Technological Change Committee

Sub-Committee Meeting Written Updates

November 2, 2007
  1. NATIONAL QUALITY AND ACCURACY LEARNING PROGRAM
  2. ELECTRONIC BILL PRESENTMENT
  3. MY ACCOUNT FOR INDIVIDUALS – TAX AND BENEFITS
  4. INTERACTIVE INFORMATION SERVICES (IIS) / SMARTLINKS
  5. T1 2D BAR CODE
  6. GST/HST REDESIGN
  7. T2 2D BAR CODING
  8. CHANGE MY RETURN
  9. INTEGRATED REVENUE COLLECTIONS (IRC)
  10. NON-PROFILE TO PROFILE
  11. EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE AUDIT REPORTING TOOL (ECART)
  12. END USER APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT MACRO RELEASES
  13. PRE-AUTHORIZED PAYMENT PLAN ON INTERNET
  14. payment modernization
  15. THIRD PARTY PRIVILEGED MANAGEMENT
  16. IN-PERSON COUNTER REDESIGN
  17. T1 NON-BUSINESS
  18. ARRANGE DIRECT DEPOSIT
  19. GST/HST REDESIGN – COMPLIANCE ASPECT
  20. Benefits ONLINE APPLICATION (BOA)
  21. E-LEGAL DOCUMENTS
  22. INTEGRATED CHARITIES SYSTEM (ICS)
  23. INTEGRATED SPEND MANAGEMENT
  24. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
  25. UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE BENEFIT
  26. E-RESOURCING
  27. ONTARIO CHILD BENEFIT
  28. WORKING INCOME TAX BENEFITS
  29. case management system – processing review program

1. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management advised that the NQALP had been implemented in all call centres.  A meeting of call centre coordinators took place in June.  A key topic of discussion was the use of NQALP results in determining training needs and in the development of training and reference material.  This would continue to be a primary focus of the program, both nationally and locally.  As before, NQALP results would not be used for purposes of performance evaluation.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Call Centres are required to continue 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 continue to be used to identify local training needs, as well as in the development of national training materials.

2. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management informed the Union that there would be no further changes to the Electronic Bill Presentment initiative.  To date, 494 employers have successfully registered for this service.  There would be no human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The contract with epost for EBP has been extended for another 3 years, or until My Business Account can accommodate the process.  To date, 603 employers have registered for the service.  This initiative continues to have no human resources impacts.

3. 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 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was provided with the following information:

IRPPD portion:

For Release 10 (July 2007), My Account would expand the “Set-up my pre-authorized payment plan” service to include instalment payments in addition to arrears payments.

BPD portion:

As of Release 9 (February 2007), the statement of Universal Child Care Benefit (RC 62) was available to the benefit recipients as well as requesting a duplicate of the statement.

For Release 10 (July 2007), clients would be able to view Disability Tax Credit (DTC) information for their dependants.  For self and spouse, DTC information could not be displayed due to system limitations (this information would be available for the next Release).  The client would be referred to a toll free number that is currently being used for DTC enquiries.  Based on this, a slight increase in client enquiries for Release 10 may occur because of the limited information being displayed. 

No impacts on human resources were expected from Releases 8, 9 and 10.

Management agreed to provide a multi-year chart of the log-ins tracked by the system, with as much analysis as possible, and emphasized that the system tracked log-ins, not the number of people who logged into the systems.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

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

-

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

IRPPD portion:

The login gaps reported between the May and November 2006 updates resulted when another section within the Branch mistakenly altered the figures for releases 6 and 7 (A&B).  The discrepancy was discovered at the November 7 meeting, and the situation was immediately addressed and has since been rectified.  Steps have been taken to prevent a repeat of this error for future updates. 

BPD portion:

As of Release 10 (July 2007), clients are able to view Disability Tax Credit (DTC) information for their dependants.  For self and spouse, DTC information is not available for display due to system limitations (this information will be available as of Release 11).  As previously mentioned, the client will be referred to a toll free number that is currently being used for DTC enquiries and therefore, a slight increase in client enquiries may occur.  However, after Release 11, there should be no human resources impacts.

For Release 11 (February 2008), clients will be able to view information regarding the children under their care and navigate through the Statement of Universal Child Care Benefit (RC 62) forms in order to view prior years’ statements.  As for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) information displayed, improvements will be made to display the self and the spouse disability information, along with the dependant information.  Finally, clients will be able to view information about the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) advance payment.

No impacts on human resources are expected from Releases 10 and 11.

