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2013-2014 Estimates – Report on Plans and Priorities

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer operates toward one strategic outcome:

An Accessible Electoral Framework That Canadians Trust and Use

Achieving the strategic outcome is facilitated by a Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) consisting of three programs that are directly beneficial to Canadians.

Program Expected Results
Electoral Operations The electoral process is accessible and administered fairly and efficiently.
Regulation of Electoral Activities Canadians have confidence in the fairness of the administration and enforcement of electoral legislation.
Electoral Engagement Canadians make informed decisions about their engagement in the electoral process.

A fourth program, Internal Services, contributes to the agency's organizational priorities by enabling the other three programs to achieve their expected results.

Program: Electoral Operations

Program Description

This program allows Elections Canada to deliver fair and efficient electoral events whenever they may be required so that Canadians are able to exercise their democratic right to vote in a federal general election, by-election or referendum. To this end, the agency provides an accessible and constantly improved electoral process that is responsive to the needs of electors.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
36,641 36,641 35,246 36,063

*The decrease in planned spending in 2014–2015 is mainly a result of the independent commissions being set to complete the readjustment of federal electoral boundaries in 2013–2014, while the increase in 2015–2016 is a result of planned expenditures related to election readiness.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)
2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016
202 193 190

Program Expected Results Performance Indicators
The electoral process is administrated fairly and efficiently.
  • Percentage of Canadians who believe that Elections Canada administers elections in a fair manner
  • Cost of elections per elector
Elections Canada is prepared to hold electoral events whenever they are called.
  • Percentage of electoral offices that are fully functional within seven days of the start of an electoral event
Canadians have opportunities to exercise their democratic right to vote.
  • Percentage of electors who report not voting for administrative reasons
  • Percentage of polls that open on time
  • Percentage of electors who are satisfied with their experience of casting a ballot
Canadians have the information and support they need to participate in elections.
  • Percentage of Canadians who are aware of the variety of voting methods available
  • Percentage of Canadians who know how and where to vote
Canadians are provided with timely electoral results that accurately reflect the choices they have made.
  • Percentage of polls reporting preliminary results after they close
  • Variance between preliminary results and validated results
  • Variance between reported results and results after judicial recounts
Independent electoral commissions have the capacity to carry out their obligations under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.
  • Percentage of commissioners who are satisfied with the services and support they have received from Elections Canada

Planning Highlights

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will continue to manage electoral events by delivering any by-elections that are called.

Between elections, the agency is responsible for maintaining the National Register of Electors, as well as geographic databases, to reflect population movement and growth. From the Register, Elections Canada prepares annual lists of electors for all electoral districts and associated polling division maps. These are distributed to members of Parliament and, on request, to registered political parties by November 15 of each year, as prescribed by the Canada Elections Act. Elections Canada keeps these maps and lists of electors current in the event that a by-election is called; it also provides them to provincial and territorial electoral agencies where agreements are in place to support their electoral events.

If by-elections are called, the agency will test certain initiatives that are aimed at improving compliance and record-keeping at the polls. However, as part of its fiscal restraint plan, Elections Canada will not implement other service improvements for by-elections held before 2014 or invest resources in referendum readiness.

Activities in Support of Organizational Priorities in 2013–2014

The following planned initiatives within the Electoral Operations program will also contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 2013–2014.

Implement the New Electoral Boundaries

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will continue to provide the commissions conducting the electoral boundaries readjustment process with the professional, financial and administrative services they need to finalize their work. The readjustment process is expected to conclude in fall 2013.

The resulting representation order, which describes the new electoral districts established by the commissions, is expected to be proclaimed by the Governor in Council in September 2013; Elections Canada then has a seven-month period in which to implement the new boundaries. This work includes appointing and training returning officers in the new electoral districts, adjusting the lists of electors, producing maps of the new electoral districts and registering the new electoral district associations. Most of these activities will take place in 2013–2014.

Elections Canada also plans to redesign and modernize the current process of maintaining polling divisions and align the new polling divisions with Statistics Canada's census geographic boundaries. The existing maintenance process, which was developed in the mid-1990s, is complex, costly and time-consuming. Elections Canada will implement the new maintenance process in 2013–2014. We will also develop an online editing tool that will allow returning officers to electronically modify and certify polling division boundaries.

