Management Accountability Framework Assessments
Departmental Response to the Round VIII (2010-11) Environment Canada Management Accountability Framework (MAF) Assessment
Environment Canada (EC) was pleased to receive acknowledgement that its management capacity in the Round VIII MAF assessment was noted as mostly positive.
The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) also recognized that EC’s overall performance remained stable in comparison to last year’s assessment. EC received a higher rating in one Area of Management (Values-based Leadership and Organizational Culture), a lower rating in another Area (Integrated Risk Management), and the remaining assessed Areas received the same rating.
For Round VIII, TBS identified the following three management priorities for EC in 2011-12:
1) Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control – EC should work to ensure that key financial management controls are in place, documented, and periodically assessed and tested. EC should also strengthen financial management capacity through improved retention and indeterminate staffing of management team and is encouraged to develop and implement a Departmental Financial Management System Plan to support financial systems.
In response, the improvement of financial management has been firmly established as a top departmental priority, and reflected in the performance agreements of all departmental executives. Regular updates on financial management are provided to the Deputy Minister in an integrated manner through standardized corporate reporting, bilateral discussions with Assistant Deputy Ministers on effective management of financial resources, as well as progress reporting against a departmental MAF Action Plan. This commitment to ensure management improvement has led to tangible results, including a finalized suite of financial management related Frameworks, an action plan for Internal Controls over Financial Reporting, and a risk assessment of financial reporting to ensure that key financial management controls are in place. EC also finalized its Departmental Financial Management System Plan to support departmental financial systems.
2) Effective Management of Security – While EC has made general improvement in the security services at all levels and in all regions across the organization, the Department should continue to focus on governance mechanisms for security, which are only partially established. The development and implementation of the departmental security plan should be a priority in 2011. EC should also focus on ensuring compliance with Management of Information Technology Security and Business Continuity Planning requirements.
In response, EC strengthened its governance through the centralization of all security functions under a single ADM, who chairs the Departmental Security Committee. EC finalized a Departmental Security Policy that describes security governance and roles and responsibilities within the Department. A Departmental Security Plan has also been approved, which outlines decisions required for managing security risks, strategies, and timelines for improving security. In addition, EC has improved its compliance with information technology and business continuity expectations through greater senior management engagement and establishment of Portfolio Management teams for information technology.
3) Integrated Risk Management (IRM) – The Department has initiated several improvements to its IRM practices during the assessment period and will need to follow through on implementation of planned initiatives to address gaps, including: align key risks to strategic priorities and direction; strengthen the design and use of its Corporate Risk Profile; approve, communicate and implement the IRM Framework; and, improve IRM practices and use of risk information to support management decisions.
In response, EC approved a departmental Integrated Risk Management Framework outlining roles and responsibilities for risk management. A Risk Management Community of Practice has been established to facilitate the sharing of IRM best practices. The process to develop the 2011-13 Corporate Risk Profile and identify key departmental risks is well advanced. In addition, risk information has been integrated into departmental planning, reporting and decision-making processes, including development of the 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities.
The Round VIII MAF assessment presents an overview of EC's management performance against a specific set of indicators as of March 2011. In May 2011, EC developed the 2011-12 Departmental MAF Action Plan to demonstrate its commitment to continuous management improvement. The Action Plan was revised in November 2011 to update the status of milestones and to align with the new Round IX MAF performance expectations.
The table below presents EC's Round VIII results and an overview of EC’s management improvement plans.