4. INTERACTIVE INFORMATION SERVICES (IIS) / SMARTLINKS

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management informed the Union that the expansion of Smartlinks to the Individual (General Enquires) 1-800 services was underway.  A gradual start was envisioned with 25 links being updated for the Vancouver Call Centre.  Designated agents would receive training prior to the launch in Vancouver and on-line resources and continuous support would be provided by representatives in HQ.  The number of links would expand for the next filing season and the program would become national and expand to other T1 call sites. 

The electronic Smartlinks taxpayer survey, available on Infozone for telephone and business agents to use in obtaining Smartlinks feedback from callers, would be expanded for use by T1 agents.  The survey would also be included in the agent training.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Expansion of Smartlinks to the Individual (General Enquiries) 1-800 services was successfully piloted on June 4, 2007, from the Vancouver Call Centre.  Implementation to other T1 call sites is now underway.  Additional links will be added to the CRA website. In order to achieve the most pertinent information concerning our services, the Smartlinks survey will be conducted during the filing season.  All designated agents will receive training prior to the national launch of Smartlinks and on-line resources and continuous support will be provided by representatives in HQ.

5. T1 2D BAR CODE

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the T1 2D Bar Code initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the last Tech Change meeting, the Union was informed that, as of April 23, 2007, 1.4 million T1 2D Bar Code returns had been processed since the beginning of the 2007 Program.  The previous Program saw 1.3 million T1 2D Bar Code returns processed by the same time in 2006.

The Union requested the number of people affected rather than FTE's, a breakdown of determinate vs. indeterminate employees, as well as the number of term employees that had not been rehired as a result of this initiative.  Management stated that it would be able to provide an estimate of the number of employees affected at the Tax Centre; however, it would be difficult to determine the exact number of term employees that had not been rehired.  The Union stated that it would be satisfied with an estimate.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

As of September 10, 2007, 4.3 million T1 2D Bar Code returns have been processed since the beginning of the 2007 Program.  At the same time of year for the 2006 Program, 3.6 million T1 2D Bar Code returns had been processed.

The following table outlines the number of determinate employees that were affected by this initiative.  No indeterminate employees were affected.

Management suggests this be the final update on this initiative.

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Prairies

Pacific

Total

2005-06

Number of Determinate Employees Affected

24

130

93

342

0

589

Number of employees who will not be rehired or who will be released prior to the end of their period of employment

0

14

0

3

0

17

2006-07

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Prairies

Pacific

Total

Number of Determinate Employees Affected

63

86

110

8

3

270

Number of employees who will not be rehired or who will be released prior to the end of their period of employment

0

16

0

8

3

27

2007-08

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Prairies

Pacific

Total

Number of Determinate Employees Affected

0

84

0

0

0

84

Number of employees who will not be rehired or who will be released prior to the end of their period of employment

0

25

0

0

0

25

6. GST/HST REDESIGN

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2007, the Union reiterated its request for the number of affected employees, broken down by determinate and indeterminate status.  Management stated that it was still in the process of assessing the actual monetary impacts of the latest release.  Therefore, it would be some time before the actual number of affected employees would be known.  Management would provide information on the impacts as it becomes available.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The GST/HST Redesign move to the business common platforms release was successfully implemented on April 10, 2007.  Current projections on human resources indicate an overall expected increase of 167 FTEs by the year 2011.  These impacts were already provided in a previous update.  Impacts on resources are dictated by transitional workloads related to the April 10, 2007 project deliverables as well as on-going program operational workloads. 

In a previous update, it was expected that the difference between transitional and on-going program operational workloads would be confirmed in the fall of 2007.  However, due to the massive change created through Redesign, this split is not currently available.  Increased on-going program workloads will be determined in the 2008/2009 fiscal year once the systems and workloads have stabilized.  Any changes in estimates of human resource impacts will be communicated to the Unions, as they become known.

The move to the business common platforms is the largest release for the GST/HST Redesign.  Management does not anticipate further major impacts on human resources for future mini-releases or project releases.

7. T2 2D BAR CODING

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the T2 2D Bar Coding initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management advised that the commercial tax preparation software that included the bar code technology had been available since November 2006.  On-site training in the tax centres had been conducted in December 2006 and January 2007.  The intake of bar coded returns steadily increased throughout the third quarter of 06/07.  The total number of bar coded returns processed was 180,000, as originally projected for this period.

There were no further changes in the human resource impact beyond what had been previously provided.  It was anticipated that employees affected by this technology would be managed through attrition and reassignment over the next two to three years.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The system changes required for the 2D Bar Code Project for T2 returns were successfully implemented on September 25, 2006.  The commercial tax preparation software that includes the bar code technology became available for purchase in November 2006.  As a result, bar coded T2 returns started to arrive in tax centres in the latter part of November 2006.  The scanning technology is working well, and the intake rate of bar coded returns continues to grow.

