Technological Change Committee

Sub-Committee Meeting Written Updates

November 6, 2008
  1. INTEGRATED SPEND MANAGEMENT
  2. E-RESOURCING
  3. CAS SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT
  4. 2D BAR CODE FOR CHARITIES RETURN WITH T3010B
  5. ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTING DATA
  6. MANDATORY ELECTRONIC FILING
  7. MY ACCOUNT FOR INDIVIDUALS – TAX AND BENEFITS
  8. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
  9. THIRD PARTY PRIVILEGED MANAGEMENT
  10. ARRANGE DIRECT DEPOSIT
  11. BENEFITS ONLINE APPLICATION
  12. BASIC ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS
  13. GST/HST REDESIGN
  14. PAYMENT MODERNIZATION
  15. ONTARIO CHILD BENEFIT
  16. WORKING INCOME TAX BENEFITS
  17. BENEFITS WORKFLOW CONSOLIDATION
  18. FAMILY ORDERS AND AGREEMENT ENFORCEMENT INTERACTION VIA THE ELECTRONIC INTERJURISDICTIONAL SET-OFF SYSTEM
  19. CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – PROCESSING REVIEW PROGRAM
  20. PAYDAC RENEWAL – SOURCE DEDUCTIONS ACCOUNTING, FUNCTIONAL TRANSFER TO THE ASSESSMENT AND BENEFIT SERVICES BRANCH
  21. TRUST COMPLIANCE NATIONAL INVENTORIES
  22. NATIONAL QUALITY AND ACCURACY LEARNING PROGRAM
  23. INTERACTIVE INFORMATION SERVICES / SMARTLINKS
  24. IN-PERSON COUNTER REDESIGN
  25. ELECTRONIC BILL PRESENTMENT
  26. INTEGRATED REVENUE COLLECTIONS
  27. T1 EXPANSION
  28. ALL REVENUES TABLE
  29. END USER APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT MACRO RELEASES
  30. EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE AUDIT REPORTING TOOL
  31. TRUST EXAMINATION AUDIT SYSTEM
  32. E-LEGAL DOCUMENTS
  33. AUTOMATED MEMORANDUM ASSESSMENT

1. INTEGRATED SPEND MANAGEMENT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Integrated Spend Management (ISM) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the Go-Live Date for Release 1 of the ISM Project was November 11, 2007. This Release provided sourcing/contracting capabilities for Professional Buyers. Training for this group occurred between November 2007 and January 2008.

The ISM Release 2 implemented the use of an “acquisition card” for the purchase of goods and services. The scope had been increased to include all necessary functionality needed to replace the existing eight commodities in the current WBRO catalogue ordering system. Implementation of this Release was scheduled for late summer of 2008; training for the Acquisition Card holders was expected to occur during September/October of 2008.

No human resources impacts were expected during this period.

The Union asked for clarification regarding the Professional Buyers and those buyers in Laval. On June 10, 2008, the Union was informed that Release 1 was intended for the Professional Buyers in Ottawa, but would ultimately be used by all Professional Buyers within CRA. Management also clarified that only regional procurement had been centralized in Laval.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

ISM Release 2 implements the use of an “acquisition card” for the purchase of goods and services. The scope has been increased to include all necessary functionality needed to replace the existing eight commodities in the current WBRO catalogue ordering system. We now anticipate implementation of this Release in January of 2009; training for the acquisition card holders is expected to occur during January/February of 2009. We expect to train approximately 1700 people.

We have also altered the Training Strategy for Synergy Release 2 from an on-line training course to a 1-2 day classroom based approach. The training content includes:

  1. Acquisition Card Program Overview;
  2. Release 2 Implementation Plan; and
  3. Synergy “Buyer” instruction.

This new approach will be accomplished by a one week “train-the-trainer” session in December during which eleven (11) Contracting and WBRO/Synergy Help Desk staff from Headquarters and eighteen (18) E-Business officers from the Regions will be trained. This training will include the modules above and will also provide instruction on “best practice” approaches to the delivery of classroom training. These twenty-nine staff will in turn provide all end user training in both Headquarters and Regional locations.

We do not anticipate any human resource impacts during this period.

2. E-RESOURCING

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the e-Resourcing initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that after a lengthy procurement process, the CRA had engaged the services of Taleo, a leader in on-demand talent management software to deliver the eResourcing solution.

The scope of the eResourcing Project included internal and external selection processes for both employees and executives, and specifically provided functionality to support Job Notice Management, Application Management, Pre-screening of Applications On-line, and the Tracking of Offers through process redesign and standardization of content.

The eResourcing Project would be deployed in two stages: a pilot project in mid‑2008, followed by national implementation in 2009.

Management did not anticipate any human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The eResourcing Project continues to move forward to develop the web-based resourcing solution known as Taleo. Since the last update, Taleo’s core functionality has been finalized and has undergone the following testing:

  • In June 2008, the solution underwent exhaustive testing during the Unit Testing process which was performed by the eResourcing core team. The intent was to ensure that all functionality behaved as expected. Only minor changes were required as a result of this session.
  • In July 2008, Taleo went through comprehensive accessibility testing performed by CRA’s Adaptive Technologies team. The team provided Taleo with an exhaustive list of accessibility and usability issues that required attention.
  • In early August 2008, representatives from across the Management and HR community came to Ottawa to perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT). The response to Taleo during UAT was extremely positive.

