Today’s schedule was brought to you by the letter S as in sh**show. I normally do chiro on Friday mornings, and since Andrea had an early morning appointment, I moved my chiro even earlier (7:30). Except I had trouble sleeping so dragging my butt out of bed to get there was not a pleasant experience.
Unfortunately, part of my back is being stubborn and refusing to release, so I take what I can get. Anyway, onward to a different appointment for Andrea and then back home. Series of meetings, staff meeting, and then out the door at noon to go to the telescope store. I know, you wouldn’t think that was work, but it kind of was. I was having them evaluate two donated scopes for our astronomy group, and so I took them in today. Two hours later, I had a wonderful time, but needed to be doing my real job. Grabbed some Tim Horton’s on the way for Jacob and I, ate quickly, and then off to a conference call at 2:30.
Then I had to double down on a whole bunch of taskings as I’m off next week from Monday to Wednesday. Yay me, boo stacking work requests so my team is busy. And then I realized that a simple project that I half-volunteered for can’t wait until I’m back, they’ll need it before then. So I had to do a ton of work to get it into a form that was shareable. Imagine 3 hours to send a doc by email with all the info together ready to be used.
Somewhere around 7:30, I realized I hadn’t heard any noise upstairs. Andrea had fallen asleep, and Jacob hadn’t eaten. I ran out and grabbed subs for us as it was too late to start thinking about home solutions with what we have in the fridge right now, and also realized that while I was binging work, Jacob basically spent the day all by himself again. FFS.
We have got to get our sh** squared away. That is not on.
So we hung out for an hour with him, played a game and then he was too tired to keep going. Not surprisingly.
For me? It was back to work. Another couple of hours and I have everything up, out, tasked, noted, planned, tweaked, filed, and my out of office is on. Somewhere around midnight. It was a long day. And I did all this so I can relax and take three days off without thinking about it. If I live long enough to enjoy it. F***.
I have been fighting a bug for a few days, a bit of congestion, a bit of a headache, a sore throat and the gastro issues I self-inflicted on Sunday messed up my sleep last night. I have been super active in the last few days, so I should have slept like a log according to the logic of my mother. I can even hear her voice saying it.
Instead, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Tossed and turned, tried to go to the washroom without success, back to bed, another 90 minutes of staring at the ceiling metaphorically, back to the washroom with success, and finally crashed back to sleep around 6:00 I guess.
Woke up at 9:00 feeling like a zombie. Things have improved generally over the weekend, and my sore throat was mostly gone but my digestive issues were going batty, my congestion was back, and my CPAP machine gave me an air pressure headache to start the day. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t COVID-serious, just an annoying bug of some kind. But I decided to crash and take the day.
Andrea might have the same bug as of late tonight. Hopefully, she’ll do her normal great job of kicking it quickly. I have a bunch of stuff tomorrow for work, so I’ll definitely be “back”, but I might push a few meetings to later in the week and focus on the core duties.
As I mentioned earlier in these posts, Jacob has various courses that he is trying to do at OutSchool.com. He’s enjoying them, but then again, there’s no real work involved. He has some reading to do for one of them, but it’s about Gods, and he would read that anyway!
Today was a full day for him. While I was working this morning, he played Fortnite and then had a call with a social worker, upgraded from phone to Zoom (yay!) and he thought it was nice to be able to see her, so we’ll count that as a win. Personally, I think it’s a HUGE win for him, but that’s just me.
I ran over to Tim Horton’s for lunch, took a break for that, and then back to work for me. He then had a class this afternoon on mythology in general or Greek Gods specifically, I forget which, and then chess lessons. But after that? I took another break so I could sit with him and do Lego.
We’re working on a project, I’ll likely add it to my choices tomorrow (assuming we finish), so I won’t reveal the content yet, but we are assembling it together. Originally, I was going to do it by myself, a special project just for me, but since he’s struggling a bit on the isolation front, we made him my assistant for it. Normally, I man the book and he assembles stuff, but for this one, it was supposed to be me assembling and him manning the book. Until today when he was getting impatient and wanted to be in there with his hands. So I let him take over. He needed it, and it’s a small price to pay. I have lots of other projects I’m working on in other ways.