In terms of human resource impacts, all indeterminate staff occupying data entry positions in this program are affected under the Workforce Adjustment Appendix of the collective agreement.  Affected staff were briefed on August 2, 2006, and were provided with a letter informing them of their affected status.

There are no changes in the human resource impact as a result of this initiative.  It is anticipated that employees affected by this technology will be managed through attrition and reassignment over the next two to three years.  The regional WFA advisors are assisting tax centre management, as required, in this regard.

Management requests the removal of this item from the agenda of future Technological Change Sub-Committee meetings.

8. CHANGE MY RETURN

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Change My Return initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was informed that the Field Office budget for the Client Requested Reassessment program (CRR) could vary from year to year as it was based on historical data and estimated volumes from new legislative changes.  Even though an overall reduction in reassessment requests coming from taxpayers had been observed over the past few years, the actual reduction in the 2006/07 Tax Centre budget was 18 FTEs instead of 21.72 FTEs, due to volume growth.

As the CRR program ran throughout the year with a major peak period from April to July of each year, the exact number of term employees impacted was unknown as each Tax Centre managed their budgeted envelope differently.  Based on normal staff utilization during the peak period, Management was confident that less than 55 individuals had been affected.  Considering fluctuation with term contracts, the majority of these term employees have more than likely been re-called for other employment opportunities within the tax centres, as no staffing issues had been referred to HQ as a direct result of this initiative.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

As of October 2007, nothing has changed.  No additional reduction has been applied nor will be applied as a result of this initiative. 

Management suggests this be the final update on this initiative.

9. INTEGRATED REVENUE COLLECTIONS (IRC)

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was provided the following information:

Data Mining Update

The DM01 Non-Filer Discovery Model pilot project was being run out of the Kitchener and Montérégie Tax Services Office, and preliminary results were expected by the end of May 2007.

The DM03, Revenue Enforcement Management Information and Tracking System (REMITS) Model Replacement had been fully developed as part of the T1 Integration Release 2 and was in the process of being migrated to the Research and Analysis environment.  This model was intended to replace the current risk-scoring model used as part of REMITS.

Four additional models were under development for the T1 Integration, Release 2.

Business Rules Engine

The Proof of Concept determined the viability of utilizing a Business Rules Engine.  Since the June release, certain rules have been modified as needed without the constraints of a system release.  Future IRC releases would be expanding upon this concept and using the Dynamic Rules Manager, a further software application that would negate the need for language code in favour of layman business terms.  Field users would eventually benefit from a faster change process.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Data Mining Update

The DM01 Non-Filer Discovery Model pilot project is presently being run out of the Kitchener and Montérégie Tax Services Office and a preliminary report is currently under management review.

The DM03, Revenue Enforcement Management Information and Tracking System (REMITS) Model Replacement has been fully developed as part of the T1 Integration Release 2 and is currently in the process of being migrated to the Research and Analysis environment. 

This model will score new debts that enter the “automated handling” pipeline.  The complexity score produced by this model will be used to assign the appropriate “strategy” to a debt, or sequence of actions, to the case. This model is intended to replace the current risk-scoring model used as part of REMITS.

Four additional models are presently under development for the T1 Integration, Release 2.

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.  By applying a set of business rules to the data mining results and third party information stored in the Taxpayer Folder, IRC will determine the severity of the actions to be taken for the taxpayer.  This is the first phase in building a Profile of our taxpayers.

Business Rules Engine

The Proof of Concept did in fact determine the viability of utilizing a Business Rules Engine.  Since the June release, certain rules have been modified as needed without the constraints of a system release.  Future IRC releases will be expanding upon this concept and using the Dynamic Rules Manager, a further software application that will negate the need for language code in favour of layman business terms.  Field users will eventually benefit from a faster change process. 

NON-PROFILE TO PROFILE

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Non-Profile to Profile initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2007, the Union was advised that the system change to add an additional year on-line for conversion 2007 had been implemented without any problems being experienced.  The addition of another year on-line at conversion 2008 was proceeding as planned. 

FTE reductions expected in the 2008/2009 fiscal year were broken down by Taxation Centre, the International Tax Services Office and by workflow.  There would be no further FTE reductions related to this initiative.

As previously reported, a reduction of 36.70 FTEs was expected once fully implemented.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The addition of another year on-line at conversion 2008 is proceeding as planned. 

