ARCHIVED - The Public Health Agency of Canada – Strategic Plan: 2007 – 2012, Information, Knowledge, Action


Five-Year Priorities for Action

Strategic Objective 3:
Further develop PHAC’s dedicated, professional workforce by providing it with the tools and leadership it needs and by ensuring a supportive culture

Enhancing Agency Capabilities and Accountability

PHAC’s greatest asset is its people. To maintain standards of excellence and establish in the minds of Canadians that PHAC is a prestigious and desirable organization in which to build a career, PHAC must attract, recruit, retain and rejuvenate a highly qualified, skilled, and motivated workforce. To achieve this result, human resources strategies, policies and practices will be improved and streamlined. PHAC will foster a principle of continuous learning, including specific development stream plans. It will maintain a representative workforce and encourage the use of both of Canada’s official languages. Finally, the Agency will foster a culture of fairness, supportiveness, health and safety.

In building its agency culture, PHAC will strengthen its governance by establishing transparent and accountable mechanisms for enhanced leadership on policy and program development and for reviews of capacity, risk management, audit, surveillance and portfolio relations. A system for coordinated governance in the Agency will ensure timely, efficient and effective issue management within the Agency.

More effective Agency governance will also allow for more active participation and leadership in portfolio and interdepartmental fora. The Agency must have the ability to lead files across the Health Portfolio and interdepartmentally (e.g., social determinants of health), provide timely and coherent public health input to the priorities of other departments (e.g., public safety and security, seniors’ health, disability, drug strategy, healthy food) and coordinate the advancement of public health objectives in concert with other government priorities. Above all, the Agency must show leadership in serving the Minister of Health with clear, high quality and well-respected public health advice.

Recognizing that management of corporate risks and health risks is critical to PHAC’s effectiveness and credibility, the Agency’s senior executives will adopt a formal, integrated risk management framework to oversee, identify, assess, disclose, manage and mitigate risk. This work will involve better integration between risk identification and risk profiling in policy development and decision-making processes of the Agency. A Chief Risk Officer will act as a pivotal centre of responsibility for the systematic and consistent implementation of this function across PHAC business lines.

PHAC will work to realize a vision for Agency Regional Offices that contribute to the range of PHAC’s priorities and activities, capitalizing on the fact that Agency Regional Offices are close to communities and provincial/territorial partners. This vision involves alignment and coherence between regional and national levels with respect to structure, governance, priorities and accountability to achieve PHAC’s strategic objectives. Work will continue to ensure that Agency Regional Offices are fully involved in providing information and strategic advice from regional perspectives to influence and participate in decision-making.

Lisa Fernando
Lisa Fernando is a biologist with the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) mobile lab deployment team. She and the rest of the team respond to deadly infectious disease outbreaks throughout the world. The NML maintains two mobile labs, each capable of providing field diagnostic testing with fully transportable equipment. A team of highly trained specialists are ready to be deployed with as little as two-hours notice.

Work will continue to build a strong Winnipeg presence, based on good business sense and capitalizing on the city’s world-class scientific research capacity. The Agency will build on the reputation of the National Microbiology Lab and strengthen linkages to academia and public health organizations at national and international levels.

The extent of the Agency ability to manage its efforts to deliver on priorities will rely heavily on building effective stewardship and accountability. PHAC will enhance its effectiveness of management and control in support of information, assets, money, people and services. A key component will involve the development of effective, coherent and integrated financial and planning systems, mechanisms and processes. A full financial management control framework and robust internal audit capacity will reinforce the Agency’s capacity to manage its resources with credibility and comply with central agency requirements. An agency-wide capacity assessment exercise will form the basis for reallocation and realignment. In keeping with principles of management excellence, accountability will be clearly assigned and allow for the effective execution of responsibility.

Emergency Response
Emergency Response Assistance Plan members respond to accidents involving dangerous pathogens by containing spills and practicing decontamination procedures.
Pam Amulaku
Pam Amulaku is a program consultant in the Alberta/Northwest Territories Region. Through the AIDS Community Action Program, she works closely with community-based organizations mandated to help prevent HIV transmission and promote health for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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