Open government implementation plan (OGIP)
(October 2015)

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1. Purpose

This document describes the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's (TSB) high level plan to comply with the requirements of the Directive on Open Government by the March 31, 2020 implementation deadline. The ultimate objective is to maximize the proactive release of TSB information and data of business value in order to support transparency, accountability, citizen engagement, and socio-economic benefits. However, the release of information and data is subject to applicable restrictions associated with privacy, confidentiality, and security as defined in legislation and government policies.

2. Approval

This plan has been approved by the TSB’s Executive Committee and endorsed by the TSB Chair.

Original signed by
Chantal Lemyre
Designated Information Management Senior Official

Signature dated November 9, 2015
Date

Original signed by
Jean L. Laporte
Chief Operating Officer

Signature dated November 10, 2015
Date

Original signed by
Kathleen Fox
Chair

Signature dated November 10, 2015
Date

3. Context

The Government of Canada has established an "open by default" position in its policy framework by issuing the Directive on Open Government. As a federal government agency, the TSB is subject to this policy. Notwithstanding this mandatory policy, the TSB firmly believes in the proactive sharing of information with Canadians. Openness and transparency are key to the TSB's success in achieving its mandate to advance transportation safetyFootnote 1 and in being held accountable given its status as an independent body.

In 2011, the TSB published a five-year Strategic Plan in which it reiterated its core values. Under the core value of “openness”, the TSB committed to actively promoting the exchange of information to advance transportation safety. The 2011-2016 Strategic Plan also defined the TSB's corporate strategic objectives, – two of which (i.e. Managing and Communicating) are directly aligned with the Open Government Initiative. The TSB adopted the following strategies to achieve these objectives:

  • Improving the management of our information and data
  • Improving accessibility to our products and services
  • Expanding communication activities to broader audiences.

Since then, a number of specific projects were incorporated in the annual TSB business plans and successfully completed. For example: the TSB web site was redesigned to be more user friendly and a new search engine was implemented; individual Web pages for active investigations were created; more investigation updates were released; statistical data published on the Web was enhanced; the use of social media was launched; a formal outreach program was implemented; and modal occurrence data bases were modernized. In essence, although the TSB did not have a formal Open Government Implementation Plan, many actions were taken over the past four years to improve the timely availability of TSB information to Canadians.

In 2014-2015, the TSB increased public access to transportation occurrence data by augmenting its monthly and annual statistical tables with machine-readable data files consisting of selected fields from the Rail and Pipeline occurrence databases. These datasets were posted to the TSB web site and are now available through the Open Government portal. In 2015-2016, Marine and Air datasets are also being made available online. Looking forward, these datasets will be further augmented where feasible.

In 2015, the TSB will be developing a new five-year Strategic Plan. In preparation for this, a broad scan was conducted that included reviewing the TSB results in the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey, conducting an external stakeholders' survey, an environmental scan, and a review of the government-wide priorities relevant to the TSB. This review confirmed that good progress was made on information management and sharing, but it also confirmed that there are further opportunities to make more information available to the public proactively. This plan takes stock of the current status and outlines the areas of focus for the TSB in the coming years with respect to the Open Government Initiative. Specific details on projects and activities will, however, continue to be fully integrated in the TSB's annual business plans.

4. TSB’s Open Government challenges

The TSB faces four important challenges in fully implementing the Open Government Initiative:

  • Balancing competing interests/objectives
  • Providing access to information and data contained in legacy systems
  • Ensuring the quality of the information
  • Managing priorities and resources.

Each of these challenges is described in detail below.

Balancing competing interests/objectives

The TSB's work is fundamentally reliant upon the collection and analysis of transportation occurrence information. This includes personal information such as medical records and witness statements. The TSB also collects a significant amount of third party information such as proprietary designs and specifications, and commercially sensitive information. All this information must be protected in accordance with the requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Furthermore, certain types of information such as on-board recordings, witness statements and designated reviewer representations are considered to be privileged records and must be given additional protections as identified in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act. It is therefore very important for the TSB to ensure that it fulfills its obligations to protect such information as prescribed by law. Furthermore, the TSB must ensure that it protects the integrity of its investigation process by not releasing information that could impair its ability to complete thorough, independent, and objective investigations in an effective and efficient manner. Therefore, before making information available to Canadians in accordance with the Open Government Initiative, the TSB must carefully assess the information and ensure these different and competing objectives are properly considered before decisions are made.

