Technological Change Committee

Minutes of the Technological Change Sub-Committee Meeting

May 8, 2003

BETWEEN CANADA CUSTOMS REVENUE AGENCY AND
THE UNION OF TAXATION EMPLOYEES

OPENING REMARKS

Mr. David Miller, Assistant Commissioner, Assessment and Collection Branch and Management Co-Chair welcomed the participants to the meeting. He indicated that he was pleased to have the opportunity to update the Union on several initiatives and was looking forward to productive discussions on the agenda items.

1• WAREHOUSE RATIONALIZATION PROJECT (WRP)

Management provided the Union with an update on the Warehouse Rationalization Project (WRP) as it relates to the Distribution Centers (DC).

Management indicated that a key result of work done over the last year for the WRP was the move from eleven DCs to two, with Mississauga and Winnipeg becoming the consolidated sites for forms distribution. Management stated that key objectives for WRP remained the improvement in productivity and quality of core DC functions, specifically client service levels, management controls over the operations, and also realizing projected benefits for the Agency.

Management then informed the Union that in order to achieve these objectives for ‘ideal warehouses', it was planning the introduction of technology not yet used in the CCRA (Carousels), as well as maximizing the use of technology already available in DC (Bar-code scanners). Carousels mechanically conveyed forms and publications to an operator who picked customer delivery orders while bar code scanners scanned the inventory. Management expected these technologies to significantly improve productivity.

The next step was to complete the two Requests for Proposal (RFP) processes to confirm successful bidder(s). The RFP for Carousels would reflect the requirement to supply and install the technology and provide the training.

Management expected implementation to take place by the next filling season recognizing, however, that it was a very ambitious timeline given that RFPs were not yet finalized.

Management acknowledged that the introduction of these technologies would have an impact on human resources but it could not, as of yet, determine to what extent.

Management confirmed that, consistent with all other aspects of the WRP, a thorough HR impact analysis would be conducted and a suitable HR Strategy developed to ensure transparency and fair treatment of all employees concerned. It emphasized the CCRA's past successes in providing employees with employment opportunities.

Management agreed to share with the Union , information concerning human resources impacts as soon as it is available.

2• T1 NATIONAL POOL FOR COLLECTIONS

Management provided an update on the T1 National Pool for Collections.

Management confirmed that as a result of the successes of the Inter-regional pool, the Prairie pool and the SOR New Intake Center projects, the Accounts Receivable Program implemented a T1 National Pool on April 1, 2003 . This virtual pool receives new T1 accounts under 50K from all the regions. The accounts continue to go through several steps prior to being included in the national pool i.e., notice of assessment, collection letter, call centers and then transferred to the national pool. Should the accounts not be resolved at the pool level, they would be sent to TSOs, based on traditional geographical allocation. A communication strategy had been finalized and issued to TSOs, as well as posted on Infozone.

For the current fiscal, 120 collectors are assigned to the pool, approximately 10 teams of 12 located in: Sydney , Bathurst , Montérégie, Thunder Bay , Sudbury , Toronto North, Regina , Saskatoon , and Penticton . Management mentioned that it did not expect any negative impact on human resources, as this approach was launched to better manage work volume in Collections.

The Union expressed its view that pool intakes increased the work complexity of TSO accounts. Management stated that complex accounts were always part of TSO workloads and that TSOs have already reduced team size and mix of PM1s and PMs over time to reflect the different mix of accounts reaching TSOs. However, it confirmed that it would be monitoring workload changes on an ongoing basis.

The Union reiterated its concern with the issue of recording client information (diary notes) in the employee's preferred official language vs. that of the client's. The Union stated that it noted inconsistencies in the application at the local level and asked management to confirm that, as per the Language of Work Policy, employees could choose their preferred official language when writing notes in a client's file.

Management confirmed that several options were being looked at with National UTE representatives in order to resolve this issue and committed to continue discussions with the Union in a separate forum.

3. ELECTRONIC BILL PRESENTMENT

Management briefed the Union on the Electronic Bill Presentment initiative.