As a direct consequence of Taleo’s current inability to meet CRA’s accessibility requirements for the Careers website, the project schedule has been adjusted to accommodate the completion of this outstanding work. Once this work is completed, CRA’s Adaptive Technologies team will again perform a comprehensive review, identify issues and report them to Taleo. Only once the iterative process is complete, and all dependent activities are concluded, will the pilot be deployed.

Given these outstanding activities, the pilot stage will begin in January 2009 and run for a four-month period. The national implementation is expected to follow in early 2010.

As indicated previously, Management does not anticipate any human resources impacts.

3. CAS SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the CAS Sustainability Project initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

On August 26, 2008, Management advised the Unions that it would be looking into updating the CAS systems since it was coming to the end of its lifecycle. A new version would be more user-friendly, and provide improvements to users, as well as reduce the customization options. This project would be headed by representatives from the Finance & Administration Branch, the Human Resources Branch and the Information Technology Branch.

Management did not anticipate any WFA impacts.
 
Both Unions reminded Management of all the problems that surfaced when CAS was first introduced, and raised concerns that this would happen again.

Management agreed to meet with the Unions regularly to provide an update on the CAS project. UTE would also be consulted through the Technological Change Sub-Committee forum.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Detailed business requirements for the ESS/MSS portal redesign linked to the technical upgrade and for the post-upgrade development initiatives have been drafted, approved, and submitted to ITB. ITB has conducted preliminary fit-gap assessments to determine the feasibility of meeting these requirements, and whether additional information is necessary. As the next phase of their analysis, ITB is now preparing detailed solution designs.

A Manager User Group (MUG) was established in May 2008, and was consulted prior to the submission of the detailed business requirements. This group will be leveraged again throughout the project when an end-user perspective is required. Also, the Training & Learning Directorate is conducting a CAS Learning Needs Analysis as part of making revisions to the CAS Training Strategy (targeted for December 2008).

The technical upgrade, including the portal redesign, is targeted for implementation in July 2009. The technical changes should be transparent to most users, and the portal redesign is intended to improve usability and accessibility. The first post-upgrade development functionality is scheduled for release in March 2010.

4. 2D BAR CODE FOR CHARITIES RETURN WITH T3010B

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the 2D Bar Code with T3010B initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the Charities Directorate introduced a revised T3010B with 2D bar coding using externally developed software packages. This would allow for direct transmission of return data into CARE.

Approximately 36% of charities currently filed their returns using external software packages. In light of this, Management estimated a significant take up of 2D bar code over the next several years, which would be encouraged through a communications campaign.

There would be some workforce impacts, which would become more evident over the next 6 to 18 months. However, due to variations in workload over the year, the only employees likely to be affected by this initiative would be those hired in term positions.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The Charities Directorate is in the process of finalizing the T3010B, which will precede the introduction of 2D bar code capability in Spring/Summer 2009. The Directorate anticipates communicating with the Ottawa Technology Centre (OTC) on workforce issues within the next few months as project timelines and business process implications are assessed and confirmed.

5. ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTING DATA

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Electronic Transfer of Accounting Data (ETAD) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the purpose of this initiative was to allow taxpayers of Small and Medium size businesses to send electronic accounting data to CRA auditors via the Internet.

The system was expected to be operational by October 2008.

There would be no impact to human resources as a result of this project.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The application is nearing its testing phase and is anticipated to be released as part of the October 6, 2008 My Business Account releases.

It will be accessible through the My Business Account web site/portal using the epass system.

We will be piloting the application in 4 locations for a period of approx. 6 months. The pilot sites are: Sudbury, Edmonton, Halifax and St. John’s. Approximately 366 Small Business Auditors will be participating.

Barring any major complications resulting from the pilot, we plan on having the application available to all auditors in the Spring of 2009. At that time, it is anticipated that the portal will allow file sizes to increase to 10MB. As a result, there will be an increase in the number of taxpayers who will be able to send their data to auditors using this application.
 
All employees involved in the pilot will receive the necessary training and material to support them with the use of this new application.

Upon completion of the pilot, we will assess the impacts, if any, on employees and adjust our plans accordingly.

It is still Management’s position that there will be no impact to human resources as a result of this initiative.

 

6. MANDATORY ELECTRONIC FILING

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Mandatory Electronic Filing initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

Information Slips

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the existing legislation required information slip issuers filing more than 500 slips to file electronically. However, the proposed legislation would lower the threshold to include those who file more than 50 information slips.

The information returns processing was centralized at the Ottawa Technology Centre (OTC). A two-year transition period was expected before mandatory electronic filing would begin in 2010. A reduction of 31 determinate employees was estimated.

Corporations

The proposed legislation would require corporations with a gross income exceeding $1 million to file electronically. As with Information Returns, a two-year transition period was expected with a proposed start date of 2010.
 
