Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015

Appendix A: Agency governance and the Board of Management

Members of the Board of Management

Members of the Board of Management

Top Row: Gerard J. Fitzpatrick, Rossana Buonpensiere, Richard J. Daw, Susan Hayes, Mark S. Dwor (appointed after the 2014-2015 fiscal year), Norman G. Halldorson, Joyce Sumara, Myles Bourke

Bottom Row: Margaret Melhorn, Andrew Treusch, Richard (Rick) Thorpe, Robert (Bob) M. Manning, Fauzia Lalani

Missing: Francine Martel-Vaillancourt and Todd J. McCarthy (appointed after the 2014-2015 fiscal year)

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 three territories in turn, and two directors nominated by the federal government. Members of the Board bring a diverse business and community perspective from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to the work of the CRA.

As stated in the Canada Revenue Agency Act, the Board is responsible for overseeing 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 confirm the CRA fosters sound management and service delivery.

Board priorities and accomplishments for 2014-2015

In support of the Agency during this reporting period, the Board continued to provide oversight in all areas for which it has statutory responsibilities, in line with the Board's priorities as stated in the CRA's Corporate Business Plan 2014-2015 to 2016-2017. Details on the Board's accomplishments in priority areas are included in the following sections.

In 2014-2015, the Board thanked departing directors Raymond Desrochers, Gordon Gillis, James Nininger, and Luce Samoisette, for their service and welcomed Rossana Buonpensiere, Susan Hayes, Francine Martel-Vaillancourt, and Joyce Sumara.

Strategic transformation

To encourage strategic transformation and fulfil the annual responsibility laid out in the Canada Revenue Agency Act, the Board of Management supervised the development of the Corporate Business Plan. The Board oversaw the management and administration of the CRA's priorities from the plan and instituted a Board Commitments and Performance Dashboard and regular updates on key files to refine this oversight.

The Board also strongly supported the engagement and empowerment of employees through the public service's Blueprint 2020 vision, and was pleased with the results described in the CRA's 'Proudly delivering' report, published in January 2015, notably the continued online and in-person consultation of employees.

During the Board's annual planning meeting, and in further discussions during the year, the Board examined the type of service taxpayers receive, with an emphasis on e-services, as well as best practices for the workplace of the future. The Board underlined its support of a culture of innovation at the CRA, and encouraged senior management in this regard.

The Chair receives targeted briefings by assistant commissioners before each quarterly meeting. The Board has also instituted a series of "meet and greet" sessions with CRA branches to strengthen its relationship with executives and employees of the CRA. Several Board members also visited regional offices across Canada to extend their knowledge of the challenges facing the organization.

Integrity and security

In 2014-2015, the Board received timely updates on integrity, notably on communicating the integrity message to CRA personnel, for instance by including it in executive performance agreements and executive training. The most recent Integrity Framework update, provided in fall 2014, presented a renewed image of integrity initiatives.

The security of taxpayer data and employees were focal points for the CRA and the Board. The Board is fully informed of activities in this area, and received regular updates on priority projects to enhance security.

The Board approved the Information Technology Security Strategy 2014-2017, which outlines risks the Agency could face as a result of evolving technologies. The Strategy also explains how to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of taxpayer information using industry-leading security solutions. The Board also monitors the relationship between the CRA and Shared Services Canada (SSC), which supports the CRA infrastructure, notably through the SSC/CRA Relationship Assessment Framework.

The Board monitored the progress of Reliability Plus security screening, which was completed for all CRA executive positions.

Continuous improvement in service to Canadians and red tape reduction

The Board remains committed to providing advice to the CRA on continual improvement in service to Canadians. Board members were keenly interested in consultations with Canadians on red tape reduction and the Underground Economy. Board members were informed of progress on initiatives proposed in the new Underground Economy strategy. The CRA also reported to the Board on actions resulting from red tape reduction consultations with small and medium-sized businesses across the country.

Board members' advice to the CRA also targeted digital services. The CRA released its first mobile application for businesses in 2014, as well as a number of other digital services for businesses and individuals, and solidified plans for the future. Another aspect of service to Canadians important to the Board is the use of plain language to inform and guide Canadians. The CRA is implementing plain language approaches in communicating with Canadians.

The Board is responsible for approving corporate policy instruments at the CRA and promotes the overall streamlining of corporate policy. In 2014-2015, new corporate policy frameworks for information technology and for human resources were approved, as was the redesign and reduction of the human resources policy suite.

Internal red tape reduction at the CRA encompasses streamlining the corporate policy suite and reducing the reporting burden. Over the last year, 12 reports were eliminated, and processes were simplified, including a corporate committee governance review and a pilot to streamline the Board's material and processes. The Board also adopted a new approach to the Board of Management Oversight Framework.

