2021-22 Management Accountability Framework Government-Wide Report
Message from the Secretary
On behalf of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), I am pleased to present the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) 2021–22 Government‑Wide Report.
The MAF is a tool used by TBS to monitor the management performance of federal departments and agencies. Established in 2003, it sets out expectations for sound public sector management based on the Treasury Board policy suite, assesses organizational practices and performance using a series of indicators, and highlights management strengths and opportunities for improvement.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise reflects TBS’s commitment to encouraging sound public sector management. The 2021–22 government‑wide report summarizes key findings about core management practices at the enterprise level, with a focus on specific government priorities, including diversity and inclusion, accessibility, and greening government. It also highlights best practices and lessons learned that were gathered during the MAF assessment process.
I encourage you to read the report to learn how we are working to improve public sector management across the Government of Canada.
Management Accountability Framework at a glance
|Area of management||Number of questions|
|Information, information technology and service||6|
|Acquired services and assets||12|
|Organization type||Number of organizations|
|Large departments and agencies||36|
|Small departments and agencies||22|
Results by area of management
Seven departments reached the ongoing monitoring stage for their key internal controls over financial management processes; the remaining are on track to reach this target by March 31, 2024.
Organizations are encouraged to continue to promote the regular use of both official languages at all management levels in the bilingual regions.
Information, information technology and service management
Departments are well positioned to manage and improve their services, but they need to expand their online service offerings and increase their use of cloud technologies.
Departments demonstrated consistent progress in the annual review of departmental security plan priorities but are not yet fully aligned with the Policy on Government Security.
Foundations for gender‑based analysis plus reporting and performance information profiles are established, but improvements are needed. For example, data‑collection requirements must be integrated into program management when reporting on impacts on gender and diversity. Departments are increasingly using experimentation to find new ways to address problems and improve outcomes for Canadians but could do more to test ideas related to their core priorities and to disseminate results.
Management of acquired services and assets
Consolidating departmental reporting supports informed decision‑making. Although some departments have mature strategic planning functions for real property, they need to better understand deferred maintenance liabilities. Most departments are still not using a risk‑based approach to managing materiel stock‑taking. Most departments are using competitive bidding processes for contracting in line with the government average and are implementing strategies to increase procurement from Indigenous businesses.
Results by government-wide priority
Diversity and inclusion
Overall, the public service is meeting the workforce availability target for women, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities but not for persons with disabilities.
- 82.6% of organizations are collecting at least some information on workplace accommodation, which is crucial to identifying gaps in the accommodation process, eliminating barriers and monitoring progress over time
- 10 departments and agencies have already drafted an accessibility plan, and most others are consulting with stakeholders on a plan
About 45% of assessed organizations have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions from real property and conventional fleet by at least 40% since 2005.
Financial management assessment overview
The financial management assessment component of the 2021–22 Management Accountability Framework (MAF) exercise assessed the maturity level of departments’ and agencies’ key internal controls over financial management (ICFMs).
Six key ICFMs were assessed:
- budgeting and forecasting (planning)
- investment planning
- payroll and salary
- chief financial officer attestation
- project management
In total, 35 large departments and agencies (LDAs) responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: maturity
Assessing the level of maturity for ICFM processes ensures that a risk‑based departmental system of ICFM is established, monitored and maintained, and that it adheres to the Policy on Financial Management.
Overall, departments and agencies demonstrated stewardship over financial resources. This was evidenced by their continued progress toward reaching the ongoing monitoring stage for their ICFM processes.
Results from the 2021–22 MAF exercise show that 46% of key ICFM processes across assessed departments are at the ongoing monitoring stage, an improvement of 7% over last year. Although only seven LDAs have reached the ongoing monitoring stage for all key ICFM processes, the remaining LDAs are on track to have all of them reach the ongoing monitoring stage by March 31, 2024.
Departments and agencies are encouraged to continue working toward this target to demonstrate to senior management that they have a reliable system of ICFM and are taking action to improve controls.
