Embracing New Realities

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:

General Inquiries
Telephone: (613) 995-2341
Fax: (613) 996-6091
E-mail: info@scics.gc.ca

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 488, Station ‘A’
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 8V5

Location / Deliveries
222 Queen St., 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5V9

Table of Contents

Message from the Secretary

Photo of the Secretary, Mr. André M. McArdleIn fiscal year 2013-14, the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) provided its services to 86 senior level intergovernmental meetings. This total reflects an increase of 18% in the number of conferences served over the previous year.

Although intergovernmental meetings are on the rise, the fact remains that we are in a period of significant budgetary restraint which impacts on the Secretariat and on our federal, provincial and territorial partners.

The challenge for CICS in this environment is to maintain the high level quality services that have become its trademark while modernizing its service delivery model.

In this context, I am proud to say that the agency has been quite successful in improving the services it delivers in support of the conferences that it serves. These results are directly attributed to the central role that the agency’s staff play in delivering a high quality product and is also the reason that CICS continues to invest significantly in employee training and development.

André M. McArdle
Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

Who We Are

Role and Mandate

The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) is an impartial agency whose mandate is to provide administrative support and planning services for federalprovincial- territorial and provincial-territorial conferences of first ministers, ministers and deputy ministers, throughout Canada.

The primary objective of CICS is to relieve client departments of the numerous technical and administrative tasks associated with the planning and conducting of multilateral conferences, thereby enabling participants to concentrate on substantive intergovernmental policy issues. CICS provides continuous, effective, impartial administrative support to these meetings.

Did you know?

Over its 40 year history CICS has served 3390 conferences.

Core Values, Vision and Mission



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.

VISION: Working together to make it happen.

MISSION: We thrive on helping governments by delivering impartial and professional conference services, with innovative solutions.

Organizational Structure

The Secretariat is divided into the following sectors:

Executive Committee

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.

Photo of the Executive Committee

A special welcome

In early 2014, Brian Berry joined the agency as Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer and Laurent Bissonnette took over the role of Director, Corporate Services.

Brian is a graduate of Carleton University and is an FCPA, FCMA, having the honor of recently being selected as a Fellow of The Society of Management Accountants of Canada as well as The Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. Brian has in excess of 25 years of finance and accounting experience in senior roles within both the private and public sectors.

Laurent is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and is a CPA, CGA, with in excess of 35 years of finance and accounting experience in midmanagement and senior roles within both the private and public sectors.

We sincerely welcome you and hope that your career with CICS will be rewarding.

Saying farewell…

This past year, we saw two departures among our executive team. Daniel Plourde (Assistant Secretary) retired in the summer of 2013 and Anik Lapointe (Director of Corporate Services) accepted a promotion with another department. We wish you both all the best and thank you for your valuable contributions to the organization over the past years.


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. Our agency 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 that 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.

Interested in a career development opportunity?


There are assignments available for provincial/territorial public servants.
For more information,click here

Photo of a CICS employee arriving in Iqaluit for a conference.

Over the last 40 years, there have been a total of 88 provincial/ territorial government employees seconded to CICS.

Excellence, Effectiveness, and Engagement

Photo of CICS employees on conference site.

Given the central role that staff play in the organization’s success, CICS continues to invest significantly in employee training and development. During 2013-14, we offered a variety of workshops pertaining to upgraded IT software and working tools. Additional training sessions in the areas of Social Media, Performance Management, Security and Work/Life Balance were also completed by all employees.

Photo of CICS employees

Photo of CICS employee on conference site

What We Do

Conference Services

Photo of a conference roomWe offer a range of services to senior level intergovernmental conferences: from planning and pre-registration, to preconference translation services for official documents, to distribution of documents, to all on-site logistics including interpretation services. 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 serving thousands of these meetings during the past four decades.

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. The agency 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!

Learn more at www.scics.gc.ca

Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of the Conference Services program and other corporate obligations of the organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Other Administrative Services.

