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Review of Recording of Employee Leave

Internal Audit
378-1-259

PDF

July 30, 2009

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Background

Correctional Service Canada is responsible for the administration and recording of all leave for its approximately 15,400 employees. In a recent audit completed by the Office of the Auditor General, December 2008, Chapter 7: Economy and Efficiency of Services – Correctional Service Canada1, leave recording was reviewed within the context of the management of overtime. The audit found that some CX leave records were not recorded correctly in the human resource management system and noted that unrecorded leave could mean that more leave is taken, which could lead to additional overtime. The following recommendation was made to CSC to address this issue: "Correctional Service Canada should ensure that all employee absences are correctly recorded in its human resource management system".

In its response CSC indicated the following: "CSC agrees and is committed to ensuring all employee absences are correctly recorded in its human resource management System (HRMS)".

  • As mentioned in the report, CSC has taken immediate action to address the issue of incorrect recording of employee absences, including reconciling data in the institutional rosters with that in HRMS.
  • Furthermore, all national headquarters sectors, regions, and institutions were instructed in July 2008 to review all employee absences for 2007–08. Where needed, appropriate action will be taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all employee absence information. These actions will include, if necessary, appropriate measures to address any non-compliance on the part of CSC personnel with the national directives on the proper recording of employee leave.
  • In addition, a quarterly monitoring process has been initiated across the organization to ensure ongoing accountability for the proper recording of employee absences.
  • A follow-up review of the recording of employee absences will also be conducted by CSC Internal Audit Branch by the end of 2008–09.
  • Finally, CSC will implement an automated National Scheduling and Deployment System by September 2009 that will interface directly with HRMS, thereby strengthening controls around the recording of leave transactions."

This review was completed by the Internal Audit Branch to meet one of CSC's commitment and the objectives were:

  • To assess whether the management framework currently in place is adequate and effective to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information.
  • To assess whether CSC has completed its review of leave for 2007-2008 and has implemented corrective measures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information.
  • To determine if a quarterly monitoring process, which ensures ongoing accountability for the proper recording of employee absences, has been designed and implemented.

In order to achieve these objectives, the approach utilized was designed to obtain a review level of assurance2. The review team reviewed key documentation and examined relevant policies and directives. In addition, the review team visited 5 regions, 12 institutions, 5 district offices and 3 sectors. We conducted detailed interviews with 92 staff members involved in the management of leave. We also asked a few questions to 159 employees randomly selected during our site visits. A sample of 200 employee leave transactions was tested at the national, regional, institutional and district levels.

Conclusion

Overall we found that key elements of the management framework were in place and working effectively. All collective agreements which contain leave provisions are available and accessible to employees. There are also two specific national CX bulletins regarding sick and annual leave and they are clear and consistent with TB policies. The staff involved in the administration and management of leave was able to describe the processes and procedures and understood their roles and responsibilities. Training and staff knowledge with respect to the HRMS Leave Module was also adequate. We found evidence that a comprehensive reconciliation of employee leave for 2007-08 had been conducted and that corrective measures had been taken as needed.

Nonetheless, the following areas require attention:

  • Additional national direction and guidance on leave management and reporting is needed, including: the completion of a national policy on attendance management; clear interpretations of the various leave entitlements; and the establishment of processes for employees on assignment or working in different geographic locations than their supervisor.
  • Enhancements to the quarterly monitoring process are required to ensure consistency, sufficient coverage and appropriate management sign-off and reporting.

Recommendations

Recommendations have been made in the report to address areas identified for improvement. Management has reviewed and agrees with the findings contained in this report and a Management Action Plan has been developed to address the recommendation (see ANNEX D).

1.0 INTRODUCTION

CSC employs approximately 15,400 staff across the country3. Two occupational groups, for the most part exclusive to CSC, represent over half of all staff employed in operational units. The CX (correctional officer/primary worker) group comprises 41% of staff, while another 13% of staff is in the Welfare Programs (WP) category, the group that includes parole and program officers working in the institutions and the community. The remainder of CSC's workforce reflects the variety of other skills required to operate institutions and community offices, including health professionals, electricians and food services staff, as well as staff providing corporate and administrative functions at the local, regional and national levels.

In a recent audit completed by the Office of the Auditor General, December 2008, Chapter 7: Economy and Efficiency of Services – Correctional Service Canada, leave recording was reviewed within the context of the management of overtime. The audit found that some CX leave records were not recorded correctly in the human resource management system and noted that unrecorded leave could mean that more leave is taken, which could lead to additional overtime.

