MAF Assessment Process

The MAF assessment follows a rigorous process each year.

Transcript - Management Accountability Framework Assessment Process

The Treasury Board Secretariat is responsible for ensuring that the Government is well managed, accountable and that resources are allocated to achieve results. This responsibility is carried out in a number of ways.  One of these is the Management Accountability Framework, or MAF.

The MAF is an annual assessment of management practices and performance in most federal departments and agencies. 

The MAF assessment sets out the expectations of deputy heads and managers in key areas of management - those that are critical to strong performing organizations. It then measures organizational performance against those expectations.
There are four core areas of management on which all participating organizations are assessed.

  • Financial Management;
  • Information Management and Information Technology Management;
  • Management of Integrated Risk, Planning and Performance; and,
  • People Management.

There are three department-specific areas of management on which select organizations are assessed.

  • Management of Acquired Services and Assets;
  • Security Management; and,
  • Service Management.

The selection for a department- specific assessment occurs when there is a strong alignment between an organization’s operations and the area of management.

The MAF assessment process is launched in the late spring, when area-of-management methodologies are provided to participating organizations. The methodologies are developed by subject matter experts within policy centres of the Treasury Board Secretariat, in consultation with their functional communities. The methodologies contain questionnaires and requests for supporting documentation.

Between summer and early winter, organizations complete the questionnaires and submit them, along with any requested documents, to the online MAF Portal. Subject matter experts within policy centres review the submissions and prepare draft assessment reports, which are provided to organizations in mid-winter. Organizations then have one month to discuss their draft assessments with the Treasury Board Secretariat officials. In late winter, the draft assessments are revised. The final MAF results are released to individual organizations in the spring. At this time, the Secretary of the Treasury Board meets with deputy heads to discuss the performance of their organizations.

The results are then used as an input to the performance management program for deputy heads, conducted by the Privy Council Office.

The MAF results contain observations by the Treasury Board Secretariat on where performance meets expectations, and where there may be opportunities to improve. The results also provide a snapshot of the state of management practices and performance across all organizations assessed.

This allows deputy heads to benchmark their organizations performance within the broader, government-wide context. MAF is improving management practices in departments and agencies across the federal government.

It identifies the key elements needed for sound management in government.

MAF ensures that the federal public service continues to focus on management excellence and deliver results for all Canadians.

MAF Areas of Management

The MAF assessment process sets out the expectations of public sector managers and deputy heads in specific Areas of Management (AoM) and measures organizational performance against these expectations. Each Area of Management represents a key internal business function that is critical to a strong performing organization.

There are seven Areas of Management, identified as either core or department-specific.

The core Areas of Management are considered central to good management. All organizations participating in the MAF assessment are assessed annually on the core management areas.

  • Financial Management;
  • Information Management and Information Technology (IM/IT) Management;
  • Management of Integrated Risk, Planning and Performance; and,
  • People Management.

In addition, select organizations are assessed annually on one or more of the department-specific management areas, when there is a strong alignment between a department or agency’s operations and the Area of Management.

  • Management of Acquired Services and Assets;
  • Security Management; and,
  • Service Management.

How MAF assessment information is used

The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessments provide individual organizations with observations by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) on where performance meets expectations on the specific performance indicators that are reviewed, and where there may be opportunities to improve. This information is of value to both deputy heads and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS).

First and foremost, deputy heads and departmental managers use the MAF assessments to understand the management capacity that exists in their organizations and to identify the areas that may require attention so they can implement any necessary changes within their organizations.

The assessments also give deputy heads information to benchmark their organizations’ performance against performance government-wide and facilitate the sharing of leading management practices across departments and agencies.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat uses the MAF results to gain a broad perspective on the state of management practices and challenges in the federal government and to monitor policy compliance and implementation across government. It also uses the MAF results to track progress on government-wide management priorities and transformation initiatives.

In summary, the MAF results help organizations to continuously improve management capabilities, effectiveness and efficiency.

MAF is a powerful tool that plays an important role in the improvement of management practices in departments and agencies across the federal government. It identifies the key elements needed for sound management in government and ensures that the federal public service continues to focus on management excellence and the delivery of effective programs and services to Canadians.

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