Federal, Provincial and Territorial Social Services Forum Meeting
(Toronto, Ontario – May 28-30, 2012)
Thank you for the exemplary conference services that you and your team provided from May 28th to May 30th in Toronto for the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Social Services Forum Meeting.
We appreciate the efforts your team put forward to provide us with translation services, presentation support and secretarial assistance. We received many positive comments from the delegates at the meeting about services and supports provided by your team and I wanted to take this opportunity to formally thank you for your efforts.
Director, Planning and Strategic Policy Branch
Ministry of Community and Social Services
Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers of Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Conference
(Inuvik, NWT – June 26-28, 2012)
Thank you for the support you provided to the 2012 F-P-T Ministers of Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Conference held in Inuvik, June 26 to 28, 2012.
The professionalism of your staff and contractors was of the highest standard and was an important part of the success of the conference. I was especially appreciative of the welcoming you gave our youth ambassadors and how you facilitated the program so that they would gain the maximum benefit from this important national event.
The Honourable Robert C. McLeod
Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs
Provincial/Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Local Government
(Kananaskis, Alberta – July 11-12, 2012)
On behalf of the Province of Alberta, I would like to thank you for your assistance with the 2012 Provincial/Territorial meeting in Kananaskis.
Without the support of organizations such as yours, we would not have been able to successfully
co-ordinate and offer this memorable meeting experience to our delegates.
The Honourable Doug Griffiths
Minister of Alberta Municipal Affairs
In our efforts to provide the best service possible and the most up to date information to you, our clients, CICS welcomes your comments and suggestions.
Here are our coordinates:
Telephone: (613) 995-2341
Fax: (613) 996-6091
P.O. Box 488, Station ‘A’
Location / Deliveries
222 Queen St., 10th Floor
As a key partner in facilitating senior level intergovernmental conferences, the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) has the responsibility to respond to the evolving needs of its clients while at the same time ensuring efficiency of its services.
That being said, this past year has been one of significant change for the agency. We saw the introduction and accelerated use of new technologies both for the delivery of our services and for day-to-day management. The agency implemented internal changes regarding its structure to allow a more flexible and efficient approach in resource usage. The Secretariat also placed greater emphasis on building an environment that fosters employee commitment to the organization. With great success, an all-staff workshop was conducted and together, a new vision statement was developed: working together to make it happen.
I must share a special thank you to all CICS personnel for their dedication and professionalism during these times of change and transformation. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and I appreciate your commitment as the agency continues to evolve.
André M. McArdle
Secretary, Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat
The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) is an impartial agency whose mandate is to provide administrative support and planning services for federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences of first ministers, ministers and deputy ministers, throughout Canada.
Even though CICS was designated as a department of the federal government a few months after it was established in 1973, pursuant to an agreement reached at the May First Ministers’ Conference, its intergovernmental character and impartiality are assured by the fact that it is funded by the federal and provincial governments. CICS staff also includes public servants from federal, provincial and territorial governments.
The commitment and dedication of CICS employees continues to be the hallmark of our services. This past year, through an organization-wide consultative process, CICS developed its very own Code of Conduct to promote ethical and professional behaviour.
We strive to fulfill the requirements of our mandate through teamwork
We offer a collegial and rewarding work environment that fosters trust, civility, dignity and fairness
We conduct ourselves in an ethical, honest and transparent manner and with financial probity
In late 2012, we also refined our organizational Mission and Vision statements through an all-staff workshop. The new statements are clear, concise and most importantly they carry significance for everyone within the organization.
The CICS executive team is experienced, focused and dedicated to providing quality service and to meeting any challenges that lay ahead. It ensures that the organization remains effective and efficient and consistently achieves value for money.
Daniel Plourde Assistant Secretary, Bernard Latulippe Director, Information Services, André M. McArdle Secretary, Anik Lapointe Director, Corporate Services, Louise Seaward-Gagnon Director, Conference Services
The objective of CICS is to have half the staff of the Conference Services division consisting of provincial-territorial public servants who are seconded to the agency from their respective governments. CICS offers these employees a unique developmental opportunity in the field of intergovernmental affairs. Upon completion of the secondment, the provincial/territorial public servants return to their respective governments enriched with an overview of the machinery of intergovernmental relations and the experience of working with key sectors of intergovernmental activity. Most of these employees serve three-year terms. Their presence ensures the CICS can fulfill its mandate as a neutral intergovernmental body and boosts the organization’s knowledge of provincial and territorial governments as well as Canadian cities and regions.
For their part, the Information Services and Corporate Services divisions are staffed by federal government employees, as is the Executive office. To address the demands for conference services in peak periods, the Secretariat continues to cross-train employees from these divisions.
Well trained, high performing staff
The CICS’ talented and motivated staff is the primary factor in both the organization’s reputation for excellence and its ability to meet the evolving needs of clients. Given the central role that staff play in the organization’s success, the CICS continues to invest significantly in employee training and development. During 2012-13, we focused training efforts on recently acquired IT tools and systems such as videoconferencing, CMS (Conference Management System) and WiFi. Additional sessions in the human resources area were also completed by employees; themes included Values and Ethics, Insights and Harassment Prevention.
