Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Comments on LAC 2010-2011 Departmental Performance Report - VI

Library and Archives Canada Program Activity 1.4: Internal Services, is a catch-all, "groups of related activities and resources that are administered to
support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of governmental organizations."

Expenditures for this program activity of $32.4M exceeded authorities of $30.8M meaning expenditures 5% over authority and 6% below the previous year.

What did our tax dollars buy?

Better coordination of internal services roles including capital planning and
information technology services; develop and pursue talent management strategies; enhance corporate planning, finance and reporting processes and tools. All were stated to be mostly met.

Apparently LAC:
  • "gained a clearer sense of where we were and what we needed to do to get the most impacts from our IT investments." LAC "intend to use the results in 2011–2012 to define, describe and align an updated corporate IT architecture." One wonders how the recently announced decision to move most IT services into one central department, Shared Services Canada, will impact on these directions.
  • "focused on creating and implementing the communications strategy needed to build collaboration with all stakeholders with an interest in the work of LAC ...  much of this took place through LAC outreach. For example, the Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada and senior management made many presentations at meetings and conferences." Only one presentation, and that a short welcome at the opening session of the BIFHSGO conference, was made to the organization's single largest client group -- family historians.
  • through the "LAC Stakeholders Forum. The Canadian documentary heritage institutions that took part in the Forum reached a consensus that the task of managing Canada’s documentary heritage is too complex for any one institution to pursue in isolation." Concensus! This is at variance with the view of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, represented on the Forum, that challenges the notion that "LAC’s key role extends only to the management of legal deposit and the preservation of the federal government records."
There are more, such as initiatives in internal communications, on which an outsider is in no position to comment.

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