Operating Agreement Concerning Expert Advice and Support Services for the CAF Response to Sexual Misconduct

Operating agreement between the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) and the Canadian Armed Forces Directorate Professional Military Conduct—Operation HONOUR (DPMC-OpH) concerning expert advice and support services for the CAF response to sexual misconduct.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Scope and Objectives
  3. Organization and Management
  4. Responsibilities
  5. Information Sharing and Communication
  6. Financial Arrangements
  7. Personnel
  8. Settlement of Disputes
  9. Amendment
  10. Withdrawal and Termination
  11. Duration and Review
  12. Effective Date and Signature

1. Introduction

1.1. The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) is a recognized centre of expertise that delivers or facilitates access to support services to CAF members who are affected by sexual misconduct, and provides independent guidance and recommendations to the CAF, to shape and evaluate CAF policies and programs to eliminate sexual misconduct.

1.2. The Directorate Professional Military Conduct—Operation HONOUR (DPMC-OpH) is the strategic level planning and coordination staff leading the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) response to address sexual misconduct and promote a focus on the dignity and respect of the individual. The DPMC-OpH also advises the CAF chain of command on policy and the application of administrative processes related to sexual misconduct.

1.3. The goal for Operation HONOUR is a CAF where all members are able to perform their duties in an environment that fosters mutual trust, respect, honour, and dignity.

1.4. The CAF is responsible for implementing Operation HONOUR. While commanders at all levels and their supporting staffs are experts on the implementation of programs and activities within the CAF, they may lack the necessary subject-matter expertise to achieve key Operation HONOUR objectives.

1.5. The SMRC, who possess subject-matter expertise, is enabled in its role by DPMC-OpH.

2. Scope and Objectives

2.1. Scope. This Operating Agreement (OA) sets out the guiding principles with respect to the division of responsibilities between the SMRC and the DPMC-OpH.

2.1.1. In Scope. This OA relates to SMRC’s provision of expert advice, as well as evaluation and monitoring as they relate to the CAF’s efforts to implement their advice.

2.1.2. Out of Scope. SMRC and DPMC-OpH are not responsible for any matter related to the administration of military justice in the Canadian Armed Forces, including the exercise of discretion by any actor in the performance of their duties within the military justice system.

2.2. Objective. The objective of this OA is to formalize the working relationship between the SMRC and the DPMC-OpH as it pertains to the CAF response to sexual misconduct. The OA is an articulation of mutually agreed upon arrangements that form the basis of the cooperative approach to the response to sexual misconduct. This OA in no way limits either the DPMC-OpH or the SMRC from engaging with others, internal and/or external to the CAF and the Department of National Defence (DND).

3. Organization and Management

3.1. SMRC. The SMRC reports to the Deputy Minister (DM), and receives executive direction independent of the CAF. All advice provided by the SMRC relative to the CAF response to sexual misconduct is determined by the SMRC, under the direction of the DM.

3.2. Although independent of the CAF chain of command, the SMRC is responsive to CAF needs and, as such, must maintain critical partnerships with CAF organizations. The SMRC does not receive direction from the CAF.

3.3. DPMC-OpH. The DPMC-OpH reports to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), through the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), and is the primary recipient of advice from the SMRC.

3.4. Management. The DM and CDS are the principles of the OA. On their behalf, the Executive Director (ED) SMRC and the Director General (DG) DPMC-OpH are the responsible individuals for the promulgation of this OA and any changes to it.

4. Responsibilities

4.1. SMRC – receives disclosures of sexual misconduct directly from affected persons, independent of the chain of command, and facilitates reporting with the consent of the affected person.

4.2. SMRC – provides, coordinates and monitors support for affected persons, and advocates on their behalf.

4.3. SMRC – provides expert advice, guidance, research, and recommendations on Operation HONOUR as well as in relation to the strategic direction of the CAF response to sexual misconduct.

4.4. SMRC – promotes the development of coherent departmental policies and programs related to sexual misconduct, in conjunction with other stakeholders. This includes developing evidence-based approaches to prevention and the design of mutually reinforcing response and support programs.

4.5. SMRC – advises on and monitors content and delivery of prevention programs related to sexual misconduct.

4.6. SMRC – advises on CAF performance measurement frameworks related to sexual misconduct.

4.7. SMRC – reports on the performance of and services provided by the SMRC.

4.8. SMRC – monitors and reports on the adherence of the CAF to sexual misconduct policies, training and education, CAF implementation of advice provided, and systemic issues and trends.

4.9. DPMC-OpH – receives the expert advice, guidance, research, and recommendations of the SMRC and uses it to inform development and implementation of direction using recognized CAF governance instruments, including institutionalized training.

4.10. DPMC-OpH – manages OPHTAS on behalf of the CAF as one of the tools to evaluate the performance of Op HONOUR.

4.11. DPMC-OpH – provides reports to the SMRC as necessary to enable them to meet their responsibility to monitor, report, and evaluate Operation HONOUR.

