Summary of the evaluation of Canadian Heritage’s Communications Services 2015-16 to 2017-18
Evaluation Services Directorate
November 12, 2019
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On this page
- List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Evaluation Findings
- Conclusions and recommendations
List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Canadian Heritage
- Full-time equivalents
- Account executive
- The evaluation focused on the services and products offered by Communications Services, which includes the regional Communications offices.
- Communications Services allow the Government of Canada to communicate with the public in both official languages and to inform Canadians of policies, programs, services and initiatives.
- The immediate clients of Canadian Heritage’s (PCH’s) Communications Services are the three ministers’ offices as well as PCH’s programs, while the primary audience for the products are the Canadian public for external communications and PCH employees for internal communications.
- For 2018-19, the Communications Branch’s reference levels – excluding the regional offices - was $11, 068,770 and 104.7 planned full-time equivalents (FTEs).
- No official mandate was found during the evaluation;
- Regional offices were of the opinion that their mandate was broader than the one of the Communications Branch.
Meeting clients’ needs
- PCH Communications Services are moving away from offering services and are increasingly focusing on offering strategic communications advice;
- The clients’ satisfaction varied for each sector but the Communications Services did not have a formal process in place to assess their clients’ satisfaction systematically.
- PCH’s Communications Services does not have an established and clearly defined service offering;
- The majority of internal and external communications products and services are the same, whether delivered by regional offices or the Communications Branch;
- 90% of Communications personnel interviewed stated that the products and services offered were aligned with the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity.
Processes and procedures
- The existence of clear processes, procedures and service standards to accomplish tasks varies depending on the Communications Services teams;
- The timeline required by Communications Services to carry out the requested tasks are rarely respected by clients;
- Between July and October 2018, of the 94 requests received from the three ministerial offices, 49% did not respect the service standards established by the Privy Council Office.
- Communications Services’ organizational structure and the account executive (AE) model have benefits and limitations. For example, it allows a relationship of trust to be developed between the AE and the clients, but it also creates an extra step for clients to access services;
- Regional offices were seen as an efficient and cost-effective support, but some challenges remained.
Between 2015 and 2019, the Communications Branch exceeded its reference level by an average of 10%. A peak was observed in 2017, which coincides with Canada 150, an event that put increased pressure on Communications Services. In comparison, PCH exceeded its reference level by an average of 4% between 2015 and 2019.
Conclusions and recommendations
- Issue 1: the mandate of Communications Services and the services offered are not explicitly defined.
- Issue 2: the roles and responsibilities of Communications Services are not clearly defined and understood.
- Result: the service offer of Communications Services is not consistent and creates inequalities among clients.
The evaluation recommends that:
- The Director General of Communications Branch, in collaboration with the Assistant Deputy Minister, Official Languages, Heritage and Regions, provide Communications Services with a clear mandate that formally defines the roles and responsibilities of the Communications Branch and the regional offices.
- The Director General of Communications Branch, in collaboration with the Assistant Deputy Minister, Official Languages, Heritage and Regions, develop and distribute its service offer to its employees and clients, including the required timelines and the service standards.
- The Director General of Communications Branch implement a systematic collection of certain performance data, which would make it possible to measure the achievement of targets, to further pursue the analysis of certain issues and to make changes as required.
©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2019.
Catalogue No.: CH7-63/2-2019E-PDF
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