Management informed the Union that the objective of the initiative is to save on outbound postage costs in relation to source deductions (PAYDAC System). The initiative is planned to be launched in January 2004. This Bill Presentment initiative will allow employers to submit their payments electronically through service agents such as Epost, Eroute or through their financial institution.

Management stated that the initiative was to take advantage of the rapid growth of Internet and electronic commerce, and to allow the Agency to offer its services by way of a new service channel. Postage savings were expected as a result of the reduction in statements issued in paper format and the consequent reduction in the cost of stamps. Actual take up is not known and will be influenced by how service providers or banks market this new service offering.

Management confirmed that it did not expect any reduction of staff.

4. MY ACCOUNT-BENEFIT PAYMENT ONLINE (BPO)

Management briefed the Union on the My Account-Benefit Payment Online initiative.

This initiative was part of the Government On Line (GOL) initiative involving a partnership between the Individual Returns and Payments Processing and Benefit Programs Directorates. Management indicated that it was intended to give individual clients the ability to view certain personal tax and benefit information on the Internet. The initial release was planned for June 4, 2003 .

A handout describing the process was provided to the Union. Future releases would provide the client with information on RRSPs, HBPs and LLPs, as well as more details on the individual's tax account.

The Union asked Management if any HR impacts were expected, specifically in Call Centers, as the number of calls from clients should be reduced over time. Management indicated that while it was expecting a reduction in the number of simple client enquiries, past experience had shown that such services led to an increase in more complex and detailed inquiries.

The Union suggested that an upward classification of front line positions could become necessary because of the increased complexity of client enquiries.

5. INTERACTIVE INFORMATION SERVICES (IIS)

Management provided the Union with an update on the CCRA Interactive Information Services initiatives (IIS).

The Interactive Information Services initiative, which was implemented a year ago to provide clients with information and assistance relating to general inquiries, had been successfully expanded to provide the public with web content for Small and Medium Enterprises and Benefit Programs. Since January 2003, the CCRA-IIS received 3.2 million page requests including 50,000 requests per day during peak filing season. The service will surpass the previous year's filing season total of 3.5 million page requests.

The pilots to assess the utility of CCRA-IIS as an agent resource tool at the Toronto and Hamilton call centers were well received by call center agents.

Management stated that feedback received was very positive and that IIS was also used as a training and reference tool for employees. It specified that next steps would look at expanding ISS with additional and more complex topics, as well as providing more Etools to employees.

Management indicated that, based on past experience, it did not expect any HR impacts.

6. WRITTEN UPDATES

The Union requested clarification on a number of written updates shared with the Committee prior to the meeting.

Thin Client

Management confirmed that implementation of Thin Client in Taxation Centers would depend on cost, as well as infrastructure readiness. It was too early to confirm any impact on employees who provided technical support. However, Management agreed to provide the number of potential employees that could eventually be impacted as part of the transition plan.

Management agreed to provide the Union with a copy of the Sudbury Pilot Report as soon as it was available.

Authentication Management Systems (AMS)

The Union asked if Management would be able to provide information on the number of clients using the system. Management indicated that access to AMS through the Secure Channel infrastructure was very complex and that clients were not comfortable using this system. Furthermore until more applications were made available or AMS simplified, clients would not be inclined to us this service.

The next steps would include providing additional online services such as the Employment Insurance Application.

Corporation Internet Filing (Nee T2 Nefile)

As previously reported in an earlier submission to the Technological Change Sub-Committee, Management does not expect any HR impacts in 2003/2004. However, as the system becomes more popular and the take-up rate increases, Management will be in a better position to estimate operational impacts on term keying staff for 2004/2005.

1-800 Child Tax Benefit Program (CCTB)

In response to the Union 's question as to when it might see the business case conclusions, Management clarified that it was still in the process of being written.

Management also indicated that the pilot was being evaluated and that initial comments from clients and employees were very positive.

Netfile

A bilingual copy of the written update would be provided to the Union .

