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Management Accountability Framework Assessments

Departmental Response to Round V (2007-08) Environment Canada Management Accountability Framework (MAF) Assessment

Environment Canada was pleased to receive acknowledgement in its Round V (2007-08) Management Accountability Framework (MAF)assessment of progress achieved in a number of key areas. In particular, improvements were noted in the effectiveness of corporate risk management by clarifying linkages between risk and business planning, and in asset management by launching an integrated, department-wide approach to investment planning.

Progress was also recognized in several other areas, including a strong values-based leadership and organizational culture, improvements to the integrity of the corporate management structure, and the effectiveness of information technology management.

In the Round V MAF Assessment, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) identified the following management priorities for Environment Canada in 2008.

1) Utility of the Corporate Performance Framework - the Department was encouraged to improve performance by continuing to refine and strengthen its Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture (PAA).

In response, Environment Canada launched a comprehensive review and renewal of its Strategic Outcomes and PAA. In addition, the Department developed a Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) at the Strategic Outcome and Program Activity levels, for implementation in 2009-10, pending development of a complete PMF for 2010-11 based on the revised PAA. Managers from across the department, with the assistance of TBS staff, have been and will continue to be heavily engaged in this renewal process.

2) Effectiveness of Expenditure Management - the Department was encouraged to improve its expenditure management andplanning in order to better manage financial pressures. In particular, EC was encouraged to improve its budget allocation processes and enhance the quality of both its financial information and financial analysis.

In response, Environment Canada has taken measures to improve the budget allocation process through a review of the financial management framework and related governance changes to ensure the timely allocation of funds and to improve the quality and analysis of financial information. As a result, budgets were allocated earlier in 2008-09 than in 2007-08.

Environment Canada has also formed a Finance Committee, chaired by the Deputy Minister, to oversee periodic reviews of the Department's financial situation, approve budget allocations and deal with key financial management and policy issues. In addition, the topic of financial management has been a continuing area of focus at both the Executive Management Committee and Leadership Council meetings. Environment Canada's executive cadre and senior managers also have performance goals relating to financial management identified for 2008-09.

The table below provides an overview of Environment Canada's Round V MAF Assessment along with the Department's response.

The MAF Assessment presents a comprehensive assessment of Environment Canada's overall management performance. As in previous years, Environment Canada is committed to using the Management Accountability Framework to identify priorities and implement the necessary action plans for management improvement throughout the organization.

Ian Shugart
Deputy Minister

Round V
Areas of Management

Environment Canada's Rating

Departmental Response

Public Service Values

Values-based leadership and organizational cultureStrongEC continued to ensure that management selection processes adhered to Policies, Directives, and Standards. Furthermore, EC incorporated ethics risk management training in the existing values and ethics on-line course; developed ethics risk identification and risk management strategies; and followed up on Values and Ethics with senior executives to ensure that department-wide and branch-based interventions in our Values and Ethics survey action plan are being implemented.

Governance and Strategic Directions

Utility of the corporate performance frameworkOpportunity for ImprovementEC recognized the importance of the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) in providing the foundation for performance measurement, program governance and other aspects of the Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) Policy. A comprehensive review process was initiated to bring EC into compliance with the requirements of the MRRS Policy in 2010-11. EC also took several interim steps toward compliance within the context of its existing PAA. Program titles and descriptions were revised, Internal Services activities were restructured, and a partial Performance Measurement Framework was developed for implementation in 2009-10.
Effectiveness of the Corporate Management StructureAcceptableEC committed to producing planning documents at the branch level that were more comprehensive and had clearer links to priorities. In addition, EC prepared a draft Corporate Business Plan for 2008-09 to reflect increased integration of corporate planning documentation
Effectiveness of extra-organizational contributionAcceptableEC has been involved in a number of horizontal initiatives such as the Canadian Group on Earth Observations, Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Initiative, and the Clean Air Agenda. In addition, EC is one of the five early adopter departments of the TBS-led Corporate Administrative Shared Services (CASS) initiative and will continue to be engaged in this horizontal service delivery initiative. EC's goal had been to ensure that participating departments/agencies lived up to the expectations for which the initiatives were set up. The Department will continue to be involved in clarifying roles and contributions; facilitate greater participation among departments; and promote a consultation process on these and other horizontal initiatives.

Policy and Programs

Quality of Analysis in Treasury Board (TB) SubmissionsOpportunity for ImprovementEC developed a systematic process to address TBS recommendations and will continue to ensure quality and timeliness for TB submissions. In addition, EC continued to work with TBS to regularly review completed submissions and improve processes. Other actions were aimed at improving quality control processes to ensure better consistency, and at increasing engagement of EC specialists in the TB Submission process.

