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Management Accountability Framework 2007–2008

Management Response to the Round V MAF Assessment 2007-2008


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):

  • An overview of the Canada School's operating environment in 2007
  • A summary of the Canada School's MAF results for Round V
  • The Canada School's Strategy for MAF Round VI
  • Current Status for MAF Round VI

Overview of the Canada School's operating environment in 2007

The Canada School continued to undertake a change agenda throughout 2007 which included solidifying implementation of the Treasury 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the 2007 MAF assessment, the Canada School is a relatively new organization (created in 2004) and is still dealing with outdated legacy systems of the four founding organizations to support its learner registration and reporting responsibilities.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.

Summary of the Canada School's MAF results for Round V

The 2007 Round V MAF assessment indicated that the Canada School had made progress in a number of key areas, including:

  • Quality and Use of Evaluation
  • Effectiveness of Corporate Risk Management
  • Extent Workforce is Productive, Principled, Sustainable and Adaptable
  • Effective Procurement

In addition, the Canada School made significant improvements in some areas identified in the 2006 MAF assessment as requiring management attention, including:

  • Effective Project Management
  • Effectiveness of Internal Audit Function

The Canada School's Round V assessment also identified one area as requiring management attention:

  • Utility of the Corporate Performance Framework

    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's Strategy for Round VI

The Canada School developed a three-part strategy for moving forward on improving its results on MAF assessments:

  1. Set targets for performance
  2. Build MAF compliance into management processes
  3. Engage the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) on an ongoing basis
  1. Set Targets for Performance
    Objective: Target a third or second quartile ranking, although the goal would ideally be to excel in all areas.

    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.

  2. Building MAF Compliance into Management Processes
    Objective: Leads were assigned for the various areas of management and central coordination will ensure that progress against the action plan is monitored and regular updates are provided to Management Committee.

    This part of the strategy involved:

    • A lead Vice President for each area of management;
    • Taking action and ensuring that it is documented; and,
    • Ongoing monitoring and discussion by senior executives
  3. Engage TBS on an Ongoing Basis
    Objective: Validating the approach with TBS is critical to success in improving Canada School management processes and compliance with MAF

    Ongoing engagement to include:

    • Discussion of the Canada School's MAF Action Plan;
    • Ensure TBS understanding of the Canada School's context and scope; and,
    • Canada School employees to attend TBS training and conference.

Current Status

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.

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