Final Evaluation of Industry Canada's Involvement in the International Telecommunication Union — Evaluation Findings (Part 2)
3.4 What Leadership Role Is Canada Playing At The ITU?
Evidence collected indicates that Canada, as represented by Industry Canada, is a recognized leader at the ITU.
Stakeholders, including ITU participants who have viewed Canada's performance at ITU forums, believe that Canada is a strong leader at the ITU. Stakeholders believe this is based on the merit of Canada's proposals and its high quality and well-known representatives. It is evidenced in the success Industry Canada achieves at the ITU and the high number of ITU leadership positions Canada has been successful in obtaining.
The primary source of evidence related to the leadership role played by Canada at the ITU was through the interviews of retired ITU officials and representatives of other ITU member countries at the ITU. These individuals believe that Canada has a medium to high level of influence at the ITU. They suggested that this is based on the merit of Canada's proposals and its high quality and well-known representatives.
Retired ITU officials and representatives of other ITU member countries further believe that Canada plays a medium to very strong leadership role at the ITU. They suggested that this is evidenced by the important roles including chairmanships played by Canadians and is based on the high quality, hard-working Canadian delegates. Many surveyed stakeholders and representative of other government departments also suggested that this leadership role is evidenced by the important positions Canada has achieved at the ITU. Table 4 below outlines many of the key leadership positions Canada has achieved in relation to the ITU in recent years:
Retired ITU officials and representatives of other member countries also believe that Canada is well respected by other ITU members. They suggested that this respect is based on the balanced positions Canada presents, the high quality of its delegates and the ability of Canadian delegates to speak both French and English.
Finally retired ITU officials and representatives of other member countries believe that Canada is good to excellent in its ability to find middle grounds and form consensuses at the ITU. This is based on the influence of Canada's delegates and its ability to be flexible.
Table 4 — Key Industry Canada Leadership Positions Related to ITU
- Director of the Radiocommunication Sector (BR) — ITU–R (1992 — 2000)
- ITU Canadian Councilor (1997 —present)
- Chairman of Council Working Group on Financial Regulations (1999 — present)
- Chairman, Study Group 4 — Fixed Satellite Services (2000 — present)
- Chairman of Council Tripartite Group on HRM (2006 — present)
- Chairman, CITEL's ITU Plenipotentiary Preparatory Committee (2006 — present)
- Chairman Commonwealth ITU Group (2006 — present)
- 1 of 12 elected part-time members, Radio Regulations Board ( 2006 — present)
- Chairman Budget Control Committee WTSA 2008
- Chairman of Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG) (2000 — 2007)
- Chairman Committee 4: World Radiocommunication Conference 2007
- Chairman of the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA–07) — 2007
- Chairman of Council 2006
- Chairman Working Group of Plenary World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006
- Chairman, World Radiocommunication Conference 2003
- Committee 6 Chairman at the Plenipotentiary Conference — 2002
The survey of stakeholders also revealed that 90% of stakeholders believe that Canada's influence has been large or extremely significant relative to other countries at the ITU (35% large, 55% extremely significant). Some comments below illustrate the nature of this influence relative to other countries:
- His company was a key player on the world stage for global standards. It is through Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU and support of their activities that has allowed his company to maintain that highly visible role. We punch well above weight-in terms of the size of the country and the size of the company. With Industry Canada's support, we manage to be way more effective on a per capita per dollar invested basis than many of our competitors.
- Industry Canada is respected throughout the world. They always seem to be a body that can work out negotiations amongst all of the different countries. Canada does a good job of working out all sides to the issue. Industry and users benefit from good, solid regulations that are developed at the ITU–R with the help of Canada and eventually implemented nationally.
Representatives of other government departments have varying beliefs on how much influence Canada has relative to other countries at the ITU. For a few they feel it is commensurate with its size, however, for the most part they feel that for Canada's size, its influence has been extremely significant.top of page
3.5 What Value Does Industry Canada's Involvement in ITU Provide?
Evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU provides good value to Canada.
