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Shared Services Canada Service Level Agreement

7.1 (1) For the purpose of providing services under this Act to a Shared Services Department of Canada, the Minister may delegate, for each period and under any conditions he deems appropriate, the powers he may delegate to him, in accordance with Section 7, for that service. 4.19 This finding is important, given that SSC, as a provider of common government IT services, needs to understand whether its services meet the needs of its partners. As recipients of these services, SSC`s partner services must be able to rely on the fact that the IT services they receive from SSC adequately support their ability to provide services to Canadians. This means that the SSC and partners must have a clear understanding of their trade relationship, based on a series of common and concrete expectations regarding many cases, particularly with respect to the complex framework conditions for service delivery, the parties formally record their understanding of the proposed service relationship before continuing a debate on detailed governance, operational and implementation agreements. In some cases, an analysis of options and/or a feasibility study would be required before discussions on the management and operation of the agreement can continue. In complex agreements, resources and personnel to be allocated, as well as activities necessary to complete the service agreement, should be discussed and agreed upon. Following the creation of Shared Services Canada, the projected operating costs of the new e-mail service amounted to $72 million per year. The graph shows that the difference between $72 million and the financial base of $128 million would represent an expected savings of $56 million per year. 4.14 SSC has not presented clear and concrete expectations of its partners on the provision of IT infrastructure services to support their services and applications. As a result, it cannot show whether and how it maintains or improves services since its inception. The reports to Parliament focused on the activities to be carried out and not on achieving the objectives. In addition, SSC provided the 43 partners with limited information on the service level and security performance of the IT infrastructure. All the partners we consulted have made the lack of security reports a concern, as partners are responsible for the overall safety of their programs and services.

While there is no single-size-fits-all approach to Canadian government digital services, we will work with our federal partners and customers to improve the user experience through consolidation, modernization and standardization. 4.55 Almost half of these agreements dealt with SSC`s terms and conditions of sale, which required the company to conduct safety assessments and to verify and provide advice and recommendations to the partner. In order to determine whether the SSC complied with this commitment, we requested that a sample of three safety assessments be verified, but it did not exist. We also asked SSC if it had documented security expectations outside of its agreements. SSC had developed safety standards and documented an operating manual that covered certain service security obligations, but did not tell its partners or internally how it was meeting those obligations. SSC has informed us that it plans to publish more detailed service descriptions in future catalogues. 4.34 A service base is a standard or level of service that can be used as a comparison. The use of service baselines would allow SSC to fully understand the service levels of its partners that it should retain and ultimately replace. We found that SSC did not record a basic plan when it became responsible for providing IT services to partners. SSC officials informed us that they did not develop a basic plan because the partners did not have complete information on the old services from which basic plans were to be developed.