2011-12 Part III - Departmental Performance Reports (DPR)

RCMP External Review Committee

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety

Table of Contents

Chair's Message

Section I: Organizational Overview

Section II: Analysis of Program Activity by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Other Items of Interest


Chair's Message

I am pleased once again to use this Departmental Performance Report to outline the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) External Review Committee’s (ERC) progress on its objectives in a systematic and measurable way that is relevant to its mandate and size within the context of the greater federal public service.

This method of reporting has developed appreciably within the last few years. The capacity of the ERC has grown only marginally. While its ability to measure and work toward its improved operational targets has increased, its ability to keep current with the growing number of laudable government-wide initiatives continues to challenge the ERC’s administration.

It is important that the reader be aware of the remarkably small size of the ERC relative to every other organization within the federal public service that publishes this same Report. The ERC is staffed by six (6) permanent public servants in addition to my position to which I am appointed for a term by Order-in-Council. Temporary funding has been provided which allows the retention of additional staff and consultants on a temporary basis. As the sole member of the ERC, I have the authority to reach findings and to make recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP, which is the essence of the ERC’s statutory mandate.

At its core, the ERC’s role is to conduct impartial and independent reviews of RCMP labour relations cases. Its aim is to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP. The knowledge that principles of fairness and statutory compliance are upheld in a transparent and credible manner contributes to the confidence and trust that Canadians put in the administration of the Force.

In addition to reporting its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP, the ERC’s reports are accessible to all those who have an interest in resolving member grievances and appeals through rational decisions based on sound judgment. Members, managers, their representatives and Canadians at large have made frequent reference to the ERC’s online repository of precedents to search for past findings and recommendations as well as RCMP Commissioners’ decisions and authoritative case law. This is an excellent low-cost utility that supports the RCMP’s grievance and discipline processes and that ultimately benefits all Canadians.

Through the development of its Program Activity Architecture, the ERC has identified a framework in which its program activity is directly linked to its Strategic Outcome. The excellence of its program activity is assessed using measurable indicators. In its Report on Plans and Priorities published before the beginning of the 2011-12 fiscal year presented in this report, the ERC set attainable targets to achieve during the subsequent year. This present Departmental Performance Report tracks the ERC’s progress toward these targets.


The original version was signed by
Catherine Ebbs, Chair



Catherine Ebbs
Chair






Section I: Departmental Overview

Raison d’être and Responsibilities

The RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) is an independent and impartial agency that aims to promote fair and equitable labour relations within the RCMP, in accordance with applicable principles of law. To this end the ERC conducts an independent review of appeals in disciplinary, and discharge and demotion matters, as well as certain categories of grievances that are referred to it pursuant to s. 33 of the RCMP Act and s. 36 of the RCMP Regulations. The ERC's jurisdiction is restricted to employment and labour matters that relate to regular members and civilian members of the RCMP only. In carrying outits madnate, the ERC ensures that its recommendatiaons are solidly groundedin law and that members of the RCMP are treated in a fair and equitable manner, in keeping with the public interest.

The ERC has a single member, the Chair, who is appointed by an Order-in-Council, and is supported by an Executive Director anda a very samll staff. The Role of the ERC in the Force's labour/management resolution process is a crucial one. Over the years, the RCMP has made changes in a variety of areas baed on recommendations made by the ERC.

As one of two oversight/review bodies for the RCMP, the ERC plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in the RCMP and ensures that it respects the law and human rights.