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: a rigorous, risk‑based internal controls monitoring program|
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada reached the ongoing monitoring stage for all its financial management controls in 2019–20. The department’s Internal Financial Controls team worked collaboratively to create a culture where the benefits of internal controls over financial management are well known throughout the organization. Starting with the onboarding of all stakeholders at the launch meeting for each project, the team works with business process owners to use effective risk management in making financial controls more efficient. The team’s strong partnership approach, ability to raise awareness about accountability for internal controls and use of digital reporting tools have contributed to reaching this financial management milestone before the target date.
|National Research Council Canada: keeping pace with policy and best practices|
Since 2012, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) has been at the ongoing monitoring stage for internal controls over both financial reporting and management processes. Since initially reaching the ongoing monitoring stage, the NRC has proactively taken steps to ensure that its approach remains relevant and aligned with Treasury Board guidelines, including conducting a review in 2019–20 to refresh the five‑year risk‑based assessment plan and approach. To keep the framework current and effective, the NRC is reviewing and updating key approaches, incorporating emerging best practices and optimizing the value of their annual assessment.
People management assessment overview
The people management assessment component of the 2021–22 MAF exercise examined organizational practices in response to the public service’s priorities for:
- a diverse workforce
- an inclusive and healthy workplace
- agile organization of work
In total, 32 large departments and agencies and 22 small departments and agencies responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: diverse workforce
Identifying, addressing and removing systemic barriers for public servants who identify as members of an employment equity group or an equity‑seeking group remains a priority. The Clerk’s Call to Action on Anti‑Racism, Equity, and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service, the 2020/2021 Deputy Minister Commitments on Diversity and Inclusion, and the January 2021 announcement of the government’s priorities for action seek to make measurable change in creating a diverse and inclusive public service.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed organizations’ progress in closing representational gaps, supporting career advancement for employment equity groups and equity‑seeking groups, and addressing systemic barriers.
The 2021–22 results show that departments continue to work on meeting representation targets. Persons with disabilities are still underrepresented compared to their population in the workforce. At the department level, most representation targets for Indigenous peoples and members of visible minorities are met, but the use of disaggregated data has brought to light underrepresentation of specific groups in specific areas such as executive‑level positions.
To improve diversity and inclusion at all levels, departments have committed to actions including:
- hiring, across the Government of Canada, 5,000 new public servants with disabilities by 2025
- developing and promoting mentorship, sponsorship and leadership programs for members of the four employment equity groups and members of equity‑seeking groups
- identifying and addressing systemic barriers in the hiring process
- working with members of employment equity groups to take action to address issues affecting these groups
|Library and Archives Canada: inclusive hiring practices|
As part of a targeted staffing process in the summer of 2021 for an EX‑01 position, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) used a pool of candidates who self‑identify as Indigenous. As part of the assessment process, an Elder, an Indigenous community member from an external organization and members of the LAC management team were consulted. By consulting Indigenous people, LAC ensured that the candidates felt supported by their peers. Using a pool of Indigenous people in the process helps achieve one objective of LAC’s Strategic Plan for People Management: to increase the number of Indigenous staff in all positions, including senior management positions. It also contributes to its First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation Recruitment and Retention Strategy.
|Employment and Social Development Canada: diverse voices|
Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) goal to move beyond diversity and focus more on inclusion led the organization to develop its 2020–24 Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. The plan contains several initiatives to improve inclusion, such as:
ESDC also launched a mandatory diversity and inclusion training course, in April 2021. This course covers behaviours related to one of ESDC’s learning priorities, intercultural competence, and includes a case study on, privilege, intersectionality and valuing individuality.
Accessibility in Canada is about creating communities, workplaces and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society without barriers.Footnote 1 According to the report Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2020 to 2021, 5.6% of employees in the public service identify as persons with disabilities. It is important that all the conditions be in place so that persons with disabilities can bring their talents to the forefront and provide their expertise in service to Canada. Improving the recruitment, retention and promotion of persons with disabilities is a government‑wide priority.
The Accessible Canada Act mandates every federally regulated organization to develop an accessibility plan by December 31, 2022, with input from people with disabilities, and to report on progress publicly every year. By the end of 2021–22, 10 departments and agencies had drafted an accessibility plan and many more were consulting with stakeholders to develop one.
Persons with disabilities have cited a lack of efficient and timely access to workplace accommodations as a recurring barrier in their organizations. The 2021–22 MAF exercise collected information on the types of workplace accommodation data that organizations were tracking, specifically, on persons with disabilities. By tracking this data, organizations can identify challenges and then remove barriers to make sure their workplaces are inclusive, barrier‑free environments that embody public service values. The MAF results indicate that most organizations are collecting at least some information on workplace accommodation and that several are exploring options to improve the quality of this data.
|Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: one‑stop shop supporting employees with disabilities|
In March 2021, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched the virtual Workplace Accommodation Centre, a one‑stop shop to support employees with disabilities so that they can contribute and perform to their full potential in the workplace. The centre also works with managers to provide them with information and tools to help them better support their employees with disabilities. The centre centralizes all accommodations services, including expenditure authority, to speed up procurement and implementation of accommodation measures. The creation of the centre has enabled ISED to collect better data on workplace accommodation.
