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The Way Forward Report Card: The First Six Months

Outcomes Achieved

The Way Forward: Phase 1 has identified savings in excess of $45 million annually:

  • Reducing Government’s Building Footprint by 40,000 sq feet: - $1.6 million
  • Announcing a Flatter, Leaner Management Structure - $20-25 million
  • Utilizing Zero-Based Budgeting in Preparation for Budget 2017 - $24 million

All deliverables from Phase 1 improved public sector efficiency while strengthening our economic foundation, offering better services and achieving better outcomes.

Measuring Progress

Government released The Way Forward on November 9, 2016

The Way Forward committed to “securing our footing” through actions aimed at reducing spending and supporting economic growth in Phase 1.

A report card has been issued for the first six months (Nov 2016 – May 2017) that measures all 39 deliverables:

  • 33 Actions are complete
  • 6 Actions are on-track to be complete by May 9, 2017 (six month mark)

A More Efficient Public Sector

Reduce Government’s Building Footprint by 40,000 sq. feet (Action 1.1)

Savings Identified: $1.6 million

Square Feet Reduced: 40,000

13 leases terminated province-wide, including:

  • Relocating the NLESD District Office from Atlantic Place to Government-owned space on Elizabeth Ave.;
  • Moving CSSD offices to the Confederation Building complex;
  • Relocating AESL offices from leased space to Government-owned Petten Building; and,
  • Moving some TCII offices from leased space to Confederation Building complex.

New target is 110,000 square feet by 2020

Announce a Flatter, Leaner Management Structure (Action 1.2)

Savings Identified: $20-25 million

  • 17% reduction in management positions announced on February 22, 2017
  • Net reduction of 287 management level positions, including 90 vacant positions
  • New structure determined by a detailed review of departmental structures and management subordinate reporting relationships
  • 20% of executive positions (Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister) eliminated in 2016
  • 31% of communications positions eliminated in 2016

Begin a Review of Government Agencies, Boards and Commissions (Action 1.3)

  • There are more than 200 Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs) in NL.
  • A preliminary review of ABCs is on-going. The review is focused on advisory, regulatory and adjudicative boards and commissions, particularly those without permanent staff.
  • The review does not include school boards and regional health authorities.
  • Focus of the review is on identification of efficiencies and elimination of duplicative processes.
  • Government has committed to a 20% reduction in ABCs by March 31, 2020.
  • In 2017-18 Government will make progress towards this target.

Pilot a Single Entry Medical Transportation Assistance Program (Action 1.4)

  • Health and Community Services has begun to process applications under this pilot, which includes clients in receipt of Income Support who are also availing of dialysis services and a group of individuals requiring transportation assistance for opioid treatment.

Announce the Consolidation of Government Marketing Functions (Action 1.5)

Savings are included in the total for Flatter, Leaner Management

  • Announced the consolidation of marketing functions on February 22, 2017
  • Identified Communications and Public Engagement Branch as the central marketing unit
  • Physical transition of staff will occur over the coming months

Announce the Consolidation of Engineering Services within One Department (Action 1.6)

Savings are included in the total for Flatter, Leaner Management

  • Announced the consolidation of engineering services on February 22, 2017
  • Identified Transportation and Works as the responsible department
  • Physical transition of staff to Transportation and Works is currently underway

Implement Lean Process Improvement Projects (Action 1.7)

  • Nine Lean process improvement projects have been implemented.
  • AESL, TW, FIN, HRS, FLR, SNL and NLHC have initiated projects in the following areas:
    • Crown Lands,
    • Summer Road Line Painting,
    • Internal Accounts Payable and Supplier Processes,
    • Canada-NL Job Grant,
    • Printing,
    • Housing Application Processes and Vacancy Turnaround, and
    • Process for Submission of Payroll Information to HRS.

Publish Service Standards for Business and Economic Development Programs (Action 1.7)

  • Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII) has published service standards for business and economic development , which are now available on their website.
  • Examples of standards include:
    • Business loan funding decisions will be made within 7 weeks; and
    • Regional Development Fund decisions will be made within 11 weeks.*
  • These client service standards will serve as a baseline and targets will be set to make improvements.

* Pending receipt of all required documentation.

