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Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

2015–16


Report on Plans and Priorities

The Honourable Tony Clement
President of the Treasury Board


Table of Contents

ISSN  2292-3640

Interim Commissioner's Message

I am pleased, as Interim Commissioner, to lead the process of building upon our strong foundation of achievement, as we continue to implement our important and sensitive mandate in service of accountInterim Commissioner Joe Fridayability, transparency and effectiveness in the public sector. 

The Office has completed more than 700 files since being created in 2007, including more than 120 investigations, 10 case reports of founded wrongdoing tabled in Parliament and 6 referrals of reprisal cases to the Public Servants Disclosure Tribunal. We are proud to have a strong and stable team of capable professionals, and a solid record of achievement.

The Office will continue its efforts to be better known and to be accessible, so that disclosers and reprisal complainants know who we are and how we can help them. This challenge is a continuing one, and it is shared by our colleagues in similar offices across the country and indeed, throughout the world. We will make every effort to continue to meet that challenge, including using social media, and reaching out directly to stakeholders to ensure our work is appropriately informed by their diverse perspectives. And once people come to the Office, we must provide them with timely, consistent and expert service. I am very pleased to report that we are consistently meeting the service standards we implemented in 2013 for case analysis and investigations, and that these standards have been incorporated into all performance agreements of our operational team members. The Office will, in the coming year, bring a focused effort to ensuring that our internal processes and operational policies are reflective of the significant accumulated knowledge and experience acquired to date. We can therefore demonstrate to anyone who is considering coming to the Office, that we are as efficient as we possibly can be, while ensuring fairness and equitable treatment of all cases.

I look forward to building our future strength and leading the Office to continuing success.

Joe Friday
Interim Public Sector Integrity Commissioner



Section I — Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister: Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board

Institutional Head: Joe Friday, Interim Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Ministerial portfolio: Treasury Board Secretariat

Enabling Instrument: Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, S.C. 2005, c. 46

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 2007

Other: The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada supports the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, who is an independent Agent of Parliament.

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office) was set up to administer the Public Servants Disclosure Protection 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 framework which strengthens accountability and management oversight in government operations.

Responsibilities

The Office has jurisdiction over the entire federal public sector, including separate agencies and parent Crown corporations, which represents approximately 375,000 public servants. Under the Act, 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 Act 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 Act can be found on the Office’s website.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

    1. Strategic Outcome: Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is addressed and public servants are protected in case of reprisal

    1.1  Program: Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Internal Services

    Organizational Priorities

    PriorityTypeiStrategic Outcome and/or Program

    Disclosure and reprisal management function that is timely, rigorous, independent and accessible

    Ongoing

    Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Description

    Why is this a priority?

    An effective and appropriate response to those individuals who approach or interact with Office is the cornerstone of creating trust in the organization and assuring Canadians this important mechanism is supporting an environment of accountability.

    What are the plans for meeting this priority?

    1. Maintain and evolve evergreen operational policies and processes to ensure the rigorous, efficient, and consistent handling of disclosures and reprisal complaints.
    2. Enhance technological capacity and information management systems to ensure effective and efficient management of disclosure and reprisal cases.
    3. Maintain program reporting and monitoring, including performance against service standards and quality assessments.
    4. Continue to evaluate, document, and prioritize proposed amendments to the Act in order to be prepared to participate in the statutory review of the Act.

     

    PriorityTypeStrategic Outcome and/or Program
    Awareness and understanding of the whistleblowing regime Ongoing Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program
    Description

    Why is this a priority?

    Outreach across the public sector is fundamental in creating awareness and clarity about the Act and the role of the Office. It is not uncommon that public servants fear reprisal which may impede their willingness and level of comfort in making a disclosure of wrongdoing.

    What are the plans for meeting this priority?

    1. Continue to implement the Office’s Outreach and Engagement Strategy that aims to, among other things, increase knowledge and awareness among public servants, and increase trust and credibility in our institution by establishing effective relations with key stakeholders.
    2. Implement new and enhanced communications approaches with the public and public servants that aim to address a perceived reluctance or fear to initiate a protected disclosure or complaint of reprisal with the Office.

    PriorityTypeStrategic Outcome and/or Program
    Human resource capacity that meets organizational needs Ongoing Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program
    Description

    Why is this a priority?

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

    What are the plans for meeting this priority?

    1. Maintain an acceptable retention rate (85%) to ensure efficient delivery of mandate.
    2. Maintain effective tools and processes to facilitate and expedite recruitment and resourcing needs.

    Risk Analysis

    Key Risks

    RiskRisk Response StrategyLink to Program Alignment Architecture

    Case Volumes: The Office’s ability to respond in a timely manner can be impacted by increasing case volumes or if the mix of complexity in the case workload increases.