Key findings: inclusive and healthy workplace
In alignment with the Policy on People Management, the public service seeks to create a work environment for employees that is safe, supportive, ethical, and conducive to the use of both official languages.
Key areas of focus include:
- mental health in the workplace
- prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace
- values and ethics
- the use of official languages at work
Mental health in the workplace
Under the Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy, federal organizations are required to develop their own comprehensive action plans on mental health.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise found that:
- most organizations either have a plan in place or are developing one
- most plans address some or most of the nine organization‑specific objectives of the public service mental health strategy
- most organizations have implemented activities to address most or all of the nine objectives
TBS will continue to assess organizations’ progress on aligning with the public service mental health strategy and will support them as needed.
Prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace
On January 1, 2021, changes to the Canada Labour Code and the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations came into effect aimed at making the public service workplace free from harassment and violence.
In the 2021–22 MAF exercise, departments reported on their plans for implementing the new requirements under the regulations, which include requirements relating to:
- workplace assessments
- development of internal policies
- provision of training
- implementation of a resolution process
- establishment of records
- record‑keeping processes
The MAF assessment indicates that organizations did the necessary planning and early consulting with employees between June 24, 2020, and December 31, 2020, and that they were working toward implementing the new requirements.
Values and ethics
The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act contributes to the creation of an environment where public servants feel safe to report possible wrongdoing without fear of reprisal. Overall MAF results show that departments and agencies are communicating effectively with employees and building awareness of the act.
Use of official languages
In support of the Government of Canada’s efforts to modernize the Official Languages Act, the 2021–22 MAF exercise examined the measures organizations use to uphold the right of employees in designated bilingual regions to work in the official language of their choice.
The results show that all federal departments and agencies are taking steps to improve the use of official languages in the workplace. Almost all organizations provided evidence that corporate emails and intranet publications are made available to employees in both official languages simultaneously and that the English and French were of equal quality. Organizations should continue to promote the regular use of both official languages at all management levels in bilingual regions.
Key findings: future of work
Questions in this theme considered how organizations are preparing for the trends shaping the future of work. Specifically, this section of the 2021–22 MAF questionnaire focused on how departments and agencies are progressing toward an agile and equipped workforce and workplace, including:
- the modernization of classification
- planning for the workplace of the future
- efficient staffing
Classification conversions are government‑wide modernization initiatives that involve making changes to occupational groups. They help deputy heads attract, recruit and retain a skilled workforce.
The conversions are being done in phases. In the current phase, the focus is on the Program and Administrative Services (PA) and Comptrollership (CT) groups. The 2021–22 MAF assessment covers only the PA conversion. The conversion of this group is critical given its size. With more than 150,000 PA positions, it makes up about 40% of the core public administration. Organizations have begun their preparations, and many are on track to finish the PA conversion on time. TBS will be monitoring their progress to make sure they finish on time.
Agile organization of work
Departments and agencies are learning from the impact of the pandemic on the workforce and workplace and are incorporating their experiences into their plans for the future of work. They have been leveraging existing dedicated governance structures or creating new ones to plan, monitor and report on changes to the workplace. They are developing short‑ and medium‑term plans for employees to gradually return to their offices when it makes sense based on the following:
- the workplace
- the mental health and safety of employees
- the digital infrastructure to support virtual and hybrid work environments
As organizations are making these plans, they should continue to hone their change management practices and help leaders develop their competencies so that they can manage the transition to a flexible, hybrid work model.
|Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission: work environment of the future|
Recognizing the shift in the work environment caused by the pandemic, the Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) appointed a Work Environment of the Future champion. The champion is leading the CRTC’s multi‑sector committee as it develops a plan for all CRTC employees to return to the office work environment, continue working remotely or a combination of the two.