Although a reduction of 18 determinate and 14 indeterminate was estimated, it was expected to be managed through attrition and reassignment.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

With the discontinuance of the current Parliament and the resulting delay in the introduction of legislation, some aspects of the plan have been delayed; however, the focus remains on supporting and promoting electronic filing.

The gradual impact on staffing levels from taxpayers filing electronically is expected to be managed through attrition and reassignment as the need for keying and the movement and retention of paper returns diminishes.

7. MY ACCOUNT FOR INDIVIDUALS – TAX AND BENEFITS

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the My Account for Individuals – Tax and Benefits initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, the Union was provided with the following information:

Individual Return & Payment Processing Directorate (IRPPD) potion:

With Release 11 (February 11, 2008), My Account users were able to change their return for multiple years through the “Change My Return” service. No human resources impacts were expected.

The next release (July 9, 2008) would only involve maintenance activities. No impacts on human resources were expected.

In the fall 2008, My Account would be implementing the new Common Look and Feel Standards (CLF 2.0) for the Internet. This initiative would only affect the design of the My Account portal and would have no impacts on human resources.

Benefits Programs Directorate (BPD) portion:

With Release 11 (February 2008), clients were able to view their own Disability Tax Credit (DTC) information and their spouse’s along with dependent information. Additionally, they were able to view information regarding the children in their care, navigate through the Statement of Universal Child Care Benefit (RC62) forms for current and prior years, and view information about their Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) advance payment.

No major initiatives were planned for Release 12 (July 2008).

Management did not expect any human resources impacts from Releases 11 and 12.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

IRPPD Portion

With release 13 (February 9, 2009), taxpayers will be able to get their NETFILE access code on My Account. This service already exists electronically on the NETFILE Web site and is simply being made available via the My Account portal as well. No impacts on human resources are expected.

Release

Release date

Release period

# of log ins for period

1

June 16, 2003

June 16/03 to October 6/03

83,834

2

October 6, 2003

October 6/03 to February 9/04

129,594

3

February 9, 2004

February 9/04 to November 4/04

1,988,121

4

November 4, 2004

November 4/04 to February 14/05

270,914

5

February 14, 2005

February 14/05 to October 3/05

1,240,945

6

October 3, 2005

October 3/05 to February 13/06

315,958

7*

February 13, 2006

February 13/06 to July 11/06

1,341,822

8

July 11, 2006

July 11/06 to February 12/07

954,809

9

February 12, 2007

February 12/07 to July 11/07

2,022,654

10

July 11, 2007

July 11/07 to February 11/08

1,196,350

11

February 11, 2008

February 11/08 to July 9/08

2,222,233

*There was a minor release 7A on January 12, 2006 and a release 7B on February 13, 2006.

BPD portion

For Release 12 (July 2008), no major initiatives were implemented.

For the February 2009 release, clients will be able to view the Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payment Statement (RC210) forms.

No impacts on human resources are expected.

8. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the My Business Account (MyBA) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that to date, a total of 27,034 business owners had registered, to use MyBA and logged in 117,598 times.

The October 22, 2007 release successfully implemented an authorization process that allowed representatives to access business information online. Additional enhancements were scheduled for May 2008.

Management expected this self-serve option would eventually decrease the volume of simple business telephone enquiries. However, it was hard to tell whether the service would result in an overall reduction as more complex telephone enquiries may be generated. For this reason, Management did not expect any notable impact on its workforce.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The April 2008 release was successfully implemented and included the following services: file a GST/HST return; view account transactions and remitting requirements for payroll deductions; view banking information; view and manage the business operating names; and calculate a future amount owing for debit balances.

As of August 2008, 38,509 business owners have registered and logged in 179,851 times. There are more than 250,000 representatives that have been authorized to access My Business Account. Despite the considerable increase, there were only 32,253 visits up to August 2008 from authorized representatives. The take-up rate in usage of the portal by authorized representatives should pick up as a result of the continuous addition of new services and marketing activities.

Management does not expect any notable impact on its workforce based on the low usage of the portal by representatives and an increase in the overall volume of business telephone enquiries.

E-learning tools and a demo for employees are updated with each new release.

9. THIRD PARTY PRIVILEGED MANAGEMENT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Third Party Privileged Management initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that on October 22, 2007, representative access to business information was launched. Beginning February 2008, Represent a Client offered access to services for “legal” representatives. As the population was quite small, no human resources impacts were expected.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Beginning February 2008, businesses registered with Represent a Client will have the ability to manage employees access to client information by assigning clients and employees to specific groups.

No human resources impacts are expected as a result of this enhancement.

10. ARRANGE DIRECT DEPOSIT

issue

Management will provide an update on the Arrange Direct Deposit initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that in the last 12 months, 162,826 direct deposit changes were completed via My Account. Approximately 80% of that volume was actioned by T1SS, which represented 130,261 annually or 2,605 monthly. Management did not anticipate any major increase or decrease in the coming year. In terms of FTEs, this represented 1.33 FTEs for the coming year.

management’s written response

Since April 2008, 86,124 Direct Deposit requests have been completed through My Account. This is comparable to last year and indicates that usage of this service is stable. Therefore, the reduction of 1.3 FTEs originally estimated remains valid. As keying of Direct Deposit forms can occur in many operational areas within the Agency, Management has no intention to affect many small cuts to equate to the 1.3 FTEs.