The OAG audit examined roster schedules to identify absences within the Correctional Officer (CX) group in May 2007 at eight institutions. Those absences were compared against the absence reports in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS). The OAG found that between 3 to 35 percent of absences were not recorded in HRMS.

In its response to the OAG, CSC stated that it is committed to ensuring all employee absences are correctly recorded in its human resources management system. It also noted that the organization had taken immediate action to address the issue of incorrect recording of employee absences, including reconciling data in the institutional rosters with that in HRMS.

Additionally, all NHQ sectors, regions, institutions and districts were instructed in July 2008 to review all employee absences for 2007-2008. Based on this review, CSC stated in its response that appropriate action would be taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all employee absence information, and that a quarterly monitoring process would be initiated across the organization to ensure ongoing accountability. The response also indicated that a follow-up review would also be conducted by the CSC Internal Audit Branch by the end of 2008-2009. Thus, this review meets that commitment.

2.0 OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

2.1 Objectives

The objectives were:

  • To assess whether the management framework currently in place is adequate and effective to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information.
  • To assess whether CSC has completed its review of leave for 2007-2008 and has implemented corrective measures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information.
  • To determine if a quarterly monitoring process, which ensures ongoing accountability for the proper recording of employee absences, has been designed and implemented.

Specific criteria related to each of the objectives are included in Annex A.

2.2 Scope

The review was national in scope and included site visits to NHQ and Regional Headquarters in all five (5) regions. It also included site visits to various security level institutions, both male and female, as well as one district office in each region. For review sites selected, see Annex B.

It should be noted that in 2006, an internal audit of Management of Leave and Overtime4 was conducted. Four of the recommendations contained in that audit relate directly to the issues raised in the OAG report. At that time, the Human Resource Management (HRM) Sector developed an action plan to correct deficiencies identified during the audit. The four recommendations and the management action plan are listed in Annex C. An assessment of the progress made in addressing these four recommendations was also included in the scope of this review.

The scope did not include a review of Injury on Duty Leave as this element was reviewed as part of the internal audit of the Assistance to Employee Program completed in 2007-20085.

3.0 APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY

The approach utilized was designed to obtain a review level of assurance. A review level of assurance involves procedures to reduce the risk of an incorrect conclusion to a moderate level. Review-level procedures are normally limited to enquiry, analysis and discussion and in some cases, limited testing of transactions. For this review, the methodology included:

  • confirmation through interviews with key managers that commitments made to follow up on outstanding leave issues identified in August 2008 have been met;
  • confirmation through interviews with key managers and file reviews that leave protocols (processes/procedures) have been implemented to manage employee planned and unplanned absences;
  • confirmation through interviews with key managers and file reviews that monitoring and controlling mechanisms as outlined in national and regional responses to the ACHRM have been implemented; and
  • validation through file review that employees submit appropriately completed and approved documentation for annual leave, sick leave and family-related leave and that this information is accurately recorded in HRMS.

Sample and Site Selection

All regions, including RHQ's were included. The selection of institutions was based on a number of elements including:

  • security classifications (maximum, medium, minimum);
  • various ranges of population size (i.e. institutions with a small or large number of offenders;
  • women's institutions and district offices; and
  • the eight facilities audited by the OAG.

A selection at NHQ (Sectors/Branches) was made to include sectors of differing sizes and materiality. We conducted detailed interviews with 92 staff members involved in the management of leave. We also asked a few questions to 159 employees randomly selected during our site visits. A sample of 200 employee leave records for the period November 17-21, 2008 (140 non-CX and 60 CX) was examined. Location of site visits, number of staff interviewed and the number of leave files reviewed per site are included in Annex B.

4.0 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4.1 Management Framework

We assessed the adequacy and effectiveness of the management framework in place for the recording of employee absences. The elements of the framework that were specifically reviewed consisted of: policies and directives; processes and roles and responsibilities; and training.

4.1.1 Policies and Directives

We expected to find that CSC policies, guidelines and manuals are clear and consistent with relevant acts and TB policies and directives.

All collective agreements which contain leave provisions are available and accessible to employees. There are also two specific national CX bulletins regarding sick and annual leave and they are clear and consistent with TB policies. However, no other national guidance is available on various leave entitlements or attendance management programs.

All collective agreements applicable to CSC are accessible on the Infonet. These agreements as well as TB policies provide a general framework for employee leave entitlements.