Effective staffing processes help organizations hire the right people in the right jobs at the right time. Results from the 2021–22 MAF exercise show the median time to staff for advertised internal positions rose to 208 daysFootnote 2 from 175 days in the previous MAF cycle. The median external time to staff also increased during the same period, from 203 days to 250 days.Footnote 3 To a large extent, these increases can be attributed to the pandemic, because departments and agencies faced uncertainty about resource requirements and adapted to virtual hiring. Additional factors beyond hiring managers’ control, such as delays in the security clearance process and new pay administration requirements, also increased the time it takes to staff a position.
Organizations will need to learn quickly from the lessons they learned in virtual staffing so that the public service can onboard and retain the talent it needs to deliver programs and services to Canadians.
Information management, information technology and service management assessment overview
The information management and information technology (IM/IT) and service management component of the 2021–22 MAF evaluated service delivery and the effectiveness of government operations through the strategic management of government information and data, as well as through the leveraging of information technology. As a result, the 2021–22 MAF exercise provided insight into the following:
- service standards
- the availability of online services
- service management
- IT maturity
- make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource)
- information and data management approach
In total, 36 large departments and agencies (LDAs) responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: service standards
The Policy on Service and Digital requires that departments have “comprehensive and transparent client‑centric standards, related targets, and performance information for all service‑delivery channels in use.” Client‑centric service standards focus on addressing client or user expectations, needs, challenges and feedback. They enable the creation of a positive experience for the client or user, considering a broad range of factors such as access, inclusion, accessibility, security, privacy, simplicity, and choice of official language.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed an organization’s level of service‑standard maturity based on a weighted average of three elements:
- percentage of services that have service standards (weighted at 45%)
- percentage of services that met their target (weighted at 35%)
- percentage of service standards that have been reviewed in the last five years (weighted at 20%).
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise:
- 12% of LDAs have a high level of maturity with respect to service standards
- 62% of LDAs have a medium level of maturity
- 26% of LDAs have a low level of maturity
|Canadian Space Agency: strong service standard maturity scores|
In 2021–22, the Canadian Space Agency had a 29‑point gain from 2020–21 in its score for service standard maturity. It also jumped from having 25% of its services meet their targets in 2020–21 to having 94% meet those targets in 2021–22, and from having just 4 priority services assessed to having all 10 of its services assessed. It reached these milestones through partnerships between sectors across the agency and by setting realistic service standards that enable the agency to collect accurate, useful data on how well services are performing.
Key findings: availability of online services
The Policy on Service and Digital requires that departments maximize online end‑to‑end availability of services and their ease of use to complement all service‑delivery channels. Making services available online provides added convenience to many clients, who increasingly expect government services to be accessible, fast, personalized, secure, and to respect their privacy.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the level of maturity toward making services available online based on a weighted average of two elements:
- the percentage of services that can be completed online from end‑to‑end (weighted at 50%)
- the percentage of client interaction points that are available online for services (weighted at 50%)
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise:
- only 9% of LDAs have a high level of maturity for making services available online
- 29% of LDAs have a medium level of maturity
- 62% have a low level of maturity
The pandemic continues to show how important external online services are to Canadians and businesses, and how important internal online government‑wide services are to federal public servants. Departments and agencies must make all their applicable services available online end‑to‑end.
Key findings: service management
The Policy on Service and Digital requires that organizations plan and manage their services in an integrated way and that they continuously improve them. Doing so ensures that services meet the evolving needs of clients, are efficient, and align with the overall Government of Canada service direction.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the extent to which an organization is taking steps to manage and improve its services based on a weighted average of four elements:
- the designation of departmental official(s) for service management and cybersecurity (weighted at 25%)
- a deputy head‑approved service inventory (weighted at 25%)
- a deputy head‑approved 2020–21 Departmental Plan on Service and Digital that included service improvement priorities (weighted at 25%)
- the percentage of services that use client feedback to improve services (weighted at 25%)
The results were as follows:
- 59% of LDAs have a high level of maturity in the extent to which they are taking steps to manage and improve their services
- 38% have a medium level of maturity
- 3% have a low level of maturity
Of the four elements assessed, the percentage of services that use client feedback to improve services was the lowest scoring element, at 35%.
|Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada: working together for success|
Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada built a strong foundation to support their implementation of the Policy on Service and Digital. They created a working group made up of representatives from multiple areas of expertise (including IM/IT, service, cybersecurity and data) to take an integrated, department‑wide approach to digital service delivery. Open communications and incremental improvements have proven key to the department’s success in service management.