Efile On-line (nee: Efile Internet)

Management confirmed that no HR impacts were expected as a result of this initiative, as this was solely a change in technological support.

T3 Automation

The Union asked for an update on Phases 4 and 5 of the T3 Automation. Management confirmed that phases 4 and 5 were being reviewed and that it would keep the Union informed of the progress.

GST/HST Enhanced Registration Review (GERR)

The Union suggested that the next written update for GERR should include the increase in FTEs as a result of this initiative. Management agreed.

CPP-EI Case Management

The Union requested more information on the 6-month pilot project.

Management confirmed that implementation of this initiative was delayed due to resource issues at HRDC. Management would keep the Union informed of the progress and indicated that, as this was solely a change in how HRDC communicated information to the CCRA, there would be no HR impacts.

Quality Assurance Monitoring (QAM)

The Union requested that future written updates on this initiative clearly articulate the Union 's role. Management agreed. It further agreed to share the QAM pilot findings with the Union in the fall, prior to the establishment of the action plan.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Union acknowledged the great exchange of information during the meeting and asked Management to share more information on potential HR impacts at future meetings. It reiterated its intent to work with Management in a positive spirit.

Management thanked the participants and asked the Union to convey to its membership Management's gratitude for a great filling season.

(Original signed by)
Dave Miller
Assistant Commissioner
Assessment and Collections Branch
Date: September 11, 2003

(Original signed by)
Betty Bannon
National President
Union of Taxation Employees
Date: September 10, 2003


Technological Change Sub-Committee Meeting
May 8, 2003

WRITTEN UPDATES

  • WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
  • SERVICE STRATEGY
  • THIN CLIENT
  • AUTHENTICATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (AMS)
  • INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFICATION CHANGES ON THE INTERNET
  • CORPORATION INTERNET FILING
  • 1-800 CANADA CHILD TAX BENEFIT (CCTB) APPLICATION BY TELEPHONE PROJECT
  • NETFILE
  • EFILE ON-LINE
  • T3 AUTOMATION
  • MATCHING REDESIGN
  • GST/HST NETFILE
  • GST/HST ENHANCED REGISTRATION REVIEW (GERR)
  • AUTO RELEASE OF PENSIONABLE AND INSURABLE EARNING REVIEW (PIER)
  • CPP-EI CASE MANAGEMENT
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE MONITORING (QAM)
  • OTHER LEVIES – ENDORSING AND SECURING
  • OTHER LEVIES – ASSESSING
  • TAX PAYMENT BY DEBIT CARD AT TSOs
  • STANDARDIZED ACCOUNTING ELECTRONIC SERVICE DELIVERY (ESD)

1. WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

ISSUE

The Unions would like to know the status of this initiative.

MANAGEMENT WRITTEN RESPONSE

This software purchase has been deferred until the Collections Call Centre predictive dialer platform purchase contract is resolved. At issue is the ability to provide bilingual user interfaces. CCRA's Revenue Collections Directorate, Telephony and Program Support Division and Material Management Division are currently reviewing the contract and developing strategies to continue to enhance the Collections Call Centre.

At this point in time, management would like to remove this item from the agenda until the contracting issues are resolved, at which time it will be reintroduced.

2. SERVICE STRATEGY

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Since the “Service Strategy and Roadmap” was first introduced, much progress has been made on many of the initiatives contained in the document. At the present time, it is being updated to reflect the progress made to date, and to identify changes to future development. Once this is complete, these changes will be incorporated in the document. The material on the web is also being expanded to include a fuller description of each of the initiatives. The material is also being tagged and a key word index is being prepared.

3. THIN CLIENT

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative and requested a copy of the Sudbury Pilot Report.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

There are a number of conclusions that can be shared at this time.

The pilot's objectives were to validate the CCRA Thin Client platform for a large site set up with a “remote” site connection, and to determine whether the Thin Client technology represents a viable 3270 terminal replacement solution and an affordable PC alternative for connecting unconnected users. It is clear that thin client is ideally suited to a TC environment and less so for a TSO environment.

