Mr. Speaker, with regard to the centralization of federal government pensions and the information services of the pensions provided by the territorial governments. With regard to (a), the communications strategy for this initiative was initially designed to advise stakeholders of the change in service delivery as each service was centralized to the pension centre. Consultations occurred with departments, crowns and territorial governments, and concept-of-operations sessions were provided for each service; focus group meetings detailing and updating work procedures and the new pension tools; on-site visits to each of the territorial governments by the director, pension services directorate and the director general, compensation services; and the dissemination of information at quarterly Stakeholder steering committee meetings. Feedback and consultations were integral to ensuring an outcome in which stakeholders are well informed and will have a successful transition to the new pension services delivery model.
With regarde to (b), the backlogs in client services are not as a result of centralization. The pension centre in Shediac, New Brunswick did not experience backlogs in areas which had centralized services. Backlogs in other services occurred because experienced staff had been deployed to the pension modernization project and in part from issues that arose with the new work load management tool, and as a result of an increased work effort due to working with old and new processes simultaneously.
With regard to (c), the implementation of a new service model and systems over the long term will ensure that all members receive timely, consistent service, and advice directly from the pension experts located in the public service pension centre.