Results and Performance

Quality and use of evaluationAcceptableEC has maintained an effort to increase its evaluation coverage of direct program spending since Round IV (2005-06), within available resources. In 2007, TBS commended EC for continuing to produce quality evaluations.
Quality Reporting to ParliamentAcceptableEC is committed to reporting on planning and performance at the Program Activity level. This reporting demonstrates how the department contributes towards the achievement of its Strategic Outcomes. As well, it demonstrates both credibility and balance by providing an opportunity to outline lessons learned and corrective actions taken.

Learning, Innovation and Change Management

Managing organizational changesAcceptableEC has undergone both organizational and governance changes over the past four years. While the Department continues to learn and build on past experiences, EC's executive team actively discusses initiatives to improve management performance at key management meetings. For example, significant changes to financial management and governance were brought about through the October 2008 meeting of senior managers from across the department.

Risk Management

Effectiveness of corporate risk managementAcceptableEC senior management was engaged in the development of a renewed Corporate Risk Profile (CRP) for 2008. As a result, EC has committed to an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) approach (appropriate tools to support decision makers on managing risks, and understanding senior management's risk tolerance level). The Department has been building an inventory of its current risk activities; developing an internal communications plan for the IRM approach; undertaking an environmental scan; and aligning the inventory of risk management activities with the CRP risks.


Extent to which the workplace is fair, enabling, healthy, and safeOpportunity for ImprovementEC has endeavoured to improve the labour management consultation process; develop labour relations expertise within EC; and to complete and submit the Departmental Classification Performance Report in 2008-09 in a timely manner.
Extent to which the workforce is productive, principled, sustainable, and adaptableStrongEC has responded to concerns raised on issues such as learning plans, and enhancing employment and promotion opportunities for designated groups. As part of this commitment, the Department will continue to build on its current "strong" rating for its management efforts in this area. Furthermore, EC has been implementing the Clerk of the Privy Council's priorities under the Public Service Renewal Initiative of 2008-09.


Effectiveness of information managementOpportunity for improvementEC has created a plan outlining the vision and roadmap for Information Management (IM) within the department. Processes are in place to facilitate the identification, integration and continuous improvement of IM requirements into the planning, development, implementation, evaluation and reporting activities of both services and programs. Regarding the Access to Information Act Annual Report to Parliament, related information holdings, and the collection of personal data, EC has been working to ensure that the mandatory requirements applicable to these areas were met.
Effectiveness of information technology managementAcceptableEC has developed an Information Management / Information Technology Plan that includes a strategic framework designed to improve planning and performance reporting.
Effectiveness of asset managementAcceptableEC has completed the Department's Investment Plan and a draft updated Real Property Framework has been shared with TBS, in keeping with revised TB policies on Real Property Management. Modifications have also been made to EC's real property information system to reflect the new TB Directory of Federal Real Property reporting requirements, and EC's Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory data was certified by TBS on June 30, 2008.
Effective project managementAcceptableEC is working towards finalizing a new governance structure that will incorporate requirements of the new TB Investment and Planning and Management of Projects policies. Accordingly, EC is working to complete internal Integrated Investment Planning Governance, Project Capacity and Risk Assessments, an Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment, an Investment Plan and a Project Management Framework.
Effective procurementAcceptableEC continues to improve in the area of effective procurement by maintaining clear and updated links between procurement activities and organization-wide program plans, priorities, and long-term investments. In addition, EC has shared its Integrated Investment Planning process with other government organizations, as a best practice for long-term planning for procurement strategies.
Effectiveness of financial management and controlAcceptableEC is taking steps to improve the quality and timeliness of its external reporting and to strengthen its financial management capacity. Specifically, the Department is continuing to comply with Receiver General guidance for Public Accounts quality assurance, and planning a review of the Chart of Accounts to help improve coding. As well, EC is creating additional financial management positions, accelerating its staffing efforts, and increasing training efforts and investments in financial management.
Effectiveness of internal audit functionAcceptableEC has made progress towards improving the quality of its Annual Audit Plan and audit reports by clarifying expectations with TBS, development of an Audit Universe that is being utilized via the department's PAA and improving linkages to risk information within the Department. EC has also established a process for TBS notification of audit issues, and continued with its on-going monitoring of past audit recommendations.
Effective Management of Security and Business ContinuityOpportunity for ImprovementEC is developing a departmental security directive regarding the sharing of information with government departments and organizations outside of government. In addition, EC will review security clearances for personnel with privileged access to critical systems and will continue to advance EC's Management of Information Technology and Security (MITS) project for compliance with TBS standards. As well, EC will draft Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and arrangements for critical services and will continue its efforts to establish a long-term BCP governance structure.

Citizen-focused Service

Citizen-focused ServiceAcceptableEC continues to establish service standards, measure client satisfaction and communicate performance for its services. EC has committed to solidifying its service inventory, identify the gaps in service standards and develop a plan to address the gaps.


Alignment of accountability instrumentUnratedEC will continue to enhance its Performance Management Program by referencing the TBS's best practices guide to performance management.
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