Improve Compliance with Voting Day Procedures

Following reports of administrative irregularities in the riding of Etobicoke Centre (Ontario) during the May 2011 general election, we initiated an independent review of compliance with voting day procedures. Elections Canada will report to Parliament in April 2013 on the findings of the review and on the resulting Compliance Action Plan. We will begin to implement the action plan in 2013–2014 with the aim of improving compliance with standards and procedures on voting days for the 2015 election and beyond.

Elections Canada will also develop a pilot project for the 2015 general election to test a more streamlined way to manage and operate voting at both advance and ordinary polls. We expect to complete the development of the new model in 2013–2014 and will request parliamentary approval in winter 2014. The agency will engage key stakeholders as this initiative progresses.

Enhance Election Officer Training

In response to the review of compliance with voting day procedures and the opportunity afforded by a fixed election date in October 2015, Elections Canada intends to make a significant investment in modernizing and enhancing election officer training for the 2015 general election. For each election, returning officers must hire and train 500 to 800 election workers in their electoral district. This is often a challenge given the short period of time for training, the increasing complexity of the voting process (e.g. voter identification requirements), and traditional training methods.

In 2013–2014, we will complete an assessment of our current election officer training program, including the recommendations arising from the compliance review. We will then develop a 2015 training plan that makes the program more effective and ensures better compliance with standards and procedures. In developing the plan, Elections Canada will consider:

The agency will continue to work with provincial and territorial electoral management bodies to develop standard approaches and share best practices for recruiting and training election officers. We will also engage key stakeholders, including returning officers, election workers, provincial and territorial electoral management bodies and political parties, to review and provide feedback on the training plan and approach. Development of new training tools, techniques and core content will also begin in 2013–2014.

Modernize Voter Registration

For the 2015 general election, Elections Canada will modernize its field voter registration system to give authorized election officers access to a secure and centralized national voters list over the Internet. This will enable us to offer voter registration services wherever there is an Internet connection – in our 120 satellite offices and, potentially, at other targeted locations where voter registration drives are conducted, such as college and university campuses. It will also enable us to offer our new online voter registration service (E-Registration) during the election, which would permit some address changes and limited additions. Legislative change, as recommended by the Chief Electoral Officer in 2010, is required to offer full E-Registration services to electors, such as new registrations.

The technology developed for this project is the first phase in our longer-term plan to allow electors to vote at any polling site in their electoral district. It will also eventually allow candidates and political parties real-time access to the most up-to-date voters list data, including who has voted, and enable us to provide more convenient options to vote by special ballot. In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will largely complete the design and development phases of the new computer application.

Renew Public Enquiries Services

The agency will continue its work in 2013–2014 to renew its public enquiries services, both between and during elections. We will complete procurement for this project and work with the successful bidder to customize and integrate the new services and systems into our public enquiries business process.

Once this project is completed in 2014, specific enhancements will include:

Extend Use of the Voter Information Card

During the May 2011 general election, electors in certain locations, such as seniors' residences, were authorized to use their voter information card (VIC) along with another piece of authorized identification to prove their identity and address when voting. Based on the success of this initiative, Elections Canada plans to extend the use of the VIC to all electors in the 2015 general election. In 2013–2014, we will complete an implementation plan and engage key stakeholders in this initiative.

Develop the Electoral Reminder Program for 2015

One of Elections Canada's key roles is communicating with Canadians to ensure that they understand the electoral process and are registered to vote. In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will begin planning and developing the electoral reminder program for the 42nd general election. This will be a comprehensive, multi-channel communications program designed to inform electors about when, where and how to register and vote during the election as well as how to officially file a complaint with the agency.

Continue to Improve the Accessibility of Programs and Processes

Research completed in March 2012, and a series of meetings held after the 41st general election with a sample of national and regional organizations representing electors with disabilities, identified a number of ways to improve the accessibility of Elections Canada's information products. We will begin to implement these recommendations in 2013–2014. We intend to update our electoral information products for the 2015 general election by using a more consistent design and extending the use of plain language.

We will also develop a training program in partnership with a national organization representing electors with a wide variety of disabilities. The training will be offered to communications staff and those responsible for developing field outreach programming. The goal is to raise awareness of accessibility principles and practices in the workplace and to incorporate them into the design of electoral programs and services.