Then I came back down to work while Jacob did some reading, I got caught up on a few transactions going through, returned a couple of calls I needed to follow up on, and then it was dinner time. We’ve been eating a lot of leftovers this week in different forms to use stuff up, so it was relatively quick to make fajitas tonight and we’ll likely have it again for lunch tomorrow.
After that, I introduced Jacob to the comic stylings of Tim Allen in the form of Galaxy Quest. I was debating Spaceballs vs. GQ, but GQ has a storyline that is more fun than just jokes, and we did just watch Guardians of the Galaxy, so it seemed like a “save the universe”-type theme. He loved it! I had forgotten a scene where they beam the rock giant onto the ship to fight the invaders, it was fun.
And then? Bedtime for penguins, and I came back downstairs to work a bit more. I’m trying to finish a workplan for my team, and I had about seven or eight inputs to wade through for possible inclusion, so it wasn’t just copy and paste or tweak. Ironically, I got it all done, ready to send to my team for a 10:00 a.m. meeting tomorrow, and realized I forgot to include one of the files I’m doing these days myself.
An odd work day…sort of 9:00-11:45, 1:00-3:45, 5:00-6:30 and then 9:30-10:45 or so. Yeah, a little more than my 7.5h I guess, but who knows if there were production lags from start/stop too. Either way, it made the day “work” for being with Jacob. It would be good to have longer “shifts” in there, but it worked.
The number one thing I’m looking for in a new job is integrity.
A few of you are likely reading that and nodding your head. It seems like a good choice. Except it doesn’t mean only what most people think it does. For me, integrity is about far more than simply the personal integrity of my bosses. In fact, that isn’t even the biggest part.
First and foremost, I need to know there’s the integrity of the mandate. I need to know there is a clear link between the actions of the Department and the outcomes they are trying to achieve. A plausible connection that they can actually achieve something. Going back to an earlier post, it’s one of my challenges when looking at a Department like Indigenous Affairs or Status of Women. Both departments have great mandates, but there is no particular vision behind either one that makes me believe they can achieve their mandate. I’m not even sure they are going in the right direction. But equally important to me, I don’t know if anyone who works at those places knows it. Without the mandate, vision and levers, it’s tilting at windmills. And while I have a lot of respect for windmill tilting, I don’t want to do it for my career.
Second, I need to know there is the integrity of the policy. A clear line from the evidence to the instruments chosen. I am not a statistician, nor do I believe a lot of the so-called “evidence” tells us what to do — I think it tells us a lot about the problem and some hints about which of several instruments may help, but there is still a lot of room for Ministerial discretion. I’m not naïve, that is a part of our government system. We’re not automatons, nor are our leaders. They even have the right to be wrong. But ultimately, I need to know that the mandate is being approached with a policy lens that actually has some rigour to it. A colleague I respect went to work at DFAIT (now Global Affairs Canada), and was surprised just how little real “policy” work they did. It didn’t surprise me, I had seen it in action. People there would take four or five initiatives, throw it together into a storyline, and call it “policy”. But at most it is policy coordination, it isn’t program policy or policy development. True policy work requires some analysis, and ultimately, some hard choices — do we go left or right, and why? It is one of the most frustrating parts of working in policy coordination or working on things like Cabinet notes. The people who do it are touching multiple files per day, with no real-time to focus on the content. They are often called “policy people”, but it is the most administrative form of policy. It’s storytelling, sure, and often strategic policy or macro policy ends up being about storytelling. But it to is not what I want to be doing with my life. I’m a good storyteller, but I actually want some meat to the story.
Third, I insist on the integrity of the process whenever I can. It is one of the reasons why I work on corporate files. Because there are a lot of people out there who want to play fast and loose with processes, just as the DG at CIDA did when doing his Treasury Board submission. The end doesn’t justify the means, but neither does means justify themselves. I’m not embracing all audit controls, or a red-tape nightmare to dot Is or cross Ts. I don’t want anymore process than is needed. But once those processes are in place, I think they should be followed or at least when they are not, it should be transparent. When I was at DFAIT, and they were playing with the contracting rules in order to keep me on the team, they were at least doing it above-board, completely transparently with documentation across the board. A bending of the process rather than a complete violation. At CIC, I wasn’t a slave to the rules that procurement processes had to be followed perfectly, but at least we could document when things were changed so we had the paperwork to justify changes.