The ERC is within the portfolio of Public Safety Canada whose Minister is the appropriate Minister responsible for the purposes of the Financial Administration Act. The ERC's mandate is simply put: the independent and impartial review of grievances as well as appeals that involve the discipline, discharge or demotion of RCMP members. Upon completing its review of a case, the ERC presents findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP for a final decision. The Commissioner is not bound to follow the recommendations of the ERC, but the Commissioner must provide reasons when there is disagreement with the recommendations of the ERC.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

Program Activity Architecture


The table shows the RCMP External Review Committee's program activity architecture, which includes one (1) strategic outcome, one (1) program activity which falls under the strategic outcome, and the program activity Internal Services.
Strategic Outcome
Independent, impartial and thorough analysis, findings and recommendations for transparency in Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) grievances and appeals.
Program Activity 1
Independent and impartial case review
Internal Services

Internal Services

In an agency as small as the ERC, personnel conduct duties that span program activities and similarly, supplies and equipment are shared among both program activities on a routine basis. As explained in its Report on Plans and Priorities, due to the impracticability of tracking internal services separately on an ongoing basis, the ERC has been granted an exemption from ongoing reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate program activity.

Organizational Priorities


Summary of Progress Against Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Continue to deliver on statutory mandate Ongoing Strategic Outcome and Program Activity 1
  • Processes reviewed and electronic files project piloted

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Raising awareness through outreach Ongoing Strategic Outcome and Program Activity 1
  • Orientation training opportunities exploited.
  • RCMP consultations initiated.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Continue to invest in our people Ongoing Strategic Outcome and Program Activity 1
  • Secondments and acting opportunities provided.
  • Training plans updated and pursued.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
Continue to improve on the corporate management framework and infrastructure Ongoing Strategic Outcome and Program Activity 1
  • Memorandum of Understanding reviewed, improved and renewed.
  • Internal controls diagrammed, reviewed and updated.

Risk Analysis

When the ERC’s Report on Plans and Priorities was published, early in 2011, Parliament had before it a government sponsored bill that proposed the end of the ERC’s operation. The ERC designed its plans in accordance with this intention. Since that time the bill died at Parliament’s dissolution on March 26, 2011.

As has been described, historically the ERC’s base budget was augmented by a series of temporary grants of funding from the Treasury Board’s Management Reserve to allow it to meet the obligations of its mandate and to ensure the accountability of its operations. The terms of all of these temporary appropriations expired at the end of fiscal year 2011-12. The last Treasury Board grant of temporary funding recognized the need for the ERC to achieve a permanent sustainable resourcing level.

Although the bill was no longer before Parliament, prudent fiscal management dictated that the ERC would suspend its previous plans to increase its staff complement in the circumstances. In fact, the ERC’s salary obligations diminished as some staff sought to secure permanent employment elsewhere. As expected, a sizable lapse resulted.

The ERC continued to pursue its statutory mandate to issue independent reports of its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP. The total number of reports remained relatively constant and the quality of the findings and recommendations remained high. In addition to case reviews, the ERC also acquitted its reporting and corporate duties as they apply to all organizations in the public service. Given its small size, the ERC routinely assigned operational staff to contribute to these corporate reports. The consequent blurring of expenditures toward support services distinct from those toward its statutory mandate has made it impracticable to report them on an ongoing basis and it has also contributed to delays in the case review process. To alleviate this pressure, the ERC has benefited from an arrangement through a Memorandum of Understanding with its host department, Public Safety Canada, to provide transactional support services in areas of information technology, human resources and finance. Should the ERC be unsuccessful in achieving a permanent increase in its appropriation the future of this arrangement is at risk.

Summary of Performance

2011–12 Financial Resources ($ thousands)


2011–12 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*

* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.

$1,469 $2,034 $1,692

2011–12 Human Resources (FTEs)


2011–12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
8 8 0

Summary of Performance Table

Progress Toward Strategic Outcome


Strategic Outcome: Independent, impartial and thorough analysis, findings and recommendations for transparency in RCMP grievances and appeals.
Performance Indicators Targets 2011-12 Performance
Proportion of stakeholders who believe that the ERC is independent, impartial and brings transparency in the RCMP grievance and appeal processes. 90% To be measured March 31, 2014
This table outlines the Planning Summary for all Program Activities except for Internal Services
Program Activity 2010-11
Actual
Spending ($ thousands)
2011-12 ($ thousands) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
Main
Estimates
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending

* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.