From a national perspective, we found two recently published national directives relevant to the CX group (entitled 2006-01 Vacation Leave Global Agreement (GA) and 2006-08 Sick Leave – Medical Certificates and Advanced Credits) and a 2006-05 Directive on Injury on Duty Leave which contains a brief reference to sick and annual leave credits being reinstated once Workers Compensation Board claims are approved.

During interviews, managers indicated that the collective agreements and TB leave policies are generic and in some cases, could lead to different interpretations. In that context, four areas requiring further national directives were identified:

  • Family Related Leave (FRL) (Codes 410 – Appointments, 420 – Illness in Family, 490 - Other);
  • Leave with Pay (Code 699) for medical, dental and adverse weather conditions;
  • Bereavement Leave (510); and
  • Leave without Pay (LWOP) – Other (999).
Table 1 Leave Transactions/ Types - Fiscal Year 2008-20096
Region FRL
410,420,490
Other Leave with Pay
6997
Bereavement
510
Other Leave Without Pay
9998
Total
NHQ 2,504 143 138 52 2,837
Atlantic 7,782 684 289 256 9,011
Quebec 23,416 3,086 421 2,294 29,217
Ontario 16,796 2,890 594 504 20,784
Prairies 14,259 3,167 528 746 18,700
Pacific 8,947 2,732 374 231 12,284
Total 73,704 12,702 2,344 4,083 92,833

As Table 1 indicates, FRL, Other Leave with Pay, Bereavement and Other Leave Without Pay represents a considerable volume of transactions. Policy clarification and/or interpretation of these leave categories would provide employees with a consistent understanding of parameters and enable managers to administer leave in a more consistent manner across CSC. For example, the application of Other Leave (699 vs 999) was found to be inconsistent where in similar circumstances, some managers indicated that leave with pay (699) would be approved for staff who did not come to work in situations related to bad weather conditions while other managers would not approve paid leave and the code 999 would be used to record the absence.

Of particular note, in April 2006 an internal audit on the Management of Leave and Overtime was conducted and recommended that appropriate guidelines and procedures be developed for the consistent recording, reporting and monitoring of unscheduled9 leave. The Management Action Plan supported the recommendation. As a first step, in June 2006, the "Guidelines for the Management of Overtime - Roles and Responsibilities" were published. As well, in the initial CSC 2007-2010 Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management, the Human Resource Sector stated that they would review the Policy on Attendance Management in 2007-08. However, the amended version of the Strategic Plan (March 2009), includes the completion of the Attendance Management Policy in 2009-2010 and the completion of Leave Management and Reporting Guidelines in 2008-09. At this time, these guidelines have not yet been issued.

Notwithstanding the absence of national guidance, during our visits we found examples of local leave policies and attendance management documents. They provided information on how scheduled and unscheduled leave was to be reported, approved and recorded. They also outlined general expectations about employee attendance and provided examples of templates that could be used to communicate with employees about their absenteeism patterns.

4.1.2 Roles and Responsibilities

We expected to find that CSC roles and responsibilities with regards to the recording of employee absence are clearly defined, documented and communicated.

Overall, we found that staff understood the roles and responsibilities associated with the management of leave. An increased awareness was also observed as a result of recent senior management attention to the leave and overtime monitoring.

We found that regions, institutions and district offices visited had documentation that broadly defined roles and responsibilities with respect to the reporting, approval, recording and monitoring of employee leave. During interviews, staff could explain key roles and responsibilities which included an awareness of the changes and enhanced processes that had resulted following the completion of the 2007-2008 review and reconciliation of leave records. However, with the passage of time, there is a risk that these enhanced processes become less well known as they are currently not formally documented.

Further, as noted previously, following the internal audit conducted in 2006, the HR Sector published the "Guidelines for the Management of Overtime - Roles and Responsibilities" in June 2006 which provided details on the roles and responsibilities of all employees and of management at all levels who are involved in the overtime process.

Good Practice

  • Pacific Institution (Pacific Region) and Dorchester Institution (Atlantic Region) have Attendance Awareness Program which outlines general expectations, objectives and roles and responsibilities of managers and supervisors.
  • Grand Valley Institution (Ontario Region) developed a "Leave Procedure for CX" which outlines expectations for scheduled and unscheduled leave.

4.1.3 Processes and Procedures

We expected to find that processes and procedures have been implemented to manage leave requests and that the approvals take into consideration the various collective agreements.