2013-14 at a Glance

In 2013-14, the Secretariat provided its services to 86 seniorlevel intergovernmental conferences; an 18% increase in the number of conferences from the previous year. This included 57 federal–provincial–territorial conferences and 29 provincial– territorial conferences.

Conferences by Location
Yukon (6 conferences); Northwest Territories (3 conferences); Nunavut (4 conferences); British Columbia (1 conference); Alberta (7 conferences); Saskatchewan (1 conference); Manitoba (9 conferences); Ontario (33 conferences, 12 of which were held in the National Capital Region); Quebec (12 conferences, 1 of which was held in the National Capital Region); New Brunswick (2 conferences); Nova Scotia (2 conferences); Prince Edward Island (1 conference); Newfoundland and Labrador (2 conferences); Teleconference (3 conferences).

Even though intergovernmental meetings are on the rise, it continues to be a time of fiscal restraint for our federal, provincial and territorial partners. As such, there has been a significant increase in the number of meetings being held in centralized locations. Travel costs tend to be distributed more evenly when events are held in central locations such as Ontario and Quebec.

Provincial and Regional Breakdown*

Western Provinces (18 conferences); Territories (13 conferences); Atlantic Provinces (7 conferences); Ontario/Quebec (45 conferences)

Conferences by Level for 2013-14

First Ministers/Premiers (2 conferences); Ministers (38 conferences); Deputy Ministers (43 conferences); Other (3 conferences)


Photo of a conference roomThis year, CICS was pleased to provide its services to three new sectors:

  • Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canadian
    Regional Seminar
  • Federal-Provincial-Territorial Deputy Ministers’ Table on
    Cyber Security
  • Annual Lobbyists Registrars and Commissioners Conference

Did you know?

42 intergovernmental tables took advantage of CICS conference expertise and support in 2013-14.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canadian Regional Seminar

“The exceptional work ethic, expertise and professionalism of the CICS team played an integral role in making this Seminar a great success.”

Hon. Ross Wiseman, Speaker
House of Assembly, Newfoundland and Labrador

Annual Lobbyists Registrars and Commissioners Conference

“Over the past few days, Quebec hosted the Seventh Annual Canadian Lobbyists Registrars and Commissioners Conference. The event was a success, in no small part because of the simultaneous interpretation service provided courtesy of the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat. This was a first for the conference and there is no doubt that the service made a tremendous difference in facilitating discussions among the participants.”

François Casgrain, Counsel
Quebec Lobbyists Commissioner

Conferences by Sector

Sector FPT Min. FPT DMs Prem. P-T Min. P-T DMs Other Total
of Conf.
Agriculture 1 1 2
Citizenship and Immigration 1 2 3
Education 3 4 7
Emergency Preparedness 1 1 1 3
Environment 1 2 3*
Finance 2 2
Fisheries 2 2 4
Health 1 2 1 2 6
Heritage 2 1 1 1a 5
Housing 1 1
Human Resources and Social Services 3 3 1 2 9
Industry 1 1 2
Intergovernmental Affairs 2 1b 3
Intergovernmental Budget 1 1
Justice 3 5 1 2 11
Local Government 2 1 3
Native/Aboriginal Affairs 2 2
Natural Resources 2 1 1 4**
Northern Development 1 1
Public Works and Government Administration 4 4
Sports and Recreation 1 2 3
Status of Women 1 1c 2
Transport 1 4 5
22 30 2 16 13 3 86

*2 of which were by virtual teleconference

**1 of which was by virtual teleconference

a Vice Regal

b Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

c Senior Officials

New services

You spoke, we listened

Over the past few years, CICS has been working diligently to modernize its service delivery model to offer more on-line tools, introduce videoconferencing and most recently offer clients the option of a la carte instead of a fixed package of services.