Providing access to information and data contained in legacy systems

Like most organizations, the TSB relies on a number of electronic and paper-based legacy information management systems. Typically, information and data residing in these systems cannot easily be made available to external users.  Over the past few years, the TSB has worked on the modernization of its information management tools and systems in order to better support its own internal business needs. However, these improvements will also better position the TSB to share its information and data with Canadians. For example, the TSB has completed an initiative to modernize its modal occurrence databases which are used on a daily basis by TSB investigators. Now that the back-end systems have been modernized the TSB was able to extract some initial data sets and to publish those in an open access format on its departmental web site and on the government's open data portal. The TSB has also adopted a digital-only records management policy for all its investigation files. This policy is currently being implemented and will facilitate the access to information that was previously available mostly in physical paper files. Good progress has been made to address this challenge. However, a significant investment of time, money and effort will be required to fully replace the legacy systems and ensure that all information is available in a format suitable to provide open access.

Ensuring the quality of the information

To successfully fulfill its mandate the TSB must be perceived as a credible and professional organization that applies the highest standards to ensure the completeness and accuracy of its work. To maintain this credibility, any information and data that the TSB releases must meets the highest standards in terms of completeness, accuracy and integrity. Meeting the requirements of the Open Government Initiative therefore requires the TSB to verify the data quality of its historical data before it can be made accessible to Canadians. This requires a meticulous review of the data collected through evolving business practices and tools since the TSB's creation in 1990.  As part of this review, the TSB must also validate the data dictionary for all fields within its data sets.  The TSB is working toward ensuring a common set of guidelines and standard operating procedures to promote consistent practices to manage information efficiently. Furthermore, the TSB has implemented an organization-wide data quality committee and each program activity now has a modal data quality team to identify and rectify data quality issues. These methods and tools have enabled the TSB to release high-quality initial data sets to the open data portal. However, much work remains to be done before more data can be made accessible.

Managing priorities and resources

A final, but very important challenge for the TSB in implementing the Open Government initiative is to manage its workload effectively in order to deliver on its mandate, while also making progress on the various government-wide initiatives with a limited resource base. The TSB must first respond to the expectations of the government and of Canadians on the delivery of its core mandate, meaning resources are first and foremost invested in the investigation of transportation occurrences and the communication of identified safety deficiencies. Government-wide initiatives such as Open Government constitute a lower level of priority and their implementation can only progress to the extent that time and money are available after our core activities have been dealt with. Because it is difficult to predict the number and complexity of occurrences that the TSB will be called upon to investigate in future years, it is impossible for the TSB to commit to full implementation of the Open Government Initiative by the stated deadline.

5. Outcomes

The TSB is committed to sharing and exchanging information to advance transportation safety. This is a two-part commitment. First, the TSB wants to share the results of its work (e.g. safety findings, safety communications, safety recommendations) as broadly as possible so that change agents in government and in industry can take appropriate actions to improve transportation safety, and that Canadians can be well informed on the state of transportation safety in Canada. Secondly, the TSB wants to share as much as possible the information collected during its investigations so that it can be used by others for broader purposes.

The implementation of the TSB's various information management initiatives and of the Open Government Initiative will lead to the following desired outcomes:

Internal outcomes

  • Up-to-date and complete inventory of information resources of business value, as well as related retention and disposal schedules
  • Clarified roles and accountabilities with respect to information and data management
  • Faster and easier access to information for TSB investigators through the use of modern tools and systems
  • Improved data quality enabling richer analysis and results for use in investigations and safety studies
  • Reduced level of effort to respond to external requests for information and data

External outcomes

  • Data extracts from the modal occurrence databases are released on a regular basis in easily searchable format
  • More factual information is released during TSB investigations
  • TSB safety communications, statistics and other products are more easily and broadly available
  • Key safety messages are communicated to stakeholders in an efficient and timely manner
  • Key TSB corporate information is publicly available
  • Key TSB operational policies are publicly available
  • Canadians have open access to as much transportation safety information as possible.

In order to achieve these desired outcomes, the TSB will continue its efforts to implement a number of actions and changes as follows:

  • Complete the review and update of information management policies and procedures
  • Complete the modernization of information management systems and databases
  • Fully implement its digital format only Information Management policy
  • Complete the inventory of information resources of business value
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities for information and data management
  • Renew all records retention and disposal schedules
  • Review and update the arrangements for the transfer of archival records to Library and Archives Canada
  • Continue the initiatives to improve data quality
  • Continue to increase the scope of the modal database extracts available on the web site
  • Continue to increase the amount of information available through the TSB web site
  • Review and update our products and services in light of stakeholders' feedback
  • Review and update our outreach program
  • Increase the frequency of factual investigation updates
  • Explore options to communicate safety information derived from class 5 occurrences
  • Continue to engage in dialogue with key stakeholders around TSB safety data.