Identify the Preferred Shared Services Model (Action 1.8)

  • There is considerable value in sharing services across the public sector.
  • Shared services areas will include:
    • accounting and finance processes, such as accounts receivables, collections, accounts payables, banking, payroll, and purchasing human resources; and
    • information technology.
  • Oversight for this project will be provided by the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

Implement Customer Flow Management at Mount Pearl Motor Registration (Action 1.9)

  • Motor Registration Division (MRD) in Mount Pearl is now offering enhanced services for clients.
  • Clients are now able to book appointments online in advance for in-person service. Clients who arrive without an appointment can opt to receive a text message alert, allowing them to attend to other tasks and return for service when they receive a text telling them their turn is near.
  • These new services build on a number of recent improvements such as online driver’s licence renewals, and 10 year driver’s licence photo validity.
  • These improvements enhance customer flow at the MRD Mount Pearl location, reducing wait times for all clients.

Survey Residents on Service Delivery Expectations to Inform the Transition to Digital-By-Design (Action 1.9)

  • More than 400 individuals throughout the province were randomly surveyed in March 2017 on service delivery expectations.
  • Results of the survey will help inform the next phase of the digital–by-design model.
  • Analysis of results will begin soon.
  • Two additional online services have been added since Phase 1: Wood Cutting Permits, and Provincial Court Record Checks and Online Payments.

Begin Consolidation of Toll-Free Numbers (Action 1.9)

  • There are approximately 110 active toll-free numbers currently utilized by departments.
  • Government departments have also identified other direct telephone lines that are utilized for information and hotline services.
  • Opportunities for consolidation are currently being identified.

Utilize Zero-Based Budgeting in Preparation for Budget 2017 (Action 1.10)

Savings Identified: $65.8 million

  • All departments were notified of Budget 2017 zero-based budgeting guidelines for budget preparation.
  • Departments were required to build budget requests from zero and justify any continued investment in all areas of operation.
  • Savings identified are primarily operating reductions such as transportation, communications, supplies, purchased services, professional services, and property furnishings and equipment.

Proceed to Procure the Corner Brook Long Term Care Facility (Action 1.11)

  • The construction of the new long-term care facility in Corner Brook was announced on January 20, 2017.
  • A Request for Qualifications was issued for the design, build, financing and maintenance of the facility, and responses were received on February 20, 2017.
  • Submissions were received from 5 teams.
  • Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in fall 2017.

A Stronger Economic Foundation

Launch a new Municipal Leasing Program for Crown Lands (Action 1.12)

  • New policy for municipalities lease-to-own arrangements for Crown Lands was announced on November 30, 2016.
  • Enables municipalities to access Crown lands within their municipal planning boundaries for economic development purposes.
  • Municipalities can qualify for long-term leases with flexible payment options, including payment deferral until the development is generating revenue.

Release The Way Forward on Immigration (Action 1.13)

  • Between August 12 and October 5, 2016, stakeholder consultations were held across the province.
  • A “What We Heard” document was released on December 7, 2016 outlining the feedback gathered.
  • The Way Forward on Immigration was released on March 24, 2017.
  • Actions included in the plan support Government’s target to increase immigration to NL by 50% by 2022 over 2015 levels. NL welcomed just over 1,100 immigrants in 2015.

Implement a Managed Service Provider Approach to Expand Opportunities for Local Vendors on Government IT Work (Action 1.14)

  • A three-year agreement with Flextrack Inc. was signed on November 4, 2016 to implement a new Managed Service Provider model.
  • New model allows more vendors to bid on public sector Information Technology/Information Management initiatives.
  • Since implementation, 37 vendors have registered to compete for Information Technology professional services opportunities that are available in the first quarter of 2017-18.

Coordinate Tourism Industry Research (Action 1.15)

  • TCII has established a research committee made up of tourism board partners.
  • Opportunities for tourism research have been identified such as: a traveler profile study and resident research.
  • 2016 Exit Survey data collection was completed as of February 2017.
  • Exit survey analysis is currently underway and will be available in fall 2017.

Develop a Standardized Wi-Fi Identifier (Action 1.15)

Public Wi-Fi, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Development of a standardized common logo to promote public Wi-Fi services to travelers
  • Wi-Fi identifier logo featured here has been released online as of March 27, 2017 and can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation’s website.