Accessibility of the voting process remains a priority for Elections Canada for the 2015 general election and beyond, and our research and discussions with disability groups have identified a number of measures that we can take to make improvements in this area. Preliminary findings indicate that the major barriers faced by these electors can be grouped into four broad categories:

Elections Canada recognizes that some outstanding commitments to polling site accessibility remain, including implementing a new accessibility standard, conducting site accessibility inspections and continuing to improve signage. In 2013–2014, we will complete our review of the evaluations and complaints received from the 2011 election. This, combined with the results from our research and discussions with disability groups, will be factored into a 2015 accessibility plan outlining the improvements for the next general election. In 2013–2014, we will complete the planning and begin to develop the improved products and services in consultation with stakeholders.

Conduct Voter Registration Drives Prior to the Next Election

Certain groups of electors, such as youth, continue to register in smaller numbers than others. To address this issue, Elections Canada will conduct targeted voter registration drives before the next election is called. In 2013–2014, we will initiate outreach with key stakeholders regarding voter registration drives that target young electors on college and university campuses as well as electors living in Aboriginal communities.

Expand Voting by Special Ballot

Under the Special Voting Rules, electors who cannot or choose not to vote at the advance polls or on election day can vote by special ballot, either by mail or at their local Elections Canada office. To make voting more convenient for certain groups who find it difficult to vote, Elections Canada will expand this service for the 2015 general election by offering on-site special ballot voting in locations such as university and college campuses and Aboriginal friendship centres. In 2013–2014, we will complete the implementation plan that reflects the scope of this initiative. That scope will be defined in the business case completed in winter 2013. We will also engage key stakeholders, such as political parties, to design an oversight mechanism that involves candidates' representatives.

Monitor Developments in Internet Voting

Elections Canada is scaling back its efforts on Internet voting and will delay conducting an I-voting pilot project until after the next general election. However, we will continue to monitor such trials and developments in other jurisdictions to evaluate the feasibility of undertaking an I-voting project at a later date.

Program: Regulation of Electoral Activities

Program Description

This program provides Canadians with an electoral process that is fair, transparent and in compliance with the Canada Elections Act. Within this program, Elections Canada is responsible for administering the political financing provisions of the Act. This includes monitoring compliance, disclosing and reporting financial activities and enforcing electoral legislation.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
28,072 28,072 19,827 12,304

*The gradual reduction in planned spending over the next three fiscal years is primarily a result of phasing out the quarterly allowances to political parties.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)
2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016
76 76 75

Program Expected Results Performance Indicators
Political entities are transparent in their use of financial resources.
  • Percentage of financial returns that are submitted within four months of election day
  • Number of substantive corrections and amendments required to returns
Political entities understand and comply with their obligations and responsibilities under Canada's electoral legislation.
  • Percentage of candidates who understand their obligations and responsibilities regarding contribution limits, as established by the Canada Elections Act
  • Number of cases of non-compliance that are subject to compliance measures

Planning Highlights

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will continue to administer the provisions of the Canada Elections Act and related legislation and to work with political entities. Activities include auditing the financial returns of political entities, including finalizing candidates' returns from the 41st general election; determining reimbursement and subsidy amounts to be paid to political entities; monitoring compliance with the contribution limits; maintaining the registration of political entities; publishing registration information and financial returns on its website; and helping political entities meet their obligations under the Act by offering training and ongoing support. Budget reallocations in 2013–2014 will enable Elections Canada to continue to offer training in political financing to political entities.

Activities in Support of Organizational Priorities in 2013–2014

The following planned initiatives within the Regulation of Electoral Activities program will also contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 2013–2014.

Implement the New Electoral Boundaries

Implementing the new electoral boundaries will generate a significant amount of work for the Political Financing Sector in 2013–2014. This work will include registering the new electoral district associations, reconfirming existing associations and ensuring that the political financing systems capture the new electoral districts. We will also assist the political parties during this transition.

Improve Reporting on Political Financing

While information on political financing activities is available on the Elections Canada website, the agency will develop an annual political financing report that presents the information in a more logical manner and that also analyzes and identifies potential trends. This report will enable us to raise awareness of legislative provisions; it will also give stakeholders general information about, and engage them in, the importance of complying with the political financing requirements.

Conduct a Horizontal Audit of 2011 Contributions

The agency's horizontal audit program aims to identify individuals who have made contributions in excess of the annual contribution limit to a combination of three political entities (nomination contestants, registered associations and candidates) affiliated with the same party in an election. In 2013–2014, we will conduct a horizontal audit of contributions made in 2011 to these three entities to identify individuals who potentially contributed in excess of the contribution limit. As required by the Canada Elections Act, any political entity that received excess funds will be required to pay them back to the contributor or the Receiver General for Canada.