Fourth, I try to maintain a culture of integrity, including myself, my team and even my bosses. Sometimes that is a real challenge against values and ethics. Like transparency when I’m not allowed to share certain information. Or being part of situations that are uncomfortable and not being sure what to do.
One time at DFAIT, it was after hours, my Director and a sleazy officer were having a late-night drink in the Director’s office. I was about to head out and needed to touch base with the Director after a long day of missing each other with other priorities. We were talking about some upcoming logistics for the summer, and we were wondering about who we could get because I wasn’t going to be able to cover all of it. We discussed quick pros and cons of various candidates, including a co-op student from the previous year. Young, female, attractive. And out of nowhere, the sleazeball made a very crude comment about her appearance. Trump-like, almost. Both my Director and I paused, looked at him like he had two heads, looked at each other, and said, “anyway, moving on…”. I know the director said something to him after I left, as the officer apologized later, but really? It told me all I needed to ever know about the guy. And I’d never work with him again under any circumstances.
For the DG at CIDA who played fast and loose with TB rules, he offered me a job before I knew the full story. But I knew enough to know I didn’t want to work with him. I just didn’t like the way he did business. He created a giant global initiative with another guy, worked on it with two international contacts for a few months, and “accidentally” forgot to tell anyone in the Canadian government he was doing it. Until Italy found out and reamed out our G8 rep for not telling them when they were the G8 chair and this was a major possible deliverable. And the G8 rep didn’t have a clue what they were talking about…what global initiative? Someone at CIDA? Even the CIDA minister hadn’t known about it. Later in my time at CIDA, I was in a position to review some of his materials coming through and even flagged them for a friend to keep an eye out, not in a nasty way, just to be extra vigilant. I didn’t care WHAT he was doing, that was beyond my purview, I just cared about HOW he was doing it.
Another project came to me at CIDA and I ended up with two significant integrity questions. First and foremost, we had always managed this file fairly transparently across the government. It was an annual thing, relatively low-key internally, but would get some press. One year when I was managing the file, it was NOT going to be a good news story and PCO slapped a lid on all communications. I wasn’t allowed to share drafts with ANYONE. Not even with the people at HRDC who would have to write a bunch of briefs and comms materials on very short notice when the event happened. I wasn’t supposed to tell them. Which I felt was not only stupid, it violated every professional fibre of my being for how we work in partnership. If I didn’t tell them, the relationship built over the previous ten years between the two groups would be destroyed. In the end, I shared some info and gave them heads-up so they could plan better for the event. It kept things stable, even if it wasn’t strictly within the letters of my formal orders.
On the same file, I received a call from an old contact at DFAIT. The senior executive who was now director-level approximately, the same one who told me I was a glorified file clerk and to whom I had said I wouldn’t be stupid enough to work for him again. That had been in August of the year I moved to CIDA, and I had only seen him twice since that point — once at the Summit in Vancouver, but with little interaction, and once at a Christmas party. One of those awkward conversations where you both turn around and you’re suddenly face-to-face, and you have a conversation. He sort of smirked at me, and asked how everything was going at CIDA, was I getting “more responsible” files now? I told him it was going great, and fortunately, the management at CIDA was so much better. My friend standing nearby couldn’t believe how we threw such daggers at each other before moving off. No love lost. Yet here he was calling me and asking for advice for his Ambassador and the upcoming event. He had two options — let’s call it going left or going right. Without the information I had, which I wasn’t allowed to share, he was struggling to make a decision. For me, I knew the right answer though. If he went left, it would blow up in his face, the Ambassador would be pissed, and karma would be delivered a helping hand. If he went right, the Ambassador might be a bit disappointed, but no other real downside. The question was simple — should I tell him to go right and avoid the problem or say nothing at all and let him get reamed? I so wanted to say “go left”. I did. I really did. But I told him that perhaps this year was a good time for us to “go right”, even if I wasn’t allowed to share the info with him that he was searching.
I’m confronted with these issues often, and it is part of management. I mentioned earlier that ethical questions are not the elaborate scenarios that they share with you in training classes, it’s the day-to-day stuff. And for me, I need to be able to control enough of my work and outputs to ensure that my personal integrity is intact. When the DG from a previous example was cursing and swearing at me, that was too much. I couldn’t be part of it any longer. When I saw bad HR processes, I decided not to openly challenge them, but I had to at least register my disagreement with the approach.
