2019-2020 Departmental Plan

ISSN: 2560-9521

The Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, PC, OMM, MSM, CD, MP
Minister of National Defence

Table of contents

Message from the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Picture of Christine Guérette Chairperson and Chief Executive OfficerI am pleased to present the Committee’s Departmental Plan for 2019-2020, my first as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Military Grievances External Review Committee (Committee).

Over the next three years, my vision is for the Committee to be a modern administrative tribunal and centre of excellence in the independent review of military grievances. By implementing innovative solutions and keeping a steady hand at the helm, the organization I see in 2022 will be high-performing and digital. Building on its foundation of knowledgeable employees and solid relationships with stakeholders, the Committee stands ready to implement a new strategic framework to make this vision a reality.

The coming year and beyond will see the Committee move in new directions that will embrace continuous improvement, implement modern tools, and harness its human capital. The Committee’s new strategic plan focuses on its people (the who), its infrastructure (the tools), and its business processes (the how), to carry out its mandate.

By investing in these three areas, the Committee will benefit from being an organization that is able to achieve results and adjust to a changing environment. Having the right people in the right jobs with the right skillsets at the right time combined with ensuring solid knowledge transfer will enable the Committee to focus on achieving its objectives. Implementing modern work tools will provide employees and Committee members with what they need to do their work efficiently and effectively. Adopting a culture of continuous improvement will better equip the Committee to look at its way of doing things with a critical eye to include value in each step of every process.

In addition, the Committee will establish an employee protection function that will provide a safe, reliable, and confidential space to discuss harassment without fear of reprisal. By placing an emphasis on a healthy and respectful workplace, the Committee commits itself to maintaining a safe and harassment-free environment for its employees.

We will continue to build on previous progress achieved in transforming our corporate services to increase the Committee’s ability to support its operation, which is the heart and soul of the organization. With the right tools at its fingertips, the Committee’s dedicated, professional, and energetic members and employees will have the ability to be nimble and to carry out its work.

Looking ahead to next and future years, I eagerly await the opportunities it will bring.



Christine Guérette
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Plans at a glance and operating context

The Committee is a micro-organization of fewer than 50 employees with a mandate to review military grievances referred to it by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). It is the external and independent component at the final authority level of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) grievance process. The Committee’s responsibility is to provide an unbiased and independent analysis of a grievance case, identify issues at stake, and provide its findings and recommendations (F&R) to the CDS and the grievor. Ultimately, the CDS makes the final decision on the case.

To embrace its vision to be a modern administrative tribunal and centre of excellence in the independent review of military grievances, in 2019-2020, the Committee is launching a new, three-year strategic framework that focuses on:

  • Harnessing our human capital (the who)
  • Building on our enabling infrastructure (the tools)
  • Strengthening our operational and corporate business processes (the how)

Through this framework, the Committee will implement a continuous improvement philosophy, promote innovation and creativity, modernize its work tools, and embrace improved governance and optimized operations practices.

Internal operating context

In 2018-2019, the Committee faced challenges that will have an impact on the year ahead. Due to the departure of several seasoned grievance review officers, the interval before new Members were appointed, and the learning period of these Members once they were appointed, the Committee’s ability to issue timely findings and recommendations was more difficult, resulting in fewer grievance files being reviewed through the year. This is a temporary situation that should be resolved in 2019-2020. In spite of this, the high quality of the Committee’s grievance review remains unchanged.

The Committee relies heavily on the depth of the corporate knowledge and experience held by its employees. Thanks to its solid knowledge transfer planning, the Committee benefits from collaboration between the grievance review teams, the maintenance of an important registry of precedents, and an up-to-date case management system. As noted above, the Committee faced a higher-than-normal turnover rate in 2018-2019, and starting this year, a number of employees is eligible to retire. The Committee will thus continue to actively manage the transfer of this critical knowledge.

The results of the latest Public Service Employee Survey demonstrate that the Committee offers a healthy workplace that promotes innovation, collaboration, work-life balance, and employee growth and recognition.

External operating context

The Committee’s external operating context comes with additional challenges. The Committee is a demand-driven organization; as such, it does not control the volume of grievances referred for its independent review. Several external factors can have an impact on how many grievances are sent to the Committee, among them the recent introduction of the integrated complaint and conflict management (ICCM) initiative launched by the CAF, which aims to resolve military grievances at a more informal level.

As it relates to human resources, the Committee, like any other public and private sector organization, faces a labour shortage. The vacancy rate in Canada has increased significantly in recent years. This is all the more worrisome for small organizations that, unlike large departments and agencies, are not in a position to offer linear career development to their employees. The Committee must remain at the forefront of best practices and trends in talent acquisition, welcoming and integrating employees, and, above all, in employee retention.

Overall, in previous years, the Committee has proven resilient, implementing temporary solutions and learning to deal with uncertainty.

For more information on the Military Grievances External Review Committee’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

Independent Review of Military Grievances

Description

The National Defence Act, Section 29.2 (1) and (2), requires the Military Grievances External Review Committee to review every grievance referred to it by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and to provide Findings and Recommendations in writing to the CDS and the officer or non-commissioned member who submitted the grievance.

