Management Practices Audit Quebec Region - Follow-up Report Status Update as of December 31, 2012

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of December 31, 2012

QUEBEC REGION, HRWSB, RO, CFO

Management Practices Audit Quebec Region
Approval Date: 02/23/2012
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected Completion Date Program Response
1. Continue to collaborate with Headquarters to define external client services offered by AANDC and to develop performance targets for the delivery of these services as part of on-going monitoring and management of the performance against established standards. To help ensure a consistent, national approach is adopted, standards, performance expectations and monitoring requirements should be formally communicated to all regions by HQ. 1.1 The Quebec Regional Office will work with the Chief Financial Officer to develop service standards for internal services in this sector's areas of activity. Regional service standards will be shared to promote a nationally consistent approach.

1.2 The Quebec Regional Office will also work with Regional Operations to develop service standards for transfer payments for external clients.

1.3 The Quebec Regional Office is working with Sectors at Headquarters to develop external client service standards for transfer payments, land management, Indian registration, estates, processing of applications for funding for economic development projects, handling of election appeals, and by‑laws.
Ongoing Status: Request to close

Update/Rationale
As of September 30, 2012

1.1

In January 2012, the QRO contributed to the exercise aiming to identify service standards for internal services within the Chief Financial Officer Sector, including financial and administrative services (including contract and asset management) and QRO. The objective was to identify all current service standards, including the principles governing service delivery.

NOTE: establishing service standards will now be the responsibility of the accounting and procurement service hubs.

1.2

The QRO has actively cooperated in developing transfer payment service standards. These topics were among those discussed at the ARDG Forum and during conference calls of the Funding Services and Corporate Services directors.

In addition, Headquarters has introduced new national service standards on quality, timeframes and deadlines with respect to the analysis of financial statements. These standards, which have been made public to agreement recipients, are now in effect and are adhered to at the QRO.

1.3

The Regional Directorate responsible for individual affairs maintains ongoing relations with the Individual Affairs Branch at Headquarters with regard to the implementation and update of service standards where required. Also, for many years, the Regional Directorate has had in place service standards related more specifically to Indian registration, return telephone calls for the regional 1-800 line and estates.

The QRO will continue to work with the sectors at Headquarters on developing external client service standards for land management and the processing of applications for funding for economic development projects.

AES: Implementation completed. The recommendation is closed.
2. Increase the awareness of regional managers responsible for hiring and promotion activities by providing training and information sessions. The training should identify the tools and resources available to help them better understand their roles and responsibilities within the hiring process and help ensure it is efficient and effective; and identify the documentation to be retained to demonstrate compliance with policies and procedures. 2.1 Organize information sessions with the extended management team to remind them about the documents to be kept on file. Mid‑March 2012 Status: Request to close

Update/Rationale
As of September 30, 2012:

An information session on staffing was held for managers in connection with Learning Month in May 2012. The following themes were covered:
  • Documentation required in files
  • Establishment of roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders in the processes;
  • The Department's delegation instrument;
  • The connection between the statement of merit criteria and the job requirements;
  • Pre-selection and assessment tools available to managers;
  • Etc.
Also, to give employees a clear understanding of the staffing process and its various stages, several information sessions were held for the HR team on the following themes:

  • Career aspiration system at the QRO (making the form digitally accessible)
  • Preparing a resumé, cover letter and various tools;
  • Information on priority administration;
  • Interviews and screening examinations;
Last, the HR team presented the competency profile developed for the PM group to all employees and managers in the region. This profile is available on the intranet and represents the key competencies identified for this group.

AES: Implementation completed. The recommendation is closed.
2.2 Set up group training sessions for managers to help them learn more about the respective roles and responsibilities in the staffing process. May 2012
Learning month
2.3 Develop and/or share tools with managers, e.g., pre‑selection and assessment tools, regional competency profile, etc. May 2012
Learning month
2.4 Update staffing tools and ensure they are available through regional intranet. Beginning of March 2012
3. Collaborate with HRWSB and propose new approaches for adjustments to employee performance management (EPM) requirements to reflect the alignment of developmental goals with employees' needs, position requirements and established regional competencies. Also, any developmental goals identified should be used to inform learning plans for the year providing a clear link between the EPM and Learning Plan. Training should be carried out to help improve the consistency and quality of EPM form preparation and assessment. The Québec Region should also conduct an ongoing quality review of a sample of EPMs to assess whether they are completed as expected. 3.1 The region will ensure that its EPM process is perfectly in line with the Department's national policy. Call letter from HQ Status: Request to close (completed)

Update/Rationale
As of December 31, 2012:

In April 2012 a regional call letter was sent to all employees by QRO's senior management to launch the performance management process. The letter included useful links, namely on the QRO's career aspirations system and the various courses and training offered by the department, as well as the EPM school and the AANDC learning roadmaps.

In May 2012 the new regional competency profile developed for the PM group was presented to employees as a tool to support the development of work objectives and an individual learning plan.

Also in May 2012, the regional HR team offered two information sessions for managers and employees on setting work objectives in the context of performance evaluations.

Examples of work objectives (good and weak) had been collected beforehand through random sampling from previous performance evaluation reports. The tool used was based on the SMART concept (simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound).

A second sample should have been taken mid‑year to conduct a quality review of established objectives in order to check that they were established in accordance with expectations. However, the position of the HR advisor responsible for the file was cut in the context of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan. The employee and a co-worker left the QRO in June 2012 and were not replaced. The only remaining advisor had to take over all the staffing and labour relations files for the region in addition to supporting management with the workforce reduction. As a result, this action could not be completed.

The new Eastern HR Services Hub will now be responsible for coordinating the Employee Performance Management (EPM) process. Once the positions have been staffed and the employees have begun their duties, the regional office will work with the new HR hub advisors to continue to improve the quality and relevance of the employees' work objectives.

At the end of the current EPM cycle, we will try to go back to the exercise of collecting samples of work objectives  with the support of the HR Services Hub in a spirit of ongoing improvement and in order to continue to support the SMART objectives in 2013-14.

AES: Implementation completed. The recommendation is closed.
3.2 When sending out the regional call letter announcing the start of the process, messages will be tailored to managers and employees. Expectations will be specified, concrete examples will be provided and electronic links will be made available to all. Beginning of April 2012
3.3 Examples of work objectives from a random regional sample will be used for a quality review of the 2011‑12 evaluations. Anonymous examples of "good" and "weak" wording will be shared with managers during an information session (see item 4). End of April 2012 for fiscal year ending May 31
3.4 Information sessions will be provided to managers on the EPM process, including setting goals (measurable, attainable, realistic, clear). June 2012
3.5 Before the midyear review, a second random sample will be taken and used to measure the effectiveness of the process and to make adjustments based on the above goal-setting principles. September 2012
4. Continue to collaborate with Headquarters and increase HQ's awareness of the need to consult and work closely with regional offices and First Nation representatives to support an improved understanding of the needs and requirements of First Nations. To contribute to greater understanding of the needs of Quebec First Nations, the QRO will continue to use national forums such as sector meetings, committees and conference calls to highlight the importance of holding close consultations with the regional offices and First Nations representatives for policy development, proposed changes to programs, the implementation of special initiatives and pilot projects, etc. Ongoing Status: Request to close

Update/Rationale
As of September 30, 2012:

The QRO is involved in the various national working groups in the Department's various business areas. The QRO takes part in national meetings, conference calls and videoconferences, and in ongoing discussions with representatives from Headquarters and the Regions.

AES: Implementation completed. The recommendation is closed.
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