I need to see it in myself, of course, but also reflected in the actions of my bosses. I need to know that they aren’t doing fast and loose things just to get something done. Or if they are, that they are at least transparent about it. And I try to make sure the same “culture” exists in my team.
In my personal life, it’s a huge precept for me. Not only have I chosen to do the right thing, I actually have in some cases only done it if it was for the right reasons. Something that might have been good for me, but for the wrong reasons, I chose not to do. In some cases, things that most people wouldn’t even think about avoiding.
For work, my approach to HR is a bit like that. I am perfectly fine telling people they should apply for lots of jobs, try to make pools, etc. But for myself, I will only compete for a job that I actually want. The federal system actively encourages you to compete just to make a pool and then get pulled for another job, but I won’t do it for myself. The right thing for the wrong reasons, so I won’t do it. I’m fine if others do it. Just not right for me.
Last but not least, I need to know there is integrity in delivery. It’s all well in good to have the right stuff upfront, but if it is going to hell in a handbasket on the delivery side, what’s the point?
And it is why it is my highest point. And really, if I wanted, I could group almost every other element under this heading.
#01. Integrity – Integrity of mandate, integrity of policy, integrity of process, integrity in delivery and a culture of integrity.
Most people who have read my top ten list so far have probably wondered, “What the ??? Where is the substance?”. Well, that comes now. More by type of substance than individual file area.
As a digression, I am not super worried about the file content — I could work in just about any department, and feel like I was contributing and enjoying my work. There are a couple where I would probably hesitate. Indigenous Affairs is one I would avoid…I honestly don’t think anyone has any clue how to move the files forward, and we pour billions per year into a system that produces almost nothing. Thankfully we have a reconciliation committee to make us feel good about our current partnership, even when that partnership threatens to consign another generation to poverty-stricken, subsistence living. Put more neutrally, working there would be well beyond pushing string.
I have similar views about the Canadian Human Rights Committee that lost its way a long time ago, the Status of Women which needs to be either strengthened and given teeth or abolished and probably half of the Fisheries Department. Which half I have no idea, but some of it is said to be working by those in the know. Which isn’t to say there aren’t good people working in those departments, or that some of the programs aren’t useful — more that they face large-scale structural issues that I think limit their potential to ever achieve their mandates.
Beyond them, I’d probably work anywhere. I don’t have a big desire to do TBS or PCO — partly by workloads, partly by formality, etc. Which is odd — because if I want to do “special projects”, TBS is definitely the place to do it. Almost half their department is working on new initiatives at any one time, it seems.
As such, I’m pretty open-minded to having a conversation with anyone about any area. Which sounds odd until you read the next part.
Starting at the top of the “policy chain”, there is research. Most research, at least policy research outside of some parts of the Canadian Space Agency, NRCan, Environment Canada or Health Canada / Public Health, is pretty high-level. Trends, issues, statistical models. Most of it not very useful to anyone until someone takes it and finds a way to turn it into policy-relevant language. There was a job recently in the Chief Public Health Officer’s office working on an annual report — which would take some of that general research and give it a good policy spin, which is a great way to use it. But most policy research elsewhere is often done by researchers who have no idea how to write a policy issue or formulate a recommendation. They just do the research and share it. Which doesn’t interest me at all.
Moving a step down the chain, we come to strategic policy. This is the part where policy analysts take a lot of that dry research, marry it to various policy initiatives of the government, and come up with broad diagnostics, mainly at the macro level, of what is going on in various domains or sectors. I mentioned earlier that I didn’t want to be the sector specialist, and this is the type of area where they tend to hang out. However, within the Strategic Policy area, there are also some other functions. Corporate planning for one, which I would do. But I don’t want to do departmental coordination at a large department like ESDC — we have 25K employees, 50+ programs, etc. Most of what they can do at any one time is the coordination of the input — there’s little opportunity to change the direction, to tell a different story than the individual branches want to do, there’s literally no capacity or time to do it. Other areas tend to be policy coordination shops, and again, in huge departments, they are brutal. That’s where I wasted 18 months trying to do an IPF nobody wanted, and I won’t go back there. It is also where there is a LOT of work going on to do spin around mandate trackers, ministerial commitments, etc. Lots of spin, very little time for actual substance. And again, a LOT of coordination. None of it excites me, even though I have someone in my advisory camp who thinks I should do it because a lot of people aren’t good at it, she thinks I am (and she has very high standards), and I can write fast as well.
