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Performance
Review

Strategic Objective 1
To respond to the evolving role of Members and the institution
  • Improving Members’ access to parliamentary information
  • Facilitating the involvement and awareness Canadians have about their Parliament and the parliamentary process
Projects
Compiling key procedural decisions delivered by Speaker Milliken and his fellow Chair occupants The proceedings of the House of Commons are regulated by a vast body of rules and practices, not all of which are written into the Standing Orders. In interpreting these traditions, the rulings made by the Speaker of the House help inform future proceedings by adding weight to an established precedent, interpreting practice in a new context, or refining or redefining the appropriate practice. To provide practitioners with an authoritative reference and avert the need for laborious searches through the Debates, collections of the most significant rulings have been assembled at the close of each Speaker’s tenure since the 1970s.

Former Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, set a record during the 40th Parliament as the longest-serving Speaker in Canadian history. Work on the book containing his rulings, Selected Decisions of Speaker Peter Milliken, is well underway; the text for all chapters was drafted and is now undergoing review and approval. In 2012–2013, the focus will turn to the indexing, layout and publishing stages of the book’s production. A database containing all of the decisions rendered during Mr. Milliken’s tenure was also completed last year.
Strategic Objective 2
To enhance ongoing services to Members and sustain the institution
  • Advancing the Long Term Vision and Plan to rehabilitate heritage buildings and grounds, and provide additional parliamentary accommodations
  • Providing a flexible technology infrastructure to respond to the needs of Members and the institution
  • Ensuring the guardianship of the institution
Projects
Rehabilitating heritage buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct As part of the ongoing work under the Long Term Vision and Plan, requirements for the rehabilitation of the West Block, the Sir John A. Macdonald Building (formerly the Bank of Montreal Building) and the Wellington Building were developed and submitted to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Concept design and design development were also completed and tabled at the Design Advisory Group meeting in March 2012, with comments submitted to PWGSC.

The West Block and Wellington Building will accommodate functions from the Centre Block during its renovation by providing space for the interim Chamber, committee rooms and parliamentary office units. The Sir John A. Macdonald Building will be used to permanently accommodate the special parliamentary events previously held in the West Block.

In addition, the House Administration continued to play a lead role in overseeing the planning, design and implementation of technology services and infrastructure for the data network, multimedia services and security infrastructure in all building renovations.
Optimizing the use of space in the House of Commons A new House Administration Space and Furniture Allocation Policy was developed and adopted; it includes standards on how to efficiently use areas such as offices and meeting rooms while still meeting operational requirements.
Increasing access within the Parliamentary Precinct To better accommodate parliamentary access requests, room reservations and event support, an integrated service centre is being developed. This service centre will include the Enhanced per Agent Service Telephony System (EPAS) as well as the Parliamentary Access and Reservation System (PARS), which will be implemented in August 2012.
Ensuring the security of Parliament To align the House of Commons security program with the goals of the Master Security Plan (MSP)—the centralized planning, development and implementation of security measures for the Parliamentary Precinct—steps were taken to integrate House of Commons security requirements into the RCMP vehicle screening facility, and to harmonize security standards, policies and practices with MSP partners.
Enhancing emergency preparedness The House of Commons continues to be proactive in protecting health and safety within the Parliamentary Precinct. Final consultations are underway on the expansion of the Incident Command System—which enables a more effective response to all major incidents and crises at the House of Commons—for final approval by the Clerk’s Management Group.
Providing Members with electronic self-service solutions A pilot project allowing Members to submit financial requests electronically is currently underway. Requests are submitted through a central portal that includes automated, user-friendly forms with built-in controls and tutorial features. The project has garnered positive feedback to date and was released to all Members in June 2012.
Strategic Objective 3
To promote understanding and support the advancement of legislative institutions
  • Providing learning opportunities for parliamentarians and legislative officials from jurisdictions in Canada and abroad
  • Increasing public awareness and sustaining the independence and traditions of the House of Commons
Projects
Supporting international activities The Parliamentary Officers’ Study Program (POSP) offers senior officials from foreign legislatures the opportunity to learn about the functioning of the Parliament of Canada and, in turn, reflect on their own procedural and administrative practices. Hosted by the House of Commons in partnership with the Senate and the Library of Parliament, the POSP is traditionally held in the spring; however, it was postponed until the latter half of the fiscal year due to the dissolution of Parliament and subsequent election. The English POSP was held October 16–27, 2011, and the French POSP from February 26 to March 8, 2012. Both had a high number of attendees and extensive waiting lists remain for both versions of the program.

In October 2012, the Parliament of Canada will host the 127th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in the city of Québec. To prepare for this event—which is expected to attract some 1,500 delegates from more than 150 countries—sites and venues were selected and negotiations were undertaken for several major contracts. The conference Web site was officially launched at the 125th IPU General Assembly in Bern, Switzerland. Work on the conference program (including themes and panellists) and the online registration system continued throughout 2011–2012. Preparations were also made to further promote the conference at the 126th General Assembly in Kampala, Uganda.
Strategic Objective 4
To apply the highest standards of public sector governance in a parliamentary context
  • Promoting strong stewardship and effective management of public resources
  • Attracting, engaging and retaining our talent
  • Strengthening environmental practices
Projects
Harmonizing printing and
mailing services
The harmonization of printing and mailing services at the House of Commons continued, with work underway to develop and implement a new management information system and a new Web portal for online submissions, and to establish a new organizational structure and business processes.

In lieu of a service-level agreement with Canada Post to document the terms and conditions for processing House mailings, processes were established with Canada Post and documented in a record of decisions.
Optimizing the integration of security services Business and operational requirements for the integration of camera surveillance, alarm monitoring and electronic access control were defined and provided to Information Services. These requirements will help drive the selection and implementation of the new integrated security system.
Establishing service area plans To provide better strategic alignment throughout the House Administration, integrated service area plans—operational documents outlining yearly projects and ongoing activities—were developed and implemented. The first of these service area plans, which contain base financials, were presented to the Clerk’s Management Group in July 2011. Further work is planned to expand the financial information contained in these plans.
Meeting today’s staffing needs and planning for future requirements A strategic recruitment strategy is being developed to help the House of Commons attract talented individuals in a highly competitive labour market. A strategic recruitment component was developed for the role of House Administration staffing advisors and a new organizational structure for the House’s staffing function was put in place.
Auditing the House of Commons In June 2010, the Auditor General of Canada was invited by the Board of Internal Economy to carry out an audit of the House of Commons. This audit will ensure that management policies and control systems needed to support Members are in place and that House objectives—in the areas of strategic planning, financial management, human resources, information services and security—are being met.

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) began its work in September 2010 and examined thousands of documents and held nearly 130 meetings with House Administration employees. The Speaker tabled the OAG’s report in the House in June 2012 and the House Administration is now working on implementing its responses to the OAG’s recommendations.