As the initiative is fully implemented, Management believes that this topic should be closed as of this update to the Technological Change Sub-Committee.

11. BENEFITS ONLINE APPLICATION

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Benefits Online Application (BOA) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the estimate on human resources impacts continued to be limited since the introduction of this initiative. All handling steps prior to the mainframe data processing of the benefit application were eliminated on BOA submissions in TCs; however, this workload was compensated by the additional work created from the BOA logic.

As of the end of February 2008, 13,467 Canadians had used Apply for Child Benefits, which accounted for 3.8 percent of all new applications for child benefits. The 100 percent review of all online applications for the first six months conducted so far had revealed that there were no major compliance issues. Management planned to implement other random validation projects, if required.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

We continue to estimate that the impact on HR is limited since the introduction of this initiative. All handling steps prior to the mainframe data processing of the benefit application are eliminated on BOA submissions in TCs; however, this workload is compensated by the additional work created from our BOA logic in regards to BF and in progress statuses. The 100 percent review of all online applications for the first six months (an additional workload in TCs) conducted so far has revealed that there are no major compliance issues. The non compliance rate so far is less than 2%. Final results are not yet available. We are planning on implementing other random validation projects if required. We will be consulting with the Validation and Controls section to determine what types of validation projects will be most effective.

12. QUICK ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS

issue

Management will provide an update on the Basic Access for Individuals initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the service was launched on February 11, 2008. To date, an approximate daily average of 5,400 accesses to the service had been noted. The service had also generated calls to the
e-service helpdesk to troubleshoot authentication related matters. Otherwise, no human resources impacts were expected as a result of this service.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

No new development scheduled for Quick Access, therefore, no human resources impacts are expected as a result of this service. To date, there have been approximately 800,000 successful logins to the service.

13. GST/HST REDESIGN

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the GST/HST Redesign initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the GST/HST Redesign move to the business common platforms release was successfully implemented in April 2007. Impacts on resources were dictated by transitional workloads related to the April 2007 project deliverables, as well as on-going program operational workloads.

Increased on-going program workloads would be determined in the 2008/2009 fiscal year once the systems and workloads had stabilized. Any changes in estimates of human resources impacts would be communicated to the Unions; however, Management did not anticipate further major impacts for future mini-releases or project releases.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

As indicated in the spring of 2008, the program areas are still managing the increased transitional and on-going operational workloads. The final impacts will be determined in the 2008/2009 fiscal year once the systems and workloads become more stable.

Projections on human resource impacts continue to indicate an overall expected increase of 167 FTEs by the year 2011. Permanent on-going funding is subject to approval by the Resource and Investment Management Committee (RIMC) at which time the difference between transitional and on-going program operational workloads and associated funding will be confirmed.

The April 2007 move to the business suite was the largest release for the GST/HST Redesign Project. We do not anticipate further major impacts on human resources for future mini-releases or project releases.

Any changes in estimates of human resource impacts will be communicated to the Unions, as they become known.

14. PAYMENT MODERNIZATION

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Payment Modernization initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7 2008 meeting, Management provided the following updates:

Financial Institution (FI) Remitting

The OTC had an allocation of approximately 50 FTEs for FI Remitting. The implementation of this initiative resulted in a reduction of 5 FTEs at the OTC effective April 1, 2008. No indeterminate employees were impacted.

As additional work was incrementally transferred to Shawinigan, discussions would continue with Management on both sites to ensure a smooth transition. It was anticipated that workload transfers would occur gradually as compensatory workloads would need to be identified for the OTC.

The Shawinigan Tax Centre structure was modified in April 2008 to facilitate the processing of the workload from both sites, as well as providing Shawinigan with a remote keying capability.

Direct Remitting

At this time, no additional analysis had been undertaken for Direct Remitting.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Financial Institution (FI) Remitting

The Shawinigan Tax Centre began utilizing the remote keying functionality in May 2008. Conference calls continue on a regular basis between Headquarters, the OTC and the Shawinigan TC to ensure the work is on track.

It is expected that Shawinigan will begin to process the GST FI Remitted workload received in their centre using the new equipment beginning October 2008.

In a move towards developing a true disaster recovery site at the Shawinigan Tax Centre, FTEs and corresponding payment processing workloads should continue to be gradually transferred from the OTC to Shawinigan until such a time as the total FTEs transferred reaches the initial agreement of 20 FTEs.

Direct Remitting

The Direct Remitting workload, with the exception Payment on Filing (POF) payments, will be included in the Payment Modernization initiative at the OTC and Shawinigan in October 2009. Once successful, the inclusion of the POF payments will be analysed and in all likelihood undertaken in a subsequent phase(s).

The FTE impact analysis for this workload is in progress.

15. ONTARIO CHILD BENEFIT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that the implementation of this program was proceeding on schedule. There were no anticipated human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

OCB is now fully integrated into the monthly CCTB run and we recommend that this item be removed from the written updates.

16. WORKING INCOME TAX BENEFITS

issue

Management will provide an update on the Working Income Tax Benefits (WITB) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that initial volume estimates were for approximately 300,000 WITB advance payment applications in 2008, representing 25% of the expected 1.2 million WITB tax credit recipients.

