Joint Ministerial Statement on the Auditor General of Canada’s Spring 2019 Report on Government Call Centres

Statement

May 7, 2019              Ottawa, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, and the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, made the following statement:

“The Government of Canada is committed to delivering the best service possible to Canadians, and to offering convenient, timely and easily accessible services directly by telephone. In 2018-19, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)’s audited federal call centres received approximately 38 million calls.

“Significant work is underway across our departments to provide tangible, specific solutions that respond to people’s shifting needs and heightened expectations in today’s service climate.

“Building on its earlier investments to increase the number of call centre agents, ESDC is now implementing a new telephone system, which will replace its aging technology, improve access to call centre agents, and offer new features to enhance the client experience.

“IRCC continues to make improvements to its Client Support Centre and more call centre agents will be hired over the next two years to respond to an increase in call volume. They are also expanding their call centre hours of operation, extending the hours at their busiest offices across Canada, launching a chatbot to respond to general questions on their social media channels, as well as rolling out a new callback feature so people don’t have to wait on the telephone line for an agent.

“VAC is improving access to its call centre for Canadians with hearing impairments, as well as reviewing the scope of our call-centre service standards. VAC connects daily with Veterans and their families through multiple service channels, including online and in person at any of the VAC offices and Transition Centres across the country.

“Shared Services Canada (SSC) is revising its strategy from implementing a single solution that will address all contact centre requirements, to one that ensures a best-fit solution in terms of cost and requirements.

“Finally, the Treasury Board Secretariat is reviewing existing policy instruments, with the goal of identifying areas where policies can be enhanced to support improved service standards for all service delivery channels, including call centres.

“We thank the Office of the Auditor General of Canada for their work and dedication to improving services for Canadians and temporary and permanent residents. We acknowledge the report findings and agree with the recommendations. We are modernizing our technology, and continuing to enhance service delivery for clients.”

Contacts

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Telephone:
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


Valérie Glazer, Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Telephone: 819-654-5546


Media Relations Office
Shared Services Canada
Telephone: 613-670-1626
Ssc.media-medias.spc@canada.ca

Ashley Michnowski, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
Telephone: 819-997-5421


Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Telephone: 613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Mathieu Genest
Office of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Telephone: 613-954-1064


Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
Telephone: 613-992-7468
vac.media-medias.acc@canada.ca

Alex Wellstead, Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.
Veterans Affairs Canada
Alex.Wellstead@canada.ca


Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone: 613-369-9400
Toll-free: 1-855-827-9728
TTY: 613-369-9371
media@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Farees Nathoo, Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P. President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
Telephone: 613-369-3170


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