2020-2021 Departmental Plan

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

Catalogue No.: DG2-6E-PDF

ISSN: 2371-669X

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of National Defence, 2020

Table of contents

From the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Picture of Christine Guérette Chairperson and Chief Executive OfficerI am pleased to present the 2020-21 Departmental Plan of the Military Grievances External Review Committee (Committee).

My goal, as Chairperson, is to see the Committee flourishing as a modern center of excellence in the independent review of military grievances by the end of my mandate in June 2022. To achieve this, we have developed a roadmap focused on three pillars – our employees, our infrastructure and our business processes.

This year, my priorities are to return the grievance review team to full capability, streamline the Committee’s military grievances review business processes, realign the Operations and Legal Service responsibilities, and establish an innovative communications program. The end goal is to reduce the time it takes to review grievances while continuing to issue high quality reports to the Chief of the Defense Staff and the grievors.

Renewal and continuous improvement can only occur over time. I am proud of the culture change established over the last year and encouraged by the momentum it has generated. In this context it is my priority to promote a healthy, inclusive and respectful workplace.

I am honoured to lead the exceptional team at the Committee and am enthusiastic with the prospect of injecting it with new, innovative thinking. Throughout the coming year and beyond, I look forward to our renewal and the many opportunities change brings with it.



Christine Guérette, CPA, CGA
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Plans at a glance

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.

The Committee has a 3-year strategic plan with the key objective of becoming a modern administrative tribunal and centre of excellence in the independent review of military grievances. The 3-year strategic plan focusses on:

  • harnessing our human capital
  • building on our enabling infrastructure
  • strengthening our operational and corporate business processes

This year, the Committee has identified 4 priorities stemming from its strategic plan:

  • providing the CDS and the grievor with findings and recommendations in a timely manner
  • streamlining the grievance review process
  • reviewing the Operations Branch organizational structure to ensure the appropriate alignment to the renewed grievance review process
  • establishing a modern communications program

In addition, the Committee will continue its work to foster a continuous improvement philosophy, encourage innovation and creativity, renew its operating procedures, implement modern work tools, adopt sound management practices and streamline functional practices. By investing in these areas, the Committee will benefit from being an organization capable of achieving results and adjusting rapidly to a changing environment.

For more information on the Committee’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results and resources” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

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 Final Authority (FA) and to provide Findings and Recommendations in writing to the FA and the officer or non-commissioned member who submitted the grievance.

Planning highlights

The Independent Review of Military Grievances program has established 3 priorities for 2020-2021:

  • providing the CDS and the grievor with findings and recommendations in a timely manner
  • streamlining the grievance review process
  • reviewing the Operations Branch organizational structure to ensure the appropriate alignment to the renewed grievance review process

The Committee is a demand-driven organization and does not control the number of grievances referred to it by the CDS. In 2019-2020, it received more than 300 files from the CAF, significantly exceeding the historical average. Consequently, one priority for this year will be to re-establish the grievance review teams to an adequate contingent of case officers to ensure the timely delivery of findings and recommendations.

The Committee must also seize the opportunity to optimize the grievance review process, which is central to its operations. Based on a systemic review, the grievance review teams will implement adjustments to the process. In fact, the Committee will implement a continuous improvement philosophy by constantly exploring new ways of doing things in every step of the process. Ultimately, the process will benefit not only from prompt identification of issues but also from the prompt implementation of improvement.

Finally, following the review of the Operations Branch organizational structure and the streamlining of the grievance review process, the Committee will implement a new organization structure.

The sum of all these efforts will ensure the Committee is effectively supporting the CAF grievances decision-making process.

Experimentation

Due to the unusually high number of grievance files received last year, the Committee has decided to strike a special team in 2020. This is one part of the effort to help issue F&Rs in a timely manner.

Key risk(s)

The Committee faces shortage of staff or the staff competencies necessary to carry out its mandate. To respond to this risk, the Committee will monitor the vacancy rate very closely, use innovative staffing techniques, retain pools of qualified candidates and carry out succession planning for positions likely to experience turnover. The Committee will invest in training, professional growth, assignment opportunities and knowledge transfer for its employees.

There is the potential for lack of buy-in on the part of employees and middle management as the Committee endeavours to embrace a culture of change, which includes transitioning to a modern organization. To mitigate this risk, the Committee will continue the work to foster its continuous improvement philosophy, encourage innovation and creativity with employees and will invest in its internal communications to help staff understand and appreciate the value of process changes and the shift toward the adoption of digital tools.

Planned results for Independent Review of Military Grievances
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017-2018
Actual results
2018-2019
Actual  results
2019-2020
Actual  results
Findings and recommend-ations 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) At least 75% of findings and recommend-ations issued within 4 months of receipt March 31, 2021 Not applicableNote 1 0% N/A
The Committee provides Findings and Recommend-ations to the Final Authority (FA) that are clear, complete and useful in the military grievances decision-making process Achievement of a rating by the Final Authority (FA) of at least 4 out of 5 on each of the following attributes related to Findings and Recommend-ations issued by the Committee: usefulness, clarity, and completeness (service standard) A cumulative minimum average of 4 out of 5 for each attribute March 31, 2021 Not availableNote 1 5 out of 5 on each of the attributes N/A

Table Notes

Table Note 1

This is a new departmental result developed under the Policy on Results.

