Audit reports 2014-2015: 13 - Audit of the Military Grievances External Review Committee
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 Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) were adequately managed. We concluded that, in general, these authorities were adequately managed. The MGERC had a sub-delegation framework in place that was accessible across the organization. We also found that those who have been 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.
The second objective of the audit was to determine whether the MGERC’s appointments complied with the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Employment Regulations, the PSC’s Appointment Framework and the MGERC’s own organizational policies with regard to merit and priority entitlements. We concluded that the appointments complied with these requirements. In all five appointments audited, the MGERC was able to demonstrate that the person who was appointed met the essential qualifications 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 Military Grievances External Review Committee
13.1 The Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) was established in 1998 and is an independent administrative tribunal that reports to Parliament through the Minister of National Defence. Its raison d’être is to provide an independent and external review of military grievances. As of September 30, 2014, the MGERC had 35 employees.
13.2 This audit covers the MGERC’s appointment activities for the period between November 1, 2012, and October 31, 2014. The MGERC made five appointments during that period. As part of the audit, the Public Service Commission (PSC) conducted interviews with the human resources (HR) team and sub-delegated managers involved in appointment activities. The PSC also analyzed relevant documentation and audited all the 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.
13.3 During the period covered by the audit, the deputy head had established a framework to sub-delegate appointment authorities to managers and outlined terms and conditions of sub-delegation. The instrument and policy were accessible to the sub-delegated managers, employees and bargaining agents.
13.4 As outlined in the MGERC’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 required training, receive a sub-delegation letter from the deputy head and sign the letter to confirm their acceptance of the sub-delegated authorities.
13.5 Seven of the eight sub-delegated managers had met the conditions of sub-delegation. However, we found that one individual had received their sub-delegation before having completed the training required by the deputy head. That individual has since completed the training.
13.6 In addition, we found that, in the MGERC sub-delegation instrument and policy, the description of certain authorities exclusive to the PSC (namely the authority to investigate an external staffing process) and those exclusive to the deputy head of the MGERC (namely the authority to sub-delegate and to limit or revoke sub-delegation) did not align with the Public Service Employment Act and the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument (ADAI). However, we found that these authorities had not been exercised during the period covered by this audit. The MGERC has committed to adjusting its sub-delegation framework accordingly.
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.
13.7 We found that roles and responsibilities were defined, documented and communicated through various tools such as the sub-delegation instrument and the organizational appointment policies.
13.8 We also found that the MGERC’s 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.
13.9 We found that, for all five appointments audited, the MGERC demonstrated that the person who was appointed met the essential and asset qualifications established by the deputy head.
13.10 We also found that the audited appointments met the PSC’s and the MGERC’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.
13.11 We found that, in all of the appointments, persons with a priority entitlement were considered prior to the appointment being made (i.e., a priority clearance number was obtained from the PSC before the appointment was made).
13.12 With respect to seeking priority clearance before proceeding with an appointment process, we were informed that the MGERC 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 from an existing pool (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 Military Grievances External Review Committee
The Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) is in agreement with the conclusions of the report. The organization’s sub-delegation framework has been modified. The authorities exclusive to the PSC, along with those of the deputy head of the MGERC, are adequately described.
Action taken by the Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission (PSC) systematically reviews audit information and the organization’s management response to determine whether any action should be taken by the PSC. As a result of this review, the PSC is satisfied with the Military Grievances External Review Committee’s management response.
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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