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Report on Plans and Priorities 2013-14

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

2013–14
Report on Plans and Priorities

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

The Honourable Tony Clement
President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor


Table of Contents

Commissioner's Message


2013-14 will mark the seventh year of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act).  I am pleased to report that the Office is making progress on its mandate and is moving forward with its plans and priorities.

Photo of Mario Dion

The central role of the Office is to assess the merits of reported disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal. It is therefore incumbent on us to analyze each case, to determine if an investigation should be initiated, and where the conclusion of the investigation warrants, bring to the attention of Parliament the finding of wrongdoing or the Tribunal the facts of the complaint of reprisal. We are now equipped to do so more efficiently.First of all, the Act is becoming more well-known. For example, the number of disclosures of wrongful acts has steadily increased each year since the Office was established. In fact, the annual number of disclosures has doubled over the last two years. Our efforts to support employees in the federal public sector and to inspire their confidence in our Office appear to be bearing fruit.

Our objective is to handle all files in a timely and rigorous manner that are entrusted to us, respecting the rules of natural justice. We do not hesitate to launch an investigation when the circumstances warrant. We have in progress, at any time, approximately forty investigations underway as compared to five or six investigations two years ago. More than two thirds of the active investigations were initiated over the last twelve months.

So it is with optimism that we are preparing to participate in the five-year review of the Act and its implementation, which we expect the President of the Treasury Board to initiate shortly. We have concrete suggestions to strengthen the means at our disposal to enable public servants and members of the public to report wrongdoing they witness and to ensure that when they do, public servants are adequately protected.

Mario Dion
Public Sector Integrity Commissioner



Section I — Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office or PSIC) was set up to administer the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA or the Act), which came into force in April 2007. The Office is mandated to establish a safe, independent, and confidential process for public servants and members of the public to disclose potential wrongdoing in the federal public sector. The Office also helps to protect public servants who have filed disclosures or participated in related investigations from reprisal.

The disclosure regime is an element of the control framework which strengthens accountability and management oversight in government operations.

Responsibilities

The Office has jurisdiction over the entire public sector, including separate agencies and parent Crown corporations, which represents approximately 375,000 public servants. Under the PSDPA, members of the general public can also come to the Office with information about a possible wrongdoing in the federal public sector. However, the Office does not have jurisdiction over the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Communications Security Establishment, each of which is required under the PSDPA to establish internal procedures for disclosure of wrongdoing and protection against reprisal similar to those set out in the Act.

The Office conducts independent reviews and investigations of disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal in a fair and timely manner. In cases of founded wrongdoing, the Commissioner issues findings, through the tabling of a case report to Parliament, and makes recommendations to chief executives for corrective action. The Commissioner exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the review, investigation and conciliation of reprisal complaints. This includes making applications to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, which has the power to determine if reprisals have taken place and to order appropriate remedial and disciplinary action.

The Office is guided at all times by the public interest and the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. The Commissioner submits an annual report to Parliament and special reports may also be submitted to Parliament at any time.

More information about the Office’s mandate, roles, responsibilities, activities, statutory reports and the PSDPA can be found on the Office’s website.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture (PAA)

The Office has one strategic outcome that guides the pursuit of its mandate and reflects the long-term benefits sought for Canadians as demonstrated in the following chart:

Graphic depicting the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner's Strategic Outcome and Programs.

[Text version]

Organizational Priorities

PriorityTypeiStrategic Outcome and/or Program(s)
Disclosure and reprisal management function that is timely, rigorous, independent and accessible Ongoing Disclosure and reprisal management
Description

Why is this a priority?

The effective and appropriate response to those individuals who approach or interact with Office is the cornerstone of creating trust in the organization.  There has been an increasing number of disclosures of acts of wrongdoing and investigations launched, requiring a disclosure and reprisal management function that results in an approach to work with these attributes (timely, rigorous, independent and accessible) with the current resources.

Plans for meeting the priority

1. Complete the standardization, documentation, and implementation of operational processes to ensure rigour, timeliness and accessibility.