Key findings: IT maturity
In the 2021–22 MAF exercise, IT maturity was assessed as a composite indicator based on the weighted average of four elements:
- application portfolio health (weighted at 25%)
- alignment of Shared Services Canada (SSC) business requirements to IT investments (weighted at 25%)
- cloud maturity (weighted at 25%)
- IT planning maturity (weighted at 25%)
The results are as follows:
- 44% of LDAs have an overall high level of IT maturity
- 53% have an overall medium level of IT maturity
- 3% have an overall low level of IT maturity
These scores were lower than expected because of the low results for two elements: application portfolio health and cloud maturity. However, most LDAs scored high on the alignment of SSC business requirements to IT investments, with an average score of 89%.
Key findings: modernizing the digital workspace
The Directive on Service and Digital requires that departments respect the limits and thresholds specified in the Standard on Information Technology Provisions, which defines standards that ensure that users and work points have the technology needed for a digital workspace.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the level of compliance in supplying the data required to measure the implementation of the Standard on Information Technology Provisions. The indicator was a weighted average of six elements:
- submission of a deputy head‑approved Departmental Plan on Service and Digital (weighted at 50%)
- compliance plans for fixed‑line telephony service (weighted at 10%)
- mobile phone service (weighted at 10%)
- email systems (weighted at 10%)
- cloud brokering services (weighted at 10%)
- conferencing and collaboration services (weighted at 10%)
The results are as follows:
- 94% of LDAs have a high level of compliance in supplying the required data
- 6% of LDAs have a medium level of compliance
- 0% of LDAs have a low level of compliance
Departments and agencies are encouraged to submit subsequent Departmental Plans on Service and Digital and the required compliance plans by the established deadlines to enable full delivery of a digital workspace.
Key findings: information and data management approach
The Policy on Service and Digital requires that departments manage information and data in ways that enable interoperability and that allow for reuse and sharing within and across departments. This goal is to avoid duplication and maximize value, while respecting security and privacy requirements and making sure that methodologies, mechanisms and tools are implemented to support information and data life‑cycle management.
TBS is drafting a new Standard on Systems that Manage Information. The new standard will:
- cover both information and data
- be technology‑agnostic (in other words, it won’t require any specific technology, and it will apply regardless of the technology being used)
- be based on principles and business outcomes
Once the new standard is in place, it will replace the current Standard on Electronic Documents and Records Management Solutions. One key principle of this new standard will be the use of standardized metadata and data taxonomies across departments.
The 2021–22 MAF assessment gathered information on how departments manage information and data throughout the life cycle and across multiple systems. The results provide a baseline picture of where departments are in their journey of managing information and of whether they are already using standardized metadata.
The assessment shows that 59% of LDAs have an approach for managing information and data. Of that 59%, 40% use standardized metadata across all systems and 60% do not.
The other 41% of LDAs do not have an approach for managing information and data throughout their life cycle and across multiple systems. Of that 41%, 86% use standardized metadata in some of their corporate repositories and 14% do not.
The results show that some departments and agencies are ready to manage information and data throughout the life cycle and should be encouraged to include standardized metadata. To be able to implement the new standard, departments must be using standardized metadata. The MAF assessment shows that about half of assessed organizations are ready to start implementing the standard. TBS will need to help the others get to this starting point.
Security management assessment overview
The security management assessment component of the 2021–22 MAF exercise gathered information on strategic planning and management practices that bolster the overall security posture of the Government of Canada. This information helps validate and inform decisions about managing security risks, identify trends and areas of strength, and identify those requiring further attention. The security management component of the 2021–22 MAF exercise recognizes the current operating and security risk environment, identifies leading security management practices government‑wide and encourages departments to continue sharing these practices.
The 2021–22 MAF report provides insight into what departments and agencies are doing to achieve the expected results of the Policy on Government Security in relation to:
- effective security planning and reporting
- preparedness for and effective response to events
- trusted information systems and processes
In total, 36 LDAs responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: effective security planning and reporting
Effective, integrated security planning and reporting helps an organization identify and manage security risks and implement mitigation strategies. A departmental security plan sets out strategies for strengthening security practices and controls and identifies department‑wide priorities for mitigating security risks. A departmental security plan also supports decision‑making, effectiveness and accountability.
As set out in section 4.1.5 of the Policy on Government Security, departments and agencies must:
- have an approved three‑year departmental security plan
- review the plan annually
In the 2021–22 MAF exercise, 78% of assessed LDAs provided evidence that they have a departmental security plan. Improvement in this area will help identify government‑wide security risks, set related priorities and strengthen the government’s security posture.
