Ministry Overview and Core Business Areas
Two former ministries, combined under the Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services, have in common the focus of providing excellent service: Labour provides services to the employees, employers, unions, and businesses in British Columbia to build a modern work environment; and, Citizens’ Services plays a key role in improving how government services and information are delivered to meet the everyday needs of citizens, business and the public sector. The approach used in developing the 2005/06 – 2007/08 Updated Service Plan was to provide a summary of the Overview and Core Business Areas and Resource Summary sections for the ministry as a whole. The Strategic Context and Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Results are provided separately for each part of the ministry — Labour and Citizens’ Services.
The 2006/07 – 2008/09 Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services Service Plan will show the combination of the Labour and Citizens’ Services programs.
The Ministry’s net budget or voted appropriation is $192.838 million. Its gross expenditures are expected to be approximately $306.657 million. Of its gross expenditures, $113.819 million is expected to be recovered from external sources.
Many of the ministry’s business areas receive a voted appropriation of only $1,000 — requiring them to operate in a disciplined, business-like manner. This “$1,000 vote structure” means that at the end of the fiscal year, expenditures must not exceed recoveries by more than $1,000.
Labour’s focus is to foster working relationships in safe and healthy workplaces, and to support strong and vibrant provincial economic development and employment growth. The productive dialogue between the ministry and its stakeholders in the labour community will continue. Labour works with employers, organized labour and other key stakeholders to provide progressive policy directions to advance overall government priorities for promoting harmonious and productive labour relations, skills development and labour stability in the province. It also supports the great goal of creating more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada.
Labour’s core programs focus on the development, implementation and enforcement of employment standards, workplace safety and labour relations rules. Its budget or net voted appropriation for fiscal 2005/06 is $15.689 million. Its gross expenditures are expected to be approximately $47.002 million. Of its gross expenditures, $31.313 million is expected to be recovered.
Employment standards activities aim to increase compliance with the Employment Standards Act. Specific initiatives will be undertaken to enhance the prevention component of the Employment Standards Branch’s (ESB) operations.
The ministry oversees the fair administration of B.C.’s industrial relations to promote a healthy labour relations environment. The Labour Relations Board (LRB) will enhance procedures to handle disposition of complaints in an efficient and timely manner. The responsiveness of the LRB will be further enhanced, especially with regards to the manner it interacts with the requirements of small businesses. The Employment Standards Tribunal (EST), an independent agency of the Government of British Columbia with a mandate to conduct appeals of determinations, is also part of this core business area.
Workers’ Compensation System
The ministry is responsible for the Workers Compensation Act (WCA), which provides a framework for promoting safe and healthy workplaces and sets out the workers’ compensation system for B.C.
Citizens’ Services plays a leading role in continuously improving the way government services and information are delivered to the public, other ministries and the broader public sector. Its budget or net voted appropriation for fiscal 2005/06 is expected to be $177.149 million. Citizens Services’ gross expenditures are expected to be approximately $259.655 million, $82.506 million of which is expected to be recovered from external sources.
There are four core business areas:
Service Delivery to Citizens and Businesses
This core business area is led primarily by Service BC, the provincial government’s chief provider of front-line services to the public. When citizens, businesses or visitors are looking for information about services or programs offered by ministries, agencies, the private sector or other governments, they often begin by contacting Service BC. Customers can connect in person, by phone or over the Internet. By using one or a combination of these “channels”, they can access programs, services and information in ways that suit their personal and business needs. As a result of the June 16, 2005 reorganization of government, this business area of the ministry has assumed responsibility for the following programs: Knowledge Network and the Canada BC Business Services Centre.
Public Service Operations
This core business area is the internal service provider for government and other public sector customers. For a government to function, it needs basic tools — computers, phones, printers, email, and paper — just to name a few. In addition, employees must be paid; invoices and purchase orders processed; mail processed and distributed; documents printed; and office products obtained and distributed. This area ensures that these services are delivered cost-effectively, efficiently and with a customer focus. Real estate and accommodation services provided by BC Buildings Corporation (BCBC) will be integrated with Public Service Operations over the course of the 2005/06 fiscal year.
This core business area is led primarily by NetWork BC, the Service Delivery Initiative Office (SDI) and the Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Project Secretariat. Programs and services focus on facilitating and leading a co-ordinated approach to service transformation across government.
This core business area, led by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), focuses on ensuring that information is managed and used efficiently as a tool to enable better delivery of government services to citizens, businesses and core government. It is responsible for the corporate privacy and information access functions of government, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection Act, the Document Disposal Act, and the Electronic Transaction Act.
Executive and Support Services (ministry-wide)
This area provides overall advice, strategic direction, leadership and support to ministry programs. This includes legislative and policy support, planning and performance management and internal communications. This area consists of the Minister’s Office, Deputy and Associate Deputy’s Offices, Policy Development, Corporate Planning and Performance Management, and also includes the Board Resourcing and Development Office. Support to the ministry in the areas of strategic human resources, information management and financial management is provided by the Corporate and Ministry Support Services Division, whose budget is reported by the Ministry of Finance.