When informed of the full cost of Industry Canada's participation in the ITU, almost all stakeholders suggested that this participation provides very good to excellent value to their organization; the Canadian telecommunication carriers, suppliers and manufacturers; and Canadian users of spectrum and satellite.
Evidence addressing this issue was primarily collected through the stakeholder survey, the follow up interviews, and interviews of other government departments.
Stakeholders surveyed, when informed of the cost of Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU, suggested that there is very good (47%) to excellent value (47%) for money in Industry Canada's involvement with ITU for Canadian telecommunication carriers, suppliers and manufacturers. Further, they also believed that these expenditures were very good (42%) to excellent (51%) value for Canadian users of spectrum and satellite.
Stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada was moderately successful (45%) and very successful (38%) in terms of representing their organizations' interests at ITU. They also suggested that Industry Canada was able to represent the diverse needs of the Canadian stakeholders to an adequate extent (41%) and large extent (57%). Moreover, stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada was moderately successful (26%) and very successful (70%) at balancing the competing interests of different stakeholder groups.
When asked about the benefit organizations realized from Industry Canada's involvement with ITU, the stakeholders surveyed indicated that representing/mediating Canadian interests (40%) was the greatest benefit. Additionally, stakeholders recognized other benefits such as spectrum allocation (21%), creating standards/regulation, global alignment/harmonization (17%), access to/protecting frequency and satellite orbit (15%), spectrum/satellite management/harmonization (15%) and access to information (10%).
To assess the value of Industry Canada's participation in the ITU, stakeholders were asked a number of questions to determine the level of success or impacts that their organization has realized as a result of Industry Canada's participation at ITU. The following is a summary of the findings in relation to these questions:
- The survey of stakeholders shows that 81% of stakeholders suggested that the profits of their organization (those for which the question was applicable) had had a positive impact as a result of Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU (28% — very small positive impact, 37% — somewhat of a positive impact, 16% — major positive impact).
- 96% of stakeholders surveyed indicated that Industry Canada has been successful in the protection and access of satellite orbits and frequency assignments consistent with Canadian interests (38% — moderate success, 58% — great success).
- 100% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has been successful in the protection and access to spectrum consistent with Canadian interests (31% — moderate success, 69% — great success).
- 90% of stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada's ITU activities had been successful in leading to increased economies of scale for Canadian Telecommunication companies (55% — moderate success, 35% — great success).
- 94% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities were successful in contributing to increased international sales (68% — moderate success, 26% — great success).
- 88% of stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada's ITU activities have been successful in benefiting Canadian consumers and business that may buy telecommunications equipment that is sold by international companies around the world (55% — moderate success, 33% — great success).
- 93% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has been successful in facilitating connectivity and interoperability of global communication networks, products and services (48% — moderate success, 45% — great success)
- 95% of stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada's was successful in facilitating communication and managing interference in Canada by influencing ITU regulations, the ITU allocation of Radio Spectrum and ITU Global Technical Standards (32% — moderate success, 63% — great success).
- 91% of stakeholders indicated believed that Industry Canada ITU activities have been successful in contributing to globally competitive telecommunications carrier, suppliers and manufacturers (48% — moderate success, 43% — great success).
- 82% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities have been successful in contributing to lower cost telecommunications equipment and more technologies being made available to Canadians (41% — moderate success, 41% — great success)
- 93% of stakeholders suggested that Industry Canada's activities had been successful in contributing to communications and broadcasting benefits to Canadians (53% — moderate success, 40% — great success).
Listed on the following page are some illustrative comments from stakeholders related to the value that Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU provides:
- He thinks that this is money well spent. If Industry Canada did not spend this money, they wouldn't be able to take a lead role.
- In his personal view, the money is well spent. Face to face meetings are very important in this context. Smaller organizations like his do not always have the money to send people to attend conferences. He has to depend on Industry Canada to have his voice heard. He feels that they have been very good at representing groups like his.
