Official Languages Governance - Checklist for Deputy Heads

The role of the official languages champion was included in the Policy on Official Languages, which came into effect on November 19, 2012. Sections 3.5, 3.7 and 6 of the Policy on Official Languages stipulate that deputy heads must establish an appropriate governance structure within their institutions, taking into consideration the institution's size and mandate.

Section 3.7 of the Policy on Official Languages also states that the Treasury Board Secretariat and Canadian Heritage exercise coherent, government-wide leadership in official languages and collaborate to allow for better reporting and communication of results to Canadians. The Official Languages Accountability and Coordination Framework (2003) defines the responsibilities for horizontal coordination and inter-departmental cooperation. The Framework also sets out approaches for implementation across institutions.

 

REQUIREMENTS

In order to ensure that the requirements of the Policy of Official Languages are met in your institution:

__ 1. Have you designated an official languages unit for the coordination of your institution's official languages responsibilities?

__ 2. Have you designated a person responsible for official languages at an appropriately senior level?

For more information:

For example, Veterans Affairs Canada has developed a generic work description that includes tasks related to official languages; you can contact the person responsible for official languages and/or champion for more details.

__ 3. Have you designated an official languages champion (or any other person to fulfill this function) who supports you in developing an integrated vision for the official languages program within your institution, promotes official languages and aims to have official languages considered in all aspects of institutional decision-making?

For more information:

__ 4. Have you ensured that compliance with the Policy on Official Languages and associated directives and standards is included in annual performance appraisals and influences appraisal ratings in institutions for which the Treasury Board is the employer? Non-core institutions could incorporate this into their performance measurement activities.

For example:

  • Have you included official languages in performance appraisals?
  • Have you reviewed results of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) and taken the necessary measures with regard to official languages?

For example, institutions such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Telefilm Canada have included official languages in their institutions' performance agreements; you can contact their persons responsible for official languages and/or champions for more details.

__ 5. Have you taken measures to ensure that files and information systems required to provide reports to the Treasury Board Secretariat upon request are kept current?

For example:

(Note: The Annual Review on Official Languages is a joint exercise between the Treasury Board Secretariat and Canadian Heritage.)

 

Other Governance Elements

In order to meet your governance obligations:

__ Have you created an official languages committee, network or working group?

__ Have you adopted an official languages strategic plan / action plan?

__ Have you developed a management accountability framework?

  • Do you have measures in place to assess your institution's performance?
  • Do you evaluate your institution's performance for official languages?

__ Have you adopted an institutional official languages policy and/or directive(s)?

__ Have you met the responsibilities found in the Official Languages Accountability and Coordination Framework (extract relative to Part VII of the Official Languages Act)?

For example, some institutions have developed tools related to official languages, such as accountability frameworks (Canada Economic Development) and action plans (Natural Resources Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada); you can contact their persons responsible for official languages and/or champions for more details.

The Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions' Collection of Official Languages Resources can also be consulted for ideas and contacts.

 

Important Considerations

In order to support your work on official languages:

__ Do you review your official languages impact analysis in Treasury Board Submissions?

For more information:

__ Do you consult the Public Service Employee Survey results for official languages and take the necessary measures to address the results?

For more information:

__ Do you have the proper resources in place to meet your institution's official languages obligations?

__ Do you use the questions and information from the Annual Review on Official Languages to set and meet your objectives as set out in your planning documents (strategic plan/action plan)?

__ Do you consider the Commissioner of Official Languages' report cards, audits and studies (including the leadership competencies profile)?

__ Do you consult the Guide for Federal Institutions – Official Languages Act – Promotion of English and French to implement the Government's commitment stated in Section 41 of Part VII of the Act?

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