  1. Develop a process map to maximize efficiency and accessibility.
  2. Develop, implement and communicate service standards.
  3. Develop and implement a quality assurance process.
  4. Implement ongoing improvements to the current in house case management system and participate in the government wide initiative to implement a common solution.

2. Identify, develop and implement key operational policies on matters such as accessibility, information management, decision-making and client communications.

3. Ensure that the Office’s security, privacy and confidentiality standards and protocols meet or exceed current Government policies.

 

PriorityTypeStrategic Outcome and/or Program(s)
Engagement of key stakeholders Ongoing Disclosure and reprisal management
Description

Why is this a priority?

Outreach is fundamental in creating awareness and clarity about the Act and the role of the Office, which are relatively new. Stakeholder consultation will contribute to overcoming the negative connotations associated with disclosures of wrongdoing.

Plans for meeting the priority

  1. Annually review and execute the Outreach and Engagement strategy.  This strategy facilitates the communication of the rationale for PSIC decisions and operational outcomes to key stakeholders in a relevant, accurate, clear and transparent way.
  2. Modernize and maximize communication approaches.

PriorityTypeStrategic Outcome and/or Program(s)
Meaningful performance information Ongoing Disclosure and reprisal management
Description

Why is this a priority?

Meaningful and relevant performance information is a critical element of management and oversight to assist in allocating resources, identifying areas for improvement and assessing the success of the organization in achieving its expected results.

Plans for meeting the priority

1. Improve, implement and communicate our performance management results to ensure that the Office invests its efforts efficiently and demonstrates value.

  1. Review, and update if required, the performance measurement framework, in particular the performance indicators, which link the expected results with the program measures for the disclosure and reprisal program that will be used for internal monitoring and parliamentary reporting.
  2. Strengthen effectiveness measures by developing tools such as questionnaires to evaluate stakeholder satisfaction and awareness.

2. Support the preparation of the 5-year review.  Document and communicate the Office’s observations and experiences in implementing the PSDPA, including recommendations for legislative amendment and operational/policy reform.

3. Develop and implement a research strategy that includes an international component.

PriorityTypeStrategic Outcome and/or Program(s)
Human resource capacity that meets organizational needs Ongoing Disclosure and reprisal management,  Internal Services
Description

Why is this a priority?

The success of the Office is dependent on having employees with the knowledge, skills, and experience that work as team and independently.  It is recognized the impact of turnover in a small organization can create challenges for knowledge transfer, succession planning and corporate memory.

Plans for meeting the priority

  1. Identify and assess the competencies the organization needs to succeed. On an ongoing basis, conduct gap assessments and determine how to acquire required competencies (staffing, training).
  2. Develop and implement engagement and retention strategies (including strategies to address issues such as career progression, employee engagement and mentorship, leveraging internal capacity, seeking external capacity when necessary and ensuring the organization is an employer of choice).
  1. Engage staff in the ongoing assessment of the Office’s organizational structure.
  2. Ensure that staff is provided with the right tools and technology to be responsive to organizational requirements.

Risk Analysis

External risks arise from events that PSIC cannot influence, but must be able to monitor and respond to in order to mitigate the impact. The internal risk category consists of risks that can broadly be categorized as people, processes, systems, and culture.

External Risks

Increasing Case Volumes

The intake of new cases and the number of investigations has continued to increase. The complexity of each case can vary significantly, as such the number of cases may not necessarily reflect a pressure on resources required to monitor and address cases in a timely manner.  However the trends indicate that case volumes will continue to increase. Under these circumstances there is a risk that PSIC’s ability to address a significant rise in case volumes in a timely manner may be impacted.  As outlined in the plans, the Office is completing a review of its operational processes with the view to streamline and optimize the use of available resources while ensuring the disclosure and reprisal management function is timely, rigorous, independent and accessible.