In February 2008, Management started the processing of the RC201 Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Application for 2008. To date, the volume of applications was lower than expected. The situation would be monitored and operational resources would be adjusted, as required.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The volume of applications continues to be lower than projected. The operating budgets have been adjusted in the processing Tax Centres to reflect the lower than expected inventories. For the upcoming tax filing season, we are conducting out-reach activities to help raise awareness of the WITB advance payment option. We are also in the process of establishing an agreement with Service Canada to distribute the WITB application forms and WITB pamphlets in their Service Centres, as well as conducting a targeted mail-out to an identified client base to increase awareness and take-up.

17. BENEFITS WORKFLOW CONSOLIDATION

issue

Management will provide an update on the Benefits Workflow Consolidation initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that it did not anticipate any human resources impacts once the two systems were implemented. Phase 1 of construction began in January 2008 and a Proof of Concept pilot, using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the screen design, was underway.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Since the last update, it has been determined that Graphic User Interface (GUI) design will be postponed until 2012 due to other pressures faced by our ITB partners. The use of this technology was the main reason to conduct a pilot in October 2009; therefore, the pilot is no longer needed. Full implementation will take place starting February 2010 with a staggered roll out to all TCs over a 4 month period. As previously mentioned, we continue to maintain that there will be no human resources impacts once the two systems are implemented.

18. FAMILY ORDERS AND AGREEMENT ENFORCEMENT INTERACTION VIA THE ELECTRONIC INTERJURISDICTIONAL SET-OFF SYSTEM

issue

Management will provide an update on the Family Orders and Agreement (FOA) Enforcement Interaction via the Electronic Interjurisdictional Set-off System (EISO), including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the movement of FOA to EISO was successful. The automated service eliminated the need for 2 SP-03s (CR-04) at the OTC; however this impact would be managed internally. The impact on the SP-08 (PM-5) level would be re-evaluated in December 2009 as there was another request from Justice to transfer funds to the Provincial Department of Justice rather than the Federal Department of Justice, for conversion 2010.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

There are no changes to the human resources impacts at this time.

19. CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – PROCESSING REVIEW PROGRAM

issue

Management will provide an update on the Case Management System (CMS) – Processing Review (PR) Program initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that as of March 31, 2008, the pilot of the Case Management System for the Processing Review Program had been successfully completed in the Winnipeg and Shawinigan TCs. All files were processed in the new system within the usual timeframes. The feedback from TC employees was instrumental in identifying some enhancements to the new system that would be implemented in April 2008.

All other TCs were consulted to identify an appropriate training schedule for their employees. Starting in May until mid-July (2008), a team from Headquarters would be in each TC to provide training to employees at all levels.

Management did not expect any human resources impacts as a result of this initiative. Any efficiencies gained by adopting the new system in the Processing Review Program, would allow for the review of more files.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The training of TC employees and the national implementation of the Case Management System for the Processing Review Program were successfully completed in July 2008. Follow-up visits have also been conducted to provide added support to the TCs. As previously stated, the end result of this initiative was to improve processes via an inventory control management system and any efficiencies realized will allow for the review of more files.

As this initiative is fully implemented, Management recommends that this item should be removed from the written updates.

20. PAYDAC RENEWAL – SOURCE DEDUCTIONS ACCOUNTING, FUNCTIONAL TRANSFER TO THE ASSESSMENT AND BENEFIT SERVICES BRANCH

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the PAYDAC Renewal - Source Deductions Accounting, functional transfer to the Assessment and Benefit Services Branch (ABSB), including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, the Union was informed that the PAYDAC Renewal Project team received funding to begin work on three specific components of the project. The first component would remove duplication of employer identification information currently located in both PAYDAC and Business Number (BN) from PAYDAC. The second component was to develop the high and detailed business requirements to move compliance strategies to Revenue Enforcement Management Information & Tracking System (REMITS). The third component would transfer functional responsibility for source deductions accounting from Tax Services Debt Management Branch (TSDMB) to ABSB.

There were no anticipated human resources impacts as a result of this initiative.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

TSDMB and ABSB have completed a delineation of the field activities that relate to source deductions accounting that will transfer with the functional responsibility for those programs to ABSB in April 2009. The activities will continue to be performed by Employer Accounts Agents and Trust Compliance Officers in the Tax Centres (TC) and Tax Services Offices (TSO); however, the employees in the TCs will be required to use a different time code to report their time while completing these tasks. Some employees in the TSOs will participate in a workload study over the course of the next year (two weeks per site) to determine the amount of time spent on accounting activities in the TSO compliance programs. How we manage these activities in the future will be guided in part by the results of the study.

The next steps in transitioning the accounting workload from TSDMB to ABSB are to finalize the amount of field and headquarters budgets to be transferred, develop communication tools, and provide the recommendation for long-term system and program support of Source Deductions Accounting. No human resource impacts are anticipated.