In 2013-14, the following new services were successfully added to our portfolio:

  • Full implementation of video-conferencing services at face-to-face meetings. Requests for this new service were received for two Ministerial meetings and both events were a success.
  • Full implementation of teleconference support services with 3-line simultaneous interpretation. Increasingly, government departments are calling upon CICS to support this type of meeting.
  • The CICS website was updated to reflect these new services. In addition, the website was upgraded with a more flexible search engine to ensure easy access for users to previous conference information.
  • Mobile charging stations were purchased to allow delegates to recharge mobile devices quickly and efficiently while on conference site. This was a suggestion from our delegate surveys.
  • As part of our message service, cell phones were purchased for use in the CICS office on conference site; thereby eliminating the need and costs to install a landline in the office at each conference location.

Photo of CICS’ video-conferencing boardroom

The Secretariat constantly strives to improve the services it delivers in support of conferences. New technologies such as our online registration and document retrieval systems are facilitating planning for both conference organizers and participants. Compared to last year, we have noticed a significant increase in the usage of these newer services (see chart below).

Tailoring services to meet your needs

Overview of newer services

Online registration

CICS’ online system takes much of the work and worry out of registration for both delegates and organizers. In consultation with the client, a CICS Manager of Conference Services customizes the standard registration form (in both official languages) and posts it online, enabling delegates to register prior to the event.

The online system verifies the eligibility of registrants and tracks the number of registrants, along with the names of their sponsor organizations. The system can also produce a variety of status reports in a matter of minutes – information that is very useful to conference organizers in the planning stage.

Online document retrieval

A perfect way to complement online registration is to post conference documents to a secure website.

Registrants are assigned individual passwords that enable them to access and download the materials before and during the event.

On-site WiF

i CICS acknowledges the importance of keeping connected during conferences. As an added convenience to delegates, CICS now offers a secure WiFi connection in the main conference room. The ability to access a passwordprotected, dedicated network will speed up the sharing of information and increase the productivity of delegates.


CICS has the equipment and expertise needed to design and deliver the videoconference services needed to make your event a success. Applied appropriately, these technologies facilitate collaboration while reducing the expenses and environmental impacts associated with conferences. Video-conferencing is an increasingly viable and practical solution due to rapid development of video technologies, combined with larger Internet bandwidth in much of Canada.

Virtual Teleconference

We now offer services to meetings held via teleconference. These services include three-line simultaneous interpretationan English line, a French line and a bilingual line. CICS provides the interpreters who are housed in a studio for the event. The event can be recorded and we can also help with the translation of documents prior to the event.

The new The new services respond to clients’ needs by making increased use of technology while cutting down on the consumption of paper at conferences and benefiting the environment. If you have technologies or ideas that you’d like to implement at your next event, please contact us.

Photo of video-conferencing in action

Intergovernmental Document Archive

Photo of CICS archivesCICS 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 federalterritorial 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 2013-14, over 800 new documents originating from federal-provincial-territorial meetings were added to the CICS archive, as well as just over 400 new documents from provincial-territorial meetings.

While the Secretariat is the custodian of the material, the documents maintained in our archives remain 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.

Total Number of Documents in the Archive as of March 31, 2014

Federal-Provincial-Territorial 34,756
Federal-Territorial 54
Provincial-Territorial 14,754
Grand Total 49,564

The Secretariat’s 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. This came to light as we faced significant staff turnover due to retirements, provincial/ territorial secondment rotations and the departure of key management personnel.

Arrivals and Departures

Rising to the occasion

To our departing employees: your years of dedication, hard work and cooperation have contributed to the success of CICS and have helped the agency evolve and prepare for the future. Best of luck with all your future projects!

To our new employees: an organization rejuvenates itself with each new arrival. We’re delighted to have you join the CICS team and hope you draw tremendous satisfaction from working alongside your colleagues and planning partners.


  • Brian J. Berry, Assistant Secretary
  • Laurent Bissonnette, Director, Corporate Services
  • France Goulet, Conference Administrative Officer


  • Daniel Plourde, Assistant Secretary
  • Anik Lapointe, Director, Corporate Services
  • Ghislaine Kerry, Manager, Conference Services
  • Francine Gravel, Conference Administrative Officer

Subsequent Events (April 1 – July 31, 2014)


  • Marcel Bérubé, Manager, Conference Services (Manitoba)
  • Carmen Kantchono, Manager, Conference Services (Quebec)


  • Laurette Sylvain, Manager, Conference Services (Yukon)
  • Jacqueline Gervais, Conference Administrative Officer (Manitoba)
  • Angela Donatucci, Conference Administrative Officer (Ontario)
  • Robert Kehayes, Conference Procurement and Technical Services Officer

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

As previously mentioned, in 2013-14, the Secretariat provided its services to 86 senior-level intergovernmental conferences; an 18% increase in the number of conferences from the previous year.