Return to table note 1

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

Planned budgetary financial resources for Independent Review of Military Grievances
2020-21
budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020-2021
planned spending
2021-2022
planned spending
2022-2023
planned spending
$4,474,342 $4,474,342 $4,456,425 $4,460,864

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

Planned human resources for Independent Review of Military Grievances
2020-21
planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
planned full-time equivalents
35 37 37

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

Planned results for Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be 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

In 2020-2021, Internal Services will continue to innovate so to support the Committee's program in an increasingly effective and efficient manner.

The recruitment, retention and development of employees is a key priority. In order to maintain a diverse, inclusive and highly qualified workforce, the Committee will develop competency profiles for its positions in order to introduce new performance measures and to promote staffing based on these competencies. The Committee will also develop and implement a new HR model, one that takes a holistic approach to planning. These initiatives will support the changes to the organizational structure of the grievance review teams.

Again this year, the Committee will focus on promoting a healthy, inclusive and respectful workplace. The Workplace Wellness and Mental Health Program will leverage the results of the 2019 Public Service Employee Surveys to refine the Committee’s plan on workplace wellness and continue to advance that priority.

The Committee will revitalize its communications program to modernize the way it engages with its employees, partners and key stakeholders. This will include redesigning the Committee’s external and internal-facing websites. In addition this year, a communication strategy with external stakeholders will be developed.

In 2020-2021, in order to make the most efficient use of conference rooms and wireless communication tools, the Committee will continue to streamline its corporate business processes and will further invest in various Information Technology (IT) initiatives. These investments will help modernize and expand existing Information Management (IM) and IT capabilities and improve business service delivery.

With the implementation of the Systems Applications and Products (SAP) financial management system, the Committee will make greater use of the system's capabilities in an effort to simplify and improve its financial reporting and minimize paper usage.

In addition, the Committee will continue to monitor payroll transactions from the Phoenix system to ensure that staff receive accurate and timely compensation.

Finally, in order to mitigate its security risks, the Committee will complete the renewal of its security program. Among other things, the Committee will continue to implement the various IT security initiatives, including policies and procedures as well as training and awareness messages for its staff.

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
$2,409,261 $2,409,261 $2,399,613 $2,402,004
Planned human resources for Internal Services
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
planned full-time equivalents
15 14 14

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department’s planned spending and human resources for the next 3 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 trend graph [$ Thousands]
  2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Statutory 562 611 621 614 610 610
Voted 6,160 6,150 6,181 6,270 6,246 6,253
Total 6,722 6,761 6,802 6,884 6,856 6,863

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

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for each of Military Grievances External Review Committee’s core responsibilities 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
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
Independent Review of Military Grievances $3,922,563 $4,053,377 $4,346,732 $4,474,342 $4,474,342 $4,456,425 $4,460,864
Subtotal $3,922,563 $4,053,377 $4,346,732 $4,474,342 $4,474,342 $4,456,425 $4,460,864
Internal Services $2,803,894 $2,256,512 $2,340,548 $2,409,261 $2,409,261 $2,399,613 $2,402,004
Total $6,726,457 $6,309,889 $6,687,280 $6,883,603 $6,883,603 $6,856,038 $6,862,868

The increase in planned spending is primarily due to returning the Independent Review of Military Grievances program to full capability. Furthermore, the Committee is planning additional investments to implement changes to its organizational structure, which will ensure appropriate alignment to the new grievance review process.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in Military Grievances External Review Committee’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
Independent Review of Military Grievances 26 27 30 35 37 37
Subtotal 26 27 30 35 37 37
Internal Services 10 12 15 15 14 14
Total 36 39 45 50 51 51

The increase in full-time equivalents is primarily due to returning the Operations Services team to full capability.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2020–21 Main EstimatesEndnote iv.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future oriented statement of operations provides an overview of the Military Grievances External Review Committee’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 Military Grievances External Review Committee’s website.

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 $7,104,0000 $7,340,000 $236,000
Total revenues $1,000 $1,000 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers $7,103,000 $7,339,000 $236,000

There are no significant variances between the 2019-20 forecast results and the 2020-21 planned results.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

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

Institutional head: Christine Guérette, CPA, CGA, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: National Defence

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

Year of incorporation / commencement: 2000

Other: About the CommitteeEndnote vi

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 website.

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the “Minister’s mandate letter”Endnote vii

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s website.

Reporting framework

The Military Grievances External Review Committee’s approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2020–21 are as follows.

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 2020-2021
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 2:
The Committee provides Findings and Recommendations to the Final Authority (FA) that are clear, complete and useful in the military grievances decision-making process
Departmental Result Indicator 2:
Achievement of a rating by the Final Authority (FA) 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 (service standard)
Program Inventory Independent review of military grievances

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 viii.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Military Grievance External Review Committee’s website:

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Gender-based analysis plus

Federal tax expenditures

The Military Grievances External Review Committee’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 ExpendituresEndnote ix. 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, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7
Canada
Telephone: (613) 996-8529
Protected number : 877-276-4193
Toll-Free Telephone: 877-276-4193
Fax: (613) 996-6491
Protected fax : (613) 995-8129
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 a department over a 3 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.

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