A confidential document, obtained exclusively by Public Eye, shows children and family development's top bureaucrat has taken steps to ensure ministry managers are at least 90 percent supportive of her restructuring plans. In an email, sent to executive team members on January 28, deputy minister Lesley du Toit writes "if any of your managersâ€¦are not 90% of the way there and able to be genuinely positive and facilitating of change, then be very sure that you do not appoint them in this new structure."
Ms. du Toit also informs executive members that headquarters staff "will logically over the next 4 years be downsized as we move to full regionalization" - a longstanding government committment endorsed by Ted Hughes's independent review of British Columbia's child protection system.
As a result of that downsizing, the deputy minister advises executives to "keep your teams lean and mean so that we do not end up having to move endless people later or find them new positions." And, just in case you're curious, Premier Gordon Campbell and Children and Family Development Minister Tom Christensen are being kept abreast of Ms. du Toit's plans.
According to the email, Ms. du Toit was scheduled to meet with both politicians on February 6. And, during that meeting, she planned to spend most of the time "discussing the regionalization of MCFD's services, decision-making and community engagement. This will include how we intend to proceed with self governance in relation to Aboriginal services."
"I will post the piece of the strategic plan on this matter up on the share point by Tuesday so that you can begin to think about it and prepare for the discussion. The plan reflects my discussions with the Premier and Minister. This is completely confidential."
"The discussions on the 6th will lay the foundation for our final decisions on what we intend to do on this matter for at least the next 2 years, and we will then proceed with implementation without further debate." The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email.
From: du Toit, Lesley MCF:EX
Sent: Sun, January 28, 2007 2:50 PM
To: Ahmed, Sarf MCF:EX; Boon, Les N MCF:EX; Cunningham, Peter C MCF:EX; Dellert, Karen D MCF:EX Dicks, Beverly J MCF:EX; Doyle, Patrick J MCF:EX; du Toit, Lesley MCF:EX; Eamer, Chuck MCF:EX; Foxcroft, Debra MCF:EX; Gleeson, Kelly T PAB:EX; Hayman, Douglas MCF:EX; Hedlund, Marilyn MCF:EX; Hughes, Doug J MCF:EX; Knox, Donna L MCF:EX; MacMillan, Karen MCF:EX; Markwart, Alan MCF:EX; McCallum, Nikki MCF:EX; Sieben, Mark MCF:EX; Williams, Stan MCF:EX
Subject: Leadership meetings on 6th and 7th CONFIDENTIAL
The two days of meetings will be extremely important and I would like to ask that you all make yourselves available for the full period of both days and that you prepare in advance, as much as that is possible.
Please submit the items you would like on the agenda to Karen or directly to me, by no later than morning of Thursday 1st. Please indicate briefly what the agends item is about (unless it is quite obvious) and how much time you think it would require. I will then be in a position to decide about where and if it goes onto our agenda.
On the 6th we will focus on business items and then go on to discussing regionalization. Once we have spent sufficient time on that we will spend the rest of the two days on the restructuring and final organization chart of MCFD. These are two aspects which fundamentally affect the entire ministry and everything we do in the next 4 years, so I want us to give them the time needed to be as wise and careful as we can.
I have held discussions with both the Premier and Minister on this matter and will have one more discussion with the minister before the 6th. At our meeting on the 6th will spend most of our time on discussing the regionalization of MCFD's services, decision-making, and community engagement. This will include how we intend to proceed with self governance in relation to Aboriginal services.
I will post the piece of the strategic plan on this matter up on the share point by Tuesday so that you can begin to think about it and prepare for the discussion. The plan reflects my discussions with the Premier and Minister. This is completely confidential.
The discussions on the 6th will lay the foundation for our final decisions on what we intend to do on this matter for at least the next 2 years, and we will then proceed with implementation without further debate.
Restructuring of MCFD
By the end of day on the 7th the final decisions on the restructuring will be made and I would like you to thus prepare thoroughly for finalizing this. We have taken far too long on this matter and while processes will still have to be completed, it will NOT be up for discussion beyond the 7th. Please resolve any concerns, issues, disagreements etc by then and come with the draft of your piece of the organizational chart and any discussion pieces you have. You should of course bring unresolved issues to the table as well. If possible Pat should receive the organogram too so we can look at one integrated chart as well. The REDS will have refined their job description and will present this at the meeting to inform the debate and decisions.
After this meeting we will be sending out a major communication to staff on this issue, and on transformation.
[I would please ask that the REDS post their draft "job description" document on the share site by Thursday this week.]
A couple of things to be clear on please:
* MCFD provincial office will logically over the next 4 years be downsized as we move to full regionalization. Therefore, please keep your teams lean and mean so that we do not end up having to move endless people later or find them new positions. Make sure you have enough people/positions to do the work effectively at the provincial office and no more.
* Please structure for team work and not as a beurocracy.
* The work for provincial office is basically Quality Assurance, Provincial policy/legislation, Support for regional governance and service delivery, overall planning and budgeting (from the regions up), seeing that resources get approved and down to regions effectively and efficiently, cross-ministry work at provincial level, FPT work, communications, and ensuring the goals and accountabilities of the minister and government as a whole are met etc.
* All services are to be integrated over this next year. I would not want to see "shops" just moved around and placed under a new structure, but actually integrated and so this should be reflected in the positions and organogram. Please understand that we are creating something new, not just tinkering with the old and moving the chairs around.
* I expect all senior leadership of the ministry provincial office to have made a decision by now as to where they stand on the direction we are taking and be able to meaningfully, positively and enthusiastically engage their teams in bringing them on board. This includes managers who are executive directors or senior directors or directors. If you and other managers are 90% there and still have some aspects to grapple over that is not a bad thing. I would hope that you have had this depth of dialogue with your existing or prospective managers. If ANY of your managers falling into this group are not 90% of the way there and able to be genuinely positive and facilitating of change, then be very sure that you do not appoint them in this new structure. Lastly, we are looking for people who will stay committed to MCFD and our agenda for the next 4 years at least. While that does not mean we will force people to stay, it does mean that you should consider this deeply with them before you appoint them. If the commitment is there, then we will do everything we can to provide career growth opportunities within MCFD for that period. If people intend to leave within the next 1-2 years or are going to naturally retire, then consider long and hard before you appoint them to new senior positions. Consider possibilities that they could stay on as mentors for a period and build capacity rather than take on leadership positions and then leave.
If there are concerns on any of the above, please discuss with Pat and Donna, or bring these to the meeting for discussion. You can of course discuss with me if you have any major issue that you want discussed before the meeting.
If we have time we will have a discussion on regional structures and roles. This will be the beginning of an ongoing conversation for a while as we look at what "new" regional structures may be in line with the agenda we have ahead of us. REDS should be thinking about this in terms of their roles in the region, new positions, as well as the roles of Director of Operations, Director of Child Welfare etc.
Please note that because we will only start at 10:00 on the 6th to give people time to fly in that morning, we will work to 5:00 on the 6th. We will start at 8:00 (with a working breakfast) and continue to 4.00 on the 7th.
We will have dinner together on the evening of the 6th.
Looking forward to the meeting and thank you for all your work todate on the above. I know it has not been an easy process.