In 2013-14, CICS will be offering provincial/territorial public servants assignment opportunities (through the form of a secondment) for the following positions: Conference Manager, Conference Administrative Officer, and Conference Procurement and Technical Services Officer.
This is a complex process as CICS must work with the Intergovernmental Affairs Departments as well as with the Public Service Commissions in each province and territory to ensure that the secondment opportunities are supported and that the advertisements are widely circulated to their employees.
It is important to stipulate that CICS pays relocation expenses and reimburses the provincial and territorial governments for the benefits of seconded staff in addition to their salaries.
Although this secondment process happens every two-three years, we can be contacted at any time should there be an interest in joining the CICS team.
Since the introduction of the Secretariat’s renewed corporate image a few years ago, much progress has been made updating working tools and identification materials such as our signage, stationary and pamphlets.
*7 of which we held in the National Capital Region
**1 of which we held in the National Capital Region
The CICS offers a range of services to senior level intergovernmental conferences: from planning and pre-registration, to pre-conference translation services for official documents, to distribution of documents, to all on-site logistics. Each year, we tailor our support to meet the particular needs of a significant number of conferences across Canada. Our reputation for excellence has been forged through thousands of these conferences during the past four decades.
CICS constantly strives to improve the services it delivers in support of conferences. New services, such as advance online registration, online document retrieval and on-site WiFi were added. WiFi was immediately welcomed by conference delegates as this service provided them with the means to stay connected while away from the office. By the end of the fiscal year, the CICS online registration was being used by twelve different government sectors. The online document retrieval system was adopted by a couple of sectors and we anticipate an increase in usage next fiscal year. If at any time you would like to see another service added, please contact us and let us know!
CICS services are available to any federal, provincial or territorial department that organizes an intergovernmental meeting of First Ministers, Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
The host government is responsible for the costs of conference rooms and hospitality events; CICS covers the cost of most other conference services. CICS is financed by both the Government of Canada (through parliamentary appropriations) and by the provinces (through contributions).
To request our services, please contact our Director of Conference Services at 613-995-4328. We look forward to working with you on your next event!
Compared to last year, there was a definite increase in intergovernmental activity. As such, CICS provided services to 73 senior-level meetings, including 49 federal-provincial-territorial conferences and 24 provincial-territorial conferences.
|Citizenship and Immigration||1||2||3|
|Culture and Heritage||2||1||1||4|
|Human Resources and Social Services||2||3||1||6|
|Public Works & Govt Administration||3||1||4|
|Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation||1||1||2|
|Status of Women||1||3||4|
CICS has been providing an intergovernmental document archive service for every conference sector that has been served by the Secretariat since its inception in 1973. This unique collection is made up of the documents tabled by delegations at senior-level federal-provincial-territorial, provincial-territorial and federal-territorial conferences served by the Secretariat over the above mentioned time frame. These documents create a comprehensive record of each conference served by the Secretariat and consist of documents created by the Secretariat on behalf of the Chair or Co-chairs (such as the list of documents, list of delegates, etc) as well as the documents (such as the agenda, presentations and reports) presented and tabled by the various attending delegations. Other reference materials relating to these meetings can include audiovisual records of open sessions of various First Ministers’ and Premiers’ conferences served by the Secretariat, as well as a selection of digital images and photographic records from some of these meetings.
In the fiscal year 2012-13, over 800 new documents originating from federal- provincial-territorial meetings were added to the CICS archive, as well as just over 250 new documents from provincial-territorial meetings.
While the Secretariat is the custodian of the material, the documents maintained in our archives remains the property of the originating governments. The archive is managed for the primary use of federal, provincial and territorial governments’ conference delegates: they are not in the public domain and are excluded from the Access to Information Act. Other requests for access to documentation from our archives are referred back to the originating jurisdiction.
Conference Document Stats
In 2012-13, CICS provided its services to 73 senior-level intergovernmental conferences.
Performance is assessed using internal data and documents as well as two surveys of clients; one an annual sampling of conference planners and the second of conference delegates who attend the events.
Overall satisfaction survey results remain positive and reached the target of 90% or above while some individual features of our service, specifically related to conference planning, scored below target, slightly lower than in previous years. When asked for words to describe the quality of services offered by CICS, planners and delegates alike most often answered with the following words: professional; efficient; excellent; and cooperative.
Many additional positive comments were also offered such as:
2012-13 marked a year of change at CICS as major initiatives were undertaken to modernize our services alongside the evolving needs of our clients while at the same time adapting our processes and procedures to find cost efficiencies in service delivery. The fact that satisfaction ratings from our conference delegates remained at a very high level (97%) is encouraging and is indicative that management decisions made to deliver cost efficiencies in no way negatively impacted the level of service provided to delegates on conference site. In addition, the integration of new technologies with our service offerings have been very well received and appreciated by our clients. In the planning process, however, a satisfaction rating of 70 % on “flexibility” and 75% on “client understanding of what services CICS can and cannot provide” may be attributable to the necessary move away from status quo offerings to a more in-depth questioning and analysis of client requests.