FTE reductions expected in the 2009/2010 fiscal year are broken down by tax centre, the International Tax Services Office and by workflow in the chart attached below. 

There will be no further FTE reductions related to this initiative, other than those shown on the attached chart.

Management suggests this be the final update on this initiative.

Savings 2009/2010

Tax Centre

Assessing

Reassessing

Disability

Notices

Total

Surrey

0.09

0.26

0.07

0.14

0.49

Winnipeg

0.07

0.33

0.10

0.14

0.55

Shawinigan

0.06

0.27

0.08

0.11

0.45

Jonquiere

0.02

0.14

0.04

0.05

0.22

Sudbury

0.10

0.41

0.12

0.18

0.69

Summerside

0.02

0.12

0.03

0.04

0.18

St. John's

0.02

0.14

0.04

0.05

0.21

ITSO

0.02

0.03

0.01

0.02

0.08

Totals

0.41

1.71

0.49

0.74

3.35

11. EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE AUDIT REPORTING TOOL (ECART)

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management informed the Union that ECART had been updated to reflect changes in operational requirements. 

The new version of ECART was being tested in anticipation of national deployment in June 2007.  Transition to the new version should only require minimal training.  Management did not expect any human resources impacts.

National use of the ECART tool had steadily increased and Management expected that it would be used exclusively by the end of the year. 

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The new version of ECART is still being tested and the deployment date has been postponed pending completion of the testing.

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

National use of the ECART tool has been steadily increasing and it is anticipated that employer compliance auditors will use ECART exclusively by the end of the year. 

12. 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 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was informed that the rollout of the T1 Taxpayer View to all T1 A/R pool sites would be completed this spring.  In the summer of 2007, a Non-filer Taxpayer View Mainframe Macro Application (MMA) would be piloted in the Vancouver and Montreal TSOs.  If successful, Taxpayer Services and Debt Management Branch (TSDMB) would consider a further distribution to all TSOs later in the fiscal.

Management stated that the rollout for the T1 Taxpayer View Macro would begin by early June in the six Accounts Receivable pool sites.  However, before releasing these macros, Management required authorization from the Information Technology (IT) Branch in order to ensure that the macros were secure and had been subjected to IT stress tests. 

Following the meeting, Management provided the Union with the name of the Accounts Receivable pool sites.

Management stated that no jobs would be lost as a result of these releases.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The rollout of the T1 Taxpayer View to T1 Accounts Receivable (A/R) pool sites will be completed during the fall of 2007.  In January 2008, a Non-filer Taxpayer View Mainframe Macro Application (MMA) will be piloted in the Vancouver and Montreal TSOs.  If successful, Taxpayer Services and Debt Management Branch (TSDMB) will proceed with further distribution to all TSOs in 2008.

13. PRE-AUTHORIZED PAYMENT PLAN ON INTERNET

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan on Internet (iPAP) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management stated that the iPADs for T1 arrears had been on-line since February 2007 and those for T1 instalments were on-track to be on My Account in July 2007.

Management anticipated no workforce impacts in the foreseeable future.

The Union stated that, while the Written Updates indicated that there would be no workforce impacts from this initiative, UTE asked if any employees in the T1 arrears and the Pre-Authorized Debit on Internet (iPAD) working at the cash counters had been indirectly affected by this initiative.  Management replied that there had been no impacts on those employees, as this initiative involved a change from taxpayers sending post-dated cheques to pre-authorizing direct payments. 

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The iPADs for T1 arrears has been on-line since February 2007 and the iPADs for T1 instalments has been on line since July 2007 as planned.

Management does not anticipate any workforce impacts in the foreseeable future.

14. payment modernization

ISSUE 

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

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management provided the following updates.

Post-Dated Cheque Redesign

The Post-Dated Cheque Redesign initiative was now complete.  The PDC workload has been centralized at the OTC.  The 2007/2008 field budget was reduced by 9 FTEs across Canada as a result of this initiative.  Management would be monitoring the resources required to process this workload and make appropriate adjustments if necessary.

Financial Institution (FI) Remitting

Phase 3 of the payment modernization would introduce the Financial Institution (FI) Remitting workload in the beginning of October 2007.  This workload was centralized at the OTC and consisted of payments made by taxpayers at branches of FIs and forwarded via FI processing centres to the OTC.  If this project were successful, Management would look into including the direct remitted workload into the solution during a subsequent phase.

Based on preliminary analysis of this phase, Management expected the HR impacts to be 9 FTE’s.  These reductions would take effect in January 2008.  Management would monitor the project once in production and adjust the budget accordingly, if required.