Key findings: preparedness for and effective response to events
Business continuity management is an important security control. It helps departments and agencies identify their critical services and come up with strategies for continuing to provide services during disasters or emergencies, particularly services that help protect the health, safety, security and economic well‑being of Canadians.
The Directive on Security Management requires that organizations complete a business impact analysis for all services to support continued availability of critical services, and that they define continuity strategies and recovery priorities.
In the 2021–22 MAF exercise, only half of assessed LDAs demonstrated that 100% of their external and internal services are supported by an up‑to‑date business impact analysis. This highlights the opportunity for departments to continue to improve performance in this area so that LDAs can assess their risk environment and critical services.
|Veterans Affairs Canada: protecting people and assets|
Recognizing the importance of protecting people and securing information and assets, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) updated a series of documents that tell employees how to identify, respond to and report on security incidents. The documents were emailed to employees and are posted on the VAC intranet site. Employees get regular reminders of reporting protocols, and they get training yearly. Employees now better understand why they need to report security incidents right away. Timely reporting has led to quick and effective response actions. These measures are helping VAC mitigate security risks, particularly in the remote working environment.
In addition, 78% of assessed LDAs provided evidence that they integrated their critical services into the broader service inventory, meaning there is one trusted source of Government of Canada services information. The service inventory is a vital source of intelligence when preparing for and responding to significant events.
Key findings: trusted information systems and processes
Trusted information systems and processes are key to ensuring that the government is continuously monitoring internal systems for threats, vulnerabilities and unauthorized access.
According to the 2021–22 MAF assessment, 83% of assessed LDAs are fully compliant with the requirements aimed at ensuring that IT systems are limited to only authorized users. The remaining 17% are partially compliant, meaning that they provided evidence of having an operational policy and procedures and an established frequency but that they lacked secondary evidence of the “whole picture” or other applied evidence such as audit logs. These results indicate that IT security risks are being managed, but that policies, procedures and technology measures could be improved in order to, in turn, improve access management services.
As a result of the pandemic, employees in most departments and agencies shifted to remote and hybrid work. Having employees work off‑site increased the security risk for the Government of Canada and meant that new measures were needed to safeguard information and assets.
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise, 100% of assessed LDAs provided the necessary guidance to employees on safeguarding physical assets, equipment and information, which enabled organizations to mitigate security risks in a remote work environment. Mitigating security risks arising from the changing workplace landscape remains a government‑wide priority.
Results management and experimentation assessment overview
The results management and experimentation component of the 2021–22 MAF exercise looked at:
- the extent to which departments and agencies have plans for collecting data on program impacts in terms of gender and diversity
- the quality of performance information profiles
- the extent to which departments are experimenting and are using the results of their experiments to achieve organizational and program objectives
In total, 36 LDAs responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: gender‑based analysis plus reporting
The Canadian Gender Budgeting Act makes consideration of gender equality and diversity a requirement of the federal budget process. The act lays out responsibilities for the Minister of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), the Minister of Finance and the President of the Treasury Board in support of the principles of gender‑based analysis plus (GBA Plus):
- WAGE provides leadership on GBA Plus across the Government of Canada by providing guidance, best practices and expertise on it
- the President of the Treasury Board makes available to the public once a year an analysis of the impacts of existing Government of Canada expenditure programs on gender and diversity available; departments provide this analysis in the supplementary information table on GBA Plus that they provide with their Departmental Results Report
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the percentage of programs in an organization’s program inventory, excluding internal services, that have data collection plans in place so that they can report on program impacts in terms of gender and diversity.
For all assessed departments, 58% of total programs were undertaking data collection activities related to GBA Plus.
Only five departments had a GBA Plus data collection plan for 100% of their programs. All departments must improve their capacity to report on impacts of their programs in terms of gender and diversity so that decision‑makers and the public have access to more meaningful information.
Key findings: performance information profile assessment
Under the Policy on Results, each program in an organization’s program inventory must have a performance information profile (PIP). The PIP provides a consolidated view of the program’s plans for tracking performance.
As part of the MAF assessment, TBS assessed the quality of the plans in PIPs, which enabled it to provide organizations with feedback on their capacity to produce and manage high‑quality results information.