A small digression about a skill I have, one that freaks out my current team quite often. We do notes for the ADMs attending Executive Committees, and like most departments, the documents frequently arrive the day before, if we’re lucky. Sometimes late the day before. So, from time to time, we have received all the docs at 4:00 and the meeting is the next morning at 9:00. Perhaps 5 or 6 presentations or reports, all for discussion and approval, and we have perhaps an hour to craft a note. For me, that’s no problem. I am a very fast reader, I have a huge spectrum of knowledge on a lot of different areas in the Branch and Department, and I can pull out the important parts from the decks very quickly. So, from time to time, when the docs are late, I pitch in and send the lead officer my notes/summaries of a few key decks. Sometimes I can read and write the input for the note faster than the lead person can format and put them in the final note, so I’m opening, reading, writing and sending, and they’re copying, pasting and formatting…5 decks in 30 minutes, note ready to go.
Back when I was in strategic policy, we often got asked to “pitch-in” on Cabinet notes…basically they were Cabinet memos, perhaps 20 or 30 pages, that were going to Cabinet the next day or so, and we had to have a short note to the Minister to say “Here’s what the memo is about, here’s what we care about, etc.” Many of them are not particularly relevant to our department, but the Minister still sits on the committees and needs a summary note. For me, a thick memo probably took me about an hour to have a proper note done. Which I would then send to the Manager in charge, she would review, make no changes, pass to the Director, who would also rarely make changes, and the note would make its way onward to the Minister’s office. No muss, no fuss. Give it to Paul, he’ll give us back something camera-ready or pretty close to it.
It’s a good skill to have, and I can do lots of things like that on the policy side. Quick policy coordination to draft up a reasonable memo, get it ready to go, consult, etc. I write fast, and I have decent content on the first go. Which is why my advisor thinks I should do it because I’m “really good at it.” There’s only one problem.
I hate it.
Okay, hate is probably a bit strong, but I’m bored doing it. I just don’t enjoy it. And while there is a huge pool of people who WANT to do that type of work, and accepting her argument that there are very few who are actually good at it, there are still people available. On the corporate system’s front, the pool willing to do that type of work is pretty small. And ones who are actually really good at it are probably about the same ratio as what she thinks for policy. So, while most don’t think the stakes are as high, I think they’re even higher on the corporate side. Because badly done corporate stuff gets in the way of even the best policy work.
So while I’m really good at the notes, and the policy coordination function, I don’t want it as my day job. I’ll do it as part of my job, but not the whole job. I met with someone last week, great looking job. Three main files, as the Director described it, with one file that had strong links to some work I did at DFAIT and CIDA. Good work, I enjoy it, but often highly responsive and cyclical. The second is an emerging area, could be quite interesting. Yet no meat on the bones yet, and won’t be for another six months at least. Which leaves the third file, which includes notes for the Minister for THREE separate Cabinet committees. I know what that looks like. Combined with mandate trackers, broad-based government Charters, etc.? It’s a nightmare job with almost full-time responsive coordination. I might be wrong, but I’ll ask the Director for clarification if I’m offered the job. There’s an easy out for it though, so I might just gently pass.
Once you move past “strategic policy”, you move into program policy. To me, this is where it gets interesting. At this point, the sectoral specialists are tied much tighter to actual program design and instrument choice. THAT I don’t mind digging into more. It’s one of the reasons even on the corporate side that I was willing to do it — I get to see the interplay between policy and programs, the perfect level for me. Within my own branch, there are approximately 19 programs, depending on how you count them. Of the 19, 1 would be interested in 1 out of 3 benefit programs, 0 out of 4 P/T transfers, 1 out of 3 operating programs, and probably only 2 out of 9 G&Cs programs. Call it 4 in total. The 2 Gs&Cs are out because my wife works on one, and the other has too much annual churn. The 1 operating program could be interesting, but if I’m avoiding churn, that is NOT the place to go. At least, not on the policy side. Which leaves 1 benefit program. I had ruled it out for some time, but I’m pursuing some new conversations. Might not lead anywhere, but worth a conversation.
