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Review of Governance: Service Delivery

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1 Introduction

1.1 Background

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a broad mandate to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage, to be a source of knowledge accessible to all, to cooperate with related institutions and to serve as the collective memory of the Government of Canada1. In support of this mandate, the Programs and Services Sector has primary responsibility to facilitate access to the holdings of LAC and in so doing, aims to ensure that clients receive a consistent and comprehensive level of service and further, that existing services are aligned with client needs and priorities.

Assisting the Programs and Services Sector in this role are two bodies:

  • The Services Committee (SC) is an internal, Director General-level committee which has as its mandate the provision of strategic direction in relation to the following:
    • the Services Strategy for clients
    • service standards for all LAC services for public clients
    • the single window concept for services to the public
    • integrated LAC-wide approach to provision of services to the public
    • Services Advisory Board
  • The Services Advisory Board (SAB) is an external consultative body that is tasked with the examination of issues related to the service aspects of LAC’s mandate. The SAB provides advice on service-related issues to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs and Services Sector and helps to identify client needs as part of a broader consultation process.

Collectively, these bodies help to ensure that LAC’s strategies are appropriately and effectively citizen-focused.

1.2 Scope and Objective

The objective of this assignment was to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the governance arrangements in place to enable LAC’s commitment to citizen-focused service, with an emphasis on the attainment of the following objective:

Effectiveness of linkages and communication between the organization, users and other external stakeholders and the degree to which these linkages support and drive internal management priorities and plans.

The scope of this review was limited to the two previously mentioned bodies, the Services Advisory Board and the Services Committee.

In the context of this scope, the goal of the review was to assess the following elements of governance:

  • Authority, responsibility and accountability
  • Information and communication
  • Performance management and oversight

1.3 Objective of this Document

This report summarizes the results of the review and provides an analysis of current practice against review criteria.  Where applicable, recommendations for improvements in the current governance arrangements are provided.

1.4 Methodology

This approach was conducted in three main phases, each of which is described below:

Planning Phase

The objective of this phase of the work was to determine and plan for the scope of the review. To this end, working with the review objective, the review team identified and analyzed key risks to which LAC is inherently exposed in relation to the bodies under review. These risks are provided in Appendix A of this document. Based on risk, key management practices in place to mitigate these risks were selected and included in the scope. For each area under review, detailed criteria, drawn from established sources and best practices, were identified and review questions developed to help assess the effectiveness of these practices. Interviews and high level documentation review were used to conduct this phase of the work.

Examination Phase

Through interviews and detailed documentation review, the key management practices identified were assessed, from which observations and findings were drawn. These findings were presented to management for comment and form the basis of this report.

Reporting Phase and Management Response

Key observations and recommendations for improvement, where applicable, were then consolidated into a formal report, for submission to the ADM, Programs and Services Sector. Management’s response and action plan to address these recommendations are provided subsequent to each recommendation and are summarized in Appendix B.

1 Library and Archives Canada.  Business Plan 2008-11, page 3.

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