Independent and impartial case review $1,784 $1,469 $1,469 $2,034 $1,692 Well-managed and efficient government operations
Total $1,784 $1,469 $1,469 $2,034 $1,692  

Performance Summary for Internal Services

In an agency as small as the ERC, personnel conduct duties that span program activities and similarly, supplies and equipment is shared among both program activities on a routine basis. Due to the impracticability of tracking internal services separately on an ongoing basis, the ERC was granted an exemption from ongoing reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate program activity. As a result of this and consolidation of the ERC’s previous two program activities into one, this report will present information indicating that the ERC has one single, distinct program activity.

Expenditure Profile

The continued incraese in temporary spending authorities allowed the ERC success in achieving its targets. The challenge of staffing exclusively determinate positions in a climate of uncertainty resulted in actual spending that was less than planned.

Nombre de dossiers reçus

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Estimates by Vote

As indicated above, actual spending resulted in lower than planned expenditures.

For information on our organizational votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2011 (Volume II) publication. An electronic version of the Public Accounts 2011 is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.


Section II: Analysis of Program Activity by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

The RCMP External Review Committee's Strategic Outcome is the independent, impartial and thorough analysis, findings and recommendations for transparency in RCMP grievances and appeals.

To achieve its Strategic Outcome, the ERC carries on a single program activity: Program Activity 1 Independent and impartial case review.

In an agency as small as the ERC, individuals conduct duties that span program activities and similarly, supplies and equipment is shared among both program activities on a routine basis. Due to the impracticability of tracking internal services separately on an ongoing basis, the ERC was granted an exemption from ongoing reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate program activity. As a result of this and consolidation of the ERC’s previous two program activities into one, (see PAA Crosswalk in RPP) this report will present information indicating that the ERC has one single, distinct program activity.

Program Activity #1: Independent and impartial case review

Program Activity Description

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee (ERC) conducts an independent review of appeals in disciplinary, and discharge and demotion matters, as well as certain categories of grievances that are referred to it by the Commissioner of the RCMP pursuant to s. 33 of the RCMP Act and s. 36 of the RCMP Regulations. The ERC ensures that the principles of administrative an labour law are respected and that the remedial approach indicated by the Act is followed. The ERC issues reports of its findings and recommendations in each case to the Commissioner of the RCMP and to the parties. Access to the ERC’s reports is made available to all stakeholders (including the parties, RCMP adjudicators, supervisors, members’ representatives, staff relations representatives and labour and employment experts in other jurisdictions) by means of its website, publications and presentations.


2011–12 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*

* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.

$1,469 $2,034 $1,692


2011–12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
8 8 0


Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected
Results
Performance
Indicators
Targets Performance
Status
Parties and RCMP Commissioner are provided with an independent review of the dispute to facilitate transparent and accountable dispute resolution. Percentage of cases where findings and recommendations are issued, subject to party’s right to withdraw. 100% of referred files, subject to party’s right to withdraw. 100%
A body of findings and recommendations is made available to assist RCMP Adjudicators, parties, RCMP staff representatives to interpret legislation, regulations and policy. Body of findings and recommendations is updated quarterly and made available online. Updated within 2 months of end of quarter. Within 2 months of end of each quarter
Public and Parliamentarians are advised of any areas for legislative, regulatory or policy change/clarification. All recommendations for legislative change/clarification, if any, are provided to Parliament in annual report. Annual report submitted before June 30 of each year. Annual report submitted on time.
The public and RCMP labour relations stakeholders have access to timely and accurate information on employment and labour relations cases referred by the RCMP to the ERC. Proportion of stakeholders with access to ERC reports. 94% have access to ERC reports. Premature.

