Technological Change Committee

Minutes of the Technological Change Sub-Committee Meeting between CRA and UTE

November 10, 2010

opening remarks

Ms. Pamela Abbott, Regional Vice-President, Pacific Region, and Union Co-Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Ms. Arlene White, Assistant Commissioner, Assessment and Benefit Services Branch, stated how proud she was to be the new Management Co-Chair, especially given the important role new technology played at the CRA. She understood that the relationship between the Union and her predecessor had been strong, and was committed to ensure that the Technological Change Sub-Committee continued to work collaboratively as it had over the many years.

automated printing of taxpayer requested printouts – taxpayer services agent desktop

Management stated that taxpayer requests for Individual Enquiries Printouts (IEPRT) were consistently one of the top 5 call drivers for Individual Income Tax Enquiries (IITE) call centres. Contrary to the Business Program, where printouts were produced and mailed centrally from the Summerside Tax Centre, these printouts were produced and mailed from the call centre that received the taxpayer’s request. This workload was labour intensive, with demand for printouts increasing yearly.

As of October 2011, the CRA would provide a print-to-mail solution through the agent desktop (TSAD-I) that will take advantage of the existing print and mail facilities at the Summerside Tax Centre. This automated print process will match multiple requests for the same taxpayer under one cover letter, thereby reducing the risk of misdirected mail.

Management indicated that these system enhancements would result in a reduction of six full time equivalents (FTE) at the SP-02 level, one in each of the six national IITE call centres. However, due to the high level of turnover at the SP-02 level, no employee should be impacted by this initiative.

debt management call centre enhancement – integrated revenue collections phase 2

Management stated that the Debt Management Call Centre (DMCC) currently had two different phone systems; one for inbound calls and another for outbound calls. This enhancement, scheduled to be implemented in April 2011, would provide DMCC agents the ability to answer inbound calls or place outbound calls without having to sign on and off the two different systems. It would also mean that the agents would now have only one user ID.

Management also indicated that agents currently had no information on an inbound phone call until they asked the taxpayer for their account number. The new system would display inbound taxpayer information to DMCC agents on screen, and would only require that the agents confirm that they were speaking with the authorized individual. Furthermore, this solution would also redirect phone calls not intended for the DMCC, which would improve efficiency, since agents would no longer handle calls that they could not address.

Management anticipated that there would be no human resources impact from this project, except for training and change management.

Canada revenue agency (Cra) credential management services

Management informed the Union that, as part of the broader Government of Canada (GC) cyber-authentication strategy for accessing online government services, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had transitioned from using the Secure Channel epass to using a new CRA Credential Management Service (CMS). As of October 4, 2010, existing CRA epass users were able to transition to the CMS in order to access the Agency’s online services (My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client).

The new solution would improve service delivery and ensure cost savings, while providing appropriate security commensurate with the level of risk, and in accordance with industry best practices and Government of Canada standards.

A variety of communication products and activities had been posted to inform the epass-enabled service users and other stakeholders about the Agency’s transition from epass to the new CRA solution. CRA epass users who had their security questions/answers on file could complete their transition from epass to the CRA CMS within one session.

In addition to the CRA, other government departments were affected by the changes to epass. Departments currently using the epass service would migrate to the new Government of Canada Access Key service, which was expected to be fully operational by December 31, 2010. 

There were no significant staffing level changes associated with the withdrawal from the epass service and no significant changes to field resources under the CRA solution. The transition to CMS would slightly increase the workload for the e-Services Helpdesk and Acceptance Testing Division.

Because the workload for e-Services Helpdesk employees would change as a result of the move from epass to CMS, efforts had been made to provide training and informational material for these audiences.

written updates

The Committee agreed to remove the following items from future agenda: Telecom Expense and Inventory Management System, Electronic Bill Presentment and Government Programs Letterbook System (GPLS).

E-Resourcing

The Union asked that they be provided with a demonstration of the e-Resourcing product, and also whether this initiative would still go forward as planned. Management would get back to the Union.

My Account for Individuals – Tax and Benefits

The Union noted that new functionalities were added to this initiative on an ongoing basis, and asked if there was a long-term plan or roadmap for My Account. Management replied that it was currently working on a roadmap, and that further analysis was needed; however, the long-term view was to make My Account an all encompassing self-service option for individuals. Management would share a copy of the roadmap with the Committee once it was completed.

The Union asked if the CRA had obtained additional funds from the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) for increased on-line functionalities. Management replied that it had not.

Tax Free Savings Account

In response to the Union’s question, Management confirmed that the funding for this program would be ongoing.

Automated Benefits Application

The Union noted that there was a discrepancy between the English and French versions of the Written Updates on the matter of HR impacts. Management clarified that there would no impacts on indeterminate employees. The French would be amended accordingly.

Trust Examination Audit System

The Union asked if Management had sought feedback from the field on the use of this system; if so, whether it was negative or positive; and finally, whether TEAS was temporary. Management would look into the matter and get back to the Union. The Union asked that this item remain on the agenda until a response was provided.

committee communication

The Union expressed concerns that, at times, the local Union representatives were informed of initiatives before those at the national level. In these instances, national representatives were therefore not in a position to respond to questions from the UTE membership. Management replied that the Technological Change Sub-Committee had been one of the most successful Union-Management consultation forums in the Agency, and that Management worked hard to ensure that information was provided in a timely manner. That being said, Management would endeavour to contact the Union, via Labour Relations, on pressing matters.

closing remarks

Management thanked everyone for participating in the meeting, and extended its holiday greetings.

The Union also extended its best wishes for the festive season.

Original signed by

Original signed by

Arlene White
Assistant Commissioner
Assessment and Benefit Services Branch
Canada Revenue Agency

Betty Bannon
National President
Union of Taxation Employees

February 4, 2011

January 31, 2011

Date:

Date: