2018–19 Departmental Plan

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

The Honourable Scott Brison
President of the Treasury Board

This document is also available in  PDF.

ISSN 2561-6641


Table of contents


Commissioner’s message

Joe Friday, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Our 2018–19 Departmental Plan provides Canadians with 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, what we do and how to reach us when they need our help. It also requires that people trust us to handle their disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal in a fair, neutral and confidential manner.

Our progress towards achieving these goals this past year included some notable achievements: the ongoing development of policies and procedures in the goal of guiding our operations in a consistent, clear and efficient manner, as well as to ensure that potential whistleblowers and reprisal complainants know what to expect when they come to our Office and are able to make an informed decision to do so; the completion of a LEAN exercise to assess and improve the efficiency of our investigations; and the participation in the parliamentary review of our legislation, including the making of 16 specific proposals for legislative change to increase our effectiveness.

In the coming year, we will build on these achievements, implementing the results of our LEAN initiative in the spirit of continuous improvement; identifying new areas of policy development to guide our operations and sharing these policies with stakeholders; building our human resources strength on a continuing basis; and reaching out to public servants to help them make informed decisions about coming forward with disclosures and reprisal complaints.

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, and, 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.

 

Joe Friday,
Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

 

Plans at a glance

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner will support the duties of its Commissioner by ensuring disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner, raising awareness about the Office and the whistleblowing regime and ensuring public servants and members of the public have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal.

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal: 2018–19

PLANS

  • Continue to identify and implement operational efficiencies
  • Continue to improve and implement outreach and engagement strategies
  • Continue to upgrade our information technology infrastructure
  • Relocate the Office
  • Invest in our people

RESOURCES

  • $5.5 million
  • 35 full time equivalents

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.

DEPARTMENTAL PRIORITY

  • A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government

For more information on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the Planned results section of this report.

 

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core Responsibilities

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

Description

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office) enhances and 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 is dedicated to respecting its values of accountability, fairness, integrity, stewardship, excellence, objectivity and confidentiality. To support the Commissioner’s duties in fulfilling its mandate described above, the Office will focus on two particular areas in 2018–19:

  • Continue to identify and implement operational efficiencies

Over the last three years, from fiscal year 2014–15 to 2016–17, general inquiries have increased, while the average number of disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal have remained constant. The Office has the capacity to handle the current level of files, however, any sudden increase in the number of new disclosures and complaints of reprisal and/or increase in the number of investigations launched, would put pressure on existing resources which could result in a backlog. This risk materialized in 2015–16, at which time the Office successfully responded by adjusting various operational processes and adopting human resources strategies.

The Office recognizes the need to continue to be efficient in its operational processes which is why it completed two LEAN exercises, one in 2015–16 and the other in 2017–18. These LEAN exercises were to map our operational processes, identify improvements and recommend strategies and tools to implement these improvements. As a result, we implemented new innovative approaches, such as a simplified review process for appropriate files. In 2018–19, The Office will continue exploring new innovative and more efficient approaches to operational processes through the LEAN experience.

We will also continue to be responsive and improve our approach to service delivery by respecting our current service standards and continuing to develop new standardized operational policies, procedures and tools.

To accentuate the measurement of our progress and the reporting on our results, we amended our list of performance indicators. Two new indicators were created for 2018–19: the percentage of recommendations that are followed up on after the tabling of Case Reports; and the number of contributions for legal advice approved by the Commissioner for individuals involved in disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal. We hope these indicators will help demonstrate the impacts and benefits of our services.

  • Continue to improve and implement outreach and engagement strategies

Despite the existence of formal mechanisms to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing and to protect against and prevent reprisals, there still exists a culture of resistance to whistleblowing within the federal public service due to various factors, including fear of reprisals. This plays a fundamental role in an individual’s decision to disclose wrongdoing. The Office will continue to create awareness of the whistleblowing regime, clarify the role of the Office and build trust in the Office through our 2017–2020 Outreach and Engagement Strategy. 

In 2017–18, we implemented an online form and we participated in numerous events across Canada to reach our various audiences. In 2018–19, we will focus on the multimedia aspect and further digitalize our communication products to reach a wider target audience in a more efficient way.

The Office is also working with a multi-stakeholder advisory committee to communicate and engage with external stakeholders on an ongoing and proactive basis and to respond to emerging issues clearly and in a respectful and timely manner.

