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2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

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 responsive to the needs of electors
Regulation of Electoral Activities Canadians have confidence in the integrity of how the electoral process is managed
Electoral Engagement Canadians have the information they need to engage 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. The planning highlights in this section take into account the risks and mitigation strategies identified in Section I.

Program 1.1: Electoral Operations

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 during a federal general election, by-election or referendum by providing an accessible and constantly improved electoral process responsive to the needs of electors.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending*
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
45,743,386 45,743,386 42,310,793 39,407,439

The reduction in planned spending over three fiscal years is the result of the winding down of the activities of the 2015 general election that support the Electoral Operations program. Refer to Elections Canada's Financial Framework for more information on how electoral events impact the agency's planned spending.


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
216 204 203


Performance Measurement
Expected Results Performance Indicators
The electoral process is accessible and responsive to the needs of electors Percentage of non-voters reporting administrative reasons as their main reason for not voting

Percentage of voters who are satisfied with their voting experience
Elections are delivered whenever they are called Number of days required for all electoral offices to be fully functional

Percentage of eligible electors included on the list (coverage)

Percentage of electors included on the list and at the correct address (currency)
Electoral preparedness activities are efficient Cost of preparedness activities per registered elector
Elections accurately reflect the choices Canadians make Variance between the preliminary and official voting results (validated or subsequent to judicial recounts)

Number of electoral districts where official election results have been overturned because of administrative errors
Canadian electors have opportunities to exercise their right to vote Number of complaints that deal with accessibility of the voting process for people with disabilities
Electoral events are delivered efficiently Cost of election delivery per registered elector
The redistribution of electoral boundaries is effectively supported Percentage of commissioners who are satisfied with the services and support provided by Elections Canada
The redistribution of electoral boundaries is conducted efficiently Time required to implement the new representation order

Cost for supporting the redistribution commissions

Planning Highlights

The following planned initiatives within the Electoral Operations program will contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 201617.

Elections Canada will continue to wrap up the 42nd general election over the period. This includes releasing official results and reviewing the performance of systems and staff. The agency will examine any incidents and complaints that occurred during the election and set action plans to address them.

The Chief Electoral Officer published a first report on the conduct of the 42nd general election in February 2016, which provided a factual chronology of the election and updates of interest since the 2011 general election.

In June 2016, the agency will publish a second report that will present a more in-depth retrospective of the election. This report will analyze electoral administration challenges; review electoral integrity and compliance at the polls; and look at elector, candidate and electoral worker experiences in greater detail.

The agency will return to a state of operational readiness from both a technical and staffing perspective, including maintaining the National Register of Electors and being ready to deliver by-elections as they are called.

Under the overarching vision of improving voter experience at the next general election, the agency will initiate in 201617 a number of modernization initiatives under the guidance of a new strategic plan. Our goal is to make the electoral process simpler, more efficient and more flexible for voters.

Initiatives will include looking at automating various elements of the voting process, providing electors with additional online services, and working to improve the client experience when contacting Elections Canada by phone or in writing during an election. In due time, the agency will seek the approval of Parliament to conduct pilot projects.

While exploring the use of technology at the polls to modernize the voting process, we will also examine how technology can be used to implement the electoral reforms announced by the government.

Program 1.2: Regulation of Electoral Activities

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 compliance monitoring, disclosure and reporting of financial activities.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending*
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
11,656,805 11,656,805 9,963,715 8,829,220

The reduction in planned spending over three fiscal years is the result of the winding down of the activities of the 2015 general election that support the Regulation of Electoral Activities program. Refer to Elections Canada's Financial Framework for more information on how electoral events impact the agency's planned spending.


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
82 66 64


Performance Measurement
Expected Results Performance Indicators
Canadians have confidence in how the electoral process is managed Percentage of Canadian electors who believe that Elections Canada administers elections in a fair manner

Percentage of candidates who express satisfaction with the way elections are administered
Canadians have timely access to accurate political financing data Percentage of candidates' election returns that are available to the public within 30 days of filing
Administration of political financing is efficient Percentage of candidates' reimbursements processed within the service standards
Political entities understand and comply with their obligations under the Canada Elections Act Percentage of candidates' election returns that are submitted within four months of election day

Percentage of candidates who are satisfied with the tools and information provided by Elections Canada
Compliance activities are efficient Percentage of official agents and financial agents who report that Elections Canada's training sessions have improved their ability to perform their tasks

Planning Highlights

The following planned initiatives within the Regulation of Electoral Activities program will contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 201617.

