Response from National Film Board of Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

November 15, 2017

Mr. Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and
Secretary to the Cabinet
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A3

Dear Mr. Wernick,

I am writing in response to your letter of November 2, 2017 on the efforts undertaken to solve problems related to the pay system.

As per your request, here are the measures put in place by the NFB in order to stabilize the pay system and to ensure our employees receive the correct amount of pay on time.

As soon as the transition to the Phoenix system was announced, the NFB put in place the types of practical measures to which you refer in your letter, with a team of highly qualified internal experts working in partnership with the Public Service Pay Centre. A project management plan was rolled out, including analysis of data and accounts, adaptation of connected processes and systems, and so on. Furthermore, a change management plan was put in place; it includes information sessions on roles and responsibilities, as well as regular communication with employees and managers along with external partners.

As for unresolved transactions and problems with PSPC in processing payment files, a team made up of employees from HR and Finance was created in order to analyze pay discrepancies, allocate salary advances, participate in committee meetings, provide follow-up and quality control to various bodies, and to reply to questions from employees and managers.

In addition, the NFB has communicated with numerous government partners in order to obtain temporary help in managing the backlog. These measures having proved unsuccessful, a $40,000 letter of agreement was signed with Public Services and Procurement Canada with the goal of correcting errors and handling outstanding cases. Unfortunately, this agreement proved to be ineffective, and many cases were closed without having been finalized. This has caused a distortion in the data appearing on the ministerial performance indicators.

Going forward, the NFB will not further pursue the agreement with Public Services and Procurement Canada and will work with the Public Service Pay Centre to take up and finalize outstanding cases closed by Public Services and Procurement. Moreover, the HR-Finance team will continue to act as the line of first response with respect to administering employee pay, until the Public Service Pay Centre’s full resumption of its roles and responsibilities.

Finally, we continue to insist that the Public Service Pay Centre once again put in a place a model that includes compensation advisors dedicated to the NFB, in order to ensure ongoing collaboration when it comes to processing pay files. As a relatively small and distinctive employer with unique administrative units, having access to a dedicated compensation adviser with whom we could work closely would permit us to efficiently resolve payment problems and prevent future ones.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss these matters further.

Sincerely yours,

Claude Joli-Coeur

Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada

cc.: Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

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