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PACP Committee Report

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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE FIFTEENTH REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

RECOMMENDATION 1

That Correctional Service Canada provide the Public Accounts Committee with a status report by 30 April 2010 of progress in implementing the Office of the Auditor General’s recommendations contained in Chapter 7 of the December 2008 Report.

Reply:

The Government accepts this recommendation.  A status report will be provided to the Committee by 30 April 2010.

RECOMMENDATION 2

That Correctional Service Canada seek to improve the economy and efficiency of its procurement by adopting best practices used by organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Reply:

The Government accepts this recommendation.  In its response to the OAG recommendation 7.38 (Food, Cleaning and Clothing services), CSC stated that within the next 18 months [by March 31, 2010] it will, among other things, conduct a “review of best practices and, as required, a comparison to industry norms and other correctional jurisdictions.” As well, CSC will “continue to collaborate with Public Works and Government Services Canada to develop a national procurement strategy, including the use of longer-term and national contracts for certain commodities.” 

Already, CSC has made significant progress. For example, in the case of its Clothing Program, CSC initiated the implementation of an improved approach.  Under the new arrangement, rather than using a large number of contracts, many of which are from offshore suppliers, for purchasing fabric and then manufacturing garments, CSC will use a single domestic supplier to manage the complete process of clothing manufacture, warehousing, distribution and ordering.   The contract for this improved approach was awarded in June 2009. This project represents the most significant change to CSC’s clothing program since its inception and will have a significant positive impact on uniformed CSC employees in terms of better quality as well as having a projected 4% reduction in overall cost.  It will also result in improved quality control and delivery times for employee clothing.

Detailed information on progress in this and in other procurement areas will be provided to the Public Accounts Committee by April 2010, as per the response to Recommendation 1.

RECOMMENDATION 3

That when it conducts its review of the costs of procurement and delivery of food, cleaning, and clothing services, Correctional Service Canada also analyze the impact of its procurement practices on local economies and the environment.

Reply:

The Government accepts this recommendation.  As part of its  analysis, which will be conducted in collaboration with Public Works and Government Services Canada, CSC will consider potential impacts that changes to current procurement and delivery practices could have on local economies as well as on the environment. 

RECOMMENDATION 4

That Correctional Service Canada appropriately budget for its overtime costs, as well as seek to reduce those costs by examining measures that can be taken to reduce the need for sick leave by correctional officers and report to the Public Accounts Committee by 31 December 2009 on how it intends to address this issue.

Reply:

The Government accepts this recommendation.  In its response to OAG recommendations 7.63 and 7.68, CSC has committed to implementing several measures to improve the management of overtime and leave. Since the OAG audit, progress has been made in several areas, such as:

Overtime

  1. The National Standards for the Deployment of Correctional Officers was implemented in April 2009.
  2. Training of all institutional managers on the implementation of the National Deployment Standards has begun, and will be completed by February 2010. The training will enable institutional managers to better meet the goals of institutional correctional operations, to forecast human resources requirements and to manage budgets.
  3. An intensive recruitment program was launched to run from 2008-09 to 2009-10 to hire a total of 1250 correctional officers. From April 2008 to May 2009, over 900 officers were hired.
  4. A new overtime reporting system, to be used on a daily basis, was launched in April 2009, and has since been implemented in all institutions. The system enables managers to gather front-line information on overtime use, including causes, justifications and variances. In addition, regular follow-up is currently taking place at national as well as regional executive committees on the status of all overtime and management actions required to meet CSC’s commitments.
  5. CSC is on target to implement in all institutions a new automated Scheduling and Deployment System by the end of September 2009.  This system will allow CSC to effectively manage the scheduling and deployment of correctional staff in the most cost effective and efficient manner and track, monitor and report on all cost drivers associated with overtime.
  6. A national policy on overtime management has been finalized, with implementation expected in November 2009.

Sick leave

  1. A revised national attendance awareness program to promote attendance and help reduce absenteeism is being developed and will be implemented later in 2009. This program will include a revised guide on the management of Return-to-Work cases.
  2. As part of its Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management 2009-2012, CSC has committed to collaborating with key stakeholders to implement a structured wellness program that includes prevention and the promotion of health and wellness to address areas of concern for employees.  It is anticipated that this will result in improved employee wellness and education, prevention in regards to stress-related health issues; and a more open dialogue between management and employees on underlying issues surrounding workplace and individual health.

CSC will be pleased to provide a report to the Public Accounts Committee by December 31 2009, detailing its progress and further plans with respect to the management of its overtime costs, and measures aimed at reducing the need for sick leave by correctional officers.