Processes and procedures exist to manage most employee leave. However, additional controls are required for employees in certain working relationships, namely, employees on assignment and those who geographically report to a different location than their supervisor.

Overall, we found that scheduled leave is managed in a consistent manner across CSC for both CX and non-CX staff. The expectation is that employees submit their leave requests in advance to their supervisor. The manager reviews and approves as appropriate and the employee's HMRS leave balance is debited within a few working days following approval. Our assessment of scheduled leave processes and procedures for both CX and non-CX identified no concerns.

Generally, no consistent approach is used to manage unscheduled leave across CSC. At the institutional level, CX are not required to submit leave forms when taking unscheduled leave. However, CX are required to call in to one central number (main gate or keepers' hall) which is staffed at all times. The unscheduled leave is noted on the call-in sheet along with information about the number of hours on regular shift. The Correctional Manager responsible for scheduling uses the call-in sheet to revise the roster for the day. Unscheduled leave for CX is input into HRMS on a regular basis.

At some institutions, the practice of not submitting leave forms for unscheduled leave has been extended to the non-CX group. In these situations, a similar protocol requires employees to phone a central number to report their absence and they may also be expected to call or e-mail their immediate supervisor or leave coordinator.

In administrative offices such as NHQ, RHQ, and District Offices, the process or procedure to report unscheduled leave varies. The most common protocol has staff phoning or e-mailing their supervisor or leave coordinator. Some administrative offices require forms for unscheduled leave whereas others do not. We found that many supervisors / leave coordinators maintain monthly attendance sheets to ensure that employee absences are monitored and recorded in HRMS.

During interviews with managers and leave coordinators, we identified concerns with respect to the lack of defined, documented and communicated processes and procedures for employees working on assignment or in different geographic locations than their supervisor. For example, this would include employees within the Health Services who work at an institution but report to RHQ. With a few exceptions, there were no checks and balances in place for employees operating in these types of working relationships. We did not find clearly established call-in procedures for these employees, nor did we find subsequent monitoring to ensure accurate recording of their leave in the HRM system. There were over 900 employees in these types of reporting relationships during the year 2008-09. It is therefore important to ensure adequate procedures are in place.

4.1.4 Training

We expected to find that training for the recording of employee absences is clear, sufficient and available and is provided where required in a timely manner.

Training for those responsible for entering information in the HRMS leave system was available, sufficient and timely.

We found that employees were aware of leave entitlements under their own collective agreements and that informal orientation and ongoing communication between managers and staff was the most common approach used to "inform" employees.

During interviews, clerical staff responsible for entering HRMS data for different collective agreements indicated that through a combination of "coaching" provided by their supervisor and other leave coordinators, lessons learned during the 2007-2008 reconciliation exercise as well as practical experience, they possessed sufficient understanding of leave entitlements allowed under the various collective agreements.

Additionally, managers and staff indicated that, with respect to the HRMS Leave Module, they had received sufficient formal training and/or informal coaching and that tools and reference material were easily accessible to them (i.e. the Infonet and user manuals on HRMS) and no concerns were identified.

Good Practice

  • At Kingston Penitentiary (Ontario Region), the Leave Coordinator responsible for CX developed an "Orientation Sheet" for all new CX. This included information about leave entitlements for Family Related Leave, Sick Leave and Annual Leave.

Conclusion

We found that key elements of the management framework were in place and working effectively. All collective agreements which contain leave provisions are available and accessible to employees. There are also two specific national CX bulletins regarding sick and annual leave and they are clear and consistent with TB policies. The staff involved in the administration and management of leave was able to describe the processes and procedures and understood their roles and responsibilities. Training and staff knowledge with respect to the HRMS Leave Module was also adequate.

However, the following areas require improvement:

  • While there were examples of national leave bulletins for the CX category, the delivery of a National Policy on Attendance Management has not yet been completed. Although TB policies and collective agreements provide a generic framework on various leave entitlement, clarification is also required to ensure that all leave entitlements (such as Other Paid Leave (699)) are administered consistently across the CSC. Finally, processes and controls relating to leave reporting need to be established for employees on assignment or working in different geographic locations than their supervisors.

Recommendation 1

The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management, in collaboration with Regional Deputy Commissioners and Sector Heads should:

  • Provide national guidance on leave management and reporting including interpretations of the various leave entitlements and appropriate procedures for the recording, reporting and monitoring for employees on assignment or working in different geographic locations than their supervisors; and
  • Develop and implement a National Policy on Attendance Management.