Program Activity: Internal Services

In an agency as small as the ERC, personnel conduct duties that span program activities and similarly, supplies and equipment is shared among both program activities on a routine basis. Due to the impracticability of tracking internal services separately on an ongoing basis, the ERC was granted an exemption from ongoing reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate program activity. As a result of this and consolidation of the ERC’s previous two program activities into one, this report will present information indicating that the ERC has one single, distinct program activity.

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Case Review

The ERC concludes matters referred to it by the RCMP either on the basis of the material in the record or following a hearing if required. In conducting its reviews, the ERC attempts to achieve timeliness and quality in its analysis and recommendations, and an equitable balance between all of the interested parties. It relies on the principles of administrative and labour law and it respects the remedial approach indicated by the RCMP Act. In each case, the ERC considers the public interest along with the members’ interest in fair and equitable treatment.

The statutory mandate of the ERC in the RCMP Act is case review and it is in this respect that Program Activity 1 supports Priority 1.

Referrals

Twenty-one case files were referred to the ERC in 2011-12: 18 grievances and 3 disciplinary appeals. The ERC received no referrals of discharge and demotion appeals this year.

image of graph of Number of cases received by External Review Committee

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Cases Completed and Recommendations Issued

The ERC completed 21 cases in 2011-12: 17 findings and recommendations were issued regarding grievances and three were issued regarding disciplinary appeals. One case was withdrawn before the ERC could issue its findings and recommendations. The ERC did not issue any findings and recommendations in discharge or demotion cases this year.

image of graph of Number of Cases Completed and Recommendations Issued by External Review committee

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Grievance Reviews

The chart below shows the distribution of the year’s grievance recommendations by subject matter.

In the last few years, travel, harassment, and relocation issues accounted for a significant portion of grievance reviews. In 2011-12, harassment issues were still prominent and represented approximately half of all the grievance recommendations issued.

image of graph of distribution of grievance recommendations by subject matter

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Disciplinary Appeals

In 2011-12, the ERC reviewed and made recommendations in three disciplinary appeals. All of them were initiated by members. Two involved a sanction consisting of an order to resign within 14 days or be dismissed from the Force. The other involved a forfeiture of pay, a reprimand and counselling. The ERC recommended that one appeal be dismissed and that two be allowed.

Processing

For grievances, the ERC’s objective is to issue its findings and recommendations within three months of the case being referred to it. For appeal cases, it strives for a standard of six months. These service standards are not currently being met. The ERC continues to pursue avenues for a permanent resource allocation that will allow it to reach and sustain an acceptable review rate.

At the start of 2011-12, 39 grievances and appeals were pending before the ERC. At the fiscal year end of 2011-12, there were 47 cases before the ERC for review. They were distributed as follows:

The previous year’s reduction in the number of pending cases was reversed in this year only marginally. Nonetheless, the trend will be monitored as this could affect the period of delay members experience in achieving a final decision from the Commissioner of the RCMP at Level II. If the relatively small number of new case referrals ever surges as it has in the past, the delays could increase accordingly.

Other Activities

In addition to its case review function, the ERC must meet every statutory obligation required of all departments in the Public Service. The ERC is fully committed to delivering on its mandate, while ensuring compliance with legislation and policy.

The ERC’s workload includes disproportionately significant reporting and corporate requirements. The ERC has few staff members who are involved in the collection, analysis and reporting of its corporate data to the central agencies that oversee the various aspects of management. As a result, these staff members are called upon to become the ERC’s subject matter experts for a number of different areas including procurement, finance, human resources and knowledge management. These staff members assume many roles to address corporate management demands in order to meet the same reporting requirements of large departments and agencies. The ERC also uses a variety of external consultants to ensure that it thoroughly meets all of its obligations. Given the ERC’s small size and budget, these reporting pressures take combined human and financial resources away from the case review process.

The ERC strives to make timely information accessible and achieved both its paper and electronic distribution targets as well as its digital posting targets. Subscriber levels have remained constant and website traffic has continued to increase, indicating greater accessibility and increased awareness. As a result, the utility and the credibility of its website holdings is becoming better recognized.

