Management Accountability Framework Assessments

Departmental Response to Round IV (2006) Environment Canada Management Accountability Framework (MAF) Assessment

Environment Canada was pleased to receive acknowledgement in its Round IV (2006) Management Accountability Framework assessment of the progress made to date in several key areas of management. In 2006, Environment Canada increased its level of evaluation activity; made progress in the setting of service standards and client satisfaction measures; developed and implemented a comprehensive departmental change management plan that was supported by on-line interactive training tools; and demonstrated leadership in fostering a culture of respect and integrity.

In Round IV, Treasury Board portfolio also identified two key management priorities for Environment Canada in 2007: (1) integrity of the corporate management structure and (2) effectiveness of information technology management. Specifically, Environment Canada was encouraged to improve performance measurement and to develop a risk-based corporate plan to integrate other key strategic plans such as the human resources strategic plan. Additionally, Environment Canada was encouraged to create a strategic information technology plan and to put in place frameworks and tools to measure the value derived from information technology investments.

In line with its two key Management Accountability Framework priorities, Environment Canada is currently undergoing a review of its program activity architecture and a supporting performance measurement framework is being developed in conjunction with this process. In addition, Environment Canada completed its first integrated human resources and business planning process in May 2007, and progress on the department's Information Technology Strategic Plan continues as a part of the transformation process for the Chief Information Officer Branch.

The table below provides an overview of Environment Canada's Round IV Management Accountability Framework assessment along with the department's response.

The Management Accountability Framework assessment presents a broad view of Environment Canada's overall management performance and the department is committed to working with the Treasury Board portfolio to continue to identify priorities and implement action plans for management improvement throughout the organization.

Michael Horgan
Deputy Minister

Management Accountability Framework
Round IV

EC Rating

Departmental Response

Public Service Values

Values-based leadership and organizational cultureAcceptable

In its 2006 Management Accountability Framework assessment, Environment Canada was recognized for the culture of respect and integrity fostered by its leaders. In 2007, Environment Canada continued to promote public service values through the implementation of the Public Service Modernization Act. In June, Environment Canada administered its first Values and Ethics Employee Survey, and in September, Environment Canada developed and began implementation of an action plan responding to the survey's findings.

Also in 2007, Environment Canada developed and implemented a plan to communicate and reinforce avenues for the disclosure of wrongdoing. Environment Canada continues to encourage participation, openness, and communication, and to address employee perceptions through improved communications, including the promotion of the role and services of the Office of Conflict Management.

Governance and Strategic Directions

Utility of the corporate performance frameworkAcceptable

In 2007, Environment Canada initiated a review of its program activity architecture and a supporting performance measurement framework is being developed.

In addition, Environment Canada made changes to its governance structure to further clarify lines of reporting and accountability.

With respect to extra-organizational contribution, Environment Canada made significant progress with respect to the management, tracking, and reporting of resources and results of its horizontal initiatives. For example, under the Species at Risk Act, Environment Canada:

  • aligned the program activity architecture for the Species at Risk Act Outcome Project Plan to Treasury Board submissions, so results and resources can be tracked and reported on;
  • continued to lead the governance mechanisms for the Species at Risk Act (i.e. Species at Risk ADM Committee and the Species at Risk Associate DM Steering Committee);
  • continued to implement the action plan developed as a result of the evaluation of the Species at Risk Act;
  • developed, endorsed, and refined the National Framework for Species at Risk Conservation.

Under the Horizontal Management, Accountability, and Reporting Framework, Environment Canada:

  • collaborated with departments participating in the Clean Air Agenda to develop the initial design for the Horizontal Management, Accountability, and Reporting Framework; and
  • established a Results Management Secretariat, which submitted a detailed work plan to Treasury Board Secretariat in May 2007 for the implementation of the Horizontal Management, Accountability, and Reporting Framework.
Integrity of the corporate management structureOpportunity for improvement
Effectiveness of extra-organizational contributionOpportunity for improvement

Policy and Programs

Quality of program and policy analysisAcceptable

In 2007, Environment Canada established a new approach to ensuring the strategic management of Cabinet business.