In the rest of the Branch, there are multiple horizontal files. One area, already mentioned, that I would have taken in a heartbeat — HR, IT, accommodations…doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But I wanted to try and fully integrate it with the planning and finance function. Now THAT would have been awesome. But it was not to be. Another is the program policy function across the Branch, where my advisor works. And I think I would rather poke my eye out with hot firesticks than do that type of job for any length of time. She finds ways to cram substance into the short periods of time she gets to touch a file, but that’s not me. And a lot of those shops frequently get saddled with the horizontal policy coordination function that I mentioned earlier. Lots of requests, lots of spin, very little time. Very intense, and she loves it. I, however, do not. It’s just not a buzz for me.
Which leaves FPT relations, which in a different world, I would say no to (such as in Strategic Policy). But in a program branch? It has some interesting elements, not unlike the institutional relations work I did at CIDA that I quite enjoyed. Unfortunately, like the departments I don’t like that I listed above, I’m not sure I would be equally interested in all provinces. Some, quite frankly, I would have little interest in. Like my interest at CIDA in specific types of countries, i.e. small island developing states who were vulnerable, I think some provinces can manage their own affairs so the conversation isn’t very productive, vs. a few others who really need help and want to collaborate.
Once you move past program policy, and into service delivery, there are two sub-areas in my view … operations policy and actual service delivery i.e. transactions. I have already said in previous posts that I have virtually NO interest in transactional work. I just don’t. It’s good work, lots of people like it, but I kind of view it like policy — there are people who want to do that who are better than me, but not as many who want to do the type of work I like to do who would be better than me.
Which leaves the operations policy — moving from policy and program design, and instrument choice, into the actual operations work that guides the delivery people. I don’t want to do the actual delivery, but working on training, manuals, etc.? That’s doable. A value-added service. I don’t know if I would want to do it forever, but the right environment could be good. Which I had thought I had found a while ago with someone I work really well with, but the offer proved a lot softer than I was expecting. I actually don’t even know where it stands at this point.
Beyond the delivery arm, there are of course audits and evaluations (the feedback mechanism), but I have little interest in doing those as a non-auditor and non-evaluator. Good work, but it is almost all coordination. All substance is provided by others. Which leaves enabling services.
For HR, there is a fear that familiarity may breed contempt, and doing something that I feel passionately about might just be enough to kill me when I see what they have to settle for in terms of operations. I took a stab at one area, but as I mentioned earlier, they were covered. Another area was offered to me three years ago, but the timing was terrible, and I said no. While I don’t regret the answer, as it was the right one for the time, I regret I don’t have the same offer now.
I reached out to some of my contacts in the Finance Branch, but while I do work with a lot of them on big projects, and we work well together, the sad reality is that most of their really good work is done by FI officers i.e. those with accounting and finance degrees. That’s how they’re staffed. Not unlike HR being staffed with PEs. I tried hitting up their branch services unit, i.e. the people who coordinate them for input into reports and things. Kind of the same job I’m doing now but didn’t get any take-up.
I have a meeting coming up with someone on the IT side. Like HR, I have views, but I might be able to sublimate some of them. There’s one big project, in particular, that is coming, and I’d love to work on it, but I have no idea yet how it is resourced, if at all. If done right, it could have a huge impact on the department; if done wrong, it could bog us down back to the dark ages. I speak enough tech to work with them, but more importantly, I speak policy, program, delivery, and corporate too. Like the HR one though, I have a feeling they’re already staffed up. But I’ll have the conversation anyway, maybe that or something else will shake loose. I at least know the DG likes me somewhat.
There is another area in the department, and I was a bit excited about the possibility, and I reached out to the person I knew there. No response. She’s hinted at me coming to work there before, but to be honest, she isn’t the only one who has pursued me in the past only to now be playing hard to get or seeming uninterested.
I’m branching out to other Departments, and I’m open to conversations even if they don’t lead to anything. Partly as I’m feeling a bit vulnerable and insecure about my abilities at the moment. I’ll talk more about this in a subsequent post, but there has been little take-up on my interest and availability so far.
What does this all mean? It means that I have a hierarchy of types of work that I would do, and I would like to be as progressively higher on that chain as possible.
#02. Progressive alignment — Tier one over tiers two through five, noting that I’m in Tier Three currently (*).
Branch management (enabling services) Program policy (benefits) IT policy and projects