Management clarified that, for these 2 initiatives, the 18 FTEs should translate into 18 employees across the country; however, Management would need to confirm the numbers.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Post-Dated Cheque Redesign

Expenditures appear to be on target to meet budget projections.

Financial Institution Remitting

The Financial Institution Remitting project (“FIR”) was implemented on October 22, 2007.  A portion of the payment processing workload will be moved from the Ottawa Technology Centre and gradually transferred to a second site to create an additional processing capacity as part of our risk management strategy.  To that end, it is planned to enable Shawinigan to process payments using FIR.

We plan to start processing FI payments in Shawinigan in April 2008.  Discussions with management at the OTC indicate that we can make an initial transfer of 20 FTE’s without negatively impacting indeterminate employees. At this point in time, the total HR impact at the OTC is unknown.  However, strategic staffing currently in place at the OTC, along with attrition, and a gradual transfer of responsibility should mitigate impacts on any subsequent transfers of FTE’s. We will continue to work with management at the OTC and Shawinigan to ensure a smooth transition minimizing any HR impacts.

Direct Remitting

The Direct Remitting workload may be included in the Payment Modernization initiative in a subsequent phase anticipated for April 2009.  The FTE impact for this workload is unknown at this time, as the analysis has not yet begun. 

15. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management stated that the Represent a Client service allows authorized representatives to use My Account to view information or transact on behalf of their SIN based clients.  The Agency was working on enhancements to the program for the October 2007 release to allow authorized representatives to access My Business Account to view information or transact on behalf of their BN based clients. 

No impacts on human resources were expected from this release as Management anticipated that virtually all authorization forms (RC59) received for representative access to My Business Account would require manual data capture.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The Agency is on track to expand the program for the October 2007 release by allowing authorized representatives to access My Business Account to view information or transact on behalf of their BN based clients.

No impacts on human resources are expected from this release as we anticipate, based on 2006/07 experience with SIN based clients (99% paper), that virtually all authorization forms (RC59) received for representative access to My Business Account will require manual data capture.

16. IN-PERSON COUNTER REDESIGN

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2007, the Union was advised that the implementation of service by appointment was expected to provide taxpayers with cost effective, accessible and equitable service options, and to generate $41.9 million in savings over 5 years. 

As of January 2, 2007, the transition to service by appointment was completed.  Since appointments were booked using an Outlook-based application, minimal formal training was required.  A comprehensive user guide was distributed to field staff, and ongoing support was provided.

After consultation with the pilot sites, additional features were added to the system in the Fall of 2006.  A new InfoZone-based system was being developed and should be available to the call centers and TSOs by the fall of 2007.

There were no additional job impacts as a result of implementing the national appointment system.

Further to a pilot run in fourteen offices in mid-2006, a more simplified and targeted survey and methodology questionnaire had been developed, and fifteen offices participated in a second pilot from March 19 to March 30, 2007.  Next steps involved analyzing the second pilot survey results and developing a permanent In‑person Service Survey for obtaining valid taxpayer feedback on an on‑going basis.  Management would share the results of the pilot survey when completed. 

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The outlook–based appointment system is still being used by all agents in the TSO’s and call centres.  Minor system enhancements have been made through feedback from the users.  Headquarters continues to provide ongoing support to all agents using the appointment system.  The new InfoZone-based system has been developed and is currently undergoing a platform certification prior to being rolled it out to the TSOs and call centres.

For the period of January to July we have experienced a 50% decrease in walk-in traffic over the same period last year; 547,000 taxpayers walked in to our TSOs compared to 1.1M the previous year.  In that same period, 29,000 had an appointment.

The second pilot study of the In‑Person Service Survey confirmed that there is still a moderate need to modify the questionnaire, with a goal to reduce the number of non‑respondents, to ensure we can accurately capture taxpayer satisfaction, with minimum respondent time. 

Using the findings and lessons learned from both waves, an on-going permanent survey could be finalized for implementation by the end of the 2007-2008 fiscal year.  Results from the second pilot will be shared with the Union upon completion.

17. T1 NON-BUSINESS

ISSUE

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was advised that the first phase of the IRC (T1 Non Business) was implemented as scheduled in June 2006.  The CRA was in the post-production phase and resolving any identified issues.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

T1NB was the initial step in the re-engineering process that will eventually deliver the “vision” of IRC.  As both the first step and a proof of concept of rules based engine, T1NB was to demonstrate 2 key capabilities:

  • A rules management system that govern T1NB account strategies in an application external to any existing legacy TSDMB system (e.g. REMITS).
  • Identification of a specific subset of accounts (by use of business rules) so that creation of new focused workloads can be managed (e.g Centres of Expertise can be created).