|Area of Management||MAF Round VIII Rating||Departmental Response|
|Values-based Leadership and Organizational Culture||Strong||EC will continue to proactively raise awareness of values and ethics (V&E) within the Department through the use of various tools, internal communications, and awareness sessions. EC will ensure consistency of EC’s Code of Conduct with the Federal Public Sector Code and the TBS Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, and will hold consultations with key stakeholders. In addition, a new three-year V&E Action Plan, including best practices and priorities for the Values, Integrity and Disclosure Directorate will be developed for 2012-15.|
|Managing for Results||Acceptable||EC will continue to refine the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) through its review of all programs during the annual Management, Resources and Results Structure Policy (MRRS) amendment process. EC will also review Performance Measurement Framework indicators to reduce the percentage of indicators with missing targets and to convert qualitative indicators into a quantitative format. In addition, EC will continue to improve its use of MRRS information in its planning and decision-making processes.|
|Governance and Planning||Acceptable||EC established a Planning Collaboration Network to improve the departmental planning process, in support of the Executive Management Committee’s ongoing accountabilities. Departmental decision-making and budgeting will continue to be aligned to the PAA.|
|Citizen-focused Service||Acceptable||EC will continue to update and improve its service inventory. The setting of service standards in certain programs and other service management tools (i.e., departmental service principles) are underway. Services will continue to be accessible and available in both official languages.|
|Effectiveness of Internal Audit Function||Strong||EC will continue to comply with requirements under the Internal Audit Policy and the Directives for the Chief Audit Executive and Departmental Audit Committees. EC will also maintain the high quality of its Risk-Based Audit and Evaluation Plan. In addition, EC will continue to ensure that the internal audit function achieves tangible results to strengthen risk management, control and governance processes.|
|Quality and Use of Evaluation||Strong||EC will continue to maintain the high quality of its evaluation reports by ensuring issues of relevance and performance are well addressed. EC will also continue to adhere to requirements under the Policy on Evaluation and strive toward meeting average annual evaluation coverage rates of 20% of direct program spending starting in 2013-14. In addition, evaluation results will continue to be incorporated into Central Agency planning and reporting requirements as well as departmental decision-making processes.|
|Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control||Opportunity for Improvement||As a key area of priority for improvement as noted by the Deputy Minister, EC finalized a suite of financial management related Frameworks, developed the action plan for Internal Controls over Financial Reporting, and performed a risk assessment of financial reporting to ensure that key financial management controls are in place. EC also finalized its Departmental Financial Management System Plan to support departmental financial systems.|
|Effective Management of Security||Opportunity for Improvement||EC strengthened its governance with the centralization of all security functions under a single Assistant Deputy Minister who chairs the Departmental Security Committee. EC finalized a Departmental Security Policy that describes security governance and roles and responsibilities within the Department. A Departmental Security Plan has also been approved, which outlines decisions required for managing security risks, strategies, and timelines for improving security. In addition, EC has improved its compliance with information technology and business continuity expectations through greater senior management engagement and establishment of Portfolio Management teams for information technology.|
|Integrated Risk Management||Opportunity for Improvement||EC approved a departmental Integrated Risk Management Framework outlining roles and responsibilities for risk management. The Framework which includes foundational risk management principles will be communicated to all employees. A Risk Management Community of Practice has been established to facilitate the sharing of best practices. The process to develop the 2011-13 Corporate Risk Profile and identify key departmental risks is well advanced. In addition, risk information has been integrated into departmental planning, reporting and decision-making processes, including development of the 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities.|
|Excellence in People Management||Acceptable||EC will continue to implement the 2011-12 Branch Employee Engagement Strategies to improve employee retention amongst highly mobile groups and review learning needs. EC will focus planning on key leadership positions at senior levels. EC will continue its efforts to respond to results of the 2008 Public Service Employee Survey.|
|Effective Procurement||Acceptable||EC will continue to implement its Departmental Integrated Investment Plan and will ensure that managers provide long-term strategies for equipment purchases and major initiatives through the Procurement Review Board. Departmental processes have also been updated to align to new commodity strategies introduced by Public Works and Government Services Canada. In addition, all procurement officers continue to have learning plans and procurement staff participate in mandatory training as new strategies are introduced.|
|Effectiveness of Information Management||Acceptable||EC will renew its Information Management Strategy and Enterprise Data Management Strategy to improve the strategic planning and implementation of information management. Several Privacy Impact Assessments are complete, and a departmental Access to Information Policy Framework has been finalized to strengthen governance. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding with Library and Archives Canada is being developed to ensure disposition authorities for all record holdings.|
|Effectiveness of Information Technology Management||Acceptable||EC recently renewed its three-year Information Management and Information Technology Plan, and its 2011-12 Business Plan, which include project priorities. EC will also implement standards to support the Directive on Project Management and project status reports will be presented to the Project Oversight Committee for early identification of issues. A departmental information technology costing model aligned to the Government of Canada costing profile was completed are in place.|
|Effectiveness of Asset Management||Acceptable||EC will ensure that real property holdings are managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner through its Federal Sustainable Development Plan and annual updates of site specific Integrated Investment Plans. Updates to the Real Property Framework are underway to comply with the Policy on Management of Real Property. EC completed the Materiel Management Framework and Asset Liability Management tools to ensure compliance with the Policy on Management of Materiel.|
|Investment Planning and Management of Projects||Acceptable||EC submitted a draft of the Investment Plan and Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment (OPMCA) to TBS to ensure an effective regime for the planning, decision-making, and governance of investments. EC will also update the draft Project Management Framework to ensure that the right people, finances and systems are in place to effectively manage projects. In addition, EC will regularly review project performance and the OPMCA rating to make necessary adjustments.|
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