The Sudbury users, supervisors, IT support staff, and the client completed surveys, with overwhelmingly positive results. The addition of network laser printers, large colour monitors, and programmable keyboards were frequently mentioned as huge steps forward in quality and reliability.

IT support data gathered during the project maintenance phase showed a support ratio requirement of 1 FTE for every 104 devices or 1 FTE for every 189 users. Support needs must continue to be measured and assessed over a period of at least a full year to establish a valid support ratio for decisions about future similar Thin Client deployment. The cost benefits of Thin Client hardware versus PCs are less clear.

Primarily because of the support ratio issue, the report has not yet been finalized and presented to Senior Management. However, as was agreed at the last meeting, the report will be shared with the union as soon as available.

4. AUTHENTICATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (AMS)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on the AMS model and if there was any further indication of human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The Secure Channel infrastructure has been in operation since September 27, 2002 , enabling the Address Changes Online application. The CCRA has been operating the Secure Channel helpdesk during this time and will continue until June 30, 2003 , at which time it is expected that the operation will be moved to a Government of Canada common service. We are continuing to work closely with the Secure Channel stakeholders to bring the infrastructure to its next level – that of enabling additional applications and other government departments. As indicated previously, the secure channel is an authentication solution for the Government and is not the direct cause of any significant HR impacts.

5. INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFICATION CHANGES ON THE INTERNET (Nee CHANGE OF ADDRESS ON THE INTERNET)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Phase 2 has not commenced due to budget restraints and other priorities.

6. CORPORATION INTERNET FILING (Nee T2 NEFILE)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Phase 1.0 of the Corporation Internet Filing project concluded on March 31, 2003 . The results were very positive.

  • 1,124 Corporation Income Tax Returns were Internet-filed during this phase.
  • Notices of assessment were issued within 10 days for 82% of the Internet-filed returns.
  • 5 Internet-capable software packages are available on the market. Two other packages (from the biggest commercial developer) are forthcoming.

Phase 1.5 commenced on April 7, 2003 . We amended the eligibility criteria and started extending monthly invitations to a much larger target audience. We are also continuing to work with commercial software developers to ensure that the remaining Internet software packages are made available to clients as quickly as possible. Depending on the take-up rate, we should start seeing some operational impacts. We should also be in a better position to start estimating potential savings for the 2004/2005 fiscal.

In terms of Phase 2.0, we have had some preliminary discussions with the Provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Quebec regarding a joint Internet filing process, but feedback from the corporate and accounting communities has indicated a strong need to further simplify the Internet filing process and ease our reliance on the Web Access Code (WAC) security protocol. Our clients have suggested that we eliminate the need to obtain a WAC for each filing and register “agents” (e.g. accounting firms) similar to the T1 EFILE On-line System .

We think that this initiative is a major step forward in simplifying our current process and generating a much higher volume of Internet-filed returns. The increased interest and traffic will also position us very well to offer other enhancements such as batch filing and a joint-filing process with interested provincial partners.

7. 1-800 CHILD TAX BENEFIT PROGRAM (CCTB)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The business case is being evaluated to determine the next steps of this initiative.

8. NETFILE

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

BACKGROUND
At previous meetings, Management informed the Unions that the acceptance of the NETFILE service by Canadian taxpayers was very encouraging. Year to date, over a million returns had been Netfiled, an increase of about 50% over the previous year. If current filing patterns continued, the Agency expect to receive about 2.1 million returns for the season.

Additional help desk staff had been hired to maintain and improve the level of service to Canadians. Although call duration and complexity had decreased, there had been an increase of approximately 43% in the number of telephone agents over the same period last year. A significant proportion of these new agents had been deployed in the evening hours when filing volumes were highest.