Expansion of T1NB, prior to T1 Integration Release 2 scheduled for implementation in April 2009, has been proposed and will be analyzed by all stakeholders in the near future.  This would allow a much larger portion of T1 accounts to be identified as IRC and managed by IRC business rules. 

While T1NB was limited to a select subset of T1 non-business accounts, this phased in approach would provide a gradual expansion of business rules, in the IRC rules software, and would ensure that the rules based engine is working effectively, prior to the implementation of the major T1 Integration Release 2.

There would be no impacts to field users as this is to serve as an initial step in creating the system components of the infrastructure of IRC.

The CRA is still in the post-production phase and resolving any identified issues.

18. ARRANGE DIRECT DEPOSIT

issue

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, the Union was advised that individuals had been able to start, update and/or stop direct deposit information for T1 and GST/HST credits, CCTB payments, and the new UCCB via the My Account service, since February 12, 2007.  From that period to March 30, 2007, there were 43,357 direct deposit changes completed via the My Account service, which represented twice the original estimated volume for the entire first year of operation.  It also corresponded to approximately 60% of the total volume of direct deposit requests usually received during the months of February and March. 

Based on this information, Management could not determine if this upward trend would continue throughout the year.  On-going monitoring of this situation would occur over the next few months and Management would report on any resource impacts at the fall sub-committee meeting.

management’s written response

For the period of February 12 to June 30, 2007, there were 98,380 direct deposit changes (starts, updates and/or stops) completed via the My Account service.  Initially, it had been estimated that 24,000 direct deposit changes would be made online in the first year of implementation.  Based on a current monthly average of 19,676 (98,380/5), we are estimating that a total of 236,112 direct deposit changes will be received through My Account for the year.

Based on the fact that T1 Specialty Services (T1SS) has to action approximately 80% of all T1-DD application forms received, Management estimates that, without the My Account service, T1SS would have processed 188,890 change requests manually.

Based on current data and assumptions, we estimate that the national impact will be of 3 FTE's nationally.  These FTE’s correspond to three permanent individuals.  As Management is not expecting to reduce the current field budget, there is no impact at this time.  These FTE’s will be used at other peripheral activities within T1SS.

19. GST/HST REDESIGN – COMPLIANCE ASPECT

issue

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management advised that there would be no human resources impacts.  All Call Centre Agents that were working Account Maintenance resumed their substantive duties, conducting compliance activities within the Call Centre.

management’s written response

There are no human resources impacts as noted above.  All Call Centre Agents that were working Account Maintenance were redirected to their hired position, conducting compliance activities within the Call Centre (i.e. telephones).

Since this initiative has been in production since April 2007, Management recommends that this item be removed from the next meeting’s agenda. 

20. Benefits ONLINE APPLICATION (BOA)

issue

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, the Management provided the Union with information regarding improving benefit recipients’ service.  Upon implementation of the BOA service, an economy in time will be realized by directly processing a benefit recipient’s CCTB application into the mainframe system by using the online service.

Management expected limited HR impacts, since projected online application volumes were estimated at approximately 50,000 CCTB applications by 2010.  This corresponded to the workload of less than four CR-03 clerks nationally.  All handling steps prior to the mainframe data processing of the application should be eliminated on BOA submissions.  However, the BOA would require additional clerical intervention for applications that would be sent to the Electronic Transaction Desk if the mainframe system could not find or match a child, or in situations where additional information would be required to support the benefit recipient’s application.

management’s written response

The BOA service was successfully implemented on July 11, 2007.  In the first two months of production, we processed just over 4000 online applications.  Based on this current take-up rate, our projected volumes of online applications by 2010 are now estimated at approximately 55,000, which corresponds to the workload of approximately four CR-03 clerks nationally.  However, with the slightly higher than anticipated take-up rate, there has also been increased clerical intervention for the applications sent to the Electronic Transaction Desk.

Management continued to expect limited impact on Human Resources as a result of this initiative.  For example, Management is implementing a 100% review of the online applications for the first 6 months of production (an increase in resources), and plans to introduce other random validation projects as required as a result of the online initiative.

21. E-LEGAL DOCUMENTS

issue

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management stated that the HR impacts would not be known until approximately three years from the inception of the project.  There would be a six-month trial period to determine whether e-filing was timely and cost effective.  The trial period was in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Court and CRA.  At the end of the six-month period, there would be an evaluation with a view to continuing beyond that period. 