Release a New Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan (Action 1.16)

  • Meetings were held with industry partners to inform the development of the Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan.
  • The Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan was released on May 1, and can be found online here.
  • Provision of industry partner supports such as facilitation and coordination of priorities and opportunity management for five regional destination development plans will be included (Labrador, Western, Central, Eastern and Northeast Avalon).

Create the Fisheries Advisory Council, Appoint the Chair and Commence Recruitment of the Members (Action 1.17)

  • Mr. William Wells was appointed as the independent chairperson of the new Fisheries Advisory Council through a merit-based process on March 9, 2017.
  • The Council will provide input on the province’s fishing industry and will assist the seafood industry to move forward and adapt to current changes.
  • Recruitment of committee members by the Independent Appointments Commission is on-going.

Identify Five Regional Innovation Systems Pilot Project Areas (Action 1.18)

  • Meetings have been held with stakeholders such as Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic.
  • Southern Labrador and Great Northern Peninsula (fisheries and tourism), Corner Brook and area (forestry and agrifoods), Gander and Area (aerospace and defense), Burin Peninsula/Clarenville and area (industrial technology development), the Avalon region (ocean technology) are being announced today as the pilot areas.
  • Regions were selected based on clusters of businesses active in the sector and unique regional assets.

Introduce a New Public Procurement Act (Action 1.19)

  • The Act received Royal Assent on December 14, 2016 and once proclaimed replaces the former Public Tender Act.
  • The Act includes increased oversight, transparency, consistency and flexibility in procurement practices.
  • Professional services previously not included in the Public Tender Act are subjected to greater oversight.
  • The Act shifts the focus from getting the best price to the best value for money.

Better Services

Establish a Major Investment Projects Unit (Action 1.20)

  • Establishment of a Major Projects and Initiatives Unit of Executive Council was announced on December 6, 2016.
  • The unit will oversee the progress of government initiatives that have major fiscal and economic importance for the province including focusing on concluding negotiations with the Federal Government and the private sector.

Release a Multi-Year Infrastructure Plan (Action 1.21)

  • The Way Forward: A Multi-Year Plan for Infrastructure Investments was announced on March 17, 2017.
  • The plan outlines commitments to education, health, buildings and roads, and municipal infrastructure with an investment of approx. $3 billion over the next five years.
  • The plan is expected to generate an average of 4,900 person years of employment per year over the next five years.
  • The total projected infrastructure spending for 2017-18 is $573.1 million, including leveraged federal funding.

Release a List of Roads Projects for 2017 (Action 1.22)

  • The Five-Year Provincial Roads Plan, 2017 and a full list of road tenders for 2017-18 was released on January 31, 2017.
  • $77.2 million has been allocated for the Provincial Roads Program in 2017-18.
  • Tenders for the 2017-18 construction season will be issued in three blocks. Final tenders are scheduled to be released in late March 2017.
  • The multi-year approach is used to build, renew and maintain transportation infrastructure.
  • Projects are prioritized on traffic volumes, safety, socio-economic impact and input from users.

Release a Tender for a Nighttime Construction Project (Action 1.22)

  • Announcement of the Nighttime Construction Project occurred as part of the Five-Year Provincial Roads Plan release on January 31, 2017.
  • A Tender has been released for a Nighttime Construction Pilot Project to mill between St. John’s and Witless Bay Line. The tender for the pilot is expected to close on March 31, 2017.

Release a Five-Year Marine Infrastructure Plan (Action 1.23)

  • The Five Year Plan for Marine-Related Infrastructure, including terminal facilities, access roads, wharves and washrooms was released on March 27, 2017.
  • The goal of the marine infrastructure plan is to improve services at ferry terminals for the travelling public, including residents and tourists.
  • Expenditures for 2017-18 are approximately $8 million, with $28 million expended over the next five years.
  • This is a component of the 5 year Infrastructure Plan.

Implement a New Infrastructure Program that Supports Regional Collaboration and Sharing of Services (Action 1.24)

  • A three-year municipal infrastructure program was released on March 13, 2017.
  • $100 million in provincial funding will be invested in municipal infrastructure through the Multi-Year Capital Works ($70 million) and Municipal Capital Works ($30 million) programs.
  • Projects that support regional collaboration through infrastructure and sharing of services will see a decrease in the municipal contribution of 10% unless the project is eligible for a 90/10 cost-share arrangement.
  • A long-term timeline for access to federal and provincial funding and multi-year application calls provides municipalities with better opportunity to plan for infrastructure applications and projects.