6. Governance structure and decision-making processes

The TSB is a small organization with a relatively flat organizational structure, a simple governance structure and streamlined decision-making processes. A decision was made to use the existing governance structure and processes so that TSB activities related to the Open Government initiative can be fully integrated into the annual business planning cycle.

This plan is intended to serve as the overarching strategic piece that links the TSB activities pertaining to the Open Government Initiative and objectives to the internal planning process and documents. The TSB's detailed plans for Open Government will be fully integrated and tracked in the TSB's annual business plan. Therefore, the TSB will not produce a separate annual update to its Open Government Implementation Plan. This approach will facilitate the planning, resource allocation and coordination of activities within the TSB while minimizing the level of effort required. It will also ensure that all employees throughout the organization are fully informed about the Open Government plans and activities, and that they can see how they link with the TSB's other activities.

This plan and all TSB activities pertaining to the Open Government Initiative will be reviewed and approved by the TSB Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is composed of all the branch directors/DG, the General Counsel, and it is chaired by the Chief Operating Officer. All key functional leads (i.e. Head of Communications, CIO, ATIP Coordinator, DSO) and all program sector leads/data owners (i.e. branch directors) are therefore present at the decision-making table. Once plans and key decisions are made by the Executive Committee they are presented to the Chair (i.e. Deputy Head) for her endorsement and they are then communicated to all employees.

The Chair has designated the Director General Corporate Services to act as the departmental Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) for the purposes of the Directive on Open Government. This person is a member of the Executive Committee. Two other executives have been identified to assist the IMSO in her role. The Director of Communications was assigned as lead for the open information initiatives (i.e. web site, outreach, publishing of unstructured information, etc.). The Director Operational Services was assigned as lead for the open data initiatives (i.e. data quality, release of data extracts, etc.). These persons will coordinate with the various program sectors (i.e. information and data owners) to implement the approved plan. The Chief Operating Officer, in his capacity as the most senior official reporting to the Chair, will champion the overall plan and provide oversight to ensure the effective implementation of the plan.

The existing TSB committees and working groups will be leveraged to contribute to the implementation of this plan as follows:

Committee or working group Area of engagement
Executive Committee Plans, resource allocations, oversight and approval of policies
Management Committee Information management and information technology procedures, tools and systems
Standards Committee Operational business processes and practices
Training Committee Employee training and awareness programs
Data Quality Working Group Data dictionaries and data quality

As required, project teams and additional working groups will be created to carry out specific Open Government projects and/or activities identified in the annual TSB business plans.

7. Communication, awareness, and engagement

The TSB’s objectives and planned activities relevant to Open Government will continue to be developed and communicated to employees as part of the annual TSB business plan process. This integrated approach will ensure a higher level of employee awareness and engagement as the planned activities will be perceived as part of the department’s own agenda and not as additional requirements imposed by the central agencies. In essence, we are doing these things because they contribute to the achievement of our mandate and respond to the needs of our stakeholders.

As mentioned in section 3, the Open Government objectives and deliverables will also be considered as part of the development of the TSB’s new five-year Strategic Plan and the related new Strategic Communications Framework. This integration of the Open Government Initiative into the TSB’s strategic and annual business plans will facilitate the achievement of the objectives and desired outcomes.