Summaries of the ERC’s findings and recommendations in each case, as well as articles of interest, relevant legal principles and information on related issues, are distributed widely. Communication and outreach tools include: a quarterly publication (Communiqué); a website with inclusion of publications and case summaries; the annual report; and presentations, meetings, offered training and other outreach activities.

This part of the ERC’s work directly supports Priority 2.

Requests for Information

The ERC also responds to formal and informal requests for information. In 2011-12, the ERC received a total of 133 requests. On average, the ERC provided an answer to each request within two days. Just under two-thirds of the requests came from RCMP members. Members of the public were the second largest group of requesters.

The graphs below illustrate the general categories of requests received and their sources. Several requests were straightforward and requesters were provided with a timely response or were re-directed to the appropriate office. However, other requests were complicated and required more time and effort for a complete and accurate response. By far, the median response time was the same day, suggesting that a small number of complex inquiries were significantly time-consuming.

image of graph of Requests for Information, by Source

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image of graph of Requests for Information, by Subject

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Lessons Learned

This year’s experience demonstrated that there are a variety of unanticipated demands that can arise with little advance warning. It highlighted the need to prepare for these eventualities by committing resources, both financial and personnel, to flexible objectives that can be readily re-assigned to new initiatives as necessary. Experienced contractors and consultants are to be employed through a variety of contracting mechanisms. Thankfully the ERC’s streamlined planning and approval process have allowed it to be responsive as events transpired and to re-assign resources amongst its priorities. It also proved once again that the ERC is dependent on augmented fiscal resources in order to meet the demands of a modern Public Service organization. The ERC benefited from its practice of faithfully exercising its mandate and responsibly managing its operations. The ERC will stand in good stead if it maintains its open rapport with interested parties and seeks support to achieve its long-term future objectives.


Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Highlights

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
As at March 31, 2012
($ thousands)
  Change % 2011-12 2010-11
Total net liabilities (23.5%) $319 $417
Total net financial assets (21.2%) $171 $217
Departmental net debt (26%) $148 $200
Total non-financial assets (47.4%) $104 $198
Departmental net financial position 4,300% ($44) ($1)


Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2012
($ thousands)
  Change % 2011-12 2010-11
Total expenses 2.5% $1,870 $1,824
Total revenues 0% $0 $0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2.5% $1,870 $1,824
Departmental net financial position 4,300% ($44) ($1)

Financial Highlights Chart

Financial Highlights (in dollars)
  2011-12 2010-11
Salaries and employee benefits $1,027,902 $1,264,243
Professional and special services $495,824 $275,822
Accommodation $163,646 $138,517
Amortization $94,723 $8,607
Information $21,030 $21,523
Equipment $20,299 $20,919
Communication $17,436 $10,981
Utilities, material and supplies $17,323 $11,451
Travel and relocation $7,452 $13,329
Equipment rentals $4,029 $31,106
Repairs $0 $27,768
Total Expenses $1,869,664 $1,824,264

Financial Statements

The ERC's 2011-12 financial statements can be found on its website.

The ERC is subject to periodic Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General and uses the results of such audits to comply with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control.

A Core Control Audit was performed in 2011-12 by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada. The Audit Report and related Management Action Plan are posted on the ERC’s website.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

Electronic supplementary information tables listed in the 2011-12 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's website.



Section IV: Other Items of Interest

Organizational Contact Information

David Paradiso
Executive Director and Senior Counsel
RCMP External Review Committee
P.O. Box 1159, Station B
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5R2

Telephone: 613-998-2874
Fax: 613-990-8969
Email: org@erc-cee.gc.ca
Internet: www.erc-cee.gc.ca

Organizational Information

The ERC reports directly to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety. The ERC has a single member, the Chair, who is appointed by Order-in-Council.

image of Organizational Structure of External Review Committee

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