4.2 2007-2008 Review

In its response to the OAG recommendations, CSC committed to the following:

"Furthermore, all national headquarters sectors, regions, and institutions were instructed in July 2008 to review all employee absences for 2007–08. Where needed, appropriate action will be taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all employee absence information. These actions will include, if necessary, appropriate measures to address any non-compliance on the part of CSC personnel with the national directives on the proper recording of employee leave."

In support of this commitment, we expected to find that the review of the leave for

2007-08 had been completed and corrective measures had been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information.

4.2.1 Reconciliation of Employee Leave for 2007-2008

Overall, we found evidence that sites had conducted a comprehensive reconciliation of employee leave for 2007-2008. A few exceptions were noted.

There were specific actions taken by senior management in response to the findings of the Auditor General. The Assistant Commissioner Human Resource Management sent two memoranda to senior management, dated July 30, 2008 and August 29th, 2008 respectively. The former requested that a reconciliation of leave data be conducted for all leave taken in 2007-2008, and that institutions ensure that CX roster information be clear and accurately recorded in the system. The latter provided additional information for performing the task. Finally, discussions were also held at the Executive Committee meetings in October and November 2008.

The review and reconciliation of all leave records of more than 14,000 employees for 2007-08 represented a significant undertaking. In order to obtain consistent data that can be used for review, analysis, reporting and monitoring, it is reasonable to expect that an appropriate level of planning, coordination, communication and documentation between the HRM Sector and the regions as well as NHQ sectors would have occurred.

Overall, we found that the national direction provided by the HRM Sector to complete this task was inadequate. Interviews with managers also revealed that directions were unclear and insufficient. Therefore, regions were contacting NHQ in an attempt to gain greater clarity which resulted in fragmented, and at times, contradictory direction. We found that regional and NHQ responses to the Assistant Commissioner HRM varied to such a significant extent that the information provided could not be used for either analytical or comparative purposes.

Despite this, interviews with managers and an examination of supporting documentation available during site visits revealed that a fairly comprehensive review and reconciliation of employee leave for 2007-2008 occurred and that discrepancies identified had been corrected in the HRMS leave module. However, we noted some exceptions. NHQ Health Services was unable to provide sufficient supporting documentation for their review. In addition, Human Resources RHQ Quebec reconciled only a small percentage of their employee leave transactions rather than 100% as requested.

Further, as noted previously, for employees on assignment as well as those who are part of "distance" reporting relationships, there were some issues. Although some managers were able to complete the reconciliation required, most indicated that lack of timely HRMS access, confusion over responsibilities, processes and procedures prevented them from reviewing and reconciling the leave records of these groups.

4.2.2 Follow-up Actions and Management Oversight of the 2007-2008 Review

Management oversight was evident at most sites visited. Errors and omissions identified were corrected in HRMS and for cases involving financial recoveries, actions are underway and progressing as planned.

Through a review of documentation and interviews conducted with managers, we found evidence of management oversight and follow-up actions during the review and reconciliation process. Managers interviewed at the regional, institutional and district levels knew who had overall responsibility and were able to provide examples of direction provided by their management teams. As well, institutions reported extensive communication with regional headquarters.

As part of this process, managers with the assistance of leave coordinators were responsible for reviewing and reconciling leave balances in HRMS using leave forms, rosters, call-in log, monthly attendance sheets, etc., and the employee would be informed in writing of any errors or omissions. Corrective actions were taken as needed to ensure accuracy and completeness of employee leave information in HRMS. In addition, there were some cases where financial recovery was needed where employees had overdrawn leave balances and these situations were also monitored to ensure completion.

Conclusion

Overall, with a few exceptions, we found evidence that a comprehensive review and reconciliation for 2007-08 employee leave was completed, and where needed, corrective measures were implemented.

4.3 Ongoing Quarterly Monitoring – 2008-2009 Review

In its response to the OAG report, CSC committed to: "Initiating a quarterly monitoring process across the organization to ensure ongoing accountability for the proper recording of employee absences."

4.3.1 Quarterly Review/Reconciliation

We expected to find that a quarterly review and reconciliation process had been designed and implemented. We also expected to find that the review of employee leave would be reconciled within HRMS to ensure that employee leave is recorded in an accurate and timely manner.

The direction and processes for the quarterly review of employee leave needs to be enhanced.