The project was tentatively scheduled to start in December 2006 in Victoria and Penticton TSOs.  The initiative was temporarily put on hold as the CRA had to be shown as an approved user of electronic documents processing on the Treasury Board Secretariat website.  However, that website was not yet available.

management’s written response

A trial is now being conducted at the Vancouver Island and Southern Interior TSOs.  This trial began in September 2007 and will be completed by Spring 2008.  Following an evaluation of the project, Management will be in a position to determine the next steps in implementing this initiative in other TSO’s.

22. INTEGRATED CHARITIES SYSTEM (ICS)

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Integrated Charities System (ICS) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management stated that the Charities Tracking System (CTS), which was the first phase of ICS, was modified for the purposes of the Charities Directorate.  As of April 1, 2007, CTS was being used to record, monitor and report on performance related to the processing of requests received from clients or client representatives.  Management would continue to monitor the use of CTS with a view to modifying the system to better meet its tracking and reporting needs.  Other phases of ICS were in development.

The Directorate was moving to align and improve its business process and information management practices to take full advantage of system developments.  Management did not anticipate any WFA or changes to job classification levels as a result of this initiative.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The Charities Directorate is continuing to develop CTS to meet tracking, reporting and reference needs.  Management does not anticipate any WFA or changes to job classification levels as a result of this initiative.

23. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management stated that it anticipated introducing the first suite of software in the Fall 2007.  The software would include standardized, streamlined templates and a contracting clause library, which would greatly reduce the administrative and manual burden on CRA professional buyers.  It was expected that up to 3 days of training would be provided to the Procurement specialists on this new software.

A second release was projected for early 2008.  The focus of this release would be to initiate the migration from the WBRO catalogue ordering system by moving one commodity (office supplies) to the new environment.  Timely training on the new system would be provided to current WBRO users (acquisition card holders).

Management did not anticipate any human resource impacts during these initial phases.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

It is anticipated that Release 1 will be implemented in late October 2007.  This release will enable electronic exchange of information between suppliers and contracting professionals.  Additionally, it includes standardized, streamlined templates and a contracting clause library.  Coincident with the release, five (5) days of training will first be provided to the Help Desk staff, followed by the same training being given to the contracting professionals.

The expected timeframe for Release 2 implementation is early 2008, based on the anticipated dates of awarding contracts for office supplies, print toners and paper.  The scope of this release will include the migration of these three commodities from WBRO to the new tool.  It is anticipated that approximately two (2) hours of on-line training will be required for current WBRO users (acquisition card holders) to become familiar the new tool.

No HR impacts are anticipated as a result of these initiatives.

24. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

At the last meeting, Management stated that the list of services offered through MyBA would continue to grow.

At the time of the meeting, MyBA cumulative statistics for the period of September 25, 2006, up to and including March 31, 2007, had been relatively modest with 7,324 registrations and 26,053* logins.

As the MyBA portal continued to expand, and marketing activities scheduled for Summer/Fall 2007 were implemented, gradual increases in user take-up rates were anticipated.  The October 2007 and April 2008 releases of MyBA were not expected to have any notable impacts on CRA staffing.  Management would routinely monitor user take-up rates and assess any foreseeable impacts on human resources.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

MyBA continues to add services twice a year.  The next releases will occur October 2007 and April 2008.

Management will continue to monitor user take up rates.  Cumulative statistics for the period April 1, 2007 up to and including August 31, 2007 are 5,711 registrations and 35,523 logins to the MyBA home page.  Since MyBA was introduced September 25, 2006, there have been a total of 13,035 registrations and 61,576 logins.  Management expects an increase in these numbers with the introduction new services in October 2007 and the subsequent marketing activities.  Even with this increase, Management does not expect any notable impact on CRA human resources.

*This figure also includes multiple logins by single users.

 

25. UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE BENEFIT

ISSUE

Management will provide an update on the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) initiative, including any human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND

The most current information on this initiative was shared with the Union on January 19, 2007.

From an application and processing perspective, the UCCB program was completely integrated with the CCTB program.  Therefore, the additional resources approved for the UCCB program were also integrated within the CCTB program. 

As in the past, the total ongoing FTEs available for the CCTB program continued to be distributed and fully utilized in the TCs.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The increase in the number of CCTB applications and correspondence has been carefully monitored since the implementation of the UCCB program in July 2006.  Over the past year, application volumes have materialized as expected and are now stable.  Therefore, there are no changes in the human resource impact.  The total ongoing FTEs for the program continue to be distributed and fully utilized in the TCs.

The UCCB program is now fully operational and therefore, Management recommends that it be removed from future Written Updates.

