified in the 2011–2012 Report on Plans and Priorities: improve the Agency's business processes and further integrate its results-based corporate infrastructure.

Activities included

  • further integrating risk management, planning and evaluation activities
  • developing and funding a multi-year capital plan to ensure the efficiency, continuity, and quality of all statistical and support programs
  • aligning human resources capacity with the long-term investment strategy
  • strengthening the corporate statistical information management framework
  • consolidating the procurement, management and evergreening of the Agency's desktop equipment
  • launching a comprehensive review of the dissemination model
  • consolidating information technology infrastructure services within Shared Services Canada.

Lessons learned

What worked well

The Agency prepared a 10-year outlook of planned investments, forming the basis of Statistics Canada's first departmental investment plan, which was then approved by Treasury Board Secretariat. Implementing the Departmental Project Management Framework, and having in place a strong governance and decision-making structure, earned the Agency a Level 3 Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment.

In 2011-–2012, the Agency further integrated risk management practices into its business, developing a comprehensive corporate risk profile. Greater accountability for mitigation strategies and action plans was achieved by assigning senior management leads to each of the corporate risks. Improved documentation and training on the development of program area risk registers was provided, which increased awareness and enhanced consistent practices across the Agency. The Departmental Audit Committee reviewed the integrated risk management process and corporate risk profile and provided valuable insights.

A strong culture of sound information management practices is fundamental to Statistics Canada's mandate. The Agency remains strong in the area of access to information, but has identified a need to improve information management practices. In response, practical foundational initiatives have begun in this area. Implementing corporate directives on the management of statistical microdata files and aggregate statistics, supported by bi-annual corporate monitoring, are key steps in improving the Agency's management of statistical information. Progress made in identifying information resources of business value is a key step toward sound management of unstructured information. This positions the Agency well for aligning with the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on Recordkeeping. As a result, Statistics Canada's Information Management (Management Accountability Framework Area of Management 12) overall rating in MAF IX improved to 'acceptable' from last year's rating of 'opportunity for improvement'.

What could be improved and what we are doing about it

In 2011–-2012, Statistics Canada focused on several staffing and governance changes designed to help build a foundation for the Agency's evaluation function. This process is still in its early stages, which is reflected in the overall 'opportunity for improvement' rating. A five-year evaluation plan has been completed and forwarded to Treasury Board Secretariat. The Agency is also moving towards full evaluation coverage of its direct program spending over a five-year cycle. Statistics Canada will continue to carry out activities over the course of 2012–-2013, as per its recently approved Transition Plan for Implementing the Evaluation Function. This will ensure that a neutral and cost-effective evaluation function can provide the evaluation information needed and fulfill the requirements of the 2009 Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation.

The alignment of Statistics Canada's human resources capacity with the long-term investment strategy identified through the departmental investment plan remains a focus. The Agency will continue to ensure that the human resources, financial and project management information required for decision making is consistently available to support Statistics Canada's integrated strategic planning process. Risk management, planning and evaluation activities will be further integrated into this process.