In addition, Environment Canada has dedicated resources for the development of Treasury Board submissions to improve overall quality of supporting information and analysis, coordination, and consistency.

Environment Canada also continues the process of updating all Treasury Board submissions to adhere to new Treasury Board Secretariat guidelines.

Results and Performance

Quality and use of evaluationAcceptable

Environment Canada continued to increase the department's evaluation capacity in 2007 and to monitor the implementation of recommendations made during past evaluations.

As previously mentioned, Environment Canada is in the process of reviewing its program activity architecture and developing its supporting performance management framework. In addition, Environment Canada recognizes the need to continue to improve its corporate reporting to Parliament.

Integration, use, and reporting of performance information (financial and non-financial)Opportunity for improvement

Learning, Innovation and Change Management

Managing organizational changesAcceptableEnvironment Canada adopted a new learning policy in July of 2007. Funding sought through the Public Service Modernization Act for the implementation of this new learning policy and the development of individual learning plans will position Environment Canada to better meet its future operational needs.

Risk Management

Effectiveness of corporate risk managementOpportunity for improvementEnvironment Canada's corporate risk profile was updated in 2006 and 2007. Environment Canada continues to develop its corporate risk management framework.
Extent to which the workplace is fair, enabling, healthy, and safeAcceptable

Through the adoption and implementation of its learning policy, inclusiveness strategy, Staffing Management Accountability Framework, recognition program, and the advancement of initiatives in support of the Public Service Modernization Act, Environment Canada will continue to ensure that its workplace is fair, enabling, healthy, and safe for all employees.

Further, through the above-mentioned learning policy and inclusiveness strategy, through its efforts to integrate human resource and business planning, and by improving communications and the promotion of the roles and services of the Office of Conflict Management, Environment Canada will continue to ensure that its workforce is productive, principled, sustainable, and adaptable.

Extent to which the workforce is productive, principled, sustainable, and adaptableAcceptable


Effectiveness of information managementOpportunity for improvement

In October 2007, Environment Canada's Executive Management Committee approved Environment Canada's new Information Management Strategy and several "Early Win" projects are already underway.

Environment Canada continues to develop its Information Technology Strategic Plan and work towards compliance with Treasury Board's Operational Security Standard: Management of Information Technology Security.

In 2007, Environment Canada developed a new integrated investment planning approach for assets and began the planning process for 2008-2009. Given Environment Canada's advancements in this area, Treasury Board Secretariat has invited Environment Canada to become an official pilot department for new Treasury Board Secretariat policies on the management of projects and on investment planning.

On the procurement side, Environment Canada has increased internal controls around the use of the acquisition card. These controls, along with more frequent management reports, will help to ensure appropriate use of the card.

In response to the Internal Audit Policy, Environment Canada established its External Audit Advisory Committee in fall 2007. In addition, Environment Canada has revised its Internal Audit Charter and approved an External Audit Advisory Committee Charter.

Effectiveness of information technology managementOpportunity for improvement
Effectiveness of asset managementOpportunity for improvement
Effective project managementAcceptable
Effective procurementAcceptable
Effectiveness of financial management and controlAcceptable
Effectiveness of internal audit functionAcceptable

Citizen-focused Service

Organization knows and responds to citizens'/clients' needs and expectationsAcceptable

Environment Canada continued to develop service standards and to measure client satisfaction in 2007.

Environment Canada has made improvements to its human resources management information system in order to provide accurate official languages data for the position and classification information system. This will enable the Official Languages Branch of the Canada Public Service Agency to better assess Environment Canada's capacity to provide services to the public in both official languages. Environment Canada is also continuing to improve its capacity to provide meteorological information to the public in both official languages.


Alignment of accountability instrumentUnratedNot applicable.
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