Summary of the Corporate Business Plan 2014-2015 to 2016-2017

Board of management strategic priorities

For the period 2014-2015 to 2016-2017, the Board will focus on the CRA's and the government's objectives, within the overall framework of fiscal rebalancing. The Board will focus in particular on enhancing integrity, security, and excellence in service to Canadians, as well as a continual reduction in red tape both internally and externally.

Board goal for 2014-2015 to 2016-2017

The Board's goal is twofold: to ensure the CRA has the strategic framework and the best management practices to fulfil its mission, and to give direction to achieve timely streamlining and simplification of business practices in support of service to Canadians.

Board priorities for 2014-2015 to 2016-2017

The Board will provide oversight in its areas of statutory responsibility, as stated in the Canada Revenue Agency Act. For the period 2014-2015 to 2016-2017, the Board will emphasize integrity, security and the continued reduction of red tape as key initiatives for the CRA. The Board will also focus on the CRA's continual improvement in service to Canadians and in taxpayer compliance. The Board's priorities for the planning period are described below.

Strategic transformation

The CRA is a committed partner in the government's ongoing transformation of the public service. The Board will concentrate on successful implementation of priorities from the government's engagement of all public servants, Blueprint 2020, as well as overall strategic goals highlighted in the CRA's Vision 2020 plan, to ensure the CRA keeps up with the pace of change faced by all organizations and Canadians in today's world. The Board will use red tape reduction as a critical factor in its review and approval of CRA initiatives, as it provides direction for the simplification and streamlining of internal processes and improving services to Canadians. The Board will drive the CRA's setting of strategic goals in the Corporate Business Plan and monitor the framework and management of enterprise risk. The Board will continue its oversight of the CRA's performance using measures established with management, such as the Board of Management Oversight Framework. As in past years, the Board will contribute to key performance agreements and assessments of senior management.

Integrity and security

Integrity and security are the cornerstones of CRA business activities; the CRA is committed to monitoring and ensuring the integrity of employees and their practices, as well as the security of both people and information, in order to strengthen the taxpayers' trust in the tax and benefits administration. The Board will ensure integrity initiatives and systemic improvements, including establishing the attitudes and behaviour of employees in positions of confidence, and pursuing appropriate and timely disciplinary measures for any breaches of trust, remain a key priority for management. The Board will also monitor security initiatives and policy, for instance by providing guidance on collaboration with Shared Services Canada on security in information technology.

Service to Canadians, red tape reduction, and compliance

The CRA is committed to continually improving service to Canadians, as well as making compliance easier and non-compliance more difficult. The Board will offer guidance to the CRA on overall red tape reduction for individuals, small and medium enterprises, and on decreasing the compliance burden, through collaboration with third party partners who represent taxpayers, enhanced electronic services, and upfront and broad-based communications to help "get it right from the start."

People management

The CRA leads government with respect to human resource initiatives. The Board will continue to provide direction to management of CRA's planning and implementation of transformative people management, including measures to attract and retain skilled personnel, while increasing productivity, and taking into account comments outlined in Blueprint 2020. The Board will provide timely oversight of recruitment strategies, results, and succession planning, and continue engagement in the oversight of collective bargaining.

Financial and resource management

The CRA is complying with ongoing government-wide budgetary rebalancing, while striving to improve services. The Board will ensure continued strong financial and audit controls are in place, oversee the implementation of spending measures, and monitor the CRA's financial probity and efficiency, in line with government direction and auditing standards. The Board will review audit plans and areas of concentration with management and the Office of the Auditor General, and assure itself of the independence and viability of the CRA's internal audit and control functions.

In order to ensure appropriate use of resources for CRA programs and initiatives, and progress towards the CRA's objectives, the Board will review and guide investment priorities and plans, and provide oversight for large and complex projects. It will examine cost risk mitigation in areas such as real property, and monitor the implementation of e-delivery at the CRA, as well as the maturing relationship with Shared Services Canada as the CRA's IT infrastructure service provider.


Board of management

Board membership

The Board of Management of the CRA consists of 15 members appointed by the Governor in Council. They include the Chair, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, a director nominated by each province, one director nominated by the territories, and two directors nominated by the federal government. Members of the Board bring an external and diverse business perspective from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to the work of the CRA.

The Board is mandated to oversee the organization and administration of the CRA, and the management of its resources, services, property, personnel and contracts. It undertakes its oversight role in cooperation with CRA management to ensure that the CRA fosters sound management and service delivery.

The following are the Board members, as of March 2014.

Richard (Rick) Thorpe, CPA, CMA, FCMA
Chair, Board of Management
Penticton, British Columbia

Myles Bourke, B.Comm., FCPA, FCA
Corporate Director
Lethbridge, Alberta

Richard J. Daw, FCA, CMC
Corporate Director
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Raymond Desrochers, B.Comm., CA, CFE
BDO CANADA LLP Chartered Accountants & Consultants
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Gerard J. Fitzpatrick, FCA, TEP
Fitzpatrick & Company Chartered Accountants
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Gordon Gillis, B.A., LL.B.
Corporate Director
Eureka, Nova Scotia

Norman G. Halldorson, B.Comm., CA, FCA
Corporate Director
Clavet, Saskatchewan

Fauzia Lalani, P.Eng.
Director, Logistics Services
Suncor Energy Services Inc.
Calgary, Alberta

Robert (Bob) M. Manning, BBA
Owens MacFadyen Group
Saint John, New Brunswick

Margaret Melhorn, B.A., M.A.
Corporate Director
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

James R. Nininger, B.Comm., M.B.A., Ph.D
Corporate Director
Ottawa, Ontario

Luce Samoisette, LL.M., MS Taxation, DDN, LL.B.
Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Andrew Treusch, B.A., M.A.
Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer
Canada Revenue Agency
Ottawa, Ontario

*** At the time of writing this report, processes were underway to appoint new members from British Columbia and Ontario.***

The Board of Management is responsible for overseeing the organization and administration of the CRA as well as the management of its resources, services, property, personnel, and contracts. The Board is supported by four committees with mandates to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities; the role and membership of these committees are outlined below. In addition, the Board has delegated the responsibility for reviewing and approving the Board of Management Oversight Framework, and for conducting the annual assessment of the performance of the CRA against the Board of Management Oversight Framework, to a specially-constituted subcommittee.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee reviews the CRA's accounting framework, financial and performance information, internal controls and risk tolerance, and compliance with financial and environmental legislation.