Internal Risks

Information Security

Information security is critical in the context of disclosures, investigations and the need for preserving confidentiality and trust in the Office. Sensitive or private information must be protected from potential loss or inappropriate access in order to avoid potential litigation, damaged reputation and further reluctance in coming forward. The Office has implemented many practices aimed at ensuring the security of information, which include briefing and confidentiality agreements, random information security checks within premises, controlled access for the storage of sensitive information, and a "threat risk assessment" of information management and information technology security was conducted.  In addition, there is a plan to review, develop and implement an updated security plan.

Planning Summary

Financial Resources (Planned Spending — $ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending 2013–14Planned Spending 2014–15Planned Spending 2015–16
5,675 5,931 5,399 5,399

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — FTE)

This table presents a summary of the total planned human resources for the Office for the next three fiscal years.

2013–142014–152015–16
32 32 32



Planning Summary Table
($ thousands)
Strategic OutcomeProgramActual Spending 2010–11Actual Spending 2011–12Forecast Spending 2012–13Planned SpendingAlignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2013–142014–152015–16
Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is resolved and public servants are protected against reprisal. Disclosure
and
reprisal
management
3,318 3,499 3,558 4,004 3,599 3,599 A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government
Sub –Total 3,318 3,499 3,558 4,004 3,599 3,599  

Planning Summary Table for Internal Services
($ thousands)
ProgramActual Spending 2010–11Actual Spending 2011–12Forecast Spending 2012–13Planned Spending
2013–142014-152015-16
Internal Services 2,006 2,167 2,110 1,927 1,800 1,800
Total Planned Spending 2,006 2,167 2,110 1,927 1,800 1,800

Planning Summary Total
($ thousands)
Strategic Outcome Program, and Internal ServicesActual Spending 2010–11Actual Spending 2011–12Forecast Spending 2012–13Planned Spending
2013–142014-152015-16
Total 5,324 5,666 5,668 5,931 5,399 5,399

Expenditure Profile

Spending Trend

Graphic depicting spending trend by fiscal year

[Text version]

The Office’s yearly actual spending has stabilized over the past three fiscal years, as positions were staffed and infrastructure was put in place. The planned spending in 2013-14 reflects a continuation of this trend with incremental spending of $263,000, or 5%, largely for professional services to supplement internal resources in processing case files and to support the implementation of the government-wide case management system. In 2014-15 and 2015-16 the reduction in planned spending of $532,000, or 9%, reflects the impact of implementing cost containment measures which include a reduction outsourcing requirements resulting from the completion of onetime projects to enhance systems and the realization of operational efficiencies from process improvements and consolidating resources.

Estimates by Vote

For information on PSIC`s organizational appropriations, please see the 2013–14 Main Estimates publication.

Section II — Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is resolved and public servants are protected against reprisal.
Performance IndicatorsTargets
Incidence of wrongdoing reported and complaints of reprisal received There is no set target, however the level of incidence is tracked and reported on the Office’s website and in parliamentary reports.
Stakeholder perception of PSIC and the Act The stakeholder engagement and outreach initiatives will be essential to contributing to the performance indicator. In 2012 a questionnaire for disclosers and complainants of reprisal was initiated, from which targets may be developed.

Program: Disclosure and Reprisal Management

This program addresses the need to take action in bringing resolution to disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal and contributes to increasing confidence in federal public institutions. It aims to provide advice to federal public sector employees and members of the public who are considering making a disclosure and to accept, investigate and report on disclosures of information concerning possible wrongdoing. Based on this activity, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner will exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the review, conciliation and settlement of complaints of reprisal, including making applications to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal to determine if reprisals have taken place and to order appropriate remedial and disciplinary action.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates) 2013-14Planned Spending 2013–14Planned Spending  2014–15Planned Spending 2015–16
3,748 4,004 3,599 3,599

Human Resources (FTE)

