May 2007

Department of Finance Management Response to the 2005-06 MAF assessment


The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) is a framework developed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the Canada Public Service Agency of (CPSA) to assist in the assessment of public service management. It consists of a set of indicators against which departments are assessed by TBS and CPSA based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. It was developed to provide public service managers, especially deputy heads, with a clear list of management expectations within an overall framework for high organizational performance.

The Department of Finance received its 2005-06 MAF assessment in the spring of 2006, and immediately began to tailor its internal management action plan in response to observations in the assessment. The following represents the highlights of the action plan as they relate to MAF observations.

Human Resources planning

  • In line with the requirements of the new Public Service Modernization Act, the department developed integrated human resources and business plans in 2006-07. The new Resourcing Plan outlines the expected resourcing requirements for the department overall, and for the individual branches, and identifies the spectrum of staffing strategies to be used.

Risk management

  • The department appointed an ADM-level lead to develop its corporate risk management framework, consistent with the government policy for Risk Management. The development of a Corporate Risk Profile, which has been initiated and will be more fully developed in 2007-08, will provide a more formal structure for the risk management activities which are inherent in many aspects of the department’s business. Audit plans are also being developed using a risk-based approach.

Internal Audit

  • In 2006-07, the department significantly increased internal audit resources to address capacity pressures and to support recently enhanced internal audit policy requirements. Further capacity increases are anticipated for 2007-08.

Evaluation

  • The department initiated the development of a Risk-Based Evaluation Plan in 2006-07, beginning with a needs assessment that will identify the full range of evaluation and capacity requirements of the department. The needs assessment is expected to be completed in 2007-08.

Information and IT Management

  • Significant steps were taken in 2006-07 to address the priority areas of the government’s Management of Information Technology Standards (MITS), including the staffing of key roles in IT Security, the identification of critical systems and services, and the development of further plans to enhance IT security. The department is developing detailed information management and information technology plans for 2007-08 to address the remaining MITS requirements.

Procurement and Contract Management

  • One procurement function is shared by the Department of Finance and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). An audit of procurement and contract management was conducted by TBS in 2005, and the results are being used to inform contract management enhancements in the Department of Finance.

Performance Measurement / Governance

  •  Like other departments, Finance Canada has an approved Program Activity Architecture which is used to present its plans and results by strategic outcomes. Its performance measurement framework was enhanced in 2006-07, now including summary tables by program activity showing planned vs. actual achievement of objectives. Further enhancements in 2007-08 will ensure that the framework meets the evolving requirements of the Management, Resources, and Results Structure policy (MRRS).

Employment Equity

  • The representation of aboriginal employees increased in 2006. Our Employment Equity 2006-2008 action plan addresses this and other issues. The plan has been sent to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which monitors departments’ progress.

Values and Ethics

  • The department deals with highly sensitive information, and as such, values and ethics issues are particularly important to this organization. The 2005-06 MAF assessment refers to Finance Canada as an at-risk organization, solely in recognition of the sensitivity of the information used within the department, and not as a result of vulnerability or weakness. In order to build on the strengths of its existing framework, the department is developing a department-specific code of conduct. The department has also provided awareness sessions to executives and employees and is continuously looking for opportunities to further increase awareness. Values and Ethics sessions were a key component of its Departmental Executive Seminars in 2006 and 2007.
  • The 2006-07 MAF assessment, which is finalized but not yet available publicly, notes the strength of the Department of Finance with respect to Values and Ethics. It draws on the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey, and it notes that Finance’s employee responses generally score above or within the Public Service average in this area. Finance has received a Strong rating for the extent to which its leaders foster a culture of respect and integrity. Finance also received an Acceptable rating for its organizational performance for each family of Public Service values, as defined in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service.