The initial direction from the Assistant Commissioner, HRM for quarterly reviews came on in July, 2008. The next documented communication did not occur until more than six months later. In mid-February 2009, an e-mail from the ACHRM was sent to Regional Deputy Commissioners and Sectors with a bit more detail on the quarterly review process.

The field visits took place for the most part before the February email was sent to the regions and sectors. As a result, during interviews, managers raised several questions related to the quarterly report requirements including:

  • reporting schedules;
  • the type and format of reports;
  • the number or percentage of leave records to be reconciled;
  • if specific groups or types of transactions should be focused on;
  • supporting documentation requirements;
  • with whom the quarterly reports are to be shared/level of sign-offs; and
  • how the information is to be used.

However, we found that the February 2009 direction did not address many of these questions and only provided a rudimentary framework for the quarterly review. For example:

  • It indicated that the review period to be reported upon was to commence October 1, 2008. The result is that employee leave for the six month period of April 1 to September 30, 2008 was not required to be reviewed or reconciled.
  • It indicated that only 2% of employees needed to be reported upon. In following up with the HRM Sector, we found that there was no supporting rationale or other risk based analysis to justify such a small percentage of leave records.
  • It provided no direction with respect to either local and/or regional management oversight/sign off or data verification, and there was no indication that NHQ would review and/or analyze the regional data. There was no direction provided as to what was to be done with the completed templates once they had been submitted to the Regional Administrators of Human Resources.
  • In May 2009, the HRM Sector completed a review of the Ontario Region's submission. This review was of limited value as the only feasible verification that could be conducted from NHQ was a comparison of HRM data against what was documented in the completed templates. This type of review does not provide any level of assurance that CSC employee scheduled and unscheduled leave is being appropriately recorded in HRMS.

Notwithstanding the lack of timely and sufficient national direction, prior to the February 2009 e-mail, some sites had begun conducting their internal monitoring process. A review of those reports showed that some sites were reconciling 100% of their employee leave records to ensure that corrective measures implemented since the 2007-2008 reconciliation had in fact addressed gaps in the leave reporting system. Other sites had decided upon using a reliable sample which they believed would help identify if problems continued to exist in their leave reporting processes. Others were to begin monitoring 25% each quarter to ensure that employee leave was reviewed and reconciled at least once per year.

We also tested 60 CX and 140 non-CX leave records for the period November 17-21, 2008 to ensure that leave taken during that period of time had been correctly recorded in HRMS. Based upon our review, we found that leave was recorded appropriately and no concerns were identified.

4.3.2 Follow-up Mechanisms

We expected to find that follow up mechanisms are in place to ensure that differences noted during the review are addressed in a timely manner.

Similar follow-up mechanisms used during the 2007-2008 leave review are being used to identify and correct leave anomalies.

As we noted previously, during the site visits in early February, some facilities had initiated the reconciliation prior to receiving the direction from the HRM Sector and we reviewed supporting documentation. Interviews with managers responsible for overseeing the employee leave reviews also indicated that anomalies in leave balances would be managed in a similar manner as those identified during the 2007-2008 reconciliation process. As such, no concerns were identified with follow up mechanisms.

4.3.3 Sign-Off and Reporting to Senior Management

We expected to find that there was a quarterly monitoring process with appropriate sign-off including analysis and reporting of results to senior management.

Clarification about sign-off and reporting to senior management is required.

At sites where they had begun their local monitoring of leave, we reviewed supporting documentation. Some reports did include a "sign-off", either in the form of a signature on the actual report or by covering e-mail.

As we noted previously, limited guidance on sign-off and reporting to senior management was provided in the February 2009 e-mail. Once completed, the quarterly reports were to be sent to the Regional Administrator Human Resources. However, no other direction was provided to those Regional Administrators about any further review, analysis or sharing of results.

Conclusion

Overall, we found that the national direction for the 2008-09 quarterly review process was not timely. Further, gaps were identified with respect to the approach, reporting requirements and management oversight. Nonetheless, prior to receiving national direction for the quarterly monitoring process, managers had begun the implementation of review processes for 2008-09 employee leave. In addition, based on review of a sample of transactions, we found that leave taken had been recorded appropriately in the HRMS.

It is also recognized that CSC is in the process of implementing a self-service module for leave within the HRMS that will facilitate the request, approval and recording of employee leave. Additionally, the new electronic Scheduling and Deployment module for Correctional Officers planned for implementation later this year should also enable easier tracking of CX leave and will further enhance timely and accurate reconciliation of call in logs, rosters and HRMS leave data.