In the 2021–22 MAF exercise, TBS rated departments’ PIPs on a scale of 1 to 5. The rating was based on a weighted average of the scores for four elements:
- the quality of outcomes (weighted at 30%)
- the quality of indicators (weighted at 30%)
- the clarity of program logic (weighted at 15%)
- the completeness of attributes for each indicator (weighted at 25%)
The average score for this MAF cycle was 3.66, just under last year’s average of 3.16.
Five organizations had an average score lower than 3; seven had a score greater than 4. For most PIPs, therefore, the foundations are established, but improvement is needed in some elements, such as the quality of outcomes and indicators.
Figure 1 shows average PIP scores for all programs, by element.
Figure 1 - Text version
|Quality of outcomes||3.53|
|Quality of indicators||3.00|
|Completeness of attributes||4.16|
Key findings: experimentation
The 2021–22 MAF assessment provides insight into organizations’ experimentation efforts, consistent with the Experimentation Direction for Deputy Heads, December 2016, which provides direction to deputy heads on developing and testing new approaches to designing and delivering programs and policies. Experimentation helps generate evidence to inform decision‑making and improve outcomes for Canadians.
Since experimentation was added to the MAF in 2018–19, results have shown that organizations are increasingly using experimentation to find new ways to address problems and improve outcomes for Canadians and are using the results of experiments to inform decision‑making.
According to the 2021–22 MAF assessment exercise, the most common investment type for LDAs was committing resources to increase experimentation activity (94% of LDAs), followed by running experiments (79% of LDAs). Figure 2 shows the number of LDAs investing in experimentation, by investment type, from the start of the 2018 calendar year to the end of the 2020–21 fiscal year.Footnote 4
Figure 2 - Text version
|Investment type||2018 calendar year||2019 calendar year||2020 calendar year||2020–21|
|Incorporating into governance||16||17||20||21|
Although the number of LDAs that are incorporating experimentation into governance has been increasing steadily, more of them need to do so. Incorporating experimentation into governance makes it part of formal decision‑making processes and therefore more likely to be used throughout an organization.
Between the 2019 and 2021–22 MAF exercises, the use of experimental evidence to inform decision‑making increased across all categories of use.Footnote 5 The most common uses of experimental results were to scale up (53%) initiatives and to disseminate results for decision‑making (47%).
Figure 3 shows the number of LDAs that are using the results of experiments to inform decision-making, by type of use, from the start of the 2019 calendar year to the end of the 2020–21 fiscal year.
Figure 3 - Text version
|Type of use||2019 calendar year||2020 calendar year||2020–21|
|Results used to scale up an initiative||17||21||18|
|Results used to shut down an initiative||4||7||6|
|Results used to course‑correct an initiative||5||23||9|
|Results disseminated for decision‑making||13||26||16|
|Results used in another way||4||8||9|
Experimentation helps organizations deliver public value by generating evidence to learn what works and inform decision-making. Departments and agencies are encouraged to use experimental evidence to scale back or shut down initiatives when evidence demonstrates limited effectiveness, to ensure that organizations obtain good value for money.
|Statistics Canada: using results of experiments to scale up an initiative|
In 2020, Statistics Canada ran an experiment to examine whether machine learning could be used to code respondents’ comments in Census of Population questionnaires. Traditionally, experts have classified the comments manually. The comments support decision‑making for the next census and help track factors such as respondent burden. The experiment compared the manual approach to coding the responses with a machine‑learning approach to see whether automating the process would improve efficiency without compromising quality. It also evaluated different machine‑learning approaches to determine which was the most effective. The results showed that machine learning can be used to accurately classify comments in both official languages. The approach was scaled up in time for the 2021 Census, with more than 19 machine‑learning models being used to code more than 1.6 million responses. This approach saved time and used fewer resources while maintaining the quality of the traditional approach.
Management of acquired services and assets assessment overview
The management of acquired services and assets component of the MAF exercise provides insight into core comptrollership responsibilities related to investment planning, project management, real property management, procurement and materiel management.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the following:
- greening government outcomes
- investment planning and real property management
- procurement and materiel management
In total, 11 LDAs responded to questions in this area of management.
Key findings: greening government outcomes
In 2017, the government introduced the Greening Government Strategy. According to the strategy, “the Government of Canada will transition to net‑zero carbon and climate‑resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon, including those on waste, water and biodiversity.”
In the strategy, the government commits to aligning relevant policies to further incorporate greening and climate resilience in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from real property and conventional fleetFootnote 6 by 40% by 2025 and achieve net‑zero by 2050.
