Departmental Legal Services Unit
Canada Border Services Agency
5. Compliance with the Official Languages Act
Management should take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with key legislation and related policies.
The CBSA LSU is in compliance with the requirements of the Official Languages Act.
The HR staffing plan developed in August 2009 addressed the necessity of reviewing the language profiles of counsel positions. At the time of the audit, this activity had been completed and the language requirements of all LSU positions were clearly identified on the LSU’s organizational chart. Some staff have requested language training in order to improve their second language capability or to maintain the level necessary to meet the requirements of their positions. Management has agreed to staff training requests.
Our interviews with staff confirmed that meetings are held in both official languages and that staff are able to communicate in the language of their choice. We examined communications originating from the client and found them to be addressed in the client’s original language of choice. Furthermore, we reviewed a sample of internal communications and found the communications to be issued in both official languages.
An official language survey was completed in September 2010 to measure the effectiveness of the encouragement put forward to use both official languages within the LSU and on websites. The survey found the LSU to be compliant.
In our opinion, the CBSA LSU is in compliance with the requirements of the Official Languages Act.
The HR staffing plan needs to be updated to include official languages requirements.
The LSU developed an HR staffing plan in August 2009. However, at the time of the audit, it had yet to update the plan to reflect all the actions taken to meet the staffing requirements identified in the plan. One of these requirements was to identify the official languages requirements for each position. As the LSU has completed this activity, the plan should be updated to reflect this.
Recommendation and Management Response
8. It is recommended that the Senior General Counsel ensure that the HR staffing plan is updated to include official languages requirements. (Low Risk)
Agreed. When the LSU underwent its reorganization in April 2010, the Senior General Counsel and members of the management team reviewed the language profiles of each position within the LSU, as well as the linguistic operational requirements of each team, and ensured that each team was properly resourced. The management team continues to review the linguistic operational requirements periodically to ensure that all teams within the LSU are resourced as necessary.
As the auditors note, the organizational chart has already been updated to include the language profiles for each position. The Human Resources Plan is currently being updated and will be finalized by September 30, 2011.
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