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As part of a government-wide process, the Canada School of Public Service was assessed during Round V of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF). The MAF sets out Treasury Board's expectations and is structured around ten key elements that collectively define "management" and establish the expectations for good public service management of a department or agency.
This document presents the following information related to the Canada School's MAF assessment for Round V (2007-2008):
The Canada School continued to undertake a change agenda throughout 2007 which included solidifying implementation of theTreasury Board Policy on Learning, Training and Development introduced in 2006, increasing alignment of learning programs with government-wide priorities such as Public Service Renewal, and implementation of a comprehensive approach to learning, training and development. A key initiative during the period was the successful implementation of a new model to support Official Languages learning and ensuring the quality of private sector learning services providers.
As noted in the Context section of the 2007 MAF assessment, the Canada School is a relatively new organization (created in 2004) and is still dealing with outdated legacy systems of the four founding organizations to support its learner registration and reporting responsibilities. This fact puts added pressure on existing corporate infrastructure and, while solutions are being implemented as of 2009, effects of inadequate systems and processes invariably have affected the efficiency of operations.
Largely due to the lack of a structured internal process, the MAF Round V assessment likely did not adequately reflect the quality of the work that was being performed. Beginning in the summer of 2008, the Canada School therefore set about identifying ways in which it could improve its internal processes in support of MAF performance, as well as determine specific initiatives that could be undertaken to improve ratings for Round VI.
The 2007 Round V MAF assessment indicated that the Canada School had made progress in a number of key areas, including:
In addition, the Canada School made significant improvements in some areas identified in the 2006 MAF assessment as requiring management attention, including:
The Canada School's Round V assessment also identified one area as requiring management attention:
The assessment of the Canada School's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) and compliance with the Management Resources and Results Structure Policy (MRRS) significantly impacted on this area as well as on a number of other indicators. Over the MAF Round V period, several discussions took place between the Canada School and TBS to resolve descriptive issues in the PAA, resulting in a Treasury Board-approved PAA in the late spring of 2008 - three months after the end of the assessment period. These efforts, though recognized in the TBS Round V Context section, were not reflected in the Round V MAF assessment itself.
Other considerations regarding the Canada School's 2007 assessment include:
The nature of the Canada School as a service provider within the Public Service, engaged in horizontal priorities through its ongoing business meant that various activities did not align to TBS-established MAF criteria. As a result, associated work was not recognized in the same context as work performed by other departments and agencies. It is noted that steps were taken by TBS to address the majority of these concerns in Round VI.
The Canada School's exceptional achievement in the area of preparation for audited financial statements was not assessed given that it was not one of the ten pilot organizations for this initiative. While Canada School devoted significant resources in becoming a leader in this area, these efforts went beyond baseline expectations for organizations outside the pilot and this level of effort and associated results were not reflected in the MAF assessment.
The Canada School developed a three-part strategy for moving forward on improving its results on MAF assessments:
The Canada School developed an action plan and a dashboard identifying MAF targets for all areas of management for Round VI, with none below an "Acceptable" rating.
This part of the strategy involved:
Ongoing engagement to include:
Through the implementation of this strategy, the Canada School has greatly improved its internal MAF process. Lessons learned have been built into the re-oriented approach and senior management is apprised of Action Plan status and associated work on an ongoing basis.
The Board of Governors was briefed on the Canada School's strategy and action plan in October 2008 and will continue to be apprised of progress.