Management Practices Audit: Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 30, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of September 30, 2014


Management Practices Audit: Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships
Approval Date: 04-26-2013
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector should ensure that HR planning activities within the Sector continue to address both Departmental requirements as well as all pertinent HR risks, including those related to succession planning and training and development. The results of HR planning activities should be consolidated and documented within the Sector’s HR Plan. Further, as the Sector HR Plan is implemented, appropriate adjustments should be made to reflect changes in the Sector’s objectives and environment. The ESDPP Sector is of the view that its existing human resources planning approaches, which includes its Human Resources Action Plan and its PSES Action Plan, do focus on implementing strategies that will help achieve Departmental and sector objectives as well as greater organizational effectiveness. That said, in its 2013-2014 Human Resources Action Plan, ESDPP will address risks, including those related to succession planning, as well as training. ESDPP has prepared a robust PSES Action Plan that also highlights these issues and will draw commitments from that plan into the broader Human Resources Action Plan so that there is integration. Adjustments to the Human Resources Action Plan will continue to be made, as necessary, to reflect changes to the sector’s objectives and working environment. June 2013

Status: Underway

As of 30/06/2013:

The 2013-2014 ESDPP Human Resources Action Plan now has specific action items that address the risks identified in the audit, including those related to succession planning, as well as training. The Narrative of the HR Plan, which provides an overview of the sector's HR objectives and areas of focus, is currently being finalized.

To complement this, the ESDPP response to the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) is geared towards addressing issues identified by respondents. Measureable objectives have been developed to correspond with these priorities and then have been put in the Part A of the HR Plan.

The ESDPP Senior Management team is now reviewing both the HR Plan and the PSES Action Plan on at least a bi-monthly basis. This is allowing the Management team to track progress against targets and mitigate risks as they arise.

Given that ESDPP is currently delivering, within a set funding envelope, two of the Department’s four key priorities, retention and growth of staff is a priority. Discussions concerning the development of a comprehensive and inclusive succession plan, adapted to allow effective management of all key positions within the Sector, will take place amongst Managers. ESDPP will continue to encourage rotational acting assignments, training, mentoring, coaching, and developmental opportunities to broaden skill sets. Exit interviews, as well as long term employee learning/career plans, will also be strongly encouraged within the Sector. April 2013

ESDPP is adopting a forward looking view in order to prepare for potential changes that may come as a result of future federal budgets. The Department has provided an additional 17 FTEs to the Sector to help it manage the workload associated with the two key reform areas of K-12/PSE Education and Income Assistance reform.

All ESDPP Directors are now actively engaged in the corporate process to identify key non-EX positions which will assist in the establishment on a sector-wide basis good succession planning. This exercise will assist in adopting a priority ranking scheme for staffing requests, facilitate the identification of key competencies, and form part of sound talent management, succession planning and knowledge transfer process.

ESDPP has made use of acting assignments in a number of positions from DG level to senior project officers to provide learning and growth to both ESDPP sector staff and staff in the department. Managers have been provided the necessary information on the conduct of Exit interviews.

ESDPP will continue to monitor its progress on the HR Plan through complementary activities like its new Social and Well-Being Committee, its HR Achievement Report, and the sector’s quarterly reports. April 2013

The ESDPP Well Being Committee has constituted itself, established a Terms of Reference, developed an evergreen work plan and has already organized an all staff meeting where the new sector awards program was piloted. The Workplace Well-Being Committee has also struck Task Teams to ensure that results are being achieved. One such Task Teams will develop and recommend an approach to routinely engage ESDPP employees on the PSES Action Plan implementation.

An "Achievement to Date" column was added to the PSES Action Plan Table and circulated amongst Managers to gain an updated progress report.

ESDPP has also formalized a process for assessing overall training requirements at a sectoral level, including official languages, in order to maximize resources and promote professional development opportunities.

AES: Substantially Implemented. Recommendation to be closed. Closed.

2. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector should develop a formal documented approach to risk management in the Sector, including an ongoing process, and governance structure for identifying, assessing, and monitoring risks and corresponding mitigation actions. ESDPP should leverage existing communication forums to communicate risk messages to employees. ESDPP will work with the Department’s Risk Management centre within the Audit and Evaluation Sector to develop a formal documented approach to risk management for the sector, including ongoing processes and a governance structure. April 2014

Status: Underway

As of 30/09/2014:


  • Education Branch has made significant progress in integrating risk management in Branch operations. This work will support and feed into the sector's overall approach.
  • In June 2014, the Branch revisited the Education Risk Profile and updated the profile to reflect the changed landscape for AANDC Education. The updated risk profile was developed in September 2014, a risk assessment session was held in October 2014 and the next steps are to schedule a Risk Response Session that will: (1) prepare a Branch response to each risk; and (2) assign a Risk Lead for each risk (Director or DG level). The timing of the Risk Response session is being coordinated with the current strategic planning exercise underway within Education Branch.
  • Each Risk Lead will develop mitigation strategies for those risks for which "Mitigate" is the Branch's risk response; and report to the DG on any significant changes to risk exposure.
  • The management of risks has been integrated in the Sector's Business Plan, and once the mitigation strategies have been developed they will also be included.
  • Risk area standing agenda item for Education Branch Management meetings. Risk leads will highlight the need to discuss a specific risk(s) at a particular management meeting.
  • Once the risks and mitigation strategies have been identified, they will be communicated to staff through the various all-staff meetings and e-mail communications.


  • A project approach has been adopted with co-managers being appointed from each branch. A work plan is being developed to achieve the objectives necessary to do this work. The process is expected to be completed by the end of Q4 2014-15.

AES: Implementation on-going.

Progress on this work will be reported on quarterly in the ESDPP 2013-14 Sector Business Plan. July 2013
While the sector approach is being developed, ESDPP will ensure risk identification and mitigation strategies continue to be integrated into existing processes and ongoing work. This includes the use of tools and profiles already in place and being implemented within the sector (such as the Corporate Risk Profile, Education Branch Risk Profile, as well as risk-related sections of the Sector Business Plan and related quarterly reports), as well as tools currently being developed and/or updated (such as the Education Risk Mitigation Strategy, and risk profiles for all five Social programs). April 2013

Education Risk Mitigation Strategy to be completed by end July 2013

Social Programs Risk Profiles completed by end April 2014
ESDPP will leverage existing communications forums to ensure risk messages are communicated to employees, including all staff meetings, branch meetings, various manager’s forums, emails, and information circulars. April 2013
3. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector should document the Sector’s governance structure in terms of management and oversight bodies and assess appropriateness and sufficiency. These Management/oversight groups or mechanisms should be further formalized through the creation of Terms of Reference that articulate their mandates, authority, responsibility, accountability and operating principles. The role of these key management bodies should be communicated across the Sector. ESDPP will document the Sector’s governance structures for management and oversight. This will include an assessment of existing governance bodies such as the ESDPP Management Committee, Social and Education Branch Committees, Social Branch Extended Management Committee, as well as other sub-committees and governance bodies. Sufficiency of existing structures will be assessed and new governance bodies may be established to address gaps and risks. July 2013

Status: Underway

As of 30/09/2013:

ESDPP Business Management Unit distributes to the Sector a Weekly ESDPP Look Ahead, which includes information on Finance, HR, Administration, Planning and Reporting.

ESDPP's Workplace Well Being Committee (WWBC) has constituted itself, established a Terms of Reference, developed an evergreen work plan and has already organized an all staff meeting where the new sector awards program was piloted. Their work continues with a staff meeting planned in Q3.

In response to the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), the 2012 ESDPP All-Staff meeting, and based on the unique need of the Social Policy and Programs Branch (SPPB), joint work with the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution has produced a SPPB Workplace Assessment Report. SPPB senior management has created four working groups to address the top four issues identified in the report. The working groups are meeting and drafting Terms of Reference, analyzing issues and generating proposed solutions/actions. Stand-Ups, Extended Management Meetings and the Senior Management Meetings are used to test ideas and seek endorsement of findings and proposed solutions/actions.

Education Branch and Social Policy and Programs Branch hold stand-ups every Monday morning. The Director Generals also meets with their Directors once a week. Weekly Director/managers meetings are also held.

ESDPP ADM, DGs and BMU Manager meet every week at Forward Agenda meetings to discuss the upcoming meetings taking place and other related subjects. ESDPP Senior Management also meets every Friday. A Record of Decision for both meetings are shared with participants.

AES: Significant progress has been made. Recommend to close. Closed.

Terms of Reference will be developed for all of the above mentioned groups (and any newly formed management groups), and will be shared across the sector to communicate the roles of these key management bodies. Where appropriate meeting minutes will be recorded and shared with the sector. July 2013

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