21. TRUST COMPLIANCE NATIONAL INVENTORIES

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Trust Compliance National Inventories initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that non-geographic distribution of inventories already existed for a portion of the Trust Compliance workload, so this initiative would extend non-geographic distribution beyond the National Inventory Centres (NIC) sites to include the TSO workloads. Within the current work environment, the workload from these two programs was divided between NIC that had a non-geographic work distribution, and Trust Compliance programs located in TSOs that allocated work based on a geographic distribution.

The system changes to the Automated Collections and Source Deductions Enforcement System (ACSES) would be required to eliminate the geographic distribution of cases to compliance officers in the TSOs.

This initiative was expected to be in place by April 2009.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

There are no human resource impacts anticipated as a result of this initiative. This is neither an exercise to pool resources in one location nor one of resource reduction; we anticipate that all officers currently located in one of the 11 NIC sites and those located in the TSOs will continue to work compliance cases. In addition, there will be no changes to regional financial resources allocated for this program as a result of this initiative.

The change in program delivery model will create program efficiencies that are necessary to ensure more non-compliant cases can be addressed within the current envelope and will create a “portable” workload that may provide options for the regions to consider when facing human resource challenges.

Our progress to date includes:

  • Completion of regional consultation on the concept of national inventory distribution.
  • Issuance of the formal announcement of the initiative to Assistant Directors and the Union.
  • Development of the initial business requirements shared with ITB.
  • Establishment of a national working group comprised of regional representatives to review procedures, to complete comprehensive consultation, and to review training and information needs. The group is comprised of two representatives per region who will become the change agent for their region and assist in rolling out communications and information sessions prior to implementation.
  • Consultation with the Debt Management Compliance National Advisory Committee where we obtained their support and positive feedback.

Our next steps will be:

  • Using feedback received from the Working Group’s consultations and from our regional consultations, we will develop solutions to procedural items and we will provide each regional management team with a summary of recommendations and options related to certain decisions that they will have to make regarding program structure and organizational considerations; for example, whether or not they wish to centralize TSO specific correspondence processing, identification of regional inventory coordinator.
  • We will continue to work closely with ITB to implement the system changes that are needed to support this distribution method. All case distribution will be automated to eliminate the need for manual file transfers to specific officers or locations wherever possible. Routing of all cases will be based on the officer’s language capabilities and inventory caps set in ORG.
  • We will consider introducing a Trust Compliance Officer component within Trust Account Examination team structure. These individuals would be responsible for processing completed trust exams for a specific TSO or group of TSOs.
  • We will establish regional budgets based on the historic regional split to ensure that regions continue to contribute to the national results based on the same ratio as in the past, and we will be reviewing accountabilities to ensure they represent objectives that are within the Assistant Directors’ control and influence.
  • We have completed a communication strategy and will begin communications through bi-monthly newsletters, a dedicated website, information packages for officers, and presentations to regional management teams.

We are still targeting implementation for fiscal year 2009/2010. A specific date will be established once ITB impacting has been completed.

22. NATIONAL QUALITY AND ACCURACY LEARNING PROGRAM

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the National Quality and Accuracy Learning Program (NQALP) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management advised the Union that the Call Centres continued to provide quarterly reports on the number of listening and coaching sessions conducted; actions taken to address issues identified; as well as noting trends and observations. These continued to be used to identify local training needs, as well as in the development of national training materials.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The national call monitoring checklist used under our NQALP has been enhanced. An online version of the call checklist tool for standardized reporting of quality and accuracy data has replaced the paper based version. Quarterly reports previously submitted by the Call Centres based on the paper version of the call checklist are no longer required. Reporting continues to be used to identify local and national training, procedural and accuracy trends/gaps as well as in the development of national training materials.

23. INTERACTIVE INFORMATION SERVICES / SMARTLINKS

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Interactive Information Services (IIS) / Smartlinks initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that additional links were added in February 2008 for a total of 164. Smartlinks training was provided to the Vancouver and Montréal Call Centres in March to assist existing Vancouver staff in responding to an additional 12 links scheduled to be added in March 27, 2008. Expansion to other Call Centres would not occur until the dedicated lines network utilized for TSO lobby phones became available.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

In June 2008, the Smartlinks numbering system was reorganized to facilitate the expansion of links within each topic area on the CRA website. This coincided with the introduction of the Smartlinks database making analysis of Smartlinks survey data more efficient. The web pages and database for agents administered by the Taxpayers Service Directorate were simultaneously changed to minimize the impact on agents. We plan to add Smartlinks to new web pages such as the Tax Free Savings Account in January of 2009 and the Registered Disability Savings Plan in November of 2009. In addition, Smartlinks will be added to three account balance pages in My Business Account. These links will be available on payroll, corporation and GST/HST account balance pages commencing in April 2009. Expansion to other Call Centres continues to be in abeyance.

24. IN-PERSON COUNTER REDESIGN

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the In-Person Counter Redesign initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that the new Infozone-based appointment system had been successfully implemented as of December 17, 2007.

Since the implementation of service by appointment, the CRA had observed a decrease in walk-in traffic; however, many clients continued to visit the TSOs. Therefore, Management would be conducting a Profile of Enquiries Studies, between March 15 and May 30, 2008, of clients visiting the TSOs. One of the objectives was to gain a better understanding of why clients continued to visit the office.