- He cannot think of any better way to spend this money to represent the Canadian telecommunications industry and users of spectrum and satellite.
- He thinks that the money spent is spent appropriately and supports the telecom industry. While things are not as bright as they once were, telecom remains one of the bright spots in Canadian industry. Industry Canada's participation in ITU activities is fundamental to the future of the economy in general because telecom is one of the more successful aspects and it is one of the bootstrapping structures that make any economy go.
It should be noted that six of the sixteen stakeholders interviewed in the follow-up interviews suggested that Industry Canada should be spending more money in relation to its ITU activities to further increase its effectiveness.
ITU officials and representatives from other ITU member countries suggested that Canada has a bigger influence than one would expect for a country of Canada's size. They also recognized that Canada has held many leadership positions in terms of chairing committees. They suggested that Canada is recognized for its flexibility to modify its position and compromise and its ability to build consensus. Finally, they indicated that the Canadian team is highly respected and has a lot of weight when decisions are based on the merit of its proposals.
Representatives of other government departments that were interviewed generally believe that there is good value provided to Canadians in relation to the cost to participate in the ITU. (Six out of seven that could answer the question and who were informed of the cost of Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU suggested that Industry Canada's expenditures are very good value (four) to excellent value (two) for Canadians in relation to the cost.) Similarly, seven out of eight of these representatives that could answer the question also suggested that it is very good (three) to excellent value (four) for Canadian users of spectrum and satellite.top of page
3.6 Does Industry Canada Have an Adequate Succession Plan to Ensure Continued Influence at ITU?
Evidence collected indicates that there is an opportunity for Industry Canada to improve its succession planning in relation to its ITU activities.
In the conduct of the Evaluability Assessment, stakeholders suggested that succession planning may be an issue in relation to ITU activities. The analysis revealed that there are some demographics that suggest that succession planning will become an issue. However, a formal gap analysis has not been undertaken to determine the potential severity of this issue. While commitments have been made to develop and implement a formal SITT succession plan, this has not yet commenced. On the other hand, the evaluation found evidence that succession planning type activities, such as sending junior engineers to ITU conferences, occur.
Succession planning and management involves an integrated, systematic approach aimed at identifying, developing, and retaining talent for key positions and areas in line with current and projected business objectives.
This section of the evaluation examines the program delivery aspect of Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU related to issues of whether there is a succession plan in place to support the continuity of the program, and if so, how adequate it is to ensure the continued influence at the international level. Findings are derived primarily from document reviews, survey of stakeholders, ITU official telephone interviews, other government department interviews, program manager interviews; and telephone interview and survey of staff members.
3.6.1 Demographic Profile of Executives and Engineers in Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Branch
This analysis focuses on the demographic information of Executive and Engineer groups which were identified during the Evaluability Assessment in 2007–2008. This profile provides a demographic overview of these two groups in SITT as of March 2008. It not only depicts the current Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) work force for these two groups but also provides a comparison analysis with the federal public service as a whole. The rationale for looking at SITT instead of the six directorates in the three branches involved in ITU activities is that it is not feasible to analyze the demographic information at the branch level based on the ITU involvement. For example, for Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulatory Branch, only the Space and International Regulatory Activities directorate which consists of one executive is actively involved in ITU activities. It would be misleading to compare the age and the percentage of those eligible to retire with such small representation. Furthermore, based on the interviews with the program managers and staff, the succession planning is a strategic exercise; and it would be more useful to analyze the data for the SITT sector as a whole.
Demographic Profile of SITT as of March 31, 2008
- 764 indeterminate employees
- Average age 45.4
- 25 Executives (25 Executives and 35 EX Equivalent)
- Average age of executives 54
- 210 Engineers
- Average age of engineers 43.3
Table 5 below shows the average age and the retirement eligibility rate between employees of Public Service of Canada and SITT in the Executive and Engineer categories.
|Public Service of Canada (March 31, 2008)*||IC–SITT (March 31, 2008)|
|* Please note that these figures include only indeterminate employees (active and on leave without pay). All figures are as of March 2008. Retirement eligibility figures for Public Service of Canada exclude the Department of Corrections (they have different eligibility criteria).