Planned results
Departmental ResultsDepartmental Result IndicatorsTarget *Date to achieve target2014–15
Actual results
2015–16 Actual
results
2016–17 Actual
results
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's websitei)Various Targets March 31st 2019Various resultsVarious resultsVarious results

 

Percentage of recommendations actioned by chief executives following investigation findingsNot availableMarch 31st 2019Not availableNot availableNot available
Number of persons benefiting from Legal Advice Requests to support their involvement in a disclosure of wrongdoing and/or a complaint of reprisalNot availableMarch 31st 2019Not availableNot availableNot 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.Number of outreach events attended and communications products and items distributed through various meansNot availableMarch 31st 2019Not availableNot availableNot available
Number of website visitorsNot availableMarch 31st 2019Not availableNot availableNot available

* Note: The Office adjusted and created new performance indicators. No actual results are applicable as fiscal year 2017–18 is serving as a baseline to establish targets.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
4,124,4534,124,4534,124,4534,124,453

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
272728

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseii.

 

Internal Services

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 service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories 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; and Acquisition Services.

Planning highlights

The Office will continue its work under internal services to support and contribute to achieving the Office results. Specifically in 2018–19, it will:

  • Continue to upgrade our information technology infrastructure

New technologies are emerging that could better help the Office manage its corporate knowledge as well as its administration, accessibility, case management and performance statistics. The Office will upgrade its information technology infrastructure to continue ensuring the safeguard of our information and procure a new case management system to achieve greater efficiency in accessing and managing information to support decision-making in program and service delivery.

  • Relocate the Office

Due to our current limited space, we are planning to relocate the office to support our growth. In addition to accommodating our growing team, the new location will promote sustainable design principles as well as a productive work environment.

  • Invest in our people

As a micro-organization, there are challenges with regard to staff retention given limited internal growth opportunities. There are also challenges in sourcing, given that the labour market for key skilled positions, such as investigators, is very competitive. On an ongoing basis, we will invest in our employees in order to achieve our business results. We will create and maintain pools of qualified candidates, implement and monitor tailored training plans and foster a healthy, supportive and inclusive work environment that supports employee engagement.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
1,361,4851,361,4851,361,4851,361,485

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
888

 

Spending and human resources

This section presents an overview of the Office’s planned spending and human resources (full-time equivalents) for the next three consecutive fiscal years, starting with 2018–19. Planned spending is also compared with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned Spending

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental Spending Graph

Text Version

This bar graph illustrates the Office spending trend for six fiscal years. Financial figures are presented in dollars along the vertical axis, increasing by $1 million increments up to $6 million. The horizontal axis shows six vertical bars, one for each fiscal year from 2015-16 to 2020-21.

Each vertical bar displays an accumulated total spending of two categories of funding. The majority of funding represents the voted program expenditures (Vote 1) and the second relates to the statutory items, comprised of the contributions to employee benefit plans.

  • In 2015–16, the actual spending was $4,055,285 in voted program expenditures and $398,272 in statutory items, for a total of $4,453,557.
  • In 2016–17, the actual spending was $3,928,727 in voted program expenditures and $394,972 in statutory items, for a total of $4,323,699.
  • In 2017–18, the forecasted spending is $4,223,430 in voted program expenditures and $479,245 in statutory items for a total of $4,702,675.
  • From 2018-19 to 2020-21, the planned spending is expected to be $5,009,887 in voted program expenditures and $476,051 in statutory items, for a total of $5,485,938.
Budgetary planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services2015–16
Expenditures
2016–17
Expenditures
2017–18
Forecast spending
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal2,644,4972,779,9463,203,2564,124,4534,124,4534,124,4534,124,453
Internal Services1,809,0601,543,7531,499,4191,361,4851,361,4851,361,4851,361,485
Total4,453,5574,323,6994,702,6755,485,9385,485,9385,485,9385,485,938

 

The Office total actual expenditures decreased by 2.9% from 2015–16 to 2016–17 and are planned to increase by 8.8% from 2016–17 to 2017–18, which represent an increase of $249,118 thousand or 5.6% over the three year span. This demonstrates that the budgetary spending did not vary significantly over the last three years.

The Office is forecasting expenditures of approximately $4.7 million in 2017–18, which represented approximately $738,700 below its total budget. Other than delays in specific projects, such as the Office relocation project, the Office must keep some funds aside due to the unpredictable costs of judicial reviews, which can vary by hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year.