    Reporting on service standards ensures that management is informed and that actions are taken as appropriate.

    Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Information Security: This 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 ongoing practices aimed at ensuring the security of information, which include security briefings and confidentiality agreements, random information security checks within premises, and controlled access for the storage of sensitive information.

    In 2012-13 the Departmental Security Plan was developed and resulted in recommended action items to further enhance practices which are currently being addressed. Further, the Office completed an internal audit of information management as it relates to privacy and has an action plan to strengthen the environment.

    Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Risks can arise from events that the Office cannot influence or by factors outside our control, but the Office must be able to monitor and respond accordingly in order to mitigate the impact, in order to address disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal. All of the organizational priorities contribute either directly or indirectly to mitigating the risk of increasing case volumes and/or complexity that may in turn impact the timeliness of completing case files. In particular, a disclosure and reprisal management function that is timely, rigorous, independent and accessible supports effective and efficient use of resources and case file decisions which are clear and complete, minimizing the need for further allocations of resources.

    Planned Expenditures

    Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

    2015-16 Main Estimates2015–16 Planned Spending  2016–17 Planned Spending2017–18 Planned Spending
    5,448,442 5,448,442 5,448,442 5,448,442

    Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — [FTEs])

    2015–162016–172017–18
    28 28 28

    Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome and Program (dollars)

    Strategic Outcome, Program and Internal Services2012-13 Expenditures 2013-14 Expenditures2014-15 Forecast Spending2015-16 Main Estimates2015-16 Planned Spending2016-17 Planned Spending2017-18 Planned Spending
    Strategic Outcome 1: Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is addressed and public servants are protected in case of reprisal
    1.1 Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program 3,627,994 3,608,322 2,885,510 3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985
    Subtotal 3,627,994 3,608,322 2,885,510 3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985
    Internal Services Subtotal 1,915,002 1,934,719 2,025,590 2,029,457 2,029,457 2,029,457 2,029,457
    Total 5,542,996 5,543,041 4,911,100 5,448,442 5,448,442 5,448,442 5,448,442

    The 2014-15 forecast spending of $4.9 million is $0.6 million less than the expenditures in 2013-14, largely as a result of vacancies in the Office and reduced spending on the government wide case management system. The level of planned spending in 2015-16 increases to $5.4 million, as vacant positions are staffed and the Office implements planned process improvements and government wide initiatives.

    Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

    Alignment of 2015-16 Planned Spending With Whole-of-Government-Framework (dollars)

    Strategic OutcomeProgramSpending AreaGovernment of Canada Outcome2015-16 Planned Spending
    1. Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is addressed and public servants are protected in case of reprisal

    1.1  Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 3,418,985

    Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)

    Spending AreaTotal Planned Spending
    Government affairs 3,418,985

    Departmental Spending Trend

    Departmental Spending Trend Graph


    [Text version]

    The Office’s yearly actual spending has stabilized over the recent fiscal years, except in 2014-15 where a drop in spending represents a lower level of staffed positions and reduced project spending. The planned spending in 2015-16 reflects a return to earlier levels of spending as vacant positions are filled and funds to implement technological improvements are planned.

    Estimates by Vote

    For information on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2015-16 Main Estimates on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

    Section II — Analysis of Program by Strategic Outcome

    Strategic Outcome: Wrongdoing in the federal public sector is addressed and public servants are protected in case of reprisal. 

    Program 1.1: Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program

    Description

    The objective of the program is to address disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal and contribute 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.

    Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

    2015-16 Main Estimates2015-16 Planned Spending2016-17 Planned Spending2017-18 Planned Spending
    3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985 3,418,985

    Human Resources (FTEs)

    2015–162016–172017–18
    20 20 20

    Performance Measurement

    Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargetsDate to be Achieved
    The disclosure and reprisal management function is efficient. Compliance with service standard - Decision whether to investigate a complaint of reprisal is made within 15 days. 100% March  2016
    The disclosure and reprisal management function is efficient. Compliance with service standard - General inquiries are responded to within one working day. 80% March  2016
    The disclosure and reprisal management function is efficient. Compliance with service standard - Decision whether to investigate a disclosure of wrongdoing is made within 90 days. 80% March  2016
    The disclosure and reprisal management function is efficient. Compliance with service standard - Investigations are completed within 1 year. 80% March  2016
    The disclosure and reprisal cases are addressed with decisions that are clear and complete. Successful applications for judicial review in comparison to the total number of cases received over three years. No more than 2%   March  2016

    Planning Highlights

    In the fall of 2014, employees were engaged in updating the Office’s risk profile and three year strategic plan, which contributed to establishing the priorities and plans in this report.