26. E-RESOURCING

ISSUE

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

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2007, Management informed the Union that a new electronic staffing service called e-resourcing, formerly known as the Careers website, would first be piloted, and then launched nationally in the fall 2007.  As part of this initiative, the staffing process would be standardized, therefore accelerating the process and making it more transparent. 

A reduction in regional funding for HR administrative support was incurred as a result of a program review exercise conducted several years ago.  The affected employees had been identified and advised of the situation through written correspondence.  Funding continued to be provided to regions on a temporary basis to support the activities that would no longer be required once e-resourcing had been implemented nationally.

The Union believed that an “electronic letter of offer” functionality was already available through the Manager Self-Service portal (MSS), and asked if there was a link between the two.  Management indicated that MSS did not have that functionality; however, it would look into the question and provide clarification on the matter.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

An “electronic letter of offer”, or Offer Management Macro (OMM), is currently available and has been rolled out nationally.  This macro is not part of MSS functionality but, rather, is accessible to managers via a shared drive on the network. While managers can still receive HR guidance with respect to the offer management procedures, the OMM is supported by a national helpdesk.

Management is completing negotiations with the Contractor and expects to implement a pilot solution before the end of March 2007.  A national rollout is expected before the end of fiscal 2007/2008.

27. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management informed the Union that the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) that was announced in the Ontario budget would be administered by the CRA on behalf of the Province. 

Management noted that negotiations with the Province for the resources required to process the enquiries for Phase I of the OCB program were underway.  Management anticipated that the OCB Enquiries Program would be delivered through the Ontario Region T1 and Benefit Call Centres.  Training would be provided accordingly. 

The Union asked if more resources would be allocated to the call sites, given the anticipated increase in the workload.  Management indicated that additional resources would be provided in the call centres, based on the work volumes, which were yet to be determined.  Management estimated that 40% of the total population of Ontario would benefit from the OCB.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

In late July 2007, over 350,000 lower-income families in Ontario received a one-time payment.  In the days following the initial issuance, as many as 55 additional agents were used in the Hamilton Call Site to process enquiries through the month of August.  As a small number of supplementary payments will be issued up to June 2008, 2 to 3 agents will be required to handle these calls.  Starting in July 2008, the OCB will be combined with the CCTB into a single monthly payment.  As with the other integrated child and family programs we administer, enquiries will be processed through the existing CCTB telephone service.

28. 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 11, 2007 meeting, Management provided the Union with information on the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB). 

The Benefit Programs Directorate (BPD) would be responsible for processing the WITB prepayment applications in the tax centres starting in the 2008 taxation year.  Additional resources would be needed in the TCs to process the applications.  However, as the program parameters had yet to be finalized, the required human resources were still unknown.  Management would keep the Union informed, as more information became available.

Management agreed to look into whether the application forms would be available electronically; however, it did not expect the take-up rate of electronic applications to be very high for this initiative. 

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The WITB prepayment is now called the WITB advance payment.

The program parameters for this initiative have not yet been finalized.  However based on the information available, preliminary analysis indicates that the amount of work created by this initiative will be insufficient to support WITB being processed in all tax centres.  Rather, it will be more efficient to process the work in three centres. 

All tax centres were invited to submit their business cases to help identify the centres that would best accommodate the workload.  Provided that the enabling legislation is passed when Parliament resumes, the selected tax centres (Shawinigan, Surrey and Summerside) will begin processing the WITB advance payment in the 2008 taxation year. 

It is estimated that an additional 15 FTEs will be required in each of the selected tax centres to process the WITB advance payment.  Management will keep the Union informed as more information becomes available.

29. case management system – processing review program

issue

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

background

At the May 11, 2007 meeting, Management provided the Union with information on a new Case Management System (CMS) that would be implemented for the T1 Processing Review Program.  This program entailed post-assessment reviews of various T1 related credits and deductions, conducted annually in all of the Tax Centres.

The Case Management System would be piloted in the Shawinigan-Sud and Winnipeg Tax Centres during 2007/08.  Management would then be in a position to determine whether there would be any HR impacts.  Full implementation in all other Tax Centres was currently planned for 2008/09.  Management had no plans at this time to reduce funding for the Processing Review program.

MANAGEMENT’S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The new Case Management System pilot is proceeding very well and employees in the Shawinigan-Sud and the Winnipeg Tax Centres are very pleased with the new system. These two TCs are processing their entire Processing Review workload using the new Case Management System.  All other Tax Centres and the International Tax Services Office will be implemented between March and July of 2008.

Any efficiency gained in the Processing Review program as a result of the new system will allow for the review of more files.  Therefore, there are no FTE impacts.