Recommendation 2

The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management, in collaboration with the Regional Deputy Commissioners and Sector Heads, should:

  • Enhance the quarterly review process by providing additional guidance on the approach, coverage and sign off and reporting to senior management.

Annex A

Review Objectives and Criteria

Objectives Criteria
1. To assess whether the management control framework currently in place is adequate and effective to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information 1.1 CSC policies, guidelines and manuals are clear and consistent with relevant acts and TB policies and directives.
1.2 CSC roles and responsibilities with regards to the recording of employee absences is clearly defined, documented and communicated.
1.3 Processes and procedures have been implemented to manage leave requests and their approvals which take into consideration the various collective agreements.
1.4 Training for the recording of employee absences is clear, sufficient, and available and is provided where required in a timely manner.
2. To assess whether CSC has completed its review of leave for 2007-2008 and has implemented corrective measures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information. 2.1 A reconciliation of employee leave for 2007-2008 to HRMS has been conducted.
2.2 Follow up actions to address errors/differences noted in the 2007-2008 review have been completed.
2.3 Management oversight of the 2007-2008 review is in place to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of employee absence information.
3. To determine if a quarterly monitoring process, which ensures ongoing accountability for the proper recording of employee absences, has been designed and implemented. 3.1 A quarterly review/ reconciliation of employee leave within HRMS is conducted to ensure that employee leave is approved and recorded in an accurate and timely manner.
3.2 Follow up mechanisms are in place to ensure that differences noted during the review are addressed in a timely manner.
3.3 Quarterly monitoring process appropriate sign-off and reporting to senior management.

Annex B

Location of Site Visits, Number of Staff Interviewed and Number of Files Reviewed

Region Location of Site Visits Number of Staff Interviewed10 Number of Leave Files Reviewed
NHQ
  • Correctional Operations and Programs
  • Corporate Services (including IT )
  • Health Services
26 6 EX
24 Non-EX
Total: 30
Atlantic
  • Regional Headquarters
  • District Office
  • Dorchester Institution
  • Westmorland Institution
42 10 CX
20 Non-CX
Total: 30
Quebec
  • Regional Headquarters
  • District Office
  • LeClerc Institution
  • Federal Training Centre
46 10 CX
20 Non-CX
Total: 30
Ontario
  • Regional Headquarters
  • District Office
  • Kingston Penitentiary
  • Grand Valley Institution
  • Frontenac Institution
47 15 CX
25 Non-CX
Total: 40
Prairies
  • Regional Headquarters
  • District Office
  • Stony Mountain Institution
  • Saskatchewan Penitentiary
44 10 CX
20 Non-CX
Total: 30
Pacific
  • Regional Headquarters
  • District Office
  • Pacific Institution
  • William Head Institution
  • Fraser Valley Institution
46 15 CX
25 Non-CX
Total: 40
    Total: 251 Total: 200

Annex C

Audit of Management of Leave and Overtime Management Action Plan

Below are recommendations and MAP from the 2006 Audit of Management of Leave and Overtime. Recommendations 13, 14, 16 and 19 identified issues which were related to those noted in the 2008 December Report of the Auditor General, Chapter 7: Economy and Efficiency of Services – Correctional Service Canada.

Audit Recommendations from 2006 Audit on the Management of Leave and Overtime Assessment as of 2009 Follow Up Review on the Recording of Employee Absences
13. The Assistant Commissioner Human Resource Management Sector in consultation with Regional Deputy Commissioners should ensure that appropriate consistent guidelines and procedures are developed for the recording, reporting and monitoring of unscheduled leave.

The OPI response stated that: We have developed and will publish by June 2006, a Statement of Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Leave and Overtime. This document outlines roles and responsibilities for all employees and managers, up to and including RDCs, in the leave approval process, as well as roles and responsibilities relating to processing leave and overtime transactions. The RDCs have collectively agreed that they will ensure that the processes outlined in this document are being complied with in each region within six months of its publication, i.e. by December, 2006.
  • The national document as defined in the 2006 Management Action Plan was finalized in June 2006.

  • A national directive for CX on annual leave, sick leave and injury on duty leave is available on the Infonet.

  • Local / regional leave policies and procedures exist, however, there was little consistency as to the type of information contained in these documents.
14. The Assistant Commissioner Human Resource Management Sector in consultation with Regional Deputy Commissioners should assess the leave control processes in place at Stony Mountain, Ste. Anne des Plaines and Saskatchewan Penitentiary for consideration of implementation department-wide.