There were no further updates to provide on the In‑Person Service Survey report shared in October 2007.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

There were three components to the In-Person Study that was conducted between March 17 and May 30:

  • Served by a Counter Enquiry Agent or Greeter;
  • Dedicated Telephone lines for calls originating from the counter; and
  • Taxpayers who chose not to use CRA Service Options.

The Studies were carried out for 11 weeks and preliminary results have been collected. An Infozone based database was designed to gather the statistics.

From the results, we found the reason many respondents visited the TSO is because they were unaware that it was service by appointment and the majority had not tried using the CRA Web site or the telephone service prior to visiting the office. The preference of service method for most respondents visiting the TSO was obviously stated as face-to-face service, whereas, the study revealed most do not need face to face service. Of those who were referred to the telephones, 95% were able to have their enquiry resolved by a telephone agent. The remaining 5% stated the main reasons they still required face-to-face service was because of confidentiality requirements, the requirement for a document or information, or urgent need of the request.

Over 60% indicated it was their first visit in the last six months. For those who did try using the telephone prior to visiting the TSO, some of the reasons they still chose to come in were because they received a busy signal on the telephones, the complexity of the question or that they did not understand the answer they were given on the telephone.

Printout requests and address changes continue to be the main reasons for coming to a TSO. The personal needs or circumstances of the taxpayer usually prompt them to request in-person service. The results indicated that over one third of respondents were over 60 years of age, which is more than the percentage of all taxfilers (25% are over 60 years of age).

A small percentage of respondents (6%) chose to leave the office without choosing any of the service options offered. Some of the reasons cited were: they were unaware of service by appointment (27%), the wait was long (13%), and they preferred to use the services from home (12%). There was a small number (17%) who expressed dissatisfaction and said poor service was the reason for leaving without choosing a service option.

From the results gathered, it can be concluded the CRA needs to continue to promote self-serve options through outreach, and educate those visiting the office. The option of appointment service needs to be made available to those taxpayers who need or prefer this method of service.

Final reports with full analysis will be available on all three components of the studies conducted.

Based on weekly statistics provided by the TSOs, 37% of all visits to the office are stamping requests and the demand has been growing.

25. ELECTRONIC BILL PRESENTMENT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Electronic Bill Presentment (EBP) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that there were no changes from the report provided in November 2007.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

There are approximately 700 businesses that have registered for E-PD7A. The majority of small employers still cannot make electronic payments for payroll remittances via the personal banking platforms at Canadian financial institutions. There continues to be no impact on human resources or CRA operations.

26. INTEGRATED REVENUE COLLECTIONS

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Integrated Revenue Collections initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, the Union was provided the following information:

Data Mining Update

As of April 2008, a total of $8.1 million had been recovered on the pilot. Lessons learned would be used for future modeling and could help guide Operations in making changes to the current SUDS case management logic.

T1 Integration, Release 2

The Risk Management component would determine what automated action or series of automated actions should be taken to resolve a taxpayer’s T1 debt.

Business Rules Engine

IRC releases would expand on the Business Rules incrementally. The next increment, scheduled for March 14, 2008, would introduce the Dynamic Rules Manager (DRM), which would negate the need for language code in favour of layman business rules.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Data Mining Update

The final report regarding this pilot project is currently being compiled. As of September 2008, 5229 returns were assessed, 2478 cases were discontinued, and 1185 cases remain outstanding. The total assessed amount, including penalties and interest, is $16.1M owing, which translates to an average of $3084 per tax return.

With the assistance of non-filer, non-registrant officers in the field, this pilot project demonstrated the ability of data mining models to effectively assist in identifying T1 non-filer accounts with tax owing. The results of this pilot will be used to enhance future Operations workload selection processes.

T1 Integration, Release 2

The Risk Management component will determine what automated action or series of automated actions should be taken to resolve a taxpayer’s T1 debt. The releases will be implemented in two phases; April and October 2009. There will be no impact to field users.

Business Rules Engine

Business Rules are now being managed by business personnel using the Dynamic Rules Manager. In April 2009, the Champion / Challenger functionality will be implemented and the first challenge using a data mining model (likeliness to pay in 90 days) will be put into production.

27. T1 EXPANSION

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the T1 Expansion initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that as of June 2008, the T1 Non-Business initiative would be known as the T1 Expansion. There would be no impacts to field users as this would serve as an initial step in creating the system components of the infrastructure of IRC. The CRA was still in the post-production phase and resolving any identified issues.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The T1 Expansion release took place in June 2008. There is no impact to field users as this release served as an initial step in creating the system components of the infrastructure of IRC. The CRA is in the post-production phase and resolving any identified issues.

28. ALL REVENUES TABLE

issue

Management will provide an update on the All Revenues Table (ART) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the ART Release 2 was moved to production on January 29, 2008. Field users continued to access data via ART Release 1 as production anomalies would not be rectified until after the T1 Restricted Change Window (April 7, 2008).

The transition to the new version would be straightforward for TSO field users as the new REMITS data would only complement the TSOR information available since 2006. HQ personnel and Call Centre management would require minimal training.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Effective June 23, 2008, ART Release 2 has been available for users.