Source: Canada Public Service Agency of Canada; Industry Canada Human Resource Branch
|% over 50 years old||31.8%||48.9%||68%||32%|
|% eligible to retire||8.4%||16.4%||36%||12.3%|
|Total % eligible to retire by 2012||22%||37.8%||60%||25.1%|
The Executive Group
At March 31, 2008, there were 60 executives in SITT. The average age of this group was 54.6, of which 68% was over 50 years old. By comparison, the average age was 50.3 for all executives in the federal public service and 48.9% of them were over 50 as of March 31, 2008.
In March 2008, approximately 36% of the SITT executives were eligible to retire while the figure for all public service executives was 16.4%. Along the same notion, SITT will have 60% of its executives eligible to retire by 2012 compared to approximately 37.8% of the executives for the public service of Canada retirement eligibility for the same period.
The Engineer Group
As of March 2008, SITT had 764 indeterminate employees, of which 210 were engineers (27.5%). (The Spectrum Engineering Branch had 68 Engineers representing 55.7% of the branch work force).
The average age of 43.3 for SITT engineers was a little younger than that of the public services as a whole (45.2). However, 12.3% of this group was eligible to retire in March 2008 and over 25% of them will be eligible to retire by 2012. Compared to the public service as a whole, the retirement eligibility rate was 8.4% for March 2008 and 22% of the employees will be eligible to retire by 2012.
In summary, the demographic profile reveals that a considerable proportion of executives and staff will be eligible to retire in the near future, indicating a potential succession issue.
3.6.2 SITT HR Plans
The SITT Human Resources Plan for 2007–2010 identified four over-riding priorities. One of the four priorities is to develop succession and development plans to address planned departures in key regulatory and research functions.
The SITT HR Plan for 2008–2011 indicated that succession planning is the key to maintaining a knowledgeable and skilled workforce in SITT, therefore developing and implementing a robust succession plan was identified as a top priority for 2008–2009 and beyond. The plan further identified that it will be important for SITT to develop a succession plan over the coming months/years to ensure a highly qualified replacement personnel are at the ready for critical and/or specialized positions.
At the time of this report, a succession plan for SITT had not yet been developed.
3.6.3 Existing Gap in Age and Skill Sets
In the survey of stakeholders, 71% of stakeholders believed that Industry Canada sends enough junior staff to ITU meetings to ensure an ongoing high-level contribution. 29% believed that Industry Canada send no junior staff, send few junior staff or infrequently send junior staff. Some of the specific comments from stakeholders in the follow-up interviews included the following:
- There are relatively few junior people being trained to partake in the process. He has been at this a long time and most of the Industry Canada people that were there when he started are still there. They are all just getting older.
- Many of Industry Canada's very experienced people are retiring. There was a period in the 1990s when they hardly hired anyone. There is a huge age gap in the staff. There is no one in their mid 40's who has built a career there. They started hiring again in 2000. There are now people in their late 20s and early 30s coming up behind. The challenge is to get younger staff up to speed on the dynamics and the negotiations (the technical part is easy to learn). There are going to be some rough years ahead in terms of Industry Canada's participation in the ITU, which will be based on younger staff learning.
- Succession planning is a concern. He would like to see Industry Canada develop people to step up and take on the roles of those who will be retiring. This is an area that Industry Canada should pay more attention to.
Retired ITU officials and representatives of other ITU member countries reported that Canada has a very strong technical capability compared to other countries. They also suggested that Canada also has very committed, highly regarded delegates such as Bruce Gracie, Marc Dupuis and Bill McCrum who have great influence at the ITU. They suggested, however, that there is a dip in expertise when someone leaves. This is not only for Canada but all countries experience this. They recommended that Canada needs to get more new people involved for succession.