Planning highlights

To embrace its vision to be a modern administrative tribunal and centre of excellence in the independent review of military grievances, in 2019-2020, the Committee is launching a new, three-year strategic framework that focuses on:

  • Harnessing our human capital (the who)
  • Building on our enabling infrastructure (the tools)
  • Strengthening our operational and corporate business processes (the how)

To facilitate achievement of its planned results – 1) providing findings and recommendations on all referred military grievances in a timely manner and 2) ensuring that the Chief of the Defence Staff is able to rely on the Committee’s findings and recommendations in the military grievances decision-making process – and in concert with its strategic framework, the Committee will optimize its grievance review process and embrace a philosophy of continuous improvement. This will enable the Committee to be forward-looking and agile as it faces new challenges.

The possibilities for the Committee to do so are endless. In the coming year and the years ahead, the Committee will review how it does business, including, among other things, exploring innovation and experimentation options, and ensuring that its employees are equipped to take the needs of underrepresented communities into consideration in the review of grievance files.

Risks

In 2019-2020, the Committee faces risks to the timely delivery of its mandate – namely related to service delivery and human resources.

With respect to service delivery, there is a risk that the Committee will not be able to deliver on its mandate in a timely fashion. This is two-fold; the first being the Committee’s growing inventory of files due to the challenges faced in 2018-2019, the second being the fact that the Committee does not control the number of grievances referred to it as a demand-driven organization. This year, the Committee faces additional challenges that will make it difficult to anticipate the workload in light of new initiatives on the CAF side, including the recent introduction of the integrated complaint and conflict management (ICCM) initiative, which aims to resolve military grievances at a more informal level. To mitigate this risk, the Committee will actively monitor the grievance review caseload and adjust in real time.

As it relates to its human capital, the Committee faces the risk of shortages of employees or the skillsets required to carry out its mandate. To address this risk, the Committee will keep a close eye on its staffing levels and make use of innovative staffing tools – perhaps establishing a development program – to maintain pools of qualified candidates and plan for succession for positions with likely turnover. The Committee will also continue to emphasize the importance of training, and invest in learning, career development, assignment opportunities, and knowledge transfer for its employees.

Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015-2016
Actual results
2016-2017
Actual  results
2017-2018
Actual  results
Findings and recommendations on all referred military grievances are provided in a timely manner % of written findings and recommendations that are issued within four months of receipt (service standard) 75% of findings and recommendations issued within 4 months of receipt March 2020 Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results
Age of grievances that were received more than four months prior and for which findings and recommendations have not been issued 75% of grievance files are less than 4 months old March 2020 Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results
The Chief of the Defence Staff is able to rely on the Committee’s findings and recommendations in the military grievances decision-making process Achievement of a rating by the Chief of Defence Staff of at least 4 out of 5 on each of the following attributes related to findings and recommendations issued by the Committee: usefulness, clarity, and completeness A cumulative minimum average of 4 out of 5 for each attribute March 2020 Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results Not applicable – this is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019-2020
Main Estimates
2019-2020
Planned spending
2020-2021
Planned spending
2021-2022
Planned spending
4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019-2020
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-2021
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-2022
Planned full-time equivalents
34 34 34

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseEndnote i.

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 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
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019-2020
Main Estimates
2019-2020
Planned spending
2020-2021
Planned spending
2021-2022
Planned spending
2,380,673 2,380,673 2,380,641 2,380,641
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019-2020
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-2021
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-2022
Planned full-time equivalents
14 13 13
Planning highlights

To support its ambitious strategic framework, the Committee will work through the year and beyond to make best use of its human capital, develop and maintain the tools it needs to succeed, and ensure that its business processes – on both the Operations and Internal Services sides – are lean and continuously improving.

By strengthening employee training and development and attracting and retaining a diverse, inclusive, and highly-qualified workforce, the Committee will equip itself with the people and the minds it needs to achieve its objectives. Through improved governance, operations, and information management practices, as well as solid internal and external communications, and optimized work tools and environment, the Committee stands only to gain in efficiency and effectiveness.

The Committee will continue to promote a healthy, inclusive, and respectful work environment that emphasizes well-being and mental health. In accordance with Bill C-65 and the directives of the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Committee will establish an employee protection function that will provide a safe, reliable and confidential space to discuss harassment without fear of reprisal. In addition, the Committee will continue to entrench workplace wellness in its organizational culture, practices, and processes by adding anti-harassment considerations to its hiring tools.

To support the Government of Canada in its improvement of providing its services digitally, throughout the year, the Committee will establish governance and strategic direction that ensures integrated and effective management of services, information, technology, and cyber security. It will also take into account government best practices and digital standards, and promote the government’s open data and open information initiatives by publishing more resources and inventories of data and information via the Open Government Portal.

Risks

There is a risk that the Committee may face challenges in implementing all central agency requirements. Endeavouring to satisfy all of its obligations could have an impact on the Committee’s human resources capacity to deliver its mandate. The Committee will address this risk by regularly reviewing the progress achieved against its plans and keeping a close eye on its budget and expenditures.