At the last meeting, Management confirmed that the e-services help desks were located in the Winnipeg and Ottawa TCs. The staff had been given expanded responsibilities; in addition to NETFILE calls, employees also took calls for the address change on-line application. Management explained that CR-04 staff handled the first line calls to e-services help desks whereas PM-01's were resource and training officers.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The Agency expects to receive about 2.5 million Netfiled returns for the season (a 25% increase over last year).

For the 2003/2004 fiscal period, reductions are planned for staff levels answering NETFILE related calls at the e-services helpdesk. Every effort will be made to structure staffing levels so employees will be deployed when filing volumes and customer demand are highest.

9. EFILE ON-LINE (nee: EFILE INTERNET)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Core features for the first phase of EFILE Modernization were planned to be introduced for the 2003 filing program while enhancements would be introduced in the next phase.

The core features include:

  • Real-time requests for SEND (System for Electronic Notification of Debts),
  • Internet batch filing of T1 returns,
  • Internet retrieval of acknowledgement files,
  • Self serve re-acknowledgement should the original be misplaced by the client,
  • List server e-mail services to provide news and bulletin board messages to users.

All features of EFILE On-Line Plus were launched on time, starting with real-time SEND on December 16, 2002. Client acceptance has been very gratifying. Cumulatively, some 43% of all SEND requests have been made through the new Internet option compared to 100% through the traditional proprietary channel last year.

The use of the new Internet batch filing option has also grown steadily to the point that year to date returns processed has exceeded the proprietary channel. Only 1/3 of current daily volumes are now being processed through the proprietary channel. Going forward, the Agency is well positioned to maintain and grow the EFILE program, still our main source of e-commerce transaction processing.

During November 2002, staff from all Taxation Centres attended training in Ottawa . The training for the new system was delivered by headquarters staff and was more in-depth and extensive than anything previously provided to field staff. During their full week of training, they were permitted access to the testing systems so they could observe first hand how all the new features would operate and how back end systems had been modified to accommodate Internet processing. This approach was very well received and TC staff felt they were well equipped to assist clients for the new filing season.

Given the Federal Government's emphasis on promoting e-commerce, the Agency will continue to actively market EFILE On-Line Plus to tax professionals in the coming years.

10. T3 AUTOMATION

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

At the last meeting, Management advised the Unions that Phases 1 and 2 were complete and that there were no loss of indeterminate jobs. The T3 Automated Notice of

(Re)Assessment, a Phase 3 initiative, was implemented at conversion in 2002 and is working well. At the previous meeting Management told the Union that the system for assessing the new T3GR would be implemented in October 2002. Dues to delays, it was implemented in December 2002. The Union has previously been advised of the affected jobs as a result of the automated notice and of new T3GR.

During 2002, new tasks were implemented under Phase 3B such as new locator number, automatic loading of variables in explanation verses, changes to assessing screens, balancing logic, and new error clues. During this period there was a lot of work done to implement T3 reassessing. The automated Notice of Reassessment was implemented in October 2002. No loss of staff occurred as a result of Phase 3B.

During November 2002, Headquarters, in conjunction with systems and taxation centre staff, reviewed the T3 Automation project and developed a plan for the future. Since a revised business case has not been put forward for Phases 4 and 5 of T3 Automation, no approval to proceed for the project has been given.

11. MATCHING REDESIGN

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative:

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Several key deliverables pertaining to components of the new online case management system were not achieved, which meant that the new system could not be implemented as planned for 2002. T he Phase 1 delivery on those online components has, therefore, been delayed until September 2003.

Phase 2 is now scheduled for delivery in 2004, which will include further refinements to the risk management capabilities.

A new training course has been developed, and will be made available to staff in September 2003. Train-the-trainer sessions are being scheduled for early September 2003, in Ottawa and Shawinigan .

Based on the development work completed it was possible to generate paper discrepancy output for the new T3 information slip workload. Therefore, field offices staff were able to process the new workload using the old legacy environment.

There are still no negative impacts anticipated to human resource levels. In fact, program resource levels are expected to eventually increase with the new workloads identified.

