TSB Responses to Treasury Board Secretariat Assessments, 2006-2007

Transportation Safety Board of Canada's Response to the Treasury Board Secretariat Assessment - Round IV of the Assessments with Respect to the Management Accountability Framework



In 2006-2007, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) was assessed as part of Round IV Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessments carried out by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). As part of this process, departments were assessed against some indicators that measure each of the 10 elements of the MAF and given a rating based on an assessment scale. Each department's performance was therefore assessed on the basis of certain specific indicators. For more information about the measures and indicators chosen by the Treasury Board Secretariat, as well as the detailed results of the TSB's assessment, please visit the Treasury Board Secretariat Web site at the following addresses: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/maf-crg/indicators-indicateurs/2006/elements-elements_e.asp and http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/maf-crg/assessments-evaluations/2006/index_e.asp

This site contains the following information regarding this exercise:

  • a summary of the observations made by the Treasury Board Secretariat in relation to the TSB's performance against the MAF;

  • the priorities and measures proposed by the Treasury Board Secretariat which are included in the TSB action plan;

  • progress to date made by the TSB with regard to its action plan;

  • residual TSB action plan measures.

Summary of Treasury Board Secretariat Observations in Relation to the TSB's Performance against the MAF

The Treasury Board Secretariat's observations were very positive on the whole. It concluded that the organization is well managed and that the TSB's workforce was productive, principled, sustainable, and adaptable. The Treasury Board Secretariat gave the organization superior ratings in some fields and highlighted the progress made in regard to several other areas including:

  • Effectiveness of Project Management: The TSB has a well-defined project management regime. It has a formal governance structure for projects to address decision making, oversight, and monitoring.

  • Values-based Leadership and Organizational Culture: The TSB scored higher than the public service average in many areas of the 2005 Public Service Survey including the prevention of harassment and discrimination, respect for employees and the culture of respect, and integrity fostered by its leaders.

  • Effectiveness of Financial Management and Control: The TSB provided during the evaluation period timely and high quality financial reports. The financial information provided was consistent with Treasury Board Accounting Standards and generally accepted accounting principles. These reports had received an unqualified audit opinion.

  • Quality of Programs and Policy Analysis: During the evaluation period, the TSB put forward one superior quality submission to the Treasury Board containing accurate and reliable information, along with a sound analysis.

  • Quality of Workplace: The TSB provides a fair, enabling, safe and secure workplace in order to offer the best service to Canadians, particularly in regard to the availability of work, information and communications tools in both official languages, the absence of complaints related to language of work, and the perception that employees have a healthy and safe workplace, specifically in the area of recognition from supervisors.

Lastly, the TSB is of the opinion that some measures, along with the methodologies and assessment practices associated with certain indicators, particularly in the human resources area, were not relevant to the environment in which small agencies operate. Therefore, the TSB will continue to work actively with the Small Agencies Administrators' Network for the purpose of ensuring that the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Public Service Agency follow up on the Network's comments, observations and recommendations aimed at improving the next assessment rounds.

Treasury Board Secretariat Proposed Measures and Priorities Included in the TSB Action Plan

In its conclusion, the Treasury Board Secretariat established the following priorities for improving the TSB's management in 2007-2008:

  • Corporate Performance Framework: revise the TSB's strategic outcome to make it more measurable and more clearly focused on the organization's responsibilities.

  • Evaluation Function: build on existing evaluation-related activities, in particular use the results of evaluations to support decision making within the organization.

  • Performance Reports: describe in the TSB's Departmental Performance Report (DPR) the results achieved against results identified in the Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP). In addition, the DPR should cite information sources to support the information presented.

  • Information and Information Technology (IT) Management: focus on improving the effectiveness of information management. In particular, move towards full compliance with the Standard for Management of Information Technology Security by finalizing actions underway to resolve deficiencies in risk management and business continuity planning.

In addition to these priorities, the TSB's action plan includes other measures aimed at following up on the observations formulated by the Treasury Board Secretariat as part of its assessment of information and IT management:

  • Clarify where responsibility for information architecture and Internet/intranet management resides.

  • Rectify deficiencies noted in the descriptions of TSB's Personal Information Banks in the Info Source publication.

  • Provide the TSB with an IT plan.

The organization will also approach the Public Service Agency of Canada to address the issues raised by the Secretariat regarding the accessibility of services in both official languages in its regional offices subject to section 5(1)a) of the Official Languages Regulations.

Progress Achieved by the TSB with Regard to its Action Plan

The TSB has committed to managing its activities effectively and efficiently consistent with public service values and ethics in order to meet the needs and expectations of Canadians. As of March 4, 2009, we have adopted the following measures in connection with our action plan:

1. Corporate Performance Framework

We implemented in 2008-2009 our new program activity architecture. The strategic outcome found in this architecture is easier to measure and more focused on the organization's responsibilities for safety in the transportation area. As well, our program sub-activities are now at the program activity level so that we can better demonstrate in our Departmental Performance Report the results that we achieved versus those planned in our Report on Plans and Priorities. However, due to competing priorities, we had to postpone from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010 the development and implementation of our performance management framework.

2. Evaluation Function

Although no evaluation has been conducted recently at the TSB, we have carried out certain activities to ensure the relevance and efficiency of our operations. For example, we carried out an evaluation of the resources assigned to a major investigation to ensure their optimization. This evaluation focused on $500,000 in program expenditures.

We have also completed in 2008 an in-depth review of our A-base budget. The implementation of the recommendations stemming out of the various projects that were part of this exercise will allow us to optimize the use of our resources.

Finally, we will develop and implement in 2009-2010 a formal program evaluation framework which will allow us to comply with the requirements of the new TB Evaluation Policy that will come into effect on April 1, 2009.

3. Performance Information

The implementation of our new performance management framework during the next fiscal year will enable us to clearly report on our performance against our planned results. As well, in our Departmental Performance Report of the last two fiscal years, we have clearly indicated the source of the information used to corroborate our performance.

4. Information and IT Management

IT Management

We are committed to improving the efficiency of our information management and to being fully compliant with the Standard for Management of Information Technology Security. We have completed the threats and risks assessments for all our major systems and have implemented the measures required to mitigate them. We have also completed the development of our operational and IT infrastructure continuity plan.

Information Management

We have addressed the deficiencies noted in the descriptions of the Personal Information Banks during our 2008 update of the Info Source.

The job description of the information management manager has also been revised to specifically reference the responsibilities associated with information architecture and intranet management.

5. Citizen-focused Services

We have discussed with the Public Service Agency of Canada the way to communicate the availability of bilingual services in our regional offices subject to section 5(1)a) of the Official Languages Regulations and completed a verification to ensure that the approach retained has been implemented at all the communication points used by our clientele.

Residual TSB Action Plan Measures as of March 4, 2009

The table below shows the remaining TSB action plan measures that need to be implemented in 2009-2010 in order to follow up completely on the observations formulated by the Treasury Board Secretariat in its assessment. The action plan will be tracked and updated on a quarterly basis.

Area Residual Measures
Departmental Performance Framework
  • Develop and implement the TSB's performance measurement framework.
Evaluation Function
  • Develop and implement a new TSB program evaluation framework to comply with the new Treasury Board Evaluation Policy.
Information Management
  • Examine the Internet responsibility issue and put in place a content management protocol and a governance structure.