Horizontal Results-based Management and Accountability Framework
2. Implementation of the Roadmap
The establishment of accountability mechanisms to implement the Roadmap is a priority. This will be achieved by using a number of measures to ensure proper governance and maintain a constructive dialogue with stakeholders.
Governance of a horizontal initiative such as the Roadmap is complex, given the large number of initiatives and federal partners. To address this complexity, a formal governance structure has been put in place (see Figure 2).
Responsibility for implementation of the Roadmap is shared between the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages4 and partner departments and agencies. The Minister is supported by the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages. This committee acts on behalf of the 14 federal partners of the Roadmap and also ensures leadership in the management of the Official Languages Program. The committee makes decisions and coordinates the federal partners’ actions, guides the implementation of the HRMAF, and oversees the horizontal summative evaluation of the Roadmap.Three interdepartmental committees support the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages:
- the Interdepartmental Policy Committee is an information-exchange forum for federal partners to take a coordinated approach to the Official Languages Program;
- the Interdepartmental Management Committee for the Official Languages Program facilitates and structures interdepartmental coordination for the Official Languages Program — and specifically the Roadmap — by assessing its implementation and strengthening the management and reporting processes; and
- the Coordinating Committee on Official Languages Research ensures that official languages research is coordinated and that all findings are widely distributed.
This governance structure allows for active participation by federal partners in:
- the various operational aspects of implementing the Roadmap;
- informed decision-making; and
- establishing rigorous reporting mechanisms to ensure that results are achieved.
The structure also helps clarify the roles and responsibilities of federal partners and those of the Official Languages Secretariat. Roadmap federal partners are responsible for the management of the programs and the resources allocated to them, as well as for reporting on the scheduled and achieved results. Partners are specifically tasked with informing the Official Languages Secretariat on the planning and performance of the initiatives financed by the funds of the Roadmap.
The Official Languages Secretariat is, among others, responsible for:
- supporting the Minister responsible for Official Languages as well as the senior officials of departments, institutions, and federal agencies in the coordination of all the government’s activities pertaining to official languages;
- supporting the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages;
- coordinating government action;
- coordinating the Roadmap reporting process; and
- promoting awareness among federal institutions about government commitments and priorities within the framework of their obligations regarding the Official Languages Act.
The Official Languages Law Group of the Department of Justice also ensures coordination functions, including the:
- development and coordination of the government's position in disputes involving linguistic rights;
- development of broad directions in the area of linguistic rights; and
- examination of the initiatives, programs and policy directions that could influence official languages to determine their legal implications.
A number of other bodies are responsible for ensuring that the Government of Canada meets its obligations with respect to official languages:
- the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ensures that the Official Languages Act is upheld. The Commissioner of Official Languages conducts investigations pursuant to complaints received and makes recommendations to the appropriate institution. The Commissioner can also report to Parliament if no action is taken in light of his recommendations. Moreover, the Commissioner can launch a judicial appeal to the Federal Court or appear before it as an intervening party. In addition, the Commissioner tables an annual report in Parliament relating to the work of his office during the preceding year; and
- the Standing Committees on Official Languages in the House of Commons and in the Senate oversee the enforcement and application of the Official Languages Act and the legislative framework in force. The two committees examine the annual reports to Parliament of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the President of the Treasury Board. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and other ministers may be called to appear before these bodies concerning the Official Languages Program including the Roadmap.
The Government of Canada works with provincial and territorial governments, communities, and all Canadians to implement the Roadmap. The following activities promote dialogue and information-sharing:
- the annual Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie facilitates discussions between federal, provincial and territorial governments, enhancing collaboration and information sharing;
- meetings with representatives from communities provide opportunities to discuss the development and implementation of policies and programs; and
- research projects from the scientific and academic community provide quality information that contributes to a better understanding of the evolution of the state of official languages across the country. Research findings provide clarification and enrich discussions.
Figure 2: The Governance Structure of the Roadmap
2.2 Stewardship and Risk Management
The implementation of adequate stewardship helps ensure that the financial management controls in place are integrated and efficient as well as respectful of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s requirements. Proper management also entails the implementation of a risk management strategy that presents responses appropriate to the risks identified.
2.2.1 Financial management
Management of investements of the Roadmap allow for an integrated snapshot of financial information at the organization and project level which facilitates planning, monitoring and reporting of Roadmap initiatives.
Federal partners are responsible for implementing their own programs in accordance with their mandate, with the support of the Chief Financial Officer in each institution. In addition, they must provide the Official Languages Secretariat, at least twice yearly, with financial information about their initiatives, and assurance as to the quality and reliability of their financial information. The information collected is compiled for inclusion in the Canadian Heritage’s annual Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Report (as a section within horizontal initiatives).
For the Roadmap initiatives, as for their other programs, federal partners follow financial procedures established by central agencies.
2.2.2 Risk Management
The scope of the coordinating and reporting exercise for a horizontal initiative such as the Roadmap entails significant management risks. Follow-up activities, information-gathering and assessment are complex given the number of federal partners involved and initiatives implemented.
Two strategies will help manage Roadmap risks:
- A risk management strategy identifies the main risks of implementing the Roadmap and proposes measures to mitigate their potential negative impact. The risks are evaluated based on their impact and probability. Developing mitigation strategies for each of these risks maximizes the chances of success for the Roadmap’s overall objectives.
- An overall performance strategy determines how progress on achieving results is measured and how often. A periodic review of progress on initiatives maximizes the chances of achieving the expected results and helps ensure that any problems are dealt with quickly.
2.3 Results and Performance
The HRMAF contains three integrated strategies to measure performance and demonstrate the results of the Roadmap: performance measurement, reporting, and evaluation. These three strategies help to better guide decision-making in order to optimize resources invested (see Figure 3).