12. GST/HST NETFILE

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

GST/HST NETFILE was implemented nationally on April 7, 2003 . We continue to estimate a reduction of 7.5 FTEs (indeterminate employees), which would be reallocated to other workloads within the TCs.

13. GST/HST ENHANCED REGISTRATION REVIEW (GERR)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative and would like to know of the anticipated impacts on human resources.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The GERR pilot project in the St. John 's TC has proven to be very successful. The GERR initiative will be implemented on a national basis starting in June 2003 with a phased in approach. In June 2003, the workload in St. John's will be expanded to include all new GST/HST registrations done in Ontario , New Brunswick , Newfoundland and Labrador , Nova Scotia , and Prince Edward Island . In September 2003, the Winnipeg TC will commence reviewing new GST/HST registrations occurring in the Yukon , North West Territories, Nunavut , Saskatchewan , Alberta , Manitoba , British Columbia , and the federally administered GST/HST accounts in Quebec .

The Assessment & Collections Branch will obtain additional resources for the two TCs to handle this increased workload. Workload volumes and budgetary requirements are currently being reviewed.

14. AUTO RELEASE OF PENSIONABLE AND INSURABLE EARNING REVIEW (PIER)

ISSUE

The Union would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The actual FTE reduction reported for the 2002-2003 fiscal is still accurate. We had to make a final quarter adjustment for one TC in 2002-2003. The remaining work's complexity did not result in as great a reduction of term positions as expected. For the 2003-2004 fiscal period, we have increased the budget by 1.44 FTEs over what we budgeted for 2002-2003.

This initiative has been in production for over two years and other external influences have affected PIER volumes, so we are no longer able to accurately isolate program fluctuations as part of this change. For this reason, and since this change is now well established, this should be our final update.

15. CPP-EI CASE MANAGEMENT

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative and would like to be advised of any human resources impacts.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

A business case reflecting IT costs for the system changes have been reviewed and approved by HRDC. This project will be developed over a 6-month period, followed by a 6-month pilot project. The full implementation schedule of the electronic link is forecasted for April 2004.

The goal of this project is to allow both organizations to obtain files electronically via secure channels instead of using faxes. As a result, this will increase the efficiency and contribute to reduce the turn around time due to the mailing process. However, there will always be information/files that will require to be received in the traditional fashion (fax and mail). Therefore, this will not result in any job cuts.

16. QUALITY ASSURANCE MONITORING (QAM)

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on the QAM pilot initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

The evaluation was conducted during July and August 2002, by an outside consultant. We now have the report and are analyzing the findings and recommendations in order to meet with the Managers of the 3 call sites in Montreal , Toronto and Vancouver . The findings indicate that the program was well received by both management and staff. However, some fine-tuning is proposed prior to expanding the use of the program. Our plan of action will be shared with the union once we have met with the 3 offices.

Preliminary discussions will be held with the Montreal , Toronto and Vancouver call centres to discuss an action plan for updating the QAM program. Further work has been delayed until after the T1 filing season.

17. OTHER LEVIES – ENDORSING AND SECURING

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Release 4
The Other Levies Endorsing and Securing system was successfully implemented on April 7, 2003 . The training was delivered as originally planned to all affected employees at headquarters, in the Summerside Tax Centre and in the TSO Centres of Expertise. Some work has been re-allocated from the Summerside Tax Centre to the Centres of Expertise. However, there will be no FTE impacts and no workload impacts on Summerside as a result of OLES.

Release 5 Update
The Other Levies Assessing System is on schedule for the July 1 implementation. The conversion of the data from the Excise Commercial System will take place on June 27 th and the implementation of OL will occur from June 28-30.

The training package has been developed and the training schedule is being finalized. The following training schedule is being proposed:

OLAS – July Implementation

  • Training of HQ staff (A&C, CPB, P&L, Appeals) – 4th week of May
  • Training of TSO staff (P&L, CPB) – 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd weeks of June
  • Training of Summerside TC staff - 4 th week of June

The OL team will also be working together with Standardized Accounting and Policy and Legislation Branch to provide a co-ordinated training schedule and to relate the contents of the three training courses together for the end users.

