Operating context

After experiencing several years of increasing conference activity, these meetings have started to level off since a peak in 2016-17, but at a higher annual number than during the previous decade at least. We have seen an increase in first ministers meetings along with meetings that utilize more virtual technologies, such as teleconferencing

As governments and senior officials change across Canada, it is important for CICS to maintain and renew its relationships with client governments to actively promote the organization and its services as well as its neutrality. Communication efforts are ongoing in order to sustain the number of intergovernmental conferences we serve

CICS has remained at the forefront of providing conference support services through the Modernization of our delivery model and the deployment of innovations, such as our new in-house virtual conferencing studio. This has led to an ever-increasing number of virtual conferences, particularly teleconferences, with simultaneous interpretation in both official languages. The utilization of these virtual conferencing methods allows all Federal-Provincial-Territorial governments to reduce both travel time and costs that are associated with participation. Through the use of new technologies, CICS is proud to continue offering a wide array of conference solutions that respond to these needs.

In the next few years, a significant number of the Secretariat’s federal public servants will be eligible to retire. These retirements along with the usual provincial-territorial employee rotations will challenge CICS’ ability to sustain a knowledgeable workforce with the appropriate competencies. Having succession and transition plans in place for key positions, as well as developmental opportunities for those employees with the desire and ability to be promoted within the organization will continue to be a critical strategic priority

The attraction and retention of young, ambitious and motivated staff creates a unique challenge for a micro agency such as CICS due to employees’ limited upward mobility within a small organization. The agency now makes use of the Federal Student Work Exchange Program and CO-OP Programs on a regular basis to encourage interest in a public service career. Sustained efforts will be exerted to maintain and improve employee retention by creating an environment conducive to career development and job satisfaction.

Risks Risk response strategy and effectiveness Link to Department’s
Core Responsibilities
Link to departmental
Human Resource Management

There is a risk that the organization will be unable to sustain an adequate workforce with the appropriate competencies due to a large turnover of staff (retirements & departures, provincial-territorial secondment rotations, peak period staffing), resulting in potential errors, client dissatisfaction, and loss of confidence in the organization.
This risk was identified in the 2018-19 DP and continues to be a key risk because in a micro-agency, the departure of even one employee has an impact on the organization.

In 2018-19, CICS successfully mitigated this risk through the implementation of its most current Human Resources Plan and Succession Plan for key positions. CICS hired twice as many students and more casual employees to assist over the busy summer period. We have also created some developmental positions and will be moving forward with a mentoring program to further development our employees.
Conference Services;

Internal Services

Ensure relevant, responsive service delivery;

Cultivate a continuous learning environment.