This recommendation was not fully endorsed. The response stated: With regards to Recommendations 10, 11 and 14, while we agree that a single, national leave and overtime management tool would be advantageous, we do not believe that developing such a system, whether from scratch or by enhancing existing site/region-based systems, is the best use of CSC’s very scarce resources (both financial and qualified IT staff) at this time.
CSC is in the process of implementing self-service leave web based applications that will facilitate the request, approval and recording of employee leave in HRMS (expected completion date of March 31, 2010).  Additionally, the new electronic Scheduling and Deployment module for Correctional Officers will enable easier tracking of CX leave which will further enhance timely and accurate reconciliation of call in logs, rosters and HRMS leave data.
16. The Assistant Commissioner Human Resources Management Sector in consultation with Regional Deputy Commissioners should monitor the use of HRMS codes such as 999, 699 etc to ensure that additional sick leave credits, in accordance with the Correctional Service collective agreement (CX) are recorded consistently.

The OPI accepted the recommendation in a general response to 16 recommendations. No detail was provided in the Management Action Plan as to the parameters of the monitoring required for leave codes 999 and 699.
During the Follow Up Review, the issue of utilization of code 699 (medical, dental and adverse weather condition), primarily by the CX group, was cited as an area requiring further clarification. Regional and institutional managers indicated that national direction on the use of 699 code would be beneficial.
19. The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resources Management Sector in consultation with Regional Deputy Commissioners and in conjunction with the Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services should develop a checklist to ensure that employees’ files contain the necessary information to support overtime/leave actions taken.

This recommendation was accepted by the OPI.
During interviews with managers and leave coordinators, it was confirmed that no checklists are currently being used on employee leave files.

Annex D

Review of the Recording of Employee Leave Management Action Plan

Recommendation Action Summary OPI Planned Completion Date
Recommendation #1:
The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management, in collaboration with Regional Deputy Commissioner and Sector Heads should:
     
  • Provide national guidance on leave management and reporting including interpretations of the various leave entitlements and appropriate procedures for the recording, reporting and monitoring for employees on assignment or working in different geographic locations than their supervisors;
A CSC Leave guide will be developed to assist managers and employees understand leave entitlements (scheduled and unscheduled) and leave reporting requirements. It will encompass explanations of leave codes, HRMS entries and contain specific examples of different scenarios. LR & C
Branch
January 2010
  • Develop and implement a National Policy on Attendance Management.
A National Policy on Attendance Management is scheduled for development. LR & C
Branch
Q3 / Q4, 2009-10
Recommendation #2:
The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management, in collaboration with the Regional Deputy Commissioners and Sector Heads, should:
     
  • Enhance the quarterly review process by providing additional guidance on the approach, coverage and sign off and reporting to senior management.
A revised approach to leave monitoring is being developed in collaboration with the regions.  The revised approach will include more robust monitoring, reporting and accountability at the regional level. LR & C
Branch
September 2009
  The Human Resource Management Sector is currently planning for full implementation of Leave Self-Serve across the Service.  Full implementation across the Service is expected by March 31, 2010. AACHRM
Re-eng.
March 2010

1  http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_200812_07_e_31831.html

2 A review level of assurance involves procedures to reduce the risk of an incorrect conclusion to a moderate level.  Review-level procedures are normally limited to enquiry, analysis and discussion and in some cases, limited testing of transactions. 

3  Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management – 2007-2008 to 2009-2010.

4  http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pa/adt-lv-ot-378-1-206/audit_leave_overtime-eng.shtml

5  http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pa/adt-asst-empl-378-1-235/adt-asst-empl-378-1-235-eng.shtml

6  Numbers in Table 1 were provided by HR Planning, Reporting and Information Management and represent the number of leave transactions.

7 Frequencies provided for leave types 699 and 999 are from April 1, 2008 to March 10, 2009.

8 Frequencies provided for leave types 699 and 999 are from April 1, 2008 to March 10, 2009.

9 Unscheduled leave is defined as leave which was not planned; has not been pre-approved by the supervisor/manager; occurs unexpectedly prior to reporting for the next working day, and is reported by calling in (i.e. Sick Leave, Bereavement, FRL).Scheduled leave is defined as leave of any type that is planned and approved in advance by the supervisor/manager (i.e. Vacation

10 We conducted detailed interviews with 92 staff members involved in the management of leave.  We also asked a few questions to 159 employees randomly selected during our site visits.