HR Issues
No change from the previous information provided. There has not been any FTE impacts as a result of the shift in work to the Centres of Expertises and there are no FTE impacts expected with the July release.

In terms of the human resources impacts, there might be a need to reallocate the type of work performed. The system will permit Other Levies users in the TSO Centres of Expertise to do some work that is currently being done in the Summerside Tax Centre”

18. OTHER LEVIES ASSESSING SYSTEM

ISSUE

The Unions would like to know of any resulting human resources impacts.

BACKGROUND
At previous meetings, Management stated that the Other Levies System (“OLS”) project would replace the existing Excise Commercial System (“ECS”). The new system would be composed of three separate applications: Endorsing (formerly known as Licensing), Securing (formerly known as Bonding), and Other Levies Assessing System (“OLAS”).

There is no change from the comments made at the previous meeting. The system will provide functionality that enables the work to be portable, and we expect to have no FTE impacts.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

On July 1, 2003 , the Other Levies Assessing System will join the other common component systems of BCCS, SA, and Case to replace ECS. This will complete the successful migration of the second line of business to the Business Suite of Systems.

The number of FTEs in the Excise Unit at the Summerside Taxation Centre will remain unchanged at 1 MG3, 1 PM 2 Technical Advisor, 9 PM 1s and 6 CR 3s. The work carried out by the CRs will remain unaffected as will the work performed by the PM1s who are currently responsible for accounting and assessing issues.

While the standardized accounting process is being performed for CORTAX by a separate accounting unit, Summerside management and the Headquarters do not anticipate migrating the accounting function to that unit. It is imperative that the critical mass of technical expertise regarding the Excise program, during this eventful period, be retained in the Excise Unit. In this regard, thought is being given to creating another PM 2 Technical Officer to deal solely with issues related to standardized accounting.

PM 1 officers will undergo extensive training to enable them use the Standardized Accounting System. Two weeks of accounting training is scheduled for the period of June 9 to June 20 followed by training on the OLS during the week of June 23 to June 27 (this training will be given to all staff in the Excise Unit). Then, the PM 1 officers will work with and receive guidance from the Standardized Accounting function for a minimum period of 6 months following implementation of the OLS. Additional accounting training will be scheduled for the fall of 2003.

The accounting workload allocation will be reviewed jointly by Summerside management and Headquarters, to determine whether the all accounting functions should be performed by one group (for CORTAX, Excise and GST), when the third business line (GST) joins the Business Suite of Systems in 2005.

19. TAX PAYMENT BY DEBIT CARD AT TSO's

ISSUE

The Unions would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

Phase 1 was implemented on time and within budget. Procedures were provided to the field and training was staggered to allow Project Team members to be on site for the training and start-up. Training was on live work. Several offices complimented the training and most have indicated that they enjoy the debit card payment option.

Details of Phase 2 are being finalized. Offices have been cabled and debit card terminals have been ordered. To accommodate summer holidays, training and implementation will be in two blocks – May/June and September/October. Offices are currently aware of which block they are in and a detailed schedule is being prepared to provide them with the actual date (s) of their training.

20. STANDARDIZED ACCOUNTING ELECTRONIC SERVICE DELIVERY (ESD)

ISSUE

The Union would like an update on this initiative.

MANAGEMENT'S WRITTEN RESPONSE

E Request for Business Clients
Phase 1 of the E-Request for Business Clients initiative was successfully implemented in the first week of October 2002.

Phase 2 development was successfully implemented on April 8th 2003 .

In excess of 1300 Online Requests have been received to date.

Phases 3 and 4 are now expected to be implemented at the same time in April 2006. The delay is due to other priorities.

As previously noted at the last two meetings, there are neither training nor human resources impacts forecast for any of the phases of this initiative. Through every phase, where auto-created cases are required, Taxation Center staff will be involved in resolving the client's request using existing technology.