2020–21 Departmental Plan

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Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

Original signed by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board

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ISSN 2561-6641

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Table of contents


From the Commissioner

Commissioner Joe Friday

Our 2020–21 Departmental Plan is an important way for my Office to share with Canadians information about our mandate, our activities and the results we are working to achieve during the upcoming year.

The success of our Office as an independent Agent of Parliament responsible for the external whistleblowing regime for the federal public sector depends on people knowing who we are and what we do. It also requires that people trust us to handle their disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal in a fair, neutral and confidential manner.

In the coming year, we will remain focused on these priorities, as we work to continuously improve our effectiveness and responsiveness. More specifically, we will complete an independent evaluation of our core operational activities, with a view to identifying and addressing areas of improvement. We will also build our human resources strength on a continuing basis, recognizing that our people are our greatest asset in carrying out our sensitive and important mandate. In addition, we will carry out focus group testing within the public sector to hear directly from our primary audience about their understanding of our mandate and their attitudes toward whistleblowing. This will be our third such testing initiative, and it will undoubtedly provide essential information about changing perceptions and expectations, as we move forward.

Our core mandate to assess, investigate and report on the disclosures and complaints we receive is what guides the allocation and use of our financial and human resources. While that mandate remains constant, we are committed to exploring ways to ensure efficiency, to demonstrate success through results and, in doing so, to build confidence in our Office and in the federal public sector.

Plans at a glance

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (the Office) supports the Commissioner’s ongoing duties under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act) to receive, review and investigate disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal.

The Office aims to achieve the following results:

  • Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.
  • Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal.

The Office plans to achieve these results by focusing on the following priorities for fiscal year 2020–21:

  • Timeliness and Effectiveness
    • Complete an evaluation of the Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program and take action on recommendations.
    • Continue to implement recommendations following the evaluation of the Legal Access Request program.
  • Awareness and access to information
    • Participate strategically in events targeted to public servants.
    • Undertake focus-group testing on perceptions about whistleblowing.

For more information on the Office’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

This section contains detailed information on the Office’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities.

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

Description

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office) improves oversight of government operations by providing public servants and members of the public with a process for receiving and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing in the federal public sector. It reports founded cases of wrongdoing to Parliament and makes recommendations to chief executives on corrective measures. The Office also provides a mechanism for public servants and former public servants to make complaints of reprisal. It investigates and can refer cases to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.

Planning highlights

The Office will support and deliver on the Commissioner’s mandate, including dealing with disclosures of wrongdoing and reprisal complaints, engaging in outreach activities and providing funds for legal assistance.

In alignment with its core responsibilities and duties under the Act, the Office will focus on its identified priorities for 2020–21 to achieve its planned results.

Planned Result 1: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.

A timely and effective process to deal with disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal in the federal public sector is essential to the success of the Office. It contributes to our vision of a trusted organization, as well as respecting our values and meeting our service standards.

In 2020–21, the Office will focus on the continuous improvement of its analysis and investigative processes by completing an external evaluation of the Office’s disclosure and complaints management program, which will provide recommendations for improvement.

Another priority for 2020–21 will be to continue implementing recommendations following the evaluation of the Legal Access Request program. The Legal Access Request program is a contribution program that provides funds for access to legal advice for individuals involved in disclosure or reprisal cases and who qualify under the Act. This will include enhancing the monitoring and performance, increasing communication and raising awareness about this program.

Planned Result 2: Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal.

Public awareness and understanding of the Office’s roles and responsibilities are also key to its success.

In order to build awareness and improve comprehension of the federal whistleblowing regime, in 2020–21, the Office will participate in events for public servants, such as conferences and learning events that provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions with public servants. Face-to-face interactions contribute to building our reputation as an approachable organization, as well as offering an opportunity to distribute promotional and educational items directly to public servants. The Office will also take advantage of opportunities for the Commissioner to speak at events for public servants, specialists and organizations in the fields of whistleblowing and values and ethics.

In 2011 and 2015, the Office led focus-group testing with employees and executives in order to better understand public servants’ views about the federal whistleblowing regime. In 2020–21, the Office will undertake another cycle of testing on perceptions about whistleblowing and the fear of reprisal. The results will help to inform future outreach and engagement initiatives, as well as the development of informational and educational materials for use online and in person.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Office’s Sustainable Development Strategy and actions support the United Nation’s sustainable development goal of a sustainable consumption and production patterns. More specifically and although the impact of the Office will be at a small scale, we will introduce practices to reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. We will also promote public procurement practices that are sustainable by applying the policy on green procurement of the Government of Canada.

Information on the Office’s Sustainable Development Strategy is available in the supplementary information tables.

Experimentation

As a micro organization with limited financial and human resources, the Office is not planning to conduct any experimentation.

Planned results for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 actual result 2017–18 actual result 2018–19 actual result

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.

Percentage of cases addressed within established service standards. Service standards are available on the Office website[i].

Service standard targets are met 100% of the time

March 2021

100%

100%

100%

Percentage of applications addressed within established service standard under the Legal Access Request Program

Service standard target is met 100% of the time

March 2021

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal.

Percentage of new website visitors

90% of website visitors are new visitors

March 2021

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Number of attendees at outreach events

Total number of attendees for the combined events, in which the Office participates in a year, is at least 2,500 attendees

March 2021

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available


Note: The Office reviewed, adjusted and created new performance indicators for 2020–21. No actual results for previous years are available for the new indicators.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase[ii].

Planned budgetary financial resources for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending

3,539,794

3,539,794

3,539,794

3,539,794


Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase[iii].

Planned human resources for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents

28

28

28


Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase[iv].

Internal Services: planned results

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Planning highlights

Key priorities for 2020–21 related to internal services include investing in information management and information technology and strengthening partnerships.