Gaps identified such as loss of access have been rectified.

HQ and Call Centre training will be scheduled in the near future.

The new version of Report Net (Cognos C8) may result in further training requirements.

ART has now been made available to the field. No further updates required.

29. END USER APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT MACRO RELEASES

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the End User Application Development Macro Releases initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that due to Information Technology Branch’s (ITB) application change window, the release of the T1 Taxpayer View Mainframe Macro Application (MMA) to the pool sites had been delayed to May 2008.

The January 2008 Non-filer Taxpayer View MMA pilot in Vancouver and Montreal proved successful and additional business requirements had been documented for the wider release of this application in the fall of 2008.

Detailed business requirements were being developed for the Accounts Receivable Platform. The first iteration of this application would coincide with the IRC Release 2.0 scheduled for April 2009 and would include most of the functionalities required by Collections Officers in TSOs.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The T1 Taxpayer View MMA is now available in the T1 National pool sites. Development of the Non-filer taxpayer View Release 2 is complete and in testing with the Acceptance Testing Division (ATD). Roll-out of this MMA to TSOs is expected in February 2009.

ATD testing of the Accounts Receivable Platform, which is a Taxpayer View MMA that manages the four major revenue lines of T1, T2, GST, and PAYDAC will commence in November 2008. The first iteration of this application will coincide with the IRC Release 2.0 scheduled for April 2009. It will effectively provide a more user friendly interface and automate some of the routine information gathering activities for business functionalities required by Collections Officers in TSOs. A training plan is being developed. There is no planned change to regional financial allocations as a result of this initiative.

30. EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE AUDIT REPORTING TOOL

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Employer Compliance Audit Reporting Tool (ECART) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management informed the Union that the new version of ECART (V2.0) was scheduled for regional testing in May 2008 with deployment to follow. All offices recognized the ECART tool as the standard to be used by the Employer Compliance Auditors. The transition to this new version would only require minimal training and there were no expected human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The new version of ECART (V2.0) is scheduled for regional testing in October 2008 with deployment to follow before December 31, 2008. 

All offices have recognized the ECART tool as the standard to be used by the Employer Compliance Auditors.

Transition to this new version should only require minimal training and there is no expected human resource impact.

31. TRUST EXAMINATION AUDIT SYSTEM

issue

Management will provide an update on the Trust Examination Audit System (TEAS) initiative, including human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that TEAS was presently in the developmental stages. A pilot for Version One of TEAS was planned for the summer of 2008. This product would be used to conduct Trust Account and GST/HST Examinations. Pilot sites would be determined shortly.

Although transition to TEAS would require training, there were no expected human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

TEAS is currently in the development stages. TEAS will be undergoing its first testing session the week of October 20, 2008 with users from field operations.

A pilot for version one of TEAS is planned for the winter of 2009. This product will be used to conduct Trust Account and GST/HST Examinations. Pilot sites will be determined in concert with the Regional Program Advisors.

Transition to TEAS will require training, but there is no expected human resource impact.

32. E-LEGAL DOCUMENTS

issue

Management will provide an update on the E-Legal Documents initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the six-month pilot project had been completed. Stakeholders in the electronic filing of collections documents included the Federal Court of Canada, the Legal Documents Processing Unit (LDPU) in Headquarters and the two pilot TSOs. The pilot had essentially met the technical objectives in developing an electronic process from a predominantly manual one. Some operational issues remained to be resolved, and as solutions were determined and proved effective, implementation to other TSOs would be conducted on a gradual basis.

management’s written response

A review of the ‘pilot’ was concluded in June 2008 and a recommendation to expand electronic filing in the Ontario Region was made as it has various provincial registry systems. This maintains the continuity and utilizes the services of the Ottawa Federal Court office while working on the possibility of piloting with other Federal Court offices.

Expanding to the Ontario and other Pacific Region offices also brings about other efficiencies to the workload as both regions represent 84% of all documents filed yearly.

All offices in the Ontario and Pacific regions have agreed to participate. Training is being planned in consultation with LDPU Management for the LDPU staff in order to allow offices to gradually join the project using a “phase in” approach over several months and extending into 2009-2010.

Any resource impacts will be assessed towards the end of 2009-2010.

33. AUTOMATED MEMORANDUM ASSESSMENT

issue

Management will provide an update on the Automated Memorandum Assessment initiative, including any human resources impacts.

background

At the May 7, 2008 meeting, Management stated that the Automated Memorandum Assessment initiative had been implemented in April 2008 with the objective to promote national consistency and to improve the tracking and reporting of memorandum assessments. This phase of implementation occurred as planned, with no unresolved issues to report. No workforce impacts occurred and none were anticipated.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

In April 2008, the new Automated Memorandum Assessment was added to Automated Collections and Source Deductions Enforcement System (ACSES). Train the trainer sessions were delivered to the Regions and a training package HQ 8869-000 was developed and posted to the National Training Support Web site.

Following implementation, a survey was sent to TSOs in response to concerns raised by the field. Generally, comments were favorable, and some fixes or suggested enhancements are expected to be addressed in the spring 2009 ACSES release. No workforce impact has occurred and none are foreseen. Recommend this item be closed.