Ontario Regional Office
Regulatory Law Section
5. COMPLIANCE WITH KEY LEGISLATION AND RELATED POLICIES
The RLS is compliant with key government and departmental legislation and policies.
Managers should take measures to ensure compliance with key legislation and related policies.
The auditors’ review covered compliance with the Financial Administration Act, Government contracting requirements, the Official Languages Act, and Employment Equity.
RLS employees have access to the departmental Intranet where key information is contained in relation to the above-noted legislation and related policies. Furthermore, the Intranet is appropriately linked to various federal government central agency websites such as the Treasury Board Secretariat website. Employees seeking further detail on the above-noted subjects can access these websites and/or obtain direction from their managers or functional experts within Justice Canada.
As noted in “Financial Resources”, the RLS was found to be compliant with the Financial Administration Act.
Contracting practices in the ORO are centrally controlled through the Contracting Unit in the Administration Directorate. The Contracting Unit works closely with ORO managers throughout the entire contracting process (i.e. request for proposal, competitive bid process, final contract) to ensure compliance with the Government Contract Regulations (GCRs). Based on our review and discussions with the ORO Contracting Officer, there was an effective challenge mechanism in place to ensure strict compliance with the GCRs. We found that the Unit actively enforced key contracting elements such as needs definition, accurate statements of work, appropriateness of the competitive bid process, and justifications for sole sourcing. Close attention is also paid to ensure that managers are contracting within their delegated authority levels. The ORO also has a Contracts Review Committee in place, comprised of senior ORO managers, to provide oversight of the ORO’s contracting activities.
The auditors’ examination of compliance with the Official Languages Act (OLA) was limited to Part 7 of the Act “Language of Work” and Part 4 of the Act “Service to the Public”. The mechanisms in place in the ORO to monitor adherence to the Official Languages Act are straightforward and effective. We were informed by the RLS Director that English was the language of work for virtually all the business conducted by RLS. However, to ensure compliance with the OLA, the RLS Director informed us and our documentation review confirmed that three positions in the RLS are classified as bilingual. With regard to “Service to the Public”, the ORO Director of Human Resources informed us that there is an active offer of service Footnote 1 to the public at the main reception desk. In addition, mechanisms are in place to ensure the same active offer of service is available for telephone calls. We observed that there is appropriate signage at the main reception desk regarding services in both official languages. She also informed us that there have not been any complaints in the ORO regarding non-compliance with the requirements of the OLA.
The Employment Equity Goals and Commitments are identified in the RLS 2009-10 Business Plan. The RLS Director informed the audit team that careful attention is given to meeting Employment Equity goals during the staffing process. Consequently, the RLS has consistently been successful in meeting its Employment Equity goals. Notwithstanding the RLS’s track record in this regard, the challenge to meet and exceed Employment Equity targets remains. During our interviews with the ORO Director of Human Resources, she informed us that the Employment Equity Program is an integral part of ORO management practices; that Employment Equity requirements/expectations indicated in ORO Business Plans were monitored as part of overall Business Plan monitoring; and that there have been no complaints in the ORO regarding non-compliance with the Employment Equity requirements.
In our view, the RLS is taking reasonable measures to ensure compliance with key legislation and related policies.
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