Chair Norman Halldorson

Richard Daw

Myles Bourke, Gerard Fitzpatrick, Rick Thorpe

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee reviews all aspects of the Board's governance framework to ensure that the Board functions in an effective and efficient manner that successfully supports the operations of the CRA.

Chair James Nininger

Fauzia Lalani

Myles Bourke, Raymond Desrochers, Gordon Gillis, Andrew Treusch, Rick Thorpe

Human Resources Committee

The Human Resources Committee reviews the management of human resources within the CRA and provides recommendations and advice on the CRA's human resources management strategies, initiatives, and policies.

Chair Gordon Gillis

Luce Samoisette

James Nininger, Margaret Melhorn, Andrew Treusch, Rick Thorpe

Resources Committee

The Resources Committee reviews the CRA's operating and capital budgets and oversees the development of administrative management frameworks, strategies, policies and practices for the management of funds, real property, contracts, equipment, information, information technology, and environmental obligations.

Chair Fauzia Lalani

Bob Manning

Margaret Melhorn, Andrew Treusch, Rick Thorpe


Taxpayer bill of rights

  1. You have the right to receive entitlements and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law.
  2. You have the right to service in both official languages.
  3. You have the right to privacy and confidentiality.
  4. You have the right to a formal review and a subsequent appeal.
  5. You have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly.
  6. You have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information.
  7. You have the right, unless otherwise provided by law, not to pay income tax amounts in dispute before you have had an impartial review.
  8. You have the right to have the law applied consistently.
  9. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of our findings.
  10. You have the right to have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation.
  11. You have the right to expect us to be accountable.
  12. You have the right to relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances.
  13. You have the right to expect us to publish our service standards and report annually.
  14. You have the right to expect us to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner.
  15. You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice.
  16. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal.

Commitment to small business

  1. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to administering the tax system in a way that minimizes the costs of compliance for small businesses.
  2. The CRA is committed to working with all governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden.
  3. The CRA is committed to providing service offerings that meet the needs of small businesses.
  4. The CRA is committed to conducting outreach activities that help small businesses comply with the legislation we administer.
  5. The CRA is committed to explaining how we conduct our business with small businesses.

For more information, visit the CRA Web site at

Enterprise risk management

The CRA operates in a dynamic environment that constantly changes. With these changes come unpredictability, uncertainty, and ultimately risk. The CRA defines a risk as the uncertainty that surrounds future events and outcomes. It is something that may or may not happen, which must be taken into account during decision-making throughout the organization.

Enterprise risk management plays a significant role in strengthening the organization's capacity to recognize, understand, and address risks. To support the use of enterprise risk management, a corporate risk profile is developed every year which identifies and analyzes the enterprise risks that may threaten the achievement of the CRA's mandate.

When identifying risks at the enterprise level, the CRA looks not only at areas of immediate concern, but also at broad areas of potential vulnerability. By identifying and monitoring a broad range of risks, the CRA ensures that it diligently and proactively manages the potential events that could affect its ability to achieve its mandate. These risks represent uncertain future events that may or may not occur, depending on the evolution of the environment.

The following is an analysis of the three risks that could have the highest impact on the CRA's ability to achieve its objectives. Addressing these areas will help to ensure that the risks associated with maintaining the CRA's commitment to service, compliance, integrity, and innovation are well managed.

Managing risks to compliance - underground economy and aggressive tax planning

This year the CRA will continue to address risks related to non-compliance. Efforts will target aggressive tax planning, a major threat for tax administrations globally. The aggressive tax planning risk poses a direct threat to the CRA's ability to collect taxes on behalf of the Government of Canada and as such it was assessed as the top risk. Given that it is heavily influenced by factors outside the CRA's control namely, taxpayer behaviour and the economy, the CRA targets areas where it can demonstrate progress. Recent federal budgets contained several important measures that will help to address aggressive tax shelters and other aggressive tax planning schemes and the CRA will continue to implement additional actions.

Another risk that poses a threat to the revenue base is the underground economy, which has been assessed as the CRA's second highest risk. Actions to address it will target a number of sectors, including those areas where cash transactions are common. The CRA will also focus on delivering communications and outreach activities to educate taxpayers and discourage them from participating in the underground economy.

Managing risks to integrity - protection of information

The Canadian tax system is based on a self-assessment model, where taxpayers are responsible for reporting their own income and taxes owing. As such, maintaining the public's trust is of the utmost importance to the CRA as it has the potential to directly influence compliance rates. While the overwhelming majority of employees act with integrity, the CRA remains diligent in ensuring that its controls are effective in deterring and detecting anyone who may behave otherwise. The CRA is committed to maintaining a strong set of internal controls to prevent the inappropriate access, use, and disclosure of information. It continues to make enhancements to system access controls including the Identity and Access Management Project and the National Audit Trail Monitoring program.

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