4.12. SMRC and DPMC-OpH – promote a research and analysis strategy related to sexual misconduct, service delivery and organizational change.

4.13. SMRC and DPMC-OpH – develop and maintain relationships with domestic and international partners and counterparts to ensure knowledge transfer, sharing of promising practices, and delivery of comprehensive, integrated prevention, response and support services.

4.14. SMRC and DPMC-OpH – advise on the design and delivery of outreach programs related to sexual misconduct, tailored for specific audiences. The SMRC also develops and delivers tailored outreach related to the mandate and services of the SMRC.

4.15. SMRC and DPMC-OpH – monitor the implementation and effectiveness of policy and training in the CAF.

4.16. SMRC and DPMC-OpH – monitor and report on sexual misconduct data and performance measurement of Operation HONOUR.

5. Information Sharing and Communication

5.1. All SMRC client information is kept confidential unless disclosure is required by law or the consent of the individuals affected is obtained. All personal information held by either the SMRC or DPMC-OpH is treated in accordance with all applicable laws, including the Privacy Act.

5.2. The CAF, through the DPMC-OpH, will provide or facilitate access to data and information, in accordance with applicable laws to support the SMRC in fulfilling its mandate.

5.3. The CAF, through the DPMC-OpH, will facilitate access to facilities and personnel to support the SMRC in fulfilling its mandate, subject to operational requirements.

5.4. Formal recommendations from the SMRC will be provided in the form of briefing notes, memoranda, letters, or some other form of official correspondence. DPMC-OpH will be copied on all such recommendations, for tracking and coordination purposes.

5.5. DPMC-OpH will ensure that the CAF provides a formal written response to formal recommendations, indicating acceptance, rejection or modification, as well as the intention for implementation wherever necessary.

5.6. Upon receipt of formal recommendations from the SMRC the DPMC-OpH will make every effort to implement the recommendations, identifying and removing all barriers to implementation, whenever possible.

5.7. While recognizing the requirement for the formalities noted above, it is expected that routine and ongoing collaboration and close working relationships will be maintained between DPMC-OpH and SMRC staff.

6. Financial Arrangements

6.1. SMRC will receive requisite funding through departmental business planning and financial allocation processes.

6.2. Where responsibilities are transferred from the CAF to SMRC, a transfer of resources will be considered as a preferred option.

7. Personnel

7.1. The CAF will provide six personnel to the SMRC with the rank, credentials, knowledge, experience, and personal suitability required to perform their duties effectively. These personnel, their roles, funding, and administration are as follows:

7.1.1. Senior Military Advisor – provides strategic advice to the ED SMRC and performs executive military liaison between SMRC and CAF. The position is funded and administered by DPMC-OpH.

7.1.2. Section Head for Education and Training – provides advice and guidance to the ED SMRC on CAF education and training related to sexual misconduct. The position is funded and administered by DPMC-OpH.

7.1.3. Senior Training Development Officer – provides support to the Section Head for Education and Training. The position is funded and administered by DPMC-OpH.

7.1.4. DPMC-OpH Liaison Officer (LO) to the SMRC – provides planning capability to SMRC and military liaison between SMRC and DPMC-OpH. The position is funded and administered by DPMC-OpH.

7.1.5. Non-Commissioned Member (NCM) Military Advisor – provides advice and direct military liaison on NCM issues to the SMRC and provides military liaison between the SMRC and the CSRT Sergeant Major. The position is funded and administered by DPMC-OpH.

7.1.6. Military Police LO to the SMRC – provides a direct link to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) and subject matter expertise in military police reporting, investigation and judicial proceedings to SMRC and affected members. Position is funded and administered by CFNIS.

8. Settlement of Disputes

8.1. Any disagreement regarding the interpretation or application of this OA will be resolved in consultation with both responsible individuals or their delegates. Disagreements, ambiguities or questions shall first be discussed and/or resolved by the OPIs with written concurrence by the principles. For disputes that cannot be solved at the functional level, the principles (CDS and DM) remain the final authorities for dispute resolution.

8.2. Any disagreement regarding implementation of advice provided that cannot be resolved by the OPIs will be elevated to the CDS and DM. However, in the settlement of these disputes, the provision of the advice of the SMRC remains independent of the CAF. The determination of the CDS is not regarding the content of the advice, but whether or not the advice can be implemented as recommended by the SMRC.

9. Amendment

9.1. Any amendment to the OA must be agreed to in writing by both principles.

9.2. Minor amendments will be effected through a separate document referenced to the original OA and signed by both responsible individuals.

9.3. Written requests for changes must be directed to the two responsible individuals for approval.

10. Withdrawal and Termination

10.1. Upon mutual agreement, the principles may terminate this OA.

10.2. In the event the principles do not mutually agree to terminate this OA, the OA may be terminated with six (6) months written notice.

11. Duration and Review

11.1. This OA will remain in effect until terminated.

11.2. This OA will be reviewed annually in conjunction with business planning cycles.

12. Effective Date and Signature

12.1. This OA becomes effective upon the date of the last signature.

Signatures for OA approval

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