Technological Change Committee

Minutes of the Technological Change Sub-Committee Meeting

April 29, 2002

BETWEEN THE CANADA CUSTOMS AND REVENUE AGENCY AND THE UNION OF TAXATION EMPLOYEES

OPENING REMARKS

David Miller, Assistant Commissioner, Assessment and Collections Branch, welcomed everyone to the meeting. He mentioned that this would be the last meeting for the Union co-chair, Gord Hawkins. Mr. Miller wished the Union co-chair every success in his future endeavours.

1. STANDARDIZED ACCOUNTING ELECTRONIC SERVICE DELIVERY (ESD)

Management introduced this new initiative stating that business clients would be able to contact the CCRA through the Agency’s website.

Phase I was expected to begin in October 2002, when business clients would be able to contact the Agency via the Internet to request certain limited client account information or that specific accounting actions be undertaken. Agency staff would respond to the client using existing methods of communication. Phase 2, tentatively scheduled for April 2003, would provide for automatic feedback to the client over the Internet. Phase 3, tentatively scheduled for October 2003, would provide for more detailed communication activities. Phase 4, planned for April 2004, would allow for more sensitive data to be communicated over the Internet. Phase 4 would only be implemented if security software is in effect at that time.

The workload was currently performed in the taxation centres and was expected to remain in the centres. Management stressed that this ESD initiative would be phased in very gradually.

2. TAX PAYMENT BY DEBIT CARD AT TSOs

Management stated that this new initiative was being introduced as a response to lobbying from the clients and the business community who were showing a preference for using debit cards for payments rather than cheques. The debit card service would be piloted in six TSOs (one per region to be determined) representing a mix of small medium and large offices. Phase 1 was expected to begin in January 2003 and, if successful, would be implemented nationally in October 2003. Prior to implementation, cash area employees will receive training on both the changes to FIP and on the debit card process.

3. OTHER LEVIES – ENDORSING AND SECURING

Management stated that the Other Levies project would replace the existing Excise Commercial System (ECS) with the new Other Levies System (OLS). 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).

The first three releases (April and October 2001, and April 2002) were preparatory in nature and allowed for the Business Number (BN) to be assigned to excise accounts and provided, through Standardized Accounting (SA), various system enhancements. Workers Compensation Board and Industry Canada payments were moved from Automated Sub Ledger (ASL) to SA and gave TC staff broader access to the system.

The next set of releases would pave the way for full implementation. Release 4

(October 2002) would see the implementation of OL Endorsing and Securing Applications and would interface with BN, CASE and BCCS. Existing SA clients would be able to register requests for specific information.

Release 5 (April 2003) would implement the OL Assessing application with an interface to SA, RL, ACSES, REMITS, CASE and BCCS. The Payment Capture System (SCS) would be implemented. Clients would be able to register requests for specific information or activity and receive some limited system auto-response.

Release 6 (October 2003) would enable clients to send and receive all communication electronically, including endorsements, memos and notices. Clients would be able to register requests for specific information with the option of regular or electronic mail reply and if the reply should also go to an authorized third party.

Release 7 (April 2004) would add decision support for endorsing, securing and assessing. OLS and SA would be in a position to accept trusted public sector partners.

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.

4. INTER-REGIONAL POOL PILOT PROJECT FOR COLLECTIONS

Management stated that the Inter-Regional Pool project would create a Virtual Office in the Organization (ORG) System that would be accessed by the four regions (Pacific, NORO, Quebec and Atlantic) participating in the project. Because of the ever-increasing workloads, the view was to take the work to the staff who could perform it rather than have it distributed by geographical boundaries (e.g. an employee in the Atlantic region could work on an account from the Pacific region). As of June 1, 2002, the Pool would consist of all new intake of DAC2, T1 Accounting files under $50,000.

This new initiative would be announced to employees via Questions and Answers, Desk Drops and an InfoZone announcement. Expansion of the project would be dependant on the results.

5.1 SELF SERVE OPTIONS

Management advised that the CCRA was not provided with the necessary funding from the recent Treasury Board allocations under Government On-Line (GOL) for Individual Services. As a result, Management was reviewing Branch priorities to determine whether sufficient funding would be allocated to the development of some of the functionalities previously identified. Any implementation of new functionality would not occur before 2003/2004.

5.2 CORPORATION INTERNET FILING (NEE: T2 NETFILE)

Management stated that Phase 1of the pilot would be implemented in October 2002, at which time 20,000 corporations would be invited to file the 2002 T2 returns via the Internet. Based on other experiences, the expected take-up rate would be 10%-15%. The expected saving would be minimal for 2002/2003. Minor training would be necessary for the Shawinigan and Winnipeg Help Desk staff.

Phase 1.5 (April 2003) would expand the invitation base to a larger group of corporations. A minimum of 15,000 to 20,000 invitations would be issued each month. Depending on the take-up rate, impacts could be seen on screening and data entry activities. The feasibility of a joint-Internet filing option with the provinces of Ontario and Alberta (who are very interested in this project) could be examined as well.

Phase 2 (October 2003) would open the project to most corporations, at which time Management should be in a better position to determine, more fully, the human resources impacts.

5.3 OTHER BUSINESS

1-800 Child Tax Benefits Program (CCTB)

The pilot, which is now completed, was very successful and the results will be carefully evaluated to assist in determining the future direction of this workflow.

Initial Assessing Legacy System

Management confirmed that the Real-Time Tracking enhancement would provide for better client service, as netfiled T1 returns would be updated to CCRA systems immediately, thus providing staff with current accurate account information.

It was agreed that the following items would be removed from the agenda with the provision that should any activity reoccur on any of these initiatives, they would be brought back for discussion:

  • NETWRITE
  • Initial Assessing Legacy System
  • GST/HST TELEFILE
  • T2 Redesign (CORTAX System)
  • Business Registration On-Line (nee: Business Number)
  • T4 NETFILE
  • Pre-Authorized Debits (PADs)
  • TELEREPLY Service (Payroll Deductions)
  • Call Centre Blending
  • CPP-EI Fillable Forms
  • Fillable Forms
  • MTV Call Centres – Platform Changes
  • Virtual Tape

CLOSING REMARKS

Mr. Miller thanked everyone for the productive discussions and once again wished Gord Hawkins all the best in his retirement.

(original signed by)
Dave Miller
Assistant Commissioner
Assessment and Collections Branch
August 28, 2002

(original signed by)
Betty Bannon
National President
Union of Taxation Employees
August 15, 2002