2013–142014–152015–16
24 24 24



Program 
Expected Results
Performance IndicatorsTargets
The disclosure and reprisal management function is efficient. Average number of days to process new cases at intake. 15 days
Disclosure and reprisal cases are resolved. Number of cases resolved as a percentage of the number of investigations. 60%
Key Stakeholders are informed of PSIC's role and mandate Percentage of key stakeholders informed of PSIC's role, mandate and processes.  The performance measurement is to be further developed over the next reporting periods. 60%

Planning Highlights

In order to achieve the expected results, PSIC plans to undertake, in addition to ongoing activities, the following initiatives:

  • Develop, implement and communicate service standards.
  • Develop and implement a quality assurance process.
  • Identify, develop and implement key operational policies on matters such as accessibility, information management, decision-making and client communications.
  • Refine, implement and communicate our performance management results to ensure that the Office invests its efforts efficiently and demonstrates value.
  • Continue to foster stakeholder consultation through the PSIC Advisory Committee and participation on the Internal Disclosure Working Committee
  • Promote awareness by attending key government events as an exhibitor.
  • Support the preparation of the 5-year review.

Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization.
These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services;
Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates) 2013-14Planned Spending 2013–14Planned Spending  2014–15Planned Spending 2015–16
1,927 1,927 1,800 1,800

Human Resources (FTE)

2013–142014–152015–16
8 8 8

Planning Highlights

Efforts under this program activity will support improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of PSIC's internal operations. Specific initiatives in this area include:

  • Continue to identify changing human resources requirements (through ongoing HR Planning) to: maximize staff engagement and retention; ensure timely availability of qualified staff; and implement strategic learning and development (training) plans.
  • Continue to assess and implement continuous improvement initiatives for Information Management and Information Technology necessary to support our operational day to day activities and evolving monitoring and reporting activities.

Section III — Supplementary Information

Financial Highlights

The future-oriented financial highlights are prepared on an accrual basis to strengthen accountability, and improve transparency and financial management. The variance between the figures that follow and the planned spending amounts provided in other sections of the RPP relate to such items as services without charge received from other government departments, amortization, and severance and vacation pay liability adjustments.

Future-Oriented
Condensed Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position

For the Year (ended March 31)
($ thousands)
  $ ChangePlanned Results 2013-14Estimated Results 2012-13
Total expenses 279  6,644 6,365
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 279  6,644 6,365
Net financial position  -67  -330  -264

The increase in expenses of $279,000, or 4%, is largely a result of incremental costs for professional services to supplement internal resources in processing case files and to support the implementation of the government-wide case management system.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Financial Position
For the Year (ended March 31)
($ thousands)
  $ ChangePlanned Results 2013-14Estimated Results 2012-13
Total net liabilities  47  984  938
Total net financial assets  -47  425  471
Net debt 0 513 513
Total non-financial assets -67 182 249
Net financial position  -67  -330  -264

Future-Oriented Financial Statements

The complete set of future-oriented financial statements can be found on PSIC’s website.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

All electronic supplementary information tables listed in the 2013-14 Reports on Plans and Priorities can be found on PSIC’s website.

  • Details on Transfer Payment Programs
  • Greening Government Operations
  • Upcoming Internal Audits and Evaluations over the next three fiscal years

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Section IV — Other Items of Interest

Organizational Contact Information

General Enquiries

If you have a comment or a question for PSIC, you can contact us by telephone or fax, or by mail.

Telephone: 613-941-6400
Toll Free: 1-866-941-6400
Facsimile: 613-941-6535 (general inquiries) or 613-946-2151 (secure transmission)

Mailing Address:
60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa ON K1P 5Y7

Disclosures of Wrongdoing or Complaints of Reprisal

If you are thinking about disclosing wrongdoing or making a complaint of reprisal, we can provide you with more information about the process in complete confidentiality.

Please note: The Office does not accept formal disclosures of wrongdoing or complaints of reprisal via e-mail or this website because they cannot provide secure electronic transmission of personal or confidential information.

To submit a disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal, fill out the appropriate form and mail, fax (secure transmission) or bring it to the Office in person.

 

 

 

(i)Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP.

 

2016-03-08