Overall, we found that the practices, procedures, and activities relating to the management framework, the reliability of information systems for decision making and accountability, the staffing/resourcing function, and interfaces with other Justice organizations were adequate, although some areas for improvement were noted. These included the development of objectives, workplans, defining the mandate of the Corporate Programs Division, implementing a process for monitoring staffing timeframe, and developing a strategic resourcing vision.
The staffing/resourcing function in the Department of Justice National Capital Region is delivered by two divisions that report to the Director General, Human Resources and Professional Development Directorate (HRPDD): the Client Operations and Senior Management Services Division and the Corporate Programs Division. The former acts as the National Capital Region regional office and provides staffing services to departmental managers. The latter is the national functional authority on all staffing/resourcing matters for the Department.
The overall objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the management framework for the Client Operations and Senior Management Services Division and the Corporate Programs Division is effective. The scope of the audit included staffing/resourcing activities at headquarters. The planning and on-site examination phases of the audit took place from July to October 2010.
The audit found that strategic direction and functional guidance for the staffing/resourcing function is provided through a number of planning and policy instruments. Human Resources (HR) planning is integrated into the departmental business planning process and HR strategies address identified departmental risks and priorities. As part of the integrated business planning process, departmental managers develop staffing plans in conjunction with their HR plans. We found that staffing plans are not being used as reference/monitoring instruments when a resourcing action is initiated, nor are they regularly updated.
High-level departmental strategies and priorities are not always translated into concrete objectives and work plans for staff in the two staffing/resourcing divisions. Annual concrete and measurable objectives related to work plans need to be developed so that the contribution of staff to the achievement of overall objectives is clearly stated. Furthermore, once objectives and work plans have been developed, there is a need to strengthen accountability by conducting regular reviews of ongoing activities and formal progress reports.
The roles and responsibilities of the Client Operations and Senior Management Services Division are clear and the current organizational structure supports the staffing/resource function. However, there is a need to clearly define the mandate and core activities of the Corporate Programs Division and to align the organizational structure accordingly.
Corporate Programs management advised that they had recently developed a departmental Staffing Monitoring Framework based on identified risks.
We identified a need to capture client requirements and expectations with respect to reporting on staffing activities. Client Operations and Senior Management Services Division should provide departmental managers with regular updates on staffing activities.
During the two years preceding the audit, significant efforts were made to streamline staffing processes and provide managers with additional instruments to facilitate their staffing/resourcing activities. However, the Client Operations and Senior Management Services Division would benefit by further promoting these instruments.
Audit interviews and a 2009 client satisfaction survey returned similar results, namely, that while some departmental managers were satisfied with the staffing/resourcing services provided, many identified a need for improvement. In our opinion, these divergent results were due to different expectations on the part of managers and varying levels of experience of staffing advisors.
Staffing services for regular (non executive) positions are currently provided by three units, each headed by a Client Services Manager. One of the duties of these managers is to develop a strategic resourcing vision in partnership with their clients. With few exceptions, client services managers do not actively play this role. The majority of departmental managers interviewed wanted more involvement on the part of their Client Services Manager in their HR planning process and in the development of targeted resourcing strategies.
We also found that there is a need to monitor client satisfaction more closely and in a more timely fashion.
We found that the working relationship between Client Operations and Senior Management Services and other HR disciplines is effective.
The management responses to the recommendations contained in this report were provided by the Director General, Human Resources and Professional Development Directorate.
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