A Report Outlining the Delays in the Processing of Adjudications and Initial Authority Grievances by the Director General Compensation & Benefits

Since 2010, the Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (CF) has received a number of complaints from CF members related to delays in the adjudication of financial claims associated with door-to-door relocations (postings). Similar complaints were also submitted regarding delays in the handling of related grievances.

Report

  • Full report (May 2013) | Recommendations 
    •  11 Recommendations Made
    •  11 Recommendations Accepted
    •  9 Recommendations Implemented
    •  2 Recommendations Not Implemented (No Further Action)

Progress report on the status of recommendations:

Recommendation 1

DCBA 2 must provide timely adjudication of claims. The adjudication process should not exceed 90 days. To that effect, the surge request that was approved in November 2012 must be staffed immediately to eliminate the caseload.

Recommendation 1 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 2

DCBA 2 should maintain staff stability until the caseload has been eliminated.

Recommendation 2 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 3

DCBA 2 should consider increasing the authority to Base Commanders to improve the efficiency of the adjudication process.

Recommendation 3 status:  Accepted  Not implemented (No Further Action)

Director Compensation Benefits Administration confirmed that Treasury Board will not support the delegation of authority beyond those currently established. It was identified that there is an absolute requirement to maintain consistent, national-level adjudications, and that this would be compromised if further delegation of authority was extended to Base/Wing Commanders.

Conclusion: Our office recognizes Director Compensation Benefit Administration’s limited ability to pursue the implementation of this recommendation given that further delegation is not supported by Treasury Board. No further action will be taken for this recommendation.

Recommendation 4

DCBA 2 should resume an annual training/situational awareness session for Relocation Coordinators regarding policy coverage and file generation in order to increase frontline staff’s understanding of the adjudication process and to reduce the delays incurred from the back-and-forth involved when files are incomplete.

Recommendation 4 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 5

DCBA 2 should develop a comprehensive communications strategy to ensure that CF members have a clear understanding of all relevant regulations, directives, and policy documents related to relocation and the associated complaint process.

Recommendation 5 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 6

DCBA 2 must pursue vigorously the approval of a revised CF IRP with TBS in order to ensure that it is in place before the 2014 active posting season.

Recommendation 6 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 7

DCBA 2 should review its information management practices and tools in order to establish an effective, stable and secure case management system.

Recommendation 7 status:  Accepted  Not implemented (No Further Action)

Our office identified that Director Compensation Benefits Administration 2’s file management protocols made the organization vulnerable to human error and backlogs as it relies on the manual transfer of information between programs. The Director Compensation Benefits Administration identified limitations in the department’s information technology (IT) options and as a result, no significant changes have been made to its case management system. The section has implemented measures to ensure that adjudication processing standards are maintained.

Conclusion: The Director Compensation Benefits Administration 2 has demonstrated its ability to meet the processing standards despite its limited IT options. While implementation of this recommendation will not be actively pursued, our office will monitor the Director Compensation Benefits Administration 2’s ability to maintain its processing standards and will report on any future case management issues and backlogs accordingly.

Recommendation 8

DCBA 2 must review its existing processes in order to maximize effectiveness. This includes the creation of service standards, performance measures and standard operating procedures.

Recommendation 8 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 9

CBGS must deploy all efforts to meet its obligations as an IA and render decisions in a timely fashion, as stipulated in CF regulations. The surge request that was approved in November 2012 must be staffed immediately to assist with the elimination of the backlog.

Recommendation 9 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 10

CBGS should maintain staff stability until the backlog has been eliminated.

Recommendation 10 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Recommendation 11

CBGS must review its existing processes in order to maximize its effectiveness. This includes the creation of service standards, performance measures and standard operating procedures.

Recommendation 11 status:  Accepted  Implemented

Definitions

Accepted

DND/CAF have indicated that they accept the recommendations.

Not Accepted

DND/CAF have not indicated that they accept the recommendations, or have indicated that they do not accept the recommendations.

Met / Implemented

Work completed to date fully or largely meets the intent of the recommendation, including circumstances where the recommendation has been implemented to the extent demonstrably possible within existing DND/CAF authorities.

Partially Implemented

Work is underway to address the substance of the recommendation, and it is reasonably probable that additional progress will be made;

Work began to address the substance of the recommendation, but one or more aspects of the recommendation have since become objectively un-implementable or overtaken by events.

Not Met / Not Implemented

Work to address the substance of the recommendation has not begun;

Work completed to date does not largely meet the intent of the recommendation, work started on implementation of the recommendation.

Unable to Assess

Insufficient information is available to make an assessment, including in circumstances where DND/CAF has not yet provided adequate responses.


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