The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) is financed by both the Government of Canada through parliamentary appropriations and by the provinces through contributions as per a shared cost agreement. The 2012-13 provincial contributions requested last fall were based on CICS’s budget minus the Federal share and adjusted with the 2011-12 lapse of budgetary funding as illustrated in Table 1.
|CICS Main Estimates Budget||6,614.7||(1,412.5)||5,202.2|
|Less: Federal Share1||4,067.7||(1,362.7)||2,705.0|
|Total Provincial Share||2,547.0||(49.8)||2,497.2|
The total provincial share of CICS budget is then split among the provinces based on the latest Population Census on a pro-rated basis. Table 2 shows the distribution of the Provincial Share of CICS 2012-13 Budget and the contributions received.
|% based on
|Distribution of Provincial Share of CICS
|Distribution of Provincial Share of the Adjustment2||2012-13
|Newfoundland and Labrador||1.5||39.3||(3.6)||35.7||35.7|
|Prince Edward Island||0.4||10.7||(1.0)||9.7||9.7|
1 The Federal share includes fifty percent of the total budget plus the employee benefit plans for employees, the translation costs, the tenant services, the capital costs and any revenue shortfalls resulting from the non-payment or partial payment by the provinces of their respective share.
2 The Budget adjustment 2010-11 represents the difference calculated from the main estimate less actual expenditures. The provincial share budget adjustment is calculated from provinces which fully contributed toward CICS operational budget.
A summary of CICS’s financial results are presented in table 3. The total funding is composed of the Main Estimates budget and adjustments. The Main Estimates are the voted appropriations at the beginning of the fiscal year, which started on April 1, 2012. The adjustments represent the additional funding received to cover salary increases from the revised collective agreements. Total funding remained approximately at the same level as in 2011-12.
Total spending for 2012-13 amounted to $ 5.2 million compared to $ 5.6 million (7.1% decrease) spent in 2011-12. This brought a surplus of $1.8 million (1.4 million in 2011-12). Of this amount, 0.5 million dollars was frozen allotments established by Treasury Board in departmental votes to prohibit the spending of funds already identified as savings measures in Budget 2012. The surplus is also attributable to the fact that CICS receives funding to serve up to 100 conferences a year, but only 73 conferences were served in 2012-13 (60 in 2011-12). The salaries and wages expenditures decreased by 3.8% on account of staffing decisions and because in 2012-13 the payment of severance pay was lower than in 2011-12 when the collective agreement for program and administration services was changed. The other operating costs have also declined by 11.4% and this is mostly explained by the change in the location of conferences served throughout the year, which impacts on travel costs, professional services costs (interpretation and translation) and transportation.
|Adjustments and Transfers||305.0||349.0|
|Salaries and Wages||2,513.6||2,614.2|
|Employee Benefit Plans||325.6||333.2|
|Sub-total: Personnel Costs||2,839.2||2,947.4|
|Other Operating Costs||2,222.7||2,473.6|
|Sub-total: Other Operating and Capital Costs||2,316.2||2,613.2|
|Lapsed (over expended)||1,764.3||1,412.5|
The current period of fiscal restraint, the changing intergovernmental environment and the priority to modernize and transform led to the restructuring of our Conference Services division. The main goal of this restructuring effort was to match human resources with the cyclical nature of conferences. A variety of staffing strategies were implemented, including making use of the student work exchange program. With implementation taking place throughout 2013 and ultimate completion to be achieved through attrition, CICS is ensuring a smooth transition through open communication with employees and partners.
Making smart use of technology
2012-13 also showed us the importance of modern technologies. In order to improve CICS’ service delivery model, a variety of initiatives were successfully undertaken including:
Delegate surveys indicated a 90% satisfaction rate with technology provided to them on-site.
Continuous Renewal, Constant Improvement and Innovation
During last year’s strategic exercise, it was decided to continue applying the following four priorities over the next five years:
The CICS Strategic Plan details the objectives set in order to achieve the organizational priorities listed above. What’s more, CICS needed to clearly identify its positioning in relation to key areas of its business. With that, the following strategic positioning statements were created:
Servicing Conferences: Service offerings will be expanded, opening the door to a variety of models and types of services to support the transformation of intergovernmental collaboration.
Information Management: CICS recognizes the importance of proper information management throughout the organization for both its corporate holdings and its intergovernmental conference documents. Efforts and resources will be focused to ensure electronic systems are the preferred means of creating, using and managing information.
Security: Security is embedded into CICS policy frameworks, culture, day-to-day operations and employee behaviours.
Management will ensure that security mechanisms and resources are efficient and effective, in line with government policies.
Corporate Management: Keeping in mind the intergovernmental nature of the agency, CICS Management will fulfill its obligation as an agency of the federal government by:
Technology: CICS will make its technology decisions based on the needs of a mobile workforce and aligned with government-wide initiatives.
In addition, CICS will proactively keep abreast of new technologies and their potential application in the workplace and on conference site.