Continue to Improve Stakeholder Information

Elections Canada will continue to review its information and tools to ensure that they are presented to our stakeholders in a consistent, easy-to-access and easily understandable format. In 2012–2013, we completed handbooks for leadership contestants and candidates; in 2013–2014, we will complete handbooks for nomination contestants and electoral district associations.

Improve Enforcement Processes

In recent years, the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections has been investigating a growing number of matters that are complex and sensitive and that are drawing increasing media attention.

The Commissioner's role, which is to ensure that political parties, candidates, third parties and electors abide by the Canada Elections Act, is crucial to maintaining public confidence in the electoral system. While the Commissioner must act diligently, the penal nature of his investigations requires that they be conducted in a manner that meets the highest standards of fairness, consistent with the procedures and requirements of the criminal process.

For 2013–2014, the Chief Electoral Officer has reallocated resources to the Office of the Commissioner so as to assist with its mandate. The Commissioner will focus increasing attention on priority files, referring appropriate cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions and dealing with lesser matters using informal means, such as caution letters and compliance agreements.

Elections Canada will also be looking at ways to improve the manner in which Canadians can bring issues to the attention of the Commissioner and ensure that facts which may be important to his investigations are provided in a timely fashion. In addition, while continuing to preserve the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of investigations, the Commissioner will take steps to better inform Canadians of the number and types of complaints received by his Office as well as the manner in which they are dealt with.

In the medium term, more effective compliance and enforcement will require legislative reforms. Some elements of reform will be included in the report on communications with electors that Elections Canada will submit to Parliament in spring 2013. However, a broader review of the compliance and enforcement regime under the Canada Elections Act is necessary to better align its regulatory requirements with compliance and enforcement mechanisms. For example, regulatory compliance may be better dealt with by additional administrative or civil measures rather than the current criminal process, and more serious offences could be handled by increasing sanctions. In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will develop recommendations in this regard in consultation with the Advisory Committee of Political Parties and submit the resulting report to Parliament in the spring of 2014.

Program: Electoral Engagement

Program Description

This program promotes and sustains the Canadian electoral process. It provides Canadians with electoral education and information programs so that they can make informed decisions about their engagement in the electoral process. The program also aims to improve the electoral framework by consulting and sharing electoral practices with other stakeholders.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
8,939 8,939 9,063 8,246

*Electoral Engagement for 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 includes spending related to a project to improve the agency's capability for responding to public enquiries. The project will be completed in 2014–2015.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)
2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016
65 63 61

Program Expected Results Performance Indicators
Canadians make informed decisions about their engagement in the electoral process.
  • Percentage of Canadians who believe that they can make an informed decision about their engagement
Canadians understand the importance of voting and the value of participating in the electoral process.
  • Percentage of Canadians who understand the importance of voting
  • Percentage of Canadians who understand the value of participating in the electoral process
Elections Canada and international electoral stakeholders improve their capacity to better administer the electoral process.
  • Percentage of international and domestic stakeholders who intend to incorporate shared best practices
Parliamentarians have access to evidence-based information, allowing them to make informed decisions about existing and emerging electoral issues.
  • Percentage of parliamentarians satisfied with the quality of the Chief Electoral Officer's recommendations reports

Planning Highlights

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will continue to take actions to reduce barriers to voting experienced by certain groups of electors, with a particular focus on youth. It will conduct and use research to inform its activities. It will also emphasize sharing knowledge with key stakeholders to raise the level of awareness of declining voter turnout and the value of ongoing civic education. The overarching goal is to build understanding among youth of the importance of voting.

As part of its fiscal restraint plan, Elections Canada will limit its international role in 2013–2014 to contributing to the work of multilateral organizations, such as the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Organization of American States.

Activities in Support of Organizational Priorities in 2013–2014

The following planned initiatives within the Electoral Engagement program will also contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 2013–2014.

Conduct Research

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will undertake applied research to support its three-year business plan. In particular, it will focus on two areas:

In support of the initiative to extend the use of the VIC to all electors, Elections Canada will conduct the research necessary to develop a new overall voter identification policy. This will support simplifying the administration of the voter identification regime, making it more consistent and coherent, while maintaining the integrity of the voting process.

