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At Service Canada, we are pleased to present this annual report for the year ending March 31, 2008. This report highlights the progress we made between April 2007 and March 2008—our third year of operation. It shows how more Canadians have been responding to our message to “click, call, or visit,” and how they are accessing more of the government services and benefits they need through Service Canada. Throughout the year, we have focused on the following areas to help us better serve clients and remain accountable to all Canadians.

Providing citizen-centred service

In Chapter 1, we describe the new services we are offering, our 33 new service locations, and how we have expanded our in-person service in northern and remote communities. In this way, we are reaching more Canadians where they live. We are providing tailored services to our clients who have special needs, such as seniors, newcomers to Canada, and people with disabilities. By improving our 1 800 O-Canada network, we are helping more clients resolve their concerns when they first contact us, and we are serving them in the official language of their choice. We are also getting the word out through our national advertising campaign, which has increased awareness of Service Canada among our citizens by 51%.

Building trust

In Chapter 2, we explain our commitment to providing the right mix of services and benefits for Canadians who need them, and to saving taxpayer dollars by delivering services more efficiently and with enhanced integrity. We continue to protect Canadians’ personal information and the integrity of our programs by performing reviews and conducting investigations. Using our new automated services, Canadians are receiving accurate benefit payments—and we have earned praise from our peers for using technology to improve our services.

Collaborating for success

In Chapter 3, we discuss how our partnerships with other federal departments and agencies and other orders of government are helping us serve Canadians more effectively. Through these partnerships, we are implementing better ways of authenticating personal-identity information to ensure we issue benefits correctly, and we are helping to improve existing initiatives like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. By consulting with the voluntary sector, we are improving the way we serve our client communities. Through our successful federal partnerships, we continued to expand the range of services we offer, including the addition of the ecoAUTO Rebate Program, the Common Experience Payment, and the administration of the Ice Compensation Program.

Reporting results

In Chapter 4, we note how this report is part of our effort to operate in an accountable and transparent way. As well, we explain how publishing our monthly and quarterly corporate performance scorecards helps us draw an accurate picture of how we are doing. We have also implemented a new strategy to ensure that we publish internal audits on the Internet in a timely manner. In addition, in 2007–2008, the Office for Client Satisfaction received and responded to more feedback than ever before.

Supporting service excellence

In Chapter 5, we focus on our commitment to continuing to develop a culture of service excellence among Service Canada employees. In addition to the 1,163 who had registered in 2006–2007, more than 1,600 members of our client service staff registered this year for the Service Excellence Certification Program, which we provide through the Service Canada College. We continued to build on the College’s success by launching the Service Leadership and Management Excellence Development Program in October 2007. To encourage continued professional development, we support our employees with up-to-date information and tools on the new Service Canada Culture intranet site.