The Office will invest in its information technology and information management systems to ensure optimal functionality and efficiency to support its employees in delivering results. The main priority for fiscal year 2020–21 will be to plan and implement a new case management system, which will permit the Office not only to gain efficiency but also to contribute to moving toward a paperless environment.

As a micro organization, the Office relies on support services from other government departments for the provision of a number of finance, human resources, compensation, security and information technology services. The Office is planning to strengthen these partnerships and create new ones to continuously build its internal services capacity. It will accomplish this by implementing the recommendations from the Third Party Service Level Agreement Action Plan. The action plan is available on the Office website[v].

With its limited resources, the Office will create pools of qualified analysts and investigators to ensure it has a sustainable capacity to conduct its activities in a timely and efficient manner. The Office will also ensure that employees have the support and appropriate training to further develop and enhance their competencies.

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services

2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending

2,042,536

2,042,536

2,042,536

2,042,536

Planned human resources for Internal Services

2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents

8

8

8

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the Office’s planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years, and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2017–18 to 2022–23

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.

Departmental spending 2017–18 to 2022–23

This bar graph illustrates the Office’s actual spending for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal (Voted) and the employee benefits plans (statutory items) for fiscal years 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20 and planned spending for fiscal years 2020–21, 2021–22 and 2022–23. Financial figures are presented in dollars along the y axis, increasing by $1 million and ending at $6 million. These are graphed against fiscal years 2017–18 to 2022–23 on the x axis.

In 2017–18, actual spending was $431,723 for statutory items and $4,518,110 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total of $4,949,833.

In 2018–19, actual spending was $418,784 for statutory items and $5,202,328 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total of $5,621,112.

In 2019–20, forecasted spending is $514,452 for statutory items and $4,394,639 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total forecast of $4,909,091.

Planned spending for statutory items will remain the same for fiscal years 2020–21 to 2022–23, for a total amount of $536,352.

Planned spending for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal will also remain the same for fiscal years 2020–21 to 2022–23, for a total amount of $5,045,978.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for each of the Office’s core responsibilities and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 expenditures 2018–19 expenditures 2019–20 forecast spending 2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

3,262,750

3,184,253

2,945,455

3,539,794

3,539,794

3,539,794

3,539,794

Internal Services

1,687,083

2,436,859

1,963,636

2,042,536

2,042,536

2,042,536

2,042,536

Total

4,949,833

5,621,112

4,909,091

5,582,330

5,582,330

5,582,330

5,582,330


About 80% of the Office’s annual expenditures are attributed to salary-related costs. The increase of expenditures from 2017–18 to 2018–19 is mainly due to retroactive salary payments and higher salary rates following the implementation of new collective agreements. Planned spending is expected to remain stable over the next three fiscal years with slight increases related to these collective agreements.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in the Office’s departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 forecast full-time equivalents 2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents

Public sector disclosure of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

22

21

22

28

28

28

Internal Services

7

7

8

8

8

8

Total

29

28

30

36

36

36


The Office’s staffing level has remained constant for the last few years. The human resources for future years reflect the stability of the Office. Minor fluctuations in FTE levels may occur which reflect normal staff turnover.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2020–21 Main Estimates[vi].

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future-oriented statement of operations provides an overview of the Office’s operations for 2019–20 to 2020–21.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Office’s website[vii].

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20 forecast results 2020–21 planned results Difference (2020–21 planned results minus 2019–20 forecast results)

Total expenses

5,250,091

5,931,330

681,239

Total revenues

0

0

0

Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers

5,250,091

5,931,330

681,239


The Office expects that 2020–21 planned expenses will be similar to the 2019–20 forecast. The difference of about 13% will be mainly the result of the collective agreements adjustments and investments in the Office’s information technology environment.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board

Institutional head: Joe Friday, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Ministerial portfolio: Treasury Board

Enabling instrument(s): 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.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s website[viii].

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s website[ix].

Reporting framework

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner has approved departmental results framework and program inventory for 2020–21 are as follows.

reporting framework 2019–20
Text version

Internal Services

  • Departmental Results Framework
    • Core Responsibility: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
      • Departmental Result: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner
        • Indicator: Percentage of cases addressed within established service standards
        • Indicator: Percentage of applications addressed within established service standard under the Legal Access Request Program
      • Departmental Result: Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal
        • Indicator: Percentage of new website visitors
        • Indicator: Number of attendees at outreach events
  • Program Inventory
    • Program: Disclosure and Reprisal Management

Changes to the approved reporting framework since 2019–20

No changes were brought to the Office reporting structure. Only the results indicators were revised and changed to better reflect our planned results.

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBase[x].

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Office’s website[xi]:

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Details on transfer payment programs

Federal tax expenditures

The Office’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2020–21.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government-wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures[xii]. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address
60 Queen Street, 4th floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5Y7

Telephone: 613-941-6400 or 1-866-941-6400 (toll-free)

Email: info@psic-ispc.gc.ca


Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)

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

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)

Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)

An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)

A report on the plans and expected performance of a department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)

A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

departmental result (résultat ministériel)

A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)

A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.

departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)

A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

experimentation (expérimentation)

The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)

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.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])

An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)

For the purpose of the 2020–21 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)

An initiative in which two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)

Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)

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 (indicateur de rendement)

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 (production de rapports sur le rendement)

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

plan (plan)

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.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts 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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)

Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

program inventory (répertoire des programmes)

Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.

result (résultat)

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.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)

Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)

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

target (cible)

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.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)

Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.


Endnotes

vii. Future Oriented Statements of Operations, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/index.php/en/corporate-publications

viii. Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/index.php/en/corporate-publications

xii. Report on Federal Tax Expenditures, http://www.fin.gc.ca/purl/taxexp-eng.asp