    To ensure operational policies and processes are maintained and evolve to ensure the rigorous, efficient, and consistent handling of disclosures and reprisal complaints the Office plans to:

    • Continue to develop and update formal operational strategies, policies, procedures, and guidelines, including Commissioner directives relating to disclosure and reprisal cases, and training manuals.
    • Initiate internal mechanisms for the regular sharing of information on operational, legal, communications and policy issues, especially related to new processes and directives.

    The Office’s plan to enhance technological capacity and information management systems to ensure effective and efficient management of disclosure and reprisal cases includes dedicating resources and taking a collaborative approach to:

    • Develop and launch a digital system for public servants to easily access and submit disclosures and reprisal complaints forms directly on the organization’s website.
    • Implement a reference database to support case analysis and investigative processes, such as an in-house Wiki, in order to provide guidance on reoccurring issues.
    • Ensure clear and consistent naming conventions, standards, and procedures for storing documents in IM systems (i.e., CMS, T-drive and eDocs)
    • Improve electronic record keeping for organizing and tracking index records throughout the case file lifecycle.
    • Introduce the ability to encrypt e-mails in order to enhance efficiency in the course of handling cases while ensuring confidentiality.
    • Continue to support a new Shared Services case management system (CMS) that could replace the current in house CMS.

    Internal Services

    Description

    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. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities 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 Other Administrative Services.

    Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

    2015-16 Main Estimates2015-16 Planned Spending2016-17 Planned Spending2017-18 Planned Spending
    2,029,457 2,029,457 2,029,457 2,029,457

    Human Resources (FTEs)

    2015–162016–172017–18
    8 8 8

    Planning Highlights

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

    • Continue to maximize staff engagement and retention and implement strategic learning and development (training) plans.
    • Ensure timely availability of qualified staff applying effective tools and processes in place to facilitate and expedite recruitment and resourcing needs, specifically:
      • Run anticipatory staffing processes for key positions, such as case analysis and investigative services.
      • Explore secondments and other exchange opportunities with other public sector organizations that have similar investigative functions.
      • Continue to use standing offers for legal, investigative, and audit services.
    • Continue to assess and implement continuous improvement initiatives for Information Management and Information Technology necessary to support operations plans previously outlined.
      • Implement new and enhanced communications approaches with the public and public servants that aim to address a perceived reluctance or fear to initiate a protected disclosure or complaint of reprisal with the Office. Leverage social media and outreach activities, such as the development and dissemination of videos.
      • Continue to work with union representatives and senior officers responsible for internal disclosure of wrongdoing to share and tailor communications products and tools.
      • Explore the use of public opinion research to gather information on issues such as knowledge and understanding of the regime and the Act and perceptions of trust and confidence in the Office, as well as, methods to reach target audiences.
      • Continue to participate in and support cross government transformation initiatives to effectively share resources.

    Section III — Supplementary Information

    Future-Oriented Statement of Operations

    The future-oriented condensed statement of operations provides a general overview of the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner's operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.  

    Because the future-oriented condensed statement of operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Report on Plans and Priorities are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts will differ.

    A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net costs of operations to the requested authorities, can be found on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s website.

    Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
    For the Year (ended March 31)
    ($ dollars)

    Financial information2014-15 Estimated Results2015-16 Planned ResultsDifference
    Total expenses 5,424,305 6,189,365 765,060
    Total revenues 0 0 0
    Net cost of operations 5,424,305 6,189,365 765,060

    The increase in expenses of $765,060, or 14%, is largely a result of increased personnel costs from staffing activities and the anticipated costs to implement the government wide case management system.

    Supplementary Information Tables

    The supplementary information tables listed in the 2015–16 Report on Plans and Priorities can be found on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s website.

    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 Canada 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 responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

    Section IV — Organizational Contact Information

    60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5Y7
    Canada

    Telephone: 613-941-6400

    Toll Free: 1-866-941-6400

      

     

    Appendix: Definitions

     

    appropriation: Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

    budgetary expenditures: Include operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

    Departmental Performance Report: Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

    full-time equivalent: Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

    Government of Canada outcomes: A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

    Management, Resources and Results Structure: A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

    non-budgetary expenditures: Include net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

    performance: What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.

    performance indicator: A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

    performance reporting: The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

    planned spending: For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

    A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

    plans: The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

    priorities: Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

    program: A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

    Program Alignment Architecture: A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

    Report on Plans and Priorities: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

    results: An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

    Strategic Outcome: A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

    sunset program: A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

    target: A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

    whole-of-government framework: Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.

    2016-03-08