The audit of returns for political parties and candidates will be completed in accordance with our service standards. Considering the number of candidates for the 42nd general election as well as the increase in spending limits resulting from the extended election period, Elections Canada will adjust its approach to ensure that the audit of the returns is efficient and tailored to the level of compliance risks.

On July 17, 2015, Elections Canada awarded a contract for an independent auditor to perform an audit of the performance of specific duties of deputy returning officers, polls clerks and registration officers during the 42nd general election, as required by recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act. The report, which will be released in 201617, will provide conclusions regarding:

The report will also offer recommendations that may assist Elections Canada in identifying controls or areas where improvements could be made.

Elections Canada will take advantage of the audit report and the experience from the last electoral cycle to make recommendations to Parliament for legislative improvements on all aspects of the electoral framework. We will also support parliamentarians as they examine other avenues for reform.

Program 1.3: Electoral Engagement

Description

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

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
9,059,837 9,059,837 9,059,837 9,059,837


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
67 67 67


Performance Measurement
Expected Results Performance Indicators
Canadians have the information they need to engage in the electoral process Canadian electors' recall rate of the Elections Canada advertising campaign

Percentage of Canadian electors using voting options other than polling day voting

Percentage of Canadian electors who report that they knew when, where and ways to register and vote
Elections Canada is effective in promoting its civic education program and mobilizing stakeholders to carry out voter education Number of orders for Elections Canada's civic education materials

Number of stakeholders involved in Elections Canada's education activities
Civic education and outreach activities are conducted efficiently Cost per student participating in the parallel election program
Electoral agencies and international organizations benefit from assistance and cooperation in electoral matters Number of official requests for international assistance to which Elections Canada responded
Parliamentarians have timely access to evidence-based information on existing and emerging electoral issues Percentage of recommendations endorsed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
Electoral development activities are conducted efficiently Percentage of research projects that are completed in a timely manner

Planning Highlights

The following planned initiatives within the Electoral Engagement program will contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 2016–17.

Elections Canada will launch an engagement process to ensure it understands voters' expectations in how voting services are offered. This process will inform our plans to streamline and introduce technology at the polls.

The agency will review its approach to national and local outreach, both during and between elections. The review will be informed by stakeholder feedback, post-election assessments and surveys, and an overall assessment of our outreach programs since 2011. The review will also take into account the government's electoral reform agenda and our intention to modernize the voting process.

A corporate research plan will be established to help the agency make informed decisions as it completes its strategic planning process and to support parliamentarians by providing technical advice on electoral reform as required. This research may include gathering best practices from other jurisdictions, public opinion research or convening discussions on key electoral matters within the research community.

As part of our ongoing civic education mandate, we will begin renewing our civic education materials for educators as well as plan and deliver the sixth annual Canada's Democracy Week in the fall of 2016. This initiative informs, engages and connects Canadians with the democratic process through a week-long series of in-person and online activities as well as resources and programming for teachers to use in their classroom.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are Management and Oversight Services, Communications Services, Legal Services, Human Resources Management Services, Financial Management Services, Information Management Services, Information Technology Services, Real Property Services, Materiel Services, Acquisition Services, and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not those provided to a specific program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
32,075,233 32,075,233 32,075,233 32,075,233


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
122 122 122

Planning Highlights

The following planned initiatives within Internal Services will contribute to the agency's organizational priorities in 201617.

Longer-Term Planning

Elections Canada will release a new strategic plan, which will articulate the agency's vision for the next general election, scheduled for 2019, and beyond. Supporting the plan will be a:

Building Organizational Capacity

To deliver its ongoing mandate, respond to the service expectations of Canadians, address lessons learned from the last general election and enact changes brought about by electoral reform, Elections Canada, as any organization, must make ongoing investments towards its information management and information technology solutions and services, human resources, and other assets.

The agency will develop a multi-year investment plan to maintain or renew key assets. This will ensure that the agency continues to have a sound IT infrastructure that is capable of delivering secure and modern electoral services.

In terms of human resources, the agency will take steps to ensure it is able to recruit and develop its talent and that adequate succession plans are in place for critical positions. This will include, among other initiatives, a management development program for managers aspiring to the executive rank.

Field Finance

Elections Canada has reviewed lessons learned from 42nd general election as it relates to the financial management of local offices and the payment of electoral workers where delays were experienced. In 201617, the agency will begin working on an improvement plan for the next general election.