Annexes

Annex A - Planning table for the Directive on Open Government requirements

Reference Compliance requirement Deliverables / Milestones Lead Activities Start date End date Status
DOG 6.1 Maximizing the release of Government of Canada data and information under an open and unrestrictive licence TSB's Data Release Plan Director Operational Services Prepare and publish Data Release Plan
(prerequisite: TSB Data Inventory)
2014 2016 In progress
TSB's Information Release Plan Director Communications Prepare and publish Information Release Plan
(prerequisite: TSB IRBV Inventory)
2016 2017 Not started
DOG 6.2 Ensuring that open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via Government of Canada web sites and services designated by the TBS Listing of accessible and reusable formats (for data and information) to be used at TSB Director
Operational Services / Director Communications
Develop guidance and standards on the format of data and information to be released 2014 2017 In progress for modal databases
Conversion processes for data identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable Director
Operational Services
Develop processes to convert data to accessible and reusable format (CSV) 2014 2016 In progress for modal databases
Conversion processes for information identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable Director Communications Develop processes to convert information to accessible and reusable format 2014 2017 Completed for investigation reports and some other safety communications
Release process to support the publication of TSB's data Director Operational Services Develop process for release of TSB modal data and for release of other TSB data 2014 2017 In progress for modal databases
Release process to support the publication of TSB's information Director Communications Develop process for release of TSB information 2014 2018 In progress
DOG 6.3 Establishing and maintaining comprehensive inventories of data and information resources of business value held by the department to determine their eligibility and priority, and to plan for their effective release Methodology for establishing a data inventory Director Operational Services Develop a template to be used to establish data inventory across the TSB 2014 2016 In progress
Methodology for establishing an inventory of information records of business value DG Corporate Services Develop a methodology and process to compile an inventory of information records of business value 2011 2014 Completed
Data inventory (detailed, itemized lists that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by TSB) Director Operational Services Complete TSB Data inventory using inventory templates 2015 2016 Not started
Inventory of information records of business value (detailed, itemized lists that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the information held by TSB) DG Corporate Services Compile listing of all existing records and data holdings, including the identification of information/data owners 2014 2016 In progress
Renewal process to maintain the currency of TSB's data inventory Director Operational Services Develop a methodology and process to be used to update the data inventory across the TSB 2016 2017 Not started
Renewal process to maintain the currency of TSB's inventory of information records of business value DG Corporate Services Develop a methodology and process to update the inventory of information records of business value 2016 2017 Not started
Assets included in the data inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release Director Operational Services Identify data sets to be released and prioritize them for inclusion on Data Release Plan 2014 2016 In progress
Assets included in the information inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release Director Communications Identify information to be released and prioritize it for inclusion in the Information Release Plan 2016 2017 Not started
DOG 6.4 Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing, and annually updating a departmental Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) Governance structures are in place to oversee the implementation of TSB's OGIP Chief Operating Officer Establish governance process 2015 2015 Completed
TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) DG Corporate Services Draft Open Government Implementation Plan and submit it for approval 2015 2015 Completed
Signatures in section 2 (Approvals) of TSB's OGIP DG Corporate Services   2015 2015 Completed
TSB's OGIP is staffed and funded DG Corporate Services Incorporate Open Government activities in the annual TSB Business Plan and resource allocation process 2014 Ongoing Ongoing
Monitoring and reporting processes  for assessing progress and  maintaining the currency of the TSB's OGIP DG Corporate Services Incorporate Open Government activities in the annual TSB Business Plan process 2014 Ongoing Ongoing
DOG 6.5 Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada. Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC DG Corporate Services Review and update the retention and disposition schedules with Library and Archives Canada for information of enduring business value 2015 2017 In progress
Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC is integrated into TSB's disposition plans and procedures. DG Corporate Services For investigation records, given the large volume of 3rd party and personal information, assess the feasibility of reviewing all records, and applying a reduced level of restriction, at the time records are sent to LAC.  For non-investigation records, develop and implement procedures. 2016 2017 Not started
DOG 6.6 Ensuring that open government requirements in sections 6.1 to 6.5 of this directive are integrated in any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions in support of the delivery of programs and services Governance structures are in place to ensure that the requirements of the Directive on Open Government are integrated into any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions Chief Operating Officer The TSB's Executive Committee reviews all proposals to procure, develop or modernize departmental information applications, systems or solutions. 2014 2014 Completed
Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into TSB's processes for the procurement, development or modernization of applications, systems, and solutions DG Corporate Services The templates in support of business plan projects and capital asset acquisitions will be modified to include questions relating to open government objectives. 2015 2015 Not started
DOG 7.1 Departmental information management senior officials, as designated by the deputy heads, are responsible for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of this directive in their department. Performance framework for the monitoring of TSB's progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP DG Corporate Services Integrate progress tracking and reporting for OGIP in the annual business planning and reporting process, including the tabling of a periodic summary OGIP progress report to the Executive Committee 2015 2015 Completed
Process to ensure significant difficulties, gaps in performance, or compliance issues are reported to the Deputy Head (DH) Chief Operating Officer IMSO, Director Communications and Director Operational Services will raise issues to the Chief Operating Officer as part of regular on-going bilateral meetings and the COO will raise issues to the Chair in a similar manner. 2015 2015 Completed

Annex B – Performance measures

Beginning in Year 2 (October 2016), the TSB must provide a progress report on its Open Government Implementation Plan by submitting information against the pre-defined performance measures shown in the following tables. These tables will be updated in October and March of each year for tabling and discussion at the Executive Committee. The October progress report will be submitted to the Treasury Board Secretariat after approval by the Executive Committee and the Chair.