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise, compared to a 2005 baseline, 73% of assessed LDAs have reached, almost reached or moved beyond the 40% reduction target and 27% have work to do to decrease emissions to support the target reductions of 40% by 2025 and net‑zero by 2050.
|Health Canada: electrifying the federal fleet|
Health Canada continued greening its fleet in 2020–21: 100% of its vehicle purchases were either hybrid or zero‑emissions vehicles. The department has reduced its fleet greenhouse gas emissions by 90% since 2005–06.
Key findings: investment planning and real property management
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed whether departments and agencies are:
- producing consolidated performance information on their investments in:
- information technology
- real property
- reporting this information to the governance committee or to the individual responsible for investment oversight
- itemizing the active investments as detailed in their investment plan
Almost 91% of assessed LDAs provided evidence of consolidated reporting to governance committees and decision‑makers. The consolidated reporting supports informed decision‑making, which aligns with the intent of the Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments.
As set out in the Directive on the Management of Real Property, organizations that hold custodial real property assets are expected to manage those assets “in a manner that enables operational outcomes, demonstrates sound stewardship and provides best value, consistent with the Government of Canada’s socio‑economic and environmental objectives.” They are also expected to make real property decisions “based on risk management practices, performance information and an assessment of full life‑cycle costs.” Life‑cycle management strategies must enable departments to optimize the performance of their assets. For example, setting a target rate of annual reinvestment for Crown‑owned real property helps in assessing whether adequate resources are being dedicated to properly maintaining real property assets.
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise:
- 66% of assessed departments are setting target rates of reinvestment that are below the government‑wide average.
- Only 29% of assessed departments met their target rate of reinvestment
These results indicate that most departments’ real property assets are at risk of deteriorating faster than life‑cycle forecasts predict because of an increasing backlog of deferred work, which could compromise program and service delivery.
Key findings: materiel management and procurement
A strong asset management regime ensures that a department has the materiel it needs to carry out its mandates and that its materiel holdings provide best value. It also protects materiel and provides materiel management practitioners with up‑to‑date information on the state of their materiel to help them maintain it, prevent loss and identify surplus materiel. One element of such a regime is stock‑taking, which minimizes the risk of loss, damage and unauthorized access to materiel holdings.
According to the 2021–22 MAF exercise, over 60% of assessed LDAs have implemented an approach to stock‑taking that meets the requirements of the Policy on the Management of Materiel.Footnote 7 The remaining 40% of assessed LDAs need to ensure that all materiel management practitioners in their organizations have access to a clear and effective set of procedures that are specifically tailored to their department’s needs and circumstances.
Government procurement activities need to comply with legislation, regulations, policies and should follow best practices so that the acquisition of goods and services is conducted in a manner that enhances access, competition and fairness. Procurement activities should also provide best value, ensuring the optimal balance of overall benefits to the Crown and Canadians. Federal departments and agencies are responsible for managing procurement in a manner that meets public expectations in matters of prudence and integrity and is consistent with the Government of Canada’s socio‑economic and environmental objectives.
The 2021–22 MAF exercise assessed the use of competitive procurement instruments, governance and oversight of the management of procurement, and procurement from Indigenous business.
Of procurements over $25,000, 80% of the value and 69% of contracts were the result of a competitive process. Despite challenges such as the pandemic and other factors that limited competition, overall, assessed organizations continued to use competitive processes for procurement.
The MAF results show that most of the assessed departments had relatively good governance and oversight mechanisms in place for procurement. They need to improve their mechanisms for post‑contract review, however.
Departments are also making progress on developing strategies to promote procurement from Indigenous businesses. More than half of assessed LDAs already have an Indigenous procurement plan in place, and most others are on their way to developing a plan to achieve the mandatory minimum target of 5% for contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses by April 1, 2024.
|Department of National Defence: furthering empowerment and increasing diversity in procurement|
The Department of National Defence (DND) has taken concrete steps to create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to succeed and grow. It put in place an action plan to meet the target of awarding 5% of contracts to Indigenous businesses by 2024. Starting with a market assessment, the department is defining the scope and setting timelines for reaching out to Indigenous stakeholder groups. It is also working with the Government‑Wide Director General Interdepartmental Working Group on Indigenous Procurement. DND has one of the largest procurement budgets in the federal government, so its efforts to increase procurement with Indigenous business are significant.
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