2.3.1 Performance Measurement
Based on the Roadmap’s logic model (and on those for the various initiatives), the HRMAF performance measurement strategy is an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, and using information on the Roadmap’s performance.
Throughout the Roadmap implementation period, the Official Languages Secretariat is responsible for compiling the information provided by partners (resources used, activities completed, results achieved) and entering this data into an information and performance management system.
Figure 3: Integrated Strategies and performance Results of the Roadmap
For each initiative, output, immediate and intermediate result, the performance measurement strategy calls for the collection of various types of information:
- performance indicators that allow for a comparison of results achieved with set objectives. Relevance, credibility, clarity, precision, reliability, comparability, consistency and feasibility are some criteria used to develop the indicators;
- sources of raw or secondary data, internal or external to federal partners;
- frequency of data collection;
- responsibilities for data collection;
- performance targets;
- target achievement dates; and
- baseline data.
Each indicator corresponds to a target to be achieved, a completion date and, where possible, baseline data. In addition, ongoing dialogue with provincial and territorial governments, scientific and academic community, communities, and other beneficiaries of Roadmap initiatives helps gather and validate additional data. Ongoing performance measurement helps to:
- review the performance of each initiative;
- determine the adjustments required to ensure that expected results are achieved;
- provide updated information to support decision-making in a timely manner;
- monitor budget allocations annually; and
- respond to accountability requirements and performance reports.
The Roadmap reporting strategy is aligned with the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadians that government programs are managed in an efficient and transparent manner. Reporting is based on demonstrating that Roadmap resources are invested in effective and relevant projects. Data collected and analyzed for the performance measurement strategy is the main source used for reporting on the Roadmap in the Departmental Performance Report that is submitted to Parliament, usually in October, by the President of the Treasury Board on behalf of the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The Departmental Performance Report gives an account of achievements based on expectations outlined in Canadian Heritage’s Report on Plans and Priorities, which is normally tabled in Parliament in late March. The Report on Plans and Priorities discusses the planned resources, activities, and expected results of the 14 federal partners of the Roadmap.
Canadians can also obtain information about the progress of the Roadmap’s achievements through the Departmental Performance Reports, of other federal partners involved in it delivery. These Departmental Performance Reports provide information concerning the performance of various initiatives based on the commitments made in their respective Reports on Plans and Priorities as part of the Program Activity Architecture.The Canada’s Performance Report, produced annually, also provides Canadians with information about the Roadmap’s contribution to the Government’s overall objectives.
Figure 4: The Annual reporting of the Roadmap
All of the reporting mechanisms (see Figure 4) aim at:
- showing Canadians how the Roadmap initiatives are implemented;
- ensuring transparency in carrying out the various initiatives; and
- providing reliable information for decision-making purposes.
2.3.3 Horizontal Summative Evaluation
The systematic collection and analysis of data pertinent to the Roadmap will be carried out as part of a horizontal summative evaluation. This evaluation will be jointly overseen by all federal partners before the end of the initiative in March 2013, in accordance with Treasury Board’s Policy on Evaluation, which recommends timely evaluations to fulfill decision-making needs.
Each partner department and agency is committed to conducting a summative evaluation of its initiatives by February 2012, if applicable (see Figure 5). The individual summative evaluations will address achievement of immediate results for each initiative and will link these results to the Roadmap’s immediate results. The findings of these evaluations will serve as an important source of information for the horizontal summative evaluation. The Departmental Performance Reports, published annually by Roadmap partner, will also serve as an additional source of information.
Two ad hoc committees will be created to facilitate and optimize the horizontal summative evaluation process that will be held from January 2011 to November 2012: the Interdepartmental Evaluation Working Group and the Interdepartmental Evaluation Steering Committee. These two committees comprised of senior evaluators and heads of evaluation from federal partners, respectively, will oversee the design and completion of the evaluation.
The horizontal summative evaluation will focus on two issues. The evaluation of the implementation will examine the terms and conditions under which the Roadmap was delivered, and will address accountability, governance, and the various service delivery mechanisms. It will determine whether the:
- planned resources have been invested;
- planned partnerships have been created;
- targeted clients have been reached; and
- activities have been carried out as expected.
Figure 5: The Summative Evaluations of the Roadmap
1 If applicable.
2 Includes Support to Official-language Minorities, Youth initiatives, Cultural Development Fund and Intergovernmental cooperation.
3 Includes Support to education in the language of the minority, Summer language bursaries and Official-language monitors.
4 Includes Support to second-language education, Summer language bursaries and Official-language monitors.
5 NGO: Non-governmental Organization.
The questions used to evaluate the results will help determine how well the Roadmap has achieved its intermediate results (see Figure 1). Accordingly, the horizontal summative evaluation will examine the:
- changes in the ability of Canadians to live and work in vibrant communities in the official language of their choice;
- increase in the number of Canadians who understand the benefits and have the tools needed to appreciate linguistic duality; and
- reinforcement of the capacity of the Government of Canada relating to official languages.
The horizontal summative evaluation will also provide an opportunity to consider new alternatives to facilitate decision-making in program planning and design, and the establishment of priorities for official languages.
The results of the horizontal summative evaluation will be a source of reliable and timely information for senior executives and Ministers of the various partner departments and agencies. The evaluation will be useful in many ways: it will contribute to the reporting mechanisms for Parliament and for Canadians; it will also enable federal partners to credibly account for results achieved for resources invested; and it will help improve policies and programs through the identification of lessons learned as well as best practices.
4 The Minister of Canadian Heritage is presently responsible for Official Languages and as such is responsible for the Roadmap implementation.