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.

This year, as part of a review of our evaluation tools, the client survey was revised and updated to be more closely aligned with performance indicators. Sampling techniques were improved and questions were revised for clarity and to allow for more in-depth probing on the part of the independent evaluator.

Twenty-six conference planners were interviewed by telephone. Of these, 94.9% agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with CICS services in support of conference planning. Individual questions showed improvement in our flexibility to adapt and adjust to changing needs and respondents agreed that CICS services resulted in an effectively and efficiently run conference that met their operational requirements. When asked for words to describe the quality of services offered by CICS, the words professional and efficient continued to top the list. From a marketing perspective, however, there was an indication that our clients may not be using our website to its full potential for service information.

“My staff enjoyed working with you in the planning of the conference and appreciated the expertise, dedication and goodwill that you brought to the planning and implementation of the meetings.”

-Donald S. Ethell,
Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

CICS also seeks feedback regularly on its services from conference delegates who attend the meetings. The gradual implementation of on-line post-meeting surveys over the last several years has significantly increased the number of respondents. In 2013-14, over 400 surveys were completed on-line with 94% of conference delegates indicating that they were satisfied or very satisfied overall with CICS on-site support services. Many provide suggestions and this ongoing feedback allows CICS to evaluate and adjust its procedures in a timely manner.

The positive performance results this year are particularly reassuring to the organization given the significant increase in the number of conferences that were served in 2013- 14; and this, during a time of major restructuring of the Conference Services Division in order to increase efficiencies. Maintaining such a high level of service delivery in this context speaks to the efforts of the entire organization.

Looking ahead, as we continue to transform our service delivery model, we need to find ways to encourage the use of these modern tools to their full potential both internally and in conference service delivery. Flexibility must continue to be a main focus for the organization so that we remain in a position to offer our services in the most cost effective way possible. Finally, we must continue to build and strengthen our relationships with our clients, to be proactive in providing the support they need.

Photo of two colleagues working on a document.

Did you know?

94% of delegates surveyed were overall either satisfied or very satisfied with CICS services.

Reaching Out to Stakeholders

Photo of a conference roomAs part of its strategic plan, CICS committed to finding additional ways this year to engage with our clients. The concept of a “Knowledge Exchange Forum on FPT Meeting Logistics” was presented to federal government directors responsible for FPT relations. The idea was very well received and two workshops were consequently held during the year.

The goal of this informal gathering is to provide our contacts from across federal government departments with an opportunity to network, exchange information and share best practices surrounding the organization of senior level FPT meetings.

The first session was co-hosted by CICS and Employment and Skills Development Canada (formerly HRSDC) in May 2013 with twenty participants from across 14 different government departments in attendance. A second session was held in November 2013; co-hosted by CICS and Health Canada. Discussions focussed on video-conferencing services, new technologies, finding efficiencies when organizing FPT meetings; and roles and responsibilities of various players in the organization of FPT meetings. Another session will be scheduled in 2014.

On the provincial side, CICS reached out to Prince Edward Island government officials in January 2014 to assist them with coordinating efforts for the large number of FPT conferences they would be hosting in 2014 in conjunction with the 150th celebration of the Charlottetown conference. Site visits to the various venues were conducted together and opportunities for working across sectors to find efficiencies were identified. This collaborative effort proved highly successful and CICS would be delighted to work with any jurisdiction on similar projects.



The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) is financed by both the Government of Canada through parliamentary appropriations and by the provinces through contributions under a shared cost agreement. The amount requested from the provinces last fall, for the 2013-14 budget, was calculated by taking the difference between CICS’s total budget and the federal government contribution1 and adjusting it on the basis of the funds that were not used in 2012-13, as shown in Table 1.

