Archived—Public Opinion Research Management in the Government of Canada—Public Opinion Research in the Government of Canada—Annual Report 2014 to 2015
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The Archived—Communications Policy of the Government of Canada sets out mandatory requirements for conducting public opinion research to ensure that activities are well coordinated, transparent and provide value for money. The policy applies to departments listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded by specific acts, regulations or Orders in Council.
The following institutions are exempt under the provisions covering public opinion research:
- Office of the Auditor General of Canada
- Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
- Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
- Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
- Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
- Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Canada
Organizations with a responsibility for public opinion research
The Archived—Communications Policy of the Government of Canada assigns the following responsibilities to these key bodies in the public opinion research process (see Figure on Organizations with a Responsibility of Public Opinion Research [Figure 3]).
Departments are at the centre of the overall process. They are responsible for the management of their public opinion research activities as well as the research content and the overall quality of the research produced. Departments are also responsible for accepting all deliverables and for the payment of suppliers.
The Privy Council Office performs a central role in the leadership, challenge, strategic direction and coordination of departmental and horizontal public opinion research activities.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides advice and support to Treasury Board ministers and its President in the development, management and evaluation of administrative policy. Under the Archived—Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, the Secretariat is responsible for developing, evaluating and reviewing government-wide communications policy, which includes public opinion research; advising institutions on policy interpretation and application; and monitoring policy implementation and compliance.
By providing access to public opinion research reports, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) promotes transparency. LAC receives electronic copies of final reports from departments within six months of the completion of fieldwork. The LAC's website provides access to bilingual executive summaries and final reports from research contracted after August 1, 2006. LAC also provides electronic copies of these reports to the Library of Parliament, which makes the reports available to Members of Parliament and the media.
Figure 3: Organizations with a responsibility for public opinion research
This image presents the five Government of Canada organizations with a responsibility for public opinion research. The image contains this information:
- Privy Council Office: Performs a central role in the leadership, challenge, strategic direction and coordination of public opinion research
- Public Works and Government Services Canada: Plays a dual role: Coordinating and technical authority; Contracting authority
- Library and Archives Canada and Library of Parliament: Make public opinion research reports available to Canadians and Parliamentarians
- Treasury Board Secretariat: Sets policies and oversees compliance
- Departments: Responsible for the management, research, content and overall quality of research produced
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) works with other federal organizations to serve Canadians efficiently and cost-effectively. The Department serves as the Government of Canada’s coordinating, technical and contracting authority for public opinion research. PWGSC exercises this authority through two of its directorates, the Public Opinion Research Directorate and the Communications Procurement Directorate, which collaborate to provide seamless services to federal organizations.
The Public Opinion Research Directorate provides a mandatory common service as the technical and coordinating authority for public opinion research activities. The Directorate facilitates studies by guiding client departments through the entire process. The Directorate advises institutions on research methodologies, standards, policy requirements and research instruments (e.g. questionnaires and discussion guides), and assigns project registration numbers. This helps ensure that research objectives are met and that the research undertaken conforms to legislative and policy requirements as well as Government of Canada and accepted industry standards. The Directorate also contributes to government-wide capacity building by delivering information sessions, developing best practices and tools and promoting training opportunities related to the conduct of government public opinion research.
The Communications Procurement Directorate provides a mandatory common service as the government’s contracting authority for public opinion research. The Directorate manages the procurement process for all departmental public opinion research requirements in accordance with Government of Canada policies; awards and manages contracts; and, where applicable, chairs and conducts open, fair and transparent bid evaluation processes.
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