The long-term planning (LTP) process is a collective approach to integrated planning that addresses emerging needs, supports renewal of established programs, and optimizes the use of human resources (HR). The LTP process has been in place since the 1980s, and is recognized as a best practice in the public service.
LTP decisions are made in the context of three factors: environmental considerations; government priorities; and other critical factors, such as the Clerk of the Privy Council’s Public Service Renewal Action Plan. Planning decisions are based on timely, factual information, using financial and demographic data and projections. By integrating HR planning with business planning, the Agency is able to forecast future demand and supply the number and types of employees and development strategies needed to effectively meet business needs.
The LTP process enables the Agency to examine issues and challenges and establish priorities by re-structuring itself into five working groups that are representative of specific program and service areas. The planning calendar and its fit with the government business cycle is depicted in figure 5.1, below.
One working group is dedicated to HR priorities and initiatives. It provides direct input into the development of the Agency’s Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan.
See appendix K for a list of abbreviations.
The integrated business and human resources 2010 to 2013 planning exercise was conducted in support of the Agency’s Corporate Business Plan, which describes how Statistics Canada conducts its business, the challenges it faces and the approaches it has adopted to manage these challenges over the next three years.
Statistics Canada is facing many challenges in 2010 to 2013, including:
1. Government fiscal and financial restraint. The 2010 Budget stated: “For 2010/2011, departmental budgets will not be increased to fund the 1.5 percent increase in annual wages for the federal public administration….departments will be required to reallocate from the remainder of their operating budgets to fund these increases.” To comply with the government’s direction and to preserve the integrity of our statistical outputs, the Agency has developed objective criteria to prioritize our programs. These criteria include relevance, quality, timeliness and cost.
2. Consumer Price Index (CPI) enhancement initiative. To better reflect the increasing complexity of the Canadian economy, the 2010 fiscal framework is providing permanent new funding to improve Canada’s CPI by updating the weights in the CPI basket of goods every two years from every four years, introducing more representative products, increasing the CPI sample size and improving quality adjustments.
3. Implementation of harmonized sales tax (HST) for Ontario and British Columbia. Statistics Canada provides ongoing statistical inputs to the HST Revenue Allocation Framework administered by Finance Canada on behalf of all participating provinces.The Agency will develop surveys and modifications to ensure provision of interim and ongoing statistics for the expanded implementation of HST.
4. The 2011 Census of Population and Census of Agriculture. Logistically one of the biggest peacetime operations undertaken by the Government of Canada, the Census of Population provides the basis on which billions in federal transfer payments are made. The Census of Agriculture is the only consistent, detailed source of small area agricultural information.
The Statistics Act allows the Agency to employ temporary employees, federal public service employees, and contractors (see appendix F). Temporary employees, or Statistical Survey Operations workers, are hired to meet the census operations' temporary business needs using funding from an external source and for a limited duration (sunset funding). Public service employees are appointed pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA)using advertised and non-advertised external selection processes.
The Statistics Canada Census-related Term Employment Exclusion Approval Order (EAO) andassociated regulations, which entered into force in July 2010 and which are valid indefinitely, expedite the staffing process for the large number of census term employees that must be appointed pursuant to the PSEA. The census term employees are not eligible to apply to internal selection processes, with the exception of internal selection processes for staff positions within the census program on an acting basis. In addition, the term employment of employees appointed pursuant to the EAO shall not count towards the three years for conversion from term to indeterminate status.
5. Launching of a new National Household Survey. This new survey will replace the ‘long form’ component of the Census of Population. It will gather information to meet key data requirements of all levels of government and the private sector. This ‘decoupling’ of the census will require redesign and testing of collection systems and processes while leveraging the existing census infrastructure. Survey collection will be conducted from February to August 2011.
6. Supporting public service renewal. In announcing the 2010/2011 Public Service Renewal Action Plan, the Clerk of the Privy Council stated that “The way ahead will involve empowering public servants at all levels to find new, more cost-effective ways to deliver better services to Canadians and provide higher-quality advice to the Government.” The Clerk’s four renewal pillars are integrated planning, recruitment, employee development and renewing the workplace.
Statistics Canada has a long-standing reputation for exemplary HR management. As in past years, Statistics Canada has identified specific renewal commitments that the Agency will achieve in 2010/2011. These commitments, as presented in appendix G, are aimed at broadening and deepening our efforts towards recruiting, developing and retaining our workforce to meet the present and future needs of the Agency and promoting the public service renewal initiatives.
7. Administrative services review.The 2010 Budget indicated that “…a comprehensive review of government administrative functions and overhead costs would be undertaken in order to identify opportunities for additional savings and improve service delivery.”1 The review aims at improving the overall efficiencies of corporate services in departments and agencies and improving services to Canadians.
8. HR review. In 2009/2010, Statistics Canada conducted a comprehensive review of its HR systems and practices, which have been recognized both domestically and internationally for being effective and innovative. However, to remain a leader and meet new challenges, the Agency has identified four priority areas where further innovation is required to better position us for the future: executive leadership and development, collective staffing, recruitment and development, and diversity.
1. Budget document “Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth” March 2010 page 162.