Value for money

Table 1. 2013-14 CICS Budget ($ thousands)

2013-14 Budget Less: 2012-13 Budget adjustment2 Adjusted Budget
CICS Main Estimates Budget 6,035.5 (1,764.3) 4,271.2
Less: Federal Share1 3,514.0 (1,678.4) 1,835.6
Total Provincial Share 2,521.5 (85.9) 2,435.6

1 The Federal share includes fifty percent of the total budget plus the employee benefit plans for federal, provincial and territorial 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 2013-14 Budget adjustment represents the difference calculated from the Main Estimates less actual expenditures. The provincial share of the budget adjustment is distributed between provinces which fully contributed towards CICS operational budget.

Provincial Contributions

The total provincial share of the CICS budget is then split among the provinces on a pro rata basis, according to their population as determined by the last Population Census. Table 2 shows the provinces’ shares for the 2013-14 budget, as well as the actual amounts received.

Table 2. Distribution of Provincial Contributions towards CICS’ 2013-14 Budget ($ thousands)

% based on 2011 Population Census Distribution of Provincial Share of CICS 2012-13 Budget Distribution of Provincial Share of the Adjustment1 2013-14 Requested Contribution 2013-14 Actual Contribution Received
Newfoundland and Labrador 1.5 38.9 (6.2) 32.7 32.7
Nova Scotia 2.8 69.7 (11.0) 58.7 58.7
New Brunswick 2.3 56.7 (9.0) 47.7 47.7
Prince Edward Island 0.4 10.6 (1.7) 8.9 8.9
Quebec 23.7 597.1 597.1 131.3
Ontario 38.5 971.2 971.2 265.0
Manitoba 3.6 91.3 (14.4) 76.9 76.9
Saskatchewan 3.1 78.1 78.1 23.0
Alberta 10.9 275.4 (43.6) 231.8 231.8
British Columbia 13.2 332.5 332.5 95.0
Total 100 2,521.5 (85.9) 2,435.6 971.0

1 The 2013-14 Budget adjustment represents the difference calculated from the Main Estimates less actual expenditures. The provincial share of the budget adjustment is distributed between provinces which fully contributed towards CICS operational budget.

Financial Results

A summary of CICS 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, 2013. The adjustments represent the additional funding received to cover salary increases from the revised collective agreements. Total funding for CICS has decreased by approximately $0.8 million dollars. The decrease is due mainly to a reduction in our budget of $0.5 million dollars as a result of Budget 2012, as well as not requesting the Operating Budget Carry Forward of $0.3 million dollars.

Total spending for 2013-14 has increased by approximately $0.7 million dollars (or 14%) when compared with 2012-13. This increase when combined with our budgetary reductions has resulted in the virtual elimination of our budget surplus (lapse), a reduction of some $1.5 million dollars. The increase in expenditures is primarily attributable to an 18% increase in conferences from 2012-13 to 2013-14.

As CICS has virtually reached its budgetary ceiling, we will have to be even more proactive when it comes to continuing to find efficient means of operation in order to further reduce costs.

Did you know?

CICS works actively with its clients to reduce paper burden/usage on conference site.

Table 3. 2013-14 CICS’ Financial Results ($ thousands)

CICS Budget 2013-14 2012-13
Main Estimates 6,035.5 6,614.7
Adjustments and Transfers 86.1 305.0
Total Funding 6,121.6 6,919.7
CICS Expenditures
Salaries and Wages 2,638.1 2,513.6
Employee Benefit Plans 349.5 325.6
Sub-total: Personnel Costs 2,987.6 2,839.2
Other Operating Costs 2,748.4 2,222.7
Capital Costs 128.9 93.5
Sub-total: Other Operating and Capital Costs 2,877.3 2,316.2
Total Expenditures 5,864.9 5,155.4
Lapsed (over expended) 256.7 1,764.3

Opening the Door to Video- Conferencing at FPT Meetings…

Photo of video-conferencing at the FPT Meeting of the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers in Whitehorse, Yukon Face-to-face meetings of Federal-Provincial- Territorial Ministers and Deputy Ministers have inherent value to the functioning of the Federation. Across many sectors, these in-person meetings remain the preferred vehicle for multilateral intergovernmental discussions at the most senior levels; fostering trust and good working relationships among all participants.