The agency will also conduct fundamental research on various issues concerning the attitudes of Canadians toward democracy. This work will leverage the results from the Canadian Election Study, a leading academic longitudinal study on federal elections in Canada.

Promote Civic Education Programming

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will undertake a number of initiatives to continue its civic education program. We will promote our civic education materials, and those of our partners, to current and future teachers by attending teachers' resource fairs across the country and conducting awareness campaigns through educator associations and publications.

We will work with and mobilize a variety of partners to reach and engage youth by organizing the third annual Canada's Democracy Week in September 2013. This event is built around the United Nations' International Day of Democracy on September 15.

We will identify a service provider to implement the highly successful parallel election program for youth who have not yet reached voting age. Held during federal general elections since 2004, this program enables students in participating elementary and high schools to practise casting a ballot and participate in the conduct of a parallel election.

Improve Youth Engagement

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will conduct several projects aimed at developing knowledge and sharing it with key stakeholders to improve youth engagement. We will complete our focus group testing of Canadians aged 18 to 34, exploring ways to overcome motivational barriers to voting, and share our findings with relevant stakeholders. This research builds on findings from the National Youth Survey conducted immediately following the 2011 general election.

We will work with Elections BC to conduct a field experiment that measures the impact of specific mobilization efforts to encourage voting. The findings will be implemented during the provincial election in British Columbia in May 2013, and we will share them with a wide variety of stakeholder groups. This will be the first study of its kind in Canada.

Findings from the National Youth Survey indicate that youth who are contacted by political parties or candidates during an election are more likely to vote. In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will conduct a comparative study on innovative and successful best practices used by political parties in Canada and abroad to reach out to youth.

Provide Support for Parliamentarians

Elections Canada will be prepared to support parliamentarians by providing evidence-based information on emerging electoral issues. We will place a particular focus on the reports that the Chief Electoral Officer will present in spring 2013 to strengthen the electoral framework.

Internal Services

Program Description

In addition to carrying out programs that directly benefit Canadians, Elections Canada requires internal services to help fulfill its mandate. These services focus on human resources modernization, performance management, legal services, internal audits, financial and human resources management, and information management and technology.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
42,202 42,202 32,979 32,979

*Internal Services for 2013–2014 includes one-time spending for the Office Consolidation and Relocation project. The project will end in 2013–2014.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)
2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016
145 136 132

Planning Highlights

In 2013–2014, all internal services at Elections Canada will continue to focus on enabling the agency's programs to meet its priorities and obligations, while ensuring adequate accountability and stewardship.

The Information Technology Sector will continue to provide the required technology and support to the 10 electoral boundaries commissions as they finalize their work. This sector will also play a pivotal role in delivering our three-year plan to improve services to electors in support of initiatives that have significant technology components – in particular, the new applications to support modernized field voter registration and enhanced enquiries services. Work will also continue to keep Elections Canada's information technology (IT) infrastructure current, maintain agency-specific systems and ensure efficient telecommunications services.

The Human Resources Sector provides the agency with strategic advice, corporate programs and services, and operational support, such as occupational health and safety and employee assistance programs. In 2013–2014, the sector will continue its efforts to develop the skills and competencies of its employees to deliver on its overall vision. The sector will also continue supporting the agency's efforts to close the representation gap for employment equity groups, especially women.

Elections Canada's corporate planning unit will be responsible for bringing coherence and alignment to our three-year plan and projects as well as reporting on our progress to external audiences. The unit will oversee the execution of the integrated plan developed in 2012–2013 to implement the new electoral boundaries resulting from the electoral boundaries readjustment process.

The Finance, Internal Audit and Administration Sector will continue to ensure sound financial management and provide corporate advice and guidance to the agency and the 10 electoral boundaries commissions. The sector will continue to provide expertise in the areas of procurement and contracting, internal auditing and management of real property, and it will meet its obligations in the areas of building services and physical and personnel security.

Activities in Support of Organizational Priorities in 2013–2014

The following additional planned initiatives within the Internal Services program will also contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 2013–2014 by enabling its other three programs to achieve their expected results.

Complete the Office Consolidation and Relocation Project

Although the overall budget of $19.8 million remains the same, delays encountered in the office relocation project mean that a significant portion of expenditures originally forecast for 2012–2013 will be incurred in 2013–2014. Planned expenditures for 2013–2014 are $9.2 million. The phased-in relocation of the agency to its new location in Gatineau will begin in summer 2013 and will be completed in late fall 2013.

