Audit reports 2014-2015: 10 - Audit of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
The first objective of the audit was to determine whether the appointment authorities the Public Service Commission (PSC) has delegated to the deputy head of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) were adequately managed. We concluded that these authorities were adequately managed. The CRCC had a sub-delegation instrument in place that was accessible across the organization. We also found that those who were assigned a role in appointment processes were informed of their roles and responsibilities and had access to tools and the human resources support to carry out this role. During the period covered by the audit, we found that specific appointment activities, namely selecting assessment methods, developing assessment tools and assessing persons with a priority entitlement, were performed by individuals who were not sub-delegated, as per the CRCC’s sub-delegation instrument.
The second objective of the audit was to determine whether the CRCC’s appointments complied with the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Employment Regulations, the PSC’s Appointment Framework and the CRCC’s own organizational policies with regard to merit and priority entitlements. We concluded that the appointments complied with these requirements in most cases. In 91% (10 out of 11) of the appointments, the CRCC was able to demonstrate that the person who was appointed met the essential and asset qualifications established by the deputy head. We also found that persons with a priority entitlement were considered before appointments were made.
Table of Contents
Audit of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
10.1 The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), formerly known as the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), is an independent federal agency, created in 1988, to receive and review public complaints about the conduct of RCMP members, in a fair and impartial manner. On November 28, 2014, the organization was renamed the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) after the coming into force of the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act. This Act affirmed that the CRCC would assume the CPC’s mandate and be tasked with new authorities to work jointly with other law enforcement review bodies.
10.2 The CRCC had a staff of approximately 58 employees and is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, with a National Intake Office located in Surrey, British Columbia. The CRCC did not have its own human resources (HR) unit but had a Memorandum of Understanding with Public Safety Canada for staffing services. The CRCC remained responsible for the appointments made within the organization, even though it used a staffing service provider.
10.3 This audit covers the CRCC’s appointment activities for the period between November 1, 2012, and October 31, 2014. The CRCC made 11 appointments during that period. As part of the audit, the Public Service Commission (PSC) conducted interviews with HR advisors and managers, analyzed relevant documentation and audited the 11 appointments.
Observations on the management of delegated appointment authorities
PSC expectation: The PSC delegates many of its appointment authorities to deputy heads who, in turn, may sub-delegate the exercise of these authorities. As a result, the PSC expects the organization to have a sub-delegation instrument in place that is well managed and accessible across the organization.
10.4 During the period covered by the audit, the deputy head had established an instrument to sub-delegate appointment authorities to managers and outlined terms and conditions of sub-delegation. The instrument was accessible to all sub-delegated managers, employees and bargaining agents.
10.5 As outlined in the CRCC’s sub-delegation instrument, in order to be sub-delegated at a certain level, an individual had to be in a managerial position, complete the necessary training, receive a sub-delegation letter from the deputy head and sign the letter to confirm their acceptance of the sub-delegated authorities.
10.6 Further, the CRCC’s sub-delegation instrument authorized only one sub-delegated manager to undertake specific appointment activities, namely selecting assessment methods, developing assessment tools and assessing persons with a priority entitlement. In practice, we found that these specific appointment activities were performed by individuals who were not sub-delegated, as per the CRCC’s sub-delegation instrument.
PSC expectation: Those who have been assigned a role in appointment processes have been informed of their roles and responsibilities and have access to tools and the HR support to carry out this role.
10.7 We found that roles and responsibilities were defined, documented and communicated through various tools such as the Delegation of Human Resources Authorities, Staffing Roles and Responsibilities in the Context of Staffing Authorities Sub-Delegation within the CRCC, the Area of Selection Policy and the Policy for Non-advertised Appointment Processes. These tools were available to employees through the CRCC’s intranet site.
10.8 We also found that sub-delegated managers had access to an HR advisor who had passed the PSC’s Appointment Framework Knowledge Test. This test is designed to evaluate knowledge of all parts of the PSC’s Appointment Framework (policy, delegation and accountability) and the legislative framework.
Observations on appointments
PSC expectation: Appointees meet the essential and asset qualifications required for the appointment. The PSC’s and organizational policy requirements on area of selection and criteria for non-advertised appointments are met.
10.9 We found that, in 91% (10 out of 11) of the appointments, the CRCC demonstrated that the person appointed met the essential and asset qualifications established by the deputy head. In one appointment, the organization was unable to demonstrate that the person appointed met one of the essential knowledge qualifications. We also found that the audited appointments met the PSC’s and the CRCC’s policy requirements on area of selection and criteria for non-advertised appointments.
PSC expectation: Persons with a priority entitlement are considered prior to making an appointment and a priority clearance number is obtained before proceeding with an appointment process or appointment.
10.10 We found that persons with a priority entitlement were considered prior to the appointment being made in all applicable appointment processes (i.e., a priority clearance number was obtained from the PSC before the appointments were made).
10.11 With respect to seeking priority clearance before proceeding with an appointment process, we were informed that the CRCC had identified its intent to consider persons with a priority entitlement at the same time that it identified a candidate that it proposed to appoint (i.e., in the event that no persons with a priority entitlement were available and found qualified). This audit observation highlights a need for the PSC to clarify its expectations of how this policy requirement should be implemented.
Overall response by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP has reviewed the Public Service Commission audit report and accepts its findings and recommendation. We appreciate the insight provided by the audit and will use its advice and recommendation to further improve our existing policies, practices and framework. We have already put in place measures to ensure priority entitlements are considered at the appropriate stage in the staffing process. To address the recommendation, we will review the sub-delegation instrument to clarify roles and responsibilities and ensure that those managers who are sub-delegated have the appropriate training, tools and support to carry out their responsibilities.
Action taken by the Public Service Commission
Organizations that have been audited by the Public Service Commission (PSC) receive guidance and assistance from the PSC to develop an action plan that will address the audit recommendations. The PSC systematically reviews audit information, the organization’s management response and associated action that it has taken or will take in response to the audit recommendations to determine whether any action should be taken by the PSC. As a result of this review, the PSC is satisfied with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP’s management response and the actions it has taken or has committed to take to address the audit recommendation. The PSC expects the deputy head to monitor the implementation of the organizational action plan and the PSC may request an update on the action plan. The PSC can provide assistance for this implementation, as required.
The Commission has also noted that audit observations highlight a need for the PSC to clarify its expectation of how the policy requirement to obtain a priority clearance before proceeding with an appointment process should be implemented and is committed to addressing this finding.
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