Review the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (Action 1.25)

  • A What We Heard Document has been publicly released on consultations to inform the review of NL Housing Corporation’s programs. The document is available online here.
  • Government will be considering the outcome of the review in the near term, with an action plan to be released as committed by June 30, 2017.
  • Province-wide consultations with community partners, clients and employees to review the corporation's programs and services occurred between November and February 2017.
  • The purpose of the review is to ensure the mandate of the organization reflects current priorities and to realize efficiencies, improve services, and to streamline the organization.

Establish an Oil and Gas Industry Development Council (Action 1.26)

  • The Oil and Gas industry Development Council has been established and appointments were made on December 21, 2016.
  • The Minister of Natural Resources is the Chair, and Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers are fixed members.
  • Other members include: Robert Crosbie, Gus Doyle, William Fanning, Stephanie Hickman, Kimberly Keating, Malcolm Maclean and Sean Power.
  • The Council has been meeting regularly and strategic planning sessions are now underway.

Implement a Generic Offshore Oil Royalty Regime and Regulations (Action 1.26)

  • A draft of the Generic Offshore Oil Royalty Regime has been finalized.

Designate Industry Facilitators for the Natural Resources Sector (Action 1.27)

  • The Department of Natural Resources has designated Industry Facilitators to assist early stage proponents within the mining, oil and gas, and renewable energy sectors.
  • Facilitators will liaise with operators and companies in early stages of exploration and development providing guidance with provincial policy and regulatory frameworks and coordination supports when engaging with other government departments.
  • Contact information for facilitators can be found on the department’s website as of March 27, 2017.

Better Outcomes

Invite Indigenous Leaders to Participate in the First Leaders Roundtable (Action 1.28)

  • The first annual Leaders Roundtable meeting is scheduled to occur on May 26, 2017.
  • The purpose of the meeting is to establish a collaborative forum where Government can work with Indigenous leaders to establish priority actions that ensure NL programs and services reflect Indigenous peoples needs and the respective needs of their communities
  • .

Adopt a Health-in-All-Policies Approach (Action 1.29)

  • A Health-in-All-Policies process has been established within Executive Council and will be coordinated with the Department of Health and Community Services, and Children, Seniors and Social Development.
  • Implementation of the process will promote the consideration of health in policy development and build capacity within departments to identify the potential health impacts of their policies and programs.
  • Health-in-All-Policies is an approach to public policy that integrates health impact considerations into all Government policies, from infrastructure planning to labour market supports, to improve NL’s health outcomes.

Respond to the All Party Committee’s Recommendations on Mental Health and Addictions (Action 1.30)

  • The All Party Committee’s Report on Mental Health and Addictions was released on March 24, 2017.
  • 255 residents and 65 stakeholder groups participated in the 15 consultation sessions held by the Committee throughout the province.
  • The Committee’s recommendations address system gaps, strengthening existing programs and services, and breaking down the barriers of stigma and timely access.
  • Government will release a multi-year action plan to implement the Committee’s recommendations by June 30, 2017.

Release Results from the Review of College of the North Atlantic (Action 1.31)

  • The College of the North Atlantic has a network of 17 campuses throughout the province.
  • Government will enhance the College’s campuses to serve as local and regional economic generators and community hubs.
  • A review of College of the North Atlantic, entitled “CNA Modernization Plan 2019”, was released by the College on April 28, 2017. The report is available online here.

Form a Council of Representatives from Government, Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic to Improve Collaboration (Action 1.32)

  • The Council on Higher Education is made up of representatives from the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University including student representatives from each post-secondary institution.
  • The first meeting of the Council occurred on March 23, 2017.
  • The purpose of the Council is to foster cooperation between Government, Memorial and CNA.

Proceed with the Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes and Hold Public Consultations (Action 1.33)

  • The Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes is committed to ensuring NL’s education system is responsive to the needs of students and prepares them for the future.
  • The Premier's Task Force concluded consultations with parents, students, educators and other key stakeholders as of March 20, 2017. A final report is anticipated in June 2017.