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2008-2009 Report Card
Canada Revenue Agency

Official Languages Program Management (15%)

Rating

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has an action plan for 2008–2011 that addresses Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The Plan sets goals and expected results, and establishes the criteria for measuring progress towards the goals. By describing Agency-wide goals, the Plan sets the strategic direction for 17 other action plans, one for each of the CRA’s 12 branches and five regions. Each of these plans explains what is intended within each branch and region and the specific actions to support the Agency’s overall goals.

Every six months, official language champions and advisors for each branch and region submit a progress report to the Official Languages Division, notifying it of what has been achieved during the previous six-month reporting period. This allows the Official Languages Division to monitor progress and ensure that concrete steps are being taken throughout the CRA. The Division subsequently reports on this progress to the Agency Management Committee every six months and to the CRA’s board of management yearly.

The CRA has included the requirement that an active offer of service be provided in both official languages in the performance evaluations of many employees serving the public. In many of the Agency’s tax services offices, a third party (commissionaire) provides security services and directs the public to counter services; the active-offer requirement has therefore been added to their post orders as well.

For many years, the Agency has included the requirement to adhere to official languages policies in its executive performance commitments, and has included this requirement in a majority of performance agreements with members of the management group. The Taxpayer Services and Debt Management Branch found a positive way to emphasize managers’ exemplary behaviour by inviting employees to nominate managers who promote and encourage the use of both official languages in the workplace for an official languages recognition award.

Although measures exist, the CRA should intensify its efforts and actions to improve active offer and the quality of its services in both languages, and make its organization a work environment conducive to the use of French and English.

The Quebec region has shown a steady rise in its percentage of Anglophone employees, from 5.5% in March 2005 to 8.2% in December 2008. This progress is a result of the Quebec region’s action plan to increase Anglophone representation through recruitment and retention. The steps taken include maintaining a presence at job fairs held at the province’s Anglophone universities and colleges.

The CRA actively cooperates in the resolution of complaints, and always produces the requested documentation without delay. To facilitate rapid responses to complaints, the CRA encourages direct communication between the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the managers concerned.

B

Service to the Public Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%)

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, an active visual offer was present in 97.3% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 24.5% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was available in 75.7% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was available in 97.5% of cases.

Note: The CRA does not provide e-mail access by the public for security reasons. Members of the public may only contact the Agency by phone, by mail or in person through an appointment. The CRA Web site is the key entry point for on-line services. The site is designed to help taxpayers find answers to questions quickly and accurately.

B

Language of Work  Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%)

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 68.2% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR), New Brunswick and the bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 69.4% of Anglophone respondents were of the same opinion.

For both categories of respondents, the satisfaction rate by question is presented below.

Survey Questions

Anglophone Respondents

Francophone Respondents

The material and tools provided for my work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of my choice.

83%

80%

When I prepare written materials, including electronic mail, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.

68%

59%

When I communicate with my immediate supervisor, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.

75%

74%

During meetings in my work unit, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.

67%

56%

The training offered by my work unit is in the official language of my choice.

54%

72%

D

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians  Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%)

Overall, the workforce is 24.4% Francophone.

In Quebec, excluding the NCR, the workforce is 8.3% Anglophone.

(Source: CRA, December 31, 2008)

A

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality  Part VII of the Official Languages Act (20%)

The CRA has permanent mechanisms in place to ensure strategic planning and program and policy development take into account the promotion of linguistic duality and support the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs). In light of this commitment, directors review memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions to ensure the Agency considers any impacts on OLMCs, and the template used to prepare these documents includes a section on official languages matters. The process for preparing the branch and regional reports that contribute to the annual review submitted to the Canada Public Service Agency also strengthens this commitment.

A representative of the CRA participates in the Canadian Heritage committee on Part VII and informs official languages champions, and hence the members of the Agency Management Committee, of new developments on this subject.

As in other regions, the Pacific region meets regularly with several Francophone community associations, such as the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada. The region assists this group with translation services. The region also provided a payroll deduction information session to a group of Francophone women entrepreneurs, and plans additional tax information sessions in French. To increase the number of bilingual employees at the CRA, the Pacific region invited students from a Francophone community college to an open house at the regional call centre on October 8, 2008. The event provided information on the external selection process to potential candidates and introduced them to the working conditions of the call centre. As a result, 17 of the 26 students who participated applied for a position.

The Atlantic region participated in an event held by Canadian Parents for French to encourage French immersion high school students to continue their university studies in French. It also presented a DVD developed by the Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador and the Conseil scolaire francophone provincial. The Atlantic region is a member of the Francophone Affairs Steering Committee.

In March 2009, an official languages advisor from the CRA received the Cornouiller d’or award, which recognizes the exceptional contribution of civil servants to the development of the Francophonie in British Columbia.

Most offices within the Ontario region are conducting outreach activities with OLMCs, including presentations at local schools on tax-related issues such as the underground economy and filing tax forms, and volunteer tax information sessions. The Ontario region has started work on a Web site that will include a list of OLMC organizations, planned outreach activities and best practices regarding Part VII.

The Prairie region has posted a practical guide for achieving Part VII and other tools on the “Partners in Official Languages” page of its regional human resources Web site.

At headquarters, the Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch actively advertises its ability to give presentations to OLMCs in other parts of Canada outside the NCR.

A

Overall Rating

B