Management Response to the Evaluation of the Legal Assistance Request Program

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Context

Under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act), individuals may be eligible to receive funding to access legal advice. The maximum amount that may be paid by the Commissioner pursuant to the Act for legal advice in relation to any particular act or omission that may constitute a wrongdoing or reprisal is $1,500, or up to $3,000 under exceptional circumstances.

In March 2018, in compliance with the requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Policy on Results and the Financial Administration Act related to the evaluation of ongoing programs for which the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) is responsible, and in accordance with the PSIC 2015–20 Integrated Risk-Based Internal Audit and Evaluation Plan, Goss Gilroy Inc. was engaged to conduct an evaluation of the Legal Access Request (LAR) Program. In that regard, the evaluation was undertaken to assess the relevance, design and delivery, and effectiveness and efficiency of the LAR program.

Management Response

PSIC accepts the results of the Evaluation of the Legal Assistance Request (LAR) Grants and Contributions Program – Final Report (Final Report).

Management is pleased with the findings of the evaluation that confirm the LAR Program at PSIC remains relevant, is being implemented as designed and intended, and is well administered and produces outputs efficiently and economically. In addition, PSIC acknowledges the considerations highlighted in the Final Report regarding 1) monitoring and performance and 2) enhancing communication and awareness, of the LAR Program.

1) Monitoring and Performance

Considerations provided in Final Report

  • Consider providing examples of how funds are used to help ensure recipients are clear on the purpose of the program as well as to support discussions about any future revisions to the Act involving adequacy of the amount available to recipients;
  • Consider developing performances measures to help determine 1) participant satisfaction with the program and 2) progress towards the achievement of intended long-term outcomes.

Management Response

An action plan is being developed to address these considerations.

2) Enhancing Communication and Awareness

Considerations provided in Final Report

  • Consider continuing to explore ways to enhance communication and program awareness including knowledge transfer with senior integrity officers (or other key internal departmental resources for potential program applicants);
  • Consider developing targeted communication to union representatives to ensure recipients are consistently made aware of the program.

Management Response

An action plan is being developed to address these considerations.