Program managers reported that no gap analysis has been conducted to identify the gaps in skills and competencies related to conducting Industry Canada's ITU activities. The main skills required ITU related skills are negotiation, presentation and technical skills. Industry Canada employees mainly have the technical skills but all do not have the special skills required for effective ITU participation. Those who represent Canada at the ITU need to be extroverts and be able to grasp the opportunity during the conferences or the chance of being heard would be lost.
In summary, there is anecdotal evidence that Industry Canada may have a skills gap but there has not been a detailed gap analysis to confirm this.
3.6.4 Succession Planning Activities
Industry Canada managers reported that there has been no formal succession planning related to ITU activities but the managers reported that the priority for succession planning is recognized at senior management level and practiced. For example, former and current ADM level of approval for the WRC delegation has included junior staff participation for development purposes (see World Radiocommunication Conferences 2000, 2003 and 2007 and Radiocommunication Assembly 2003); the DG of DGES is fully aware of the succession issue and is very supportive of succession planning activities; the three executives interviewed also think succession planning is a key component for Industry Canada–ITU's strategic planning exercise.
A survey of Industry Canada staff working in the directorates with ITU responsibilities revealed that these staff believe that there is an informal plan to ensure ITU activity continuity by knowledge transfer, on job training (coaching), outside training (ITU seminar, workshops), and opportunities to participate in ITU meetings, Canadian National preparatory meetings, etc. The staff suggested that development is provided to employees who demonstrate an ability to perform and who have a personal desire to get involved.
Junior staff reported that they have been given opportunities to participate in international meetings for training in international techno-diplomacy. The document review revealed that for the WRC–07, the Canadian delegation included seven junior engineers and four more senior staff who attended a WRC for the first time. Further, program managers reported that, from 2003–2007, Industry Canada has given the junior level staff responsibilities to coordinate the ITU conferences including briefing materials, preparing positions and participating ITU meetings.
Competencies and skills for key positions are reportedly reinforced in HR system such as recruiting, learning and development:
- Program manager and staff interviews showed that skills and competencies are fully documented, including ITU technical and negotiation process.
- Each employee has a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and has on-the-job training for negotiation skills.
Staff engineers report that, in most cases, their career developmental requirements have been adequately assessed and their learning and developmental requests are encouraged and supported by management:
- Staff interviews indicated that the assessment is being done through yearly performance appraisal and learning plan processes.
- Staff interviews also showed that mentoring and coaching have been strongly supported by management. Management often provides the opportunity and guidance required by junior employees to learn and develop their expertise related to international activities and standardization.
3.7 Other Findings
Evidence collected indicates that:
- Many stakeholders believe that Canada does not send enough representatives to the ITU forums
- Post-Conference reports do not provide a good indication of the level of Industry Canada's success at the ITU
Sending an insufficient number of representatives to ITU forums was the most commonly cited Industry Canada ITU weakness by stakeholders. However, this weakness was only cited by 25% of stakeholders. In addition, the evidence collected suggests that this may simply be a perception. Furthermore, the evaluation evidence suggests that Industry Canada has been successful in its ITU activities, suggesting that there is not a strong requirement for additional resources to be sent to ITU meetings.
The review of post-conference reports revealed a lack of consistency in format and content. While recent reporting has improved, there is still an opportunity to improve the reporting to demonstrate Industry Canada's performance at the ITU.
There are two key findings from the evaluation that are not directly related to the evaluation issues:
- The most commonly cited Industry Canada–ITU weakness by stakeholders was that Canada does not send enough representatives to the ITU forums; and,
- Post-Conference reports do not provide a good indication of the level of Industry Canada's success at the ITU
As previously mentioned, the most commonly cited Industry Canada ITU weakness by stakeholders in the survey of stakeholders was that Canada does not send enough representatives to the ITU forums (25% of stakeholders suggested this). Stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada must depend on industry to help out at ITU meetings and this is becoming more difficult for industry to do as the economy constricts.