We expect to spend nearly $5.5 million in 2018–19, which represents our total budget and will be driven by hiring more employees, relocating the Office and upgrading our information technology infrastructure and information management systems.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services2015–16
Actual
2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Forecast
2018–19
Planned
2019–20
Planned
2020–21
Planned
Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal191923272728
Internal Services776888
Total262629353536

 

The Office is forecasting 29 FTEs for 2017–18, an increase of 12% relative to the previous year. The Office is expecting to grow to 35 FTEs in 2018–19. We have been relatively stable over the last few years, but due to increasing investigations and general inquiries, we must adjust to this context and demand. As a small organization, it is always a challenge to retain staff and as such, we must initiate staffing processes on a continuing basis.

Estimates by vote

For information on the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2018–19 Main Estimatesiii.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Office’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 Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may 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 websiteiv.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information2017–18
Forecast results
2018–19
Planned results
Difference
(2018–19 Planned results minus 2017–18 Forecast results)
Total expenses4,614,8426,148,1811,533,339
Total revenues000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers4,614,8426,148,1811,533,339

The difference of 1,533,339 between the 2018–19 planned results and the 2017–18 forecast results is directly in relation to the planned spending for hiring new employees, relocating the Office and upgrading our information technology and information management systems.

 

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

Institutional head: Joe Friday, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Ministerial portfolio: Treasury Board Secretariat

Enabling instrument(s): Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, S.C. 2005, c. 46v

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’s websitevi.

Operating context and key risks

Information on operating context and key risks is available on the Office’s websitevii.

Reporting framework

The Office’s Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018–19 are shown below:

Reporting Framework

Text version

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 recommendations actioned by chief executives following
  • Indicator: Number of persons benefiting from legal advice requests to support their involvement in a disclosure of wrongdoing and/or a complaint of reprisal

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: Number of outreach events attended and communications products/items distributed through various means
  • Indicator: Number of website visitors

Program Inventory

Program: Disclosure and Reprisal Management

Internal Services

 

Concordance between the Departmental Results Framework and the Program Inventory, 2018–19, and the Program Alignment Architecture, 2017–18

Following the implementation of Treasury Board Policy on Results, the Office adjusted its new reporting structure based on the new naming convention of the policy. The following table shows the concordance between the Office’s new reporting structure with its core responsibility and its previous Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) of record for 2017–18. As we are a small organization with only one program, no change occurred.

2018–19 Core Responsibilities and Program Inventory2017–18 Lowest-level program of the Program Alignment ArchitecturePercentage of lowest-level Program Alignment Architecture program (dollars) corresponding to the program in the Program Inventory
Core Responsibility 1: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
Program:
Disclosure and Reprisal Management
Lowest-level PAA program:
Disclosure and Reprisal Management
100%

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 InfoBaseviii.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Office’s websiteix:

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Disclosure of transfer payment programs under $5 million
  • Planned evaluation coverage over the next five fiscal years
  • Upcoming internal audits for the coming fiscal year

Federal tax expenditures

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 each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expendituresx. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7
Canada
Telephone: 613-941-6400
Toll Free: 1-866-941-6400
Facsimile: 613-941-6535 (general inquiries)
http://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca


Appendix A: 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)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. 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)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
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 help identify the potential impacts of policies, programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences to consider multiple identity factors that intersect to make people who they are (such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability).
Government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 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 initiatives (initiative horizontale)
A horizontal initiative is one in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (e.g. by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
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.
Planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, 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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

Plans (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.
Priorities (priorité)
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 (programme)
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 (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
Results (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.
Sunset program (programme temporisé)
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 (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

[i]. Service Standards, http://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/eng/results/service-standards

[ii]. GC InfoBase, https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/edb-bdd/index-eng.html#start

[iii]. 2017–18 Main Estimates, https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates.html

[iv]. Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/eng/about-us/corporate-publications/2018-19-future-oriented-statement-operations

[v]Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-31.9/

[vi]. Raison d’être, mandate and role: Who we are and what we do, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/eng/about-us/corporate-publications/2018-19-corporate-information

[vii]. Operating context and key risks, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/eng/about-us/corporate-publications/2018-19-corporate-information

[viii]. GC InfoBase, https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/edb-bdd/index-eng.html#start

[ix]. Supplementary Information Tables, https://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/eng/about-us/corporate-publications/2018-19-supplementary-information-tables

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

2018-11-30