Note: Year 1 is from October 9, 2014 (the Directive's effective date) to October 31, 2015. Year 2 is from November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2016. Year 3 is from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017. Year 4 is from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018. Year 5 is from November 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020.

Implementation planning as of October 31, 2015
Deliverable Measure Target status Target
date
End year 1
status
End year 2 status End year 3 status End year 4
status
End year 5
status
DOG 6.4 Open Government Implementation Plan The TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is developed. Yes Year 1 Yes        
The TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is approved by the Chair (Deputy Head). Yes Year 1 Yes        
The TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is posted to the website designated by the Treasury Board Secretariat. Yes Year 1 No        
The TSB's Open Government activities are integrated in the 2015-2016 TSB Business Plan. Yes Year 1 Yes        
The TSB's 2015-2016 Annual Report to Parliament and 2015-2016 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) will provide a brief update on the progress made on the TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan. Yes Year 2          
The TSB's Open Government activities are integrated in the 2016-2017 TSB Business Plan. Yes Year 2          
The TSB's 2016-2017 Annual Report to Parliament and 2016-2017 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) will provide a brief update on the progress made on the TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan. Yes Year 3          
The TSB's Open Government activities are integrated in the 2017-2018 TSB Business Plan. Yes Year 3          
The TSB's 2017-2018 Annual Report to Parliament and 2017-2018 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) will provide a brief update on the progress made on the TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan. Yes Year 4          
The TSB's Open Government activities are integrated in the 2018-2019 TSB Business Plan. Yes Year 4          
The TSB's 2018-2019 Annual Report to Parliament and 2018-2019 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) will provide a brief update on the progress made on the TSB's Open Government Implementation Plan. Yes Year 5          
The TSB's Open Government activities are integrated in the 2019-2020 TSB Business Plan. Yes Year 5          
The TSB's 2019-2020 Annual Report to Parliament and 2019-2020 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) demonstrates that the TSBs Open Government Implementation Plan has been fully executed. The TSB is fully compliant with the Directive on Open Government. Yes Year 5          

Data and information inventories as of October 31, 2015

Beginning in Year 2, the TSB must measure both the cumulative total (T) for measures relating to its inventories, data sets, and information assets, and the number of data sets and information assets added (+) since the end of the previous year, and subtracted (-) since the end of the previous year. These details will help speak to the maintenance and continued growth of inventories, as well as disposition activities.

Deliverable Measure Target status Target
date
End year 1
status
End year 2 status End year 3 status End year 4
status
End year 5
status
DOG 6.3 Data inventory The TSB's methodology for establishing a data inventory is complete. Yes Year 2          
The TSB's data inventory is established. Yes Year 2          
The TSB's renewal process to maintain the currency of its data inventory is complete. Yes Year 3          
  T + - T + - T + - T + -
# of data sets in the inventory     4                        
# of data sets analyzed to determine their eligibility and priority for release     4                        
# of data sets deemed eligible for release     4                        
# of data sets released     3                        
Information inventory The TSB's methodology for establishing an information inventory is complete. Yes Year 1 Yes        
The TSB's information inventory is established. Yes Year 3          
The TSB's renewal process to maintain the currency of its information inventory is complete. Yes Year 3          
  T + - T + - T + - T + -
# of electronic information assets in the inventory                              
# of electronic information assets analyzed to determine their eligibility and priority for release                              
# of electronic information assets deemed eligible for release                              
# of electronic information assets released                              

Maximizing the removal of access restrictions as of October 31, 2015

The TSB must report on the status of its transfers of non-electronic and electronic information resources of enduring (i.e. archival) value to Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

Deliverable Measure Target status Target
date
End year 1
status
End year 2 status End year 3 status End year 4
status
End year 5
status
DOG
6.5
Removing Access Restrictions The TSB's methodology for removing access restrictions from information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada is complete. Yes Year 3          
The TSB is maximizing the removal of access restrictions from information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada. Yes Year 4          
# of non-electronic information resources of enduring value transferred to Library and Archives Canada.              
# of non-electronic information resources of enduring value analyzed to determine if access restrictions can be removed prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada.              
# of non-electronic information resources of enduring value whose access restrictions were removed prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada.              
# of electronic information resources of enduring value transferred to Library and Archives Canada.              
# of electronic information resources of enduring value analyzed to determine if access restrictions can be removed prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada.              
# of electronic information resources of enduring value whose access restrictions were removed prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada.              

Footnotes

Footnote 1

For detailed information about the TSB, its mandate and organizational structure please visit the TSB website at www.tsb.gc.ca.

Return to footnote 1 referrer