The use of technology to support these meetings has evolved over time with new tools providing opportunities for new ways of working together. The emergence of video-conferencing has caused all of us to reflect on our practices; particularly in the current context of finding efficiencies with controlling travel costs at the top of the list.

At this point, most of us have had experience participating in a video-conference, either from a boardroom setting or directly from our laptops. Generally speaking, it works!…with quality varying based on the sophistication of the equipment used.

After having acquired stateof- the art video-conferencing equipment and training for our staff in 2012-13, CICS had the opportunity in 2013-14 to work with two sectors (Tourism and Labour) where the option of video-conferencing fulfilled a need to have certain people join the face-to-face meeting from a distance. CICS took care of the entire set-up in the meeting room and worked collaboratively with the participating delegations to ensure the success on their end. In both cases, participants were very satisfied with the outcome. They achieved their objectives and the technology worked to allow it to happen.

So, remember, videoconferencing does not have to be about a bunch of people staring at screens. If your sector is looking at ways to save costs at intergovernmental meetings, perhaps having presenters participate via video-conference is a way to go. Another option may be to reduce the size of your delegation on-site with the others participating via videoconference from their own department boardrooms. It saves time, travel and CICS can now do it for you at no direct cost to you.

The Way Forward

During the most recent strategic exercise conducted by senior management, it was decided to continue applying the following four strategic priorities over the next five years:

1. Enhance and expand strategic partnerships

2. Transform our service delivery model

3. Review and adapt management practices to increase efficiencies

4. Continue to build a capable, confident and high performing workforce

Click here to learn more by reading our 2014-19 Strategic Plan

The following list of initiatives are high priority for the agency and significant progress is expected to be achieved over the next few years:

  • Enhance dialogue/renew partnership with the provinces and territories;
  • Implementation of virtual conferences;
  • Integration of new technologies with service delivery processes;
  • Implementation of modern and efficient service delivery tools;
  • Efficient information management of conference records;
  • Explore partnerships with other agencies with the objective of sharing expertise and resources;
  • Review the program evaluation strategy and develop new assessment tools as required; and
  • Continue to provide training and development opportunities for all employees.

CICS, the logical choice

Photo of a conference roomWhat’s more, a strategic statement was established to address the uniqueness of CICS and the value which our services bring to conference organizers and delegates:

As a key partner, CICS provides excellence in planning, expertise in service delivery, innovative solutions, impartiality and a commitment to official languages to meet current and future challenges in the field of intergovernmental conferences.

Opportunities and Challenges

As we look ahead, two key challenges the Secretariat will continue to face pertain to human resources (HR) and the ongoing period of fiscal restraint.

When it comes to Human Resources Management in a small agency, the departure of one employee can have an impact on the organization. In the coming years, the loss of key personnel is almost certain. There will be increased retirements as well as provincial-territorial secondment rotations every 3-4 years. As such, significant weight has been placed on the importance of proper and sustained HR planning.

Even though intergovernmental meetings are on the rise, it continues to be a time of fiscal restraint for our federal, provincial and territorial partners. Flexibility must continue to be a main focus for the organization so that we remain in a position to offer our services in the most cost effective way possible.

Significant importance will also be placed on building and strengthening relationships with our government partners. CICS must continue to be proactive in providing the support they need. In fiscal year 2014-15, the Secretariat will begin approaching provincial and territorial partners to re-introduce CICS, its strengths and many new service offerings, as well as to solidify relationships. As an ambassador of new technology utilization, the agency may hold several of these meetings by video-conference.

Did you know?

Conference communiqués are posted on the CICS website as soon as they are released on conference site.

Photo of the federal, provincial and territorial flags