Response from Parole Board of Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mr. Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A3

Dear Mr. Wernick:

In response to your letter dated November 2, 2017, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is pleased to share our actions taken and planned in ensuring our employees are paid appropriately.

First let me start by saying that the PBC has added challenges with the new pay system because its activities are volume driven and as a result, the department has a large volume of pay transactions that require manual intervention (e.g. time sheets, new hires, strike-off).  The department has 41 part-time Board member positions working in its conditional release program and a relatively high proportion of term and casual employees in its record suspensions program.  The PBC recognizes this added risk and ensuring our employees are paid appropriately remains a top priority for the PBC.

Actions taken to date

  • Increased resources dedicated to compensation:  Since the implementation of Phoenix, PBC has dedicated incremental human resources to identifying and resolving pay issues.
  • Increased communication and training: The PBC routinely circulates information to all staff related to the pay centre and the pay system. We focus on accountability of all employees, managers, finance, human resources and PBC senior management and have spent time ensuring they understand their respective roles and responsibilities as well as the impact of their actions with regards to compensation.
  • Continued collaboration: Close cooperation between Human Resources and Finance personnel:  The Chief Financial Officer and the Head of Human resources work very closely to identify strategies and means to reduce the number of cases, provide support to the regions and ultimately ensure employees are paid appropriately. As part of the approval of payments, Finance personnel have begun more closely scrutinizing individual pay transactions to identify anomalies.  This has reduced the number of overpayments issued. Finance continues to monitor for missed payments or significant underpayments and offers advances to employees as appropriate. Additionally, a closer reconciliation of salary expenditures forecasted by the Departmental Financial Management System to actual pay disbursements from Phoenix is performed to identify pay issues that may not have been raised through other means.

Planned actions

  • Increased access to information: While email communications to staff will continue regularly, there are plans underway to review and update our intranet page devoted to compensation to provide the most current information.
  • Improving the time reporting process: PBC is exploring the option of implementing a “Timekeeper” function in order to minimize the number of pay issues that arise for employees whose pay is dependent on time reporting.
  • Increased accountability: A closer investigation of the source of pay issues and identifying patterns is planned so that more targeted corrective action can be taken.  For example, a section 34 manager with recurring issues of approving time will be held accountable and targeted corrective action such as individual training or greater oversight will be implemented.

In conclusion, the PBC continues to prioritize its efforts in reducing the number of pay issues. This challenge has been significant for a small department but we will continue to take advantage of every opportunity that arises to improve the effectiveness of the pay system.

Sincerely,

Harvey Cenaiko

c.c: Honorable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety
Talal Dakalbab, Chief Operating Officer, Parole Board of Canada

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