Ensure Compliance of the Website with Federal Accessibility Standards

In response to a Federal Court ruling to make federal government websites fully accessible to members of the public with disabilities, Elections Canada will continue to implement its three-year plan to make its web applications and static documents fully compliant. Work will continue over the period to ensure that all the existing content on our website meets accessibility guidelines by July 31, 2013.

Implement Financial Management

In 2013–2014, the agency will continue to develop and implement a financial management framework, which will focus on internal controls, including asset management. We will also develop and implement a security management framework, which will include a departmental security plan and a business continuity plan.

Prepare the Next Risk-Based Audit Plan

In 2013–2014, Elections Canada will review its programs and corporate functions to prepare its Risk-Based Audit Plan for the period 2013–2016. As part of this initiative, we will determine the scope of the audit to be undertaken in 2013–2014; it will include a range of continuous and compliance audits as well as reviews of high-risk activities.

Implement Workforce Adjustment Measures

Elections Canada has made every effort to limit the impact of fiscal restraint measures on its employees. Nevertheless, the completion of the zero-based-budgeting exercise in 2012–2013 confirmed that the agency lacked the funds required to continue to finance a number of indeterminate positions going forward. As a result, in 2012–2013, Elections Canada began implementing workforce adjustment measures and informed employees, on January 15, 2013, that 32 encumbered positions would be eliminated. The Human Resources Sector will continue to play a crucial role in guiding managers through the administration of workforce adjustment measures.

During this transition period, the sector will facilitate communication throughout the agency, provide advice and recommendations, liaise with central agencies, and provide training and support to employees going through career transition. Finally, the sector will ensure that Elections Canada meets the provisions of the Work Force Adjustment Directive, maximizes employment opportunities for affected and surplus employees, and minimizes involuntary job losses, while taking into account the agency's current and future operational requirements.

Develop a Change Management Approach

Elections Canada's personnel, both in Ottawa and in the field, will face several changes over the 2012–2015 period as a result of:

To assist our personnel through this period of transition, we will develop a full set of guidelines and tools to ensure that we implement a comprehensive change management approach.

We will also create a Change Management Committee, which will work in collaboration with the Corporate Strategy Office. (More information on this office is provided below.) The committee's mandate will be to provide Elections Canada with a standardized and integrated change management strategy as well as tools to support all change initiatives, monitor their execution and proactively foster employee engagement.

Strengthen Information Management

In keeping with direction from central agencies, Elections Canada continues to strengthen its information management program. As we prepare to consolidate all employees in a single building, we are taking this opportunity to identify information of business value, establish information-retention periods and dispose of electronic and paper information that is no longer required.

Additionally, we will extend our efforts to digitize paper records of business value, categorizing and storing them in a new corporate information structure. This information architecture will allow us to carry out a pilot project in 2013–2014 of a computer application that efficiently captures, retrieves and manages records in an electronic-information environment, while protecting the integrity of personal information.

Continue to Strengthen Information Technology

IT continues to be a key component of virtually all of the agency's business operations and plans for the 2015 general election. In 2013–2014, we will strengthen and standardize processes and technology to develop and support our IT products more efficiently. We will also update our multi-year investment plan and develop a strategic vision for IT.

In addition, Elections Canada will establish a new contract mechanism for telecommunications services for the 42nd general election. This innovative service-based vehicle will allow us to engage a single technology integrator, while avoiding long-term capital investments in technical assets that quickly depreciate in value and utility. Over the period, the Information Technology Sector will complete the necessary review and, where applicable, adjust our applications to ensure that they can operate with the new electoral districts created during the electoral boundaries readjustment process.

Explore Shared Services and Collaborative Service Arrangements

Elections Canada will continue to explore opportunities for common or shared services in the context of the relocation of its office to Gatineau, in the same building as other agents of Parliament, and to take advantage of government-wide common systems initiatives such as financial and human resources systems.

Use the Corporate Strategy Office to Support and Oversee Improvement Initiatives

As a means of ensuring the coherent delivery of its 2012–2015 business plan, which includes service delivery improvements for the next general election, Elections Canada established a Corporate Strategy Office in 2012. The office's mandate is to provide the Chief Electoral Officer and the Executive Committee with standardized and integrated reporting on all initiatives carried out under the business plan, monitor their execution and proactively manage corporate-level risks and interdependencies. The office will also enable the agency to strengthen its project management practices.