There is also the possibility for a lack of buy-in on the part of employees as the Committee endeavours to embrace a culture of continuous improvement. This includes the Committee’s transition to being a digital organization. To mitigate this risk, the Committee will develop a change management strategy and revamp its internal communications to assist in understanding the value of process changes and the shift toward the adoption of digital tools.

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental spending trend graph [Dollars]
  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Statutory 612,859 562,442 611,361 620,694 620,694 620,694
Voted 6,141,086 6,160,384 6,150,062 6,181,230 6,181,198 6,181,198
Departmental spending trend graph [Dollars]
  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Statutory 612,859 562,442 611,361 620,694 620,694 620,694
Voted 6,141,086 6,160,384 6,150,062 6,181,230 6,181,198 6,181,198
Total 6,753,945 6,722,826 6,761,423 6,801,924 6,801,892 6,801,892
Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016-2017
Expenditures
2017-2018
Expenditures
2018-2019
Forecast spending
2019-2020
Main Estimates
2019-2020
Planned spending
2020-2021
Planned spending
2021-2022
Planned spending
Independent review of military grievances 4,038,820 3,922,563 4,128,000 4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251
Subtotal 4,038,820 3,922,563 4,128,000 4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251 4,421,251
Internal Services 1,946,982 2,803,894 2,127,000 2,380,673 2,380,673 2,380,641 2,380,641
Total 5,985,802 6,726,457 6,255,000 6,801,924 6,801,924 6,801,892 6,801,892

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016-2017
Actual
full-time equivalents
2017-2018
Actual
full-time equivalents
2018-2019
Forecast
full-time equivalents
2019-2020
Planned
full-time equivalents
2020-2021
Planned
full-time equivalents
2021-2022
Planned
full-time equivalents
Independent review of military grievances 29 26 28 34 34 34
Subtotal 29 26 28 34 34 34
Internal Services 12 10 11 14 13 13
Total 41 36 39 48 47 47

The increase in planned spending for future years is primarily explained by ensuring that positions in Operations are fully staffed to support the level of grievances being referred to the Committee for external review. As it relates to Internal Services, in 2019-2020, the Committee is also planning to undertake a number of technology-related projects serving both Operations and Internal Services that will require additional assistance on a temporary basis.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2019-2020 Main Estimates.Endnote ii

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Military Grievances External Review Committee’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. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, 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 Military Grievances External Review Committee’s websiteEndnote iii.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2018-2019
Forecast results
2019-2020
Planned results
Difference
(2019-2020 Planned results minus 2018-2019 Forecast results)
Total expenses 6,538,000 7,317,000 779,000
Total revenues 1,000 1,000 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 6,537,000 7,316,000 779,000

As previously noted, the variance between planned and forecast results is mainly attributable to the staffing that is anticipated in 2019-2020 to support the Committee in carrying out its mandate and completing a number of technology-driven projects.

Additional information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, PC, OMM, MSM, CD, MP

Institutional head: Christine Guérette, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: National Defence

Enabling instrument: National Defence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-5 Endnote iv

Year of incorporation / commencement: 2000

Other: About the CommitteeEndnote v

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 Military Grievances External Review Committee’s websiteEndnote vi.

Reporting framework

The Military Grievances External Review Committee’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019-2020 are shown below.

Military Grievances External Review Committee’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019-2020
Text Version
Military Grievances External Review Committee’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019-2020
Departmental Results Framework CR1 – Independent review of military grievances Internal Services
Departmental Result 1:
Findings and recommendations on all referred military grievances are provided in a timely manner
Departmental Result Indicator 1:
% of written findings and recommendations that are issued within four months of receipt (service standard)
Departmental Result Indicator 2:
Age of grievances that were received more than four months prior and for which findings and recommendations have not been issued
Departmental Result 2:
The Chief of the Defence Staff is able to rely on the Committee’s findings and recommendations in the military grievances decision-making process
Departmental Result Indicator 3:
Achievement of a rating by the Chief of the Defence Staff of at least 4 out of 5 on each of the following attributes related to findings and recommendations issued by the Committee: usefulness, clarity, and completeness
Program Inventory Independent review of military grievances
Concordance between the Departmental Results Framework and the Program Inventory, 2019-2020, and the Program Alignment Architecture, 2017-2018
2019-2020 Core Responsibilities and Program Inventory 2017-2018 Lowest-level program of the Program Alignment Architecture Percentage of lowest-level Program Alignment Architecture program (dollars) corresponding to the program in the Program Inventory
Core Responsibility 1: Independent review of military grievances
Independent review of military grievances Independent review of military grievances 100%

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseEndnote vii.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s websiteEndnote viii:

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 Expenditures.Endnote ix This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information 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 the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

60 Queen Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7
Canada
Telephone: (613) 996-8529
Toll-Free Telephone: 877-276-4193
Fax: (613) 996-6491
Email: mgerc-ceegm@mgerc-ceegm.gc.ca
Web: https://www.canada.ca/en/military-grievances-external-review.html

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 an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change 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)
The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
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. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019-2020 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 where two or more departments 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 Information Profile (profil de l’information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
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.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project 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 Departmental Results.
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.
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.
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