Table 6 on the following page outlines the number of representatives sent by the top seven contributing ITU countries at some major ITU conferences over the past nine years. The table demonstrates that while Canada has sent proportionately slightly less delegates than its contributions in relation to the top seven contributing countries, its rank in terms of number of delegates has been almost the same as its rank in contributions.
|Top 7 Contributing Countries to ITU (based on contributions in 2006)||Number of Delegates Sent to ITU Conferences|
|Country||Contribution||WRC 2000||WRC 2003||Plenipotentiary Conference 2006||WRC 2007|
|Units||% of top 7||#||% of top 7||#||% of top 7||#||% of top 7||#||% of top 7|
The table would seem to indicate that while Canada has sent proportionately and absolutely less delegates than the United States and France, its number of delegates has not been severely proportionately less than other top contributing countries.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind also when considering this assertion: first, 75% of stakeholders did not identify inadequate representation as an Industry Canada weakness; and second, a large majority of stakeholders suggested that Industry Canada has been successful at the ITU. (For example, 100% of stakeholders indicated that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in representing the diverse interests of Canadian stakeholders at the ITU and 91% said that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in representing the interests of their organization at the ITU. Please see section 3.3 for a full discussion of the success that Industry Canada has achieved at the ITU.)
In summary, while inadequate Industry Canada representation at the ITU was the most frequently cited weakness, the evidence would seem to contradict this. Furthermore, this was only identified as a weakness by 25% of stakeholders and the evidence collected suggest that Industry Canada's ITU activities have been highly successful despite any possible shortage of representatives at ITU forums.
Inadequate Post-Conference Reports
Section 1.2.2 presented an overview of the methodology used to review post-conference reports. The analysis revealed that there is a lack of consistency in the contents and format of the reports. The section noted that post-conference reports, with the exception of the one for the 2007 World Radio Conference did not provide comprehensive coverage of pre-conference positions with post-conference results. These reports primarily provided information on the nature of ITU outcomes and anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes for Canada. From these reports, it is not possible to determine the degree of success that Canada achieved at the conferences.
For the 2007 World Radio Conference, the post-conference report provides an assessment of Canada's success in relation to each agenda item. For each item, Canada's success in achieving its position was documented as "completely satisfied", "partially satisfied", "not satisfied", "not applicable", or "no change". In addition, a Pre-briefing Memorandum was prepared that highlighted the key objectives for the conference. A post-conference executive summary reported on the degree of success in achieving the key objectives. The post-conference report that reported success by agenda item can provide a measure of success in achieving Canadian positions sought, i.e., the proportion of agenda items complete satisfied or partially satisfied. However, there is no consideration of the relative importance of the different agenda items. The Executive Summary of the post-conference report was better because it reported Industry Canada success in relation to the key pre-conference objectives. However, it was noted that some of the objectives reported in the Executive Summary had been modified from the pre-conference objectives so they weren't entirely comparable.top of page
3.8 Summary of Findings/Conclusions
The purpose of this section is to recap the findings from sections 3.1 — 3.7. The following are the key findings/conclusions from this evaluation:
- Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU is consistent with its mandate and Government directions.
- Evidence collected indicates that there is a continued need for Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU.
- Evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU provides good value to Canada.
- Evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has largely been successful in achieving most of its intended outcomes in relation to its ITU activities.
- Evidence collected indicates that Canada, as represented by Industry Canada, is a recognized leader at the ITU.
- Evidence collected indicates that there is an opportunity for Industry Canada to improve its succession planning in relation to its ITU activities.
- Evidence collected indicates that many stakeholders believe that Canada does not send enough representatives to the ITU forums.
- Evidence collected indicates that post-conference reports do not provide a good indication of the level of Industry Canada's success at the ITU.
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