Happy Anniversary! OLES Call for Concepts papers is celebrating its first birthday

Happy Anniversary!

What? You didn’t remember!

One year ago (actually January 21, 2015), the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills launched a call for concept papers with a deadline of February 18, 2015. The call was “to test innovative literacy and essential skills training models.” (see my post: OLES has launched a call for proposals)

Hmm, wonder what happened.

Took a look at the OLES website – its list of projects hasn’t been updated since 2013.

Went to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website – no projects from OLES listed past the end of March 2015.

Apparently the department “service standards” state:

“Under normal conditions, the Department will acknowledge receipt of your proposal within 21 calendar days of receiving your application package.”

One of my sources told me they received an acknowledgement in mid-May 2015, some three months after the closing date. Not doing so well with that service standard. Here’s what they were told in May:

“In accordance with departmental service standards with respect to the administration of calls for concepts, the following is to inform that your concept paper(s), submitted as part of the call for concepts for the Adult Learning Literacy and Essential Skills Program, is currently under assessment. Once the assessment of all concepts received has been completed, applicants will be notified by email of the Department’s decision with respect to their admission to the next phase of the assessment process. Thank you for your interest in this program.”

Now I do realize there have been a few changes in Ottawa. Minister Kenney left in February 2015 so I guess he didn’t get a chance to look at the concept papers. Minister Poilievre was around for six months before the election campaign started and was still minister two months later. Guess he didn’t have the time either over those eight months to review the concept papers.

I’m looking forward to the tabling in Parliament of the Estimates (usually in February) to see how much money OLES left on the table this year.

This inability to respond in timely fashions to their own calls for proposals and to spend all the money granted to them by Parliament has become a chronic problem. A bit more transparency is in order.

If anyone has any more information about this call for concept papers, I’d love to hear from you.

About Brigid Hayes

Brigid Hayes has developed an expertise in learning that spans over 30 years as a senior government policy advisor and program manager and partnership developer; director of labour for a national business/labour skills centre and as an independent consultant. Her knowledge of and experience in workplace literacy and learning has contributed to her recognition as an expert in this field, and she has undertaken significant activities to both help promote and enhance literacy and lifelong learning. Brigid works as an independent consultant and expert advisor on learning, literacy, and work. She has successfully developed a strategic planning and policy development practice involving workplace literacy, essential skills, partnership development, research, and evaluation.
This entry was posted in Federal Budget, Federal Government and Literacy, Literacy and Essential Skills, Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES). Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Happy Anniversary! OLES Call for Concepts papers is celebrating its first birthday

  1. Don Presant says:

    HI Brigid:
    I echo your concerns, though I couldn’t t have expressed them so well. The lead partner I worked with on our submission also told me there was an acknowledgement around May, but since then: nothing. Like you, I was hoping that the fresh breeze starting to blow in other corridors would soon reach OLES.


  2. Hi Brigid, I just found your blog. Very interesting and informative! Cindy


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