People management

Over the fiscal year, the Board received updates and provided comments on major human resources themes: the workplace, leadership, the modernization of infrastructure, and the workforce. The Board was pleased with the CRA's standing in the Public Service Employee Survey results.

Board members discussed recruitment and succession planning for Agency leadership, based on detailed demographic and risk analysis, and approved the Agency Workforce Plan 2015-2016 and the revised human resources policy suite. The Board commended the emphasis the suite places on integrity and corporate responsibilities.

Senior management briefed the Board concerning changes in government-wide learning capacities which will allow the CRA to focus on specialized technical training; members were pleased with the increase in online training and tools. The Board also received updates on labour relations, employment equity, official languages, and occupational health and safety. Members supported Blueprint 2020 consultations and innovations in human resources, which included the engaging employees using the Destination 2020 online tool. The Board will continue to encourage the empowerment of CRA employees.

Financial and resource management

The Board oversaw the implementation of measures aligned with government-wide fiscal rebalancing, and provided insight and guidance for the CRA's Strategic Investment Plan and IT Strategy and Plan 2014-2015 to 2016 2017. Members focus on fiscal management through regular resource management updates. They also approved the CRA's Financial Statements and Annual Report.

As part of its responsibility for corporate policy and oversight of financial management, the Board approved a revision of the Policy Framework for Financial Management and Administration.

The Board also monitored the CRA's audit practices. It approved the Risk-Based Audit and Evaluation Plan 2014-2017 and received quarterly updates on internal audit reports and evaluations. Members received regular reports from the Office of the Auditor General and monitored the CRA's response to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Audit.

Conclusion

The Board has accomplished its strategic objectives for 2014-2015. It is committed to fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities and providing oversight of the organization and administration of the CRA, in the areas under its purview. It has provided senior management with advice and guidance throughout 2014-2015. The Board also acknowledges the excellent cooperation and support it received from the Commissioner, senior management, and the employees of the CRA.

Board membership

Board members, as of March 31, 2015.

****At the time of writing this report in the new fiscal year, two new members had been appointed to the Board of Management: Mark S. Dwor (British Columbia) and Todd J. McCarthy (Ontario).****

Committee membership and director participation

The Board of Management is supported by four committees: they undertake much of the detailed review of items brought before the Board for its consideration. The following table shows the membership of each committee as well as directors' committee attendance over the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Board members present throughout the fiscal year
Board Member Board of Management 
(8 meetings)1
Audit Committee
(5 meetings)
Governance committee
(2 meetings)
Human Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
BoMOF
Sub-Committee
(2 meetings)
Myles Bourke 7/7 5/5 2/2 no data 2/2 no data
Richard J. Daw 7/7 5/5 no data 2/2 no data no data
Gerard J. Fitzpatrick 7/7 5/5 no data no data 2/2 no data
Norman G. Halldorson 7/8 4/5 no data no data no data 2/2
Fauzia Lalani 8/8 no data 2/2 no data 4/4 0/2
Robert (Bob) Manning 8/8 no data no data no data 4/4 1/2
Margaret Melhorn 7/7  no data no data 4/4 4/4 no data
Richard (Rick) Thorpe 8/8 5/5 2/2 4/4 4/4 2/2
Andrew Treusch 7/7 no data 2/2 4/4  3/4 no data
Board members who joined during the fiscal year 2
Board Member Board of Management 
(8 meetings)1
Audit Committee
(5 meetings)
Governance committee
(2 meetings)
Human Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
BoMOF
Sub-Committee
(2 meetings)
Rossana Buonpensiere 2/2 no data 1/1 1/1 no data no data
Susan Hayes 1/1 no data no data no data no data no data
Joyce Sumara 2/2 no data 1/1 no data 1/1 no data
Board members who departed during the fiscal year
Board Member Board of Management 
(8 meetings)1
Audit Committee
(5 meetings)
Governance committee
(2 meetings)
Human Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
BoMOF
Sub-Committee
(2 meetings)
Raymond Desrochers 3/4 no data 1/1 no data no data no data
Gordon Gillis 7/7 no data 1/1 3/3 no data 2/2
James R. Nininger 4/5 no data 1/1 2/2 no data no data
Luce Samoisette 2/5 no data no data 1/2 no data 1/2
Average attendance per meeting
Board of Management 
(8 meetings)1
Audit Committee
(5 meetings)
Governance committee
(2 meetings)
Human Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
Resources Committee
(4 meetings)
BoMOF
Sub-Committee
(2 meetings)
87/93=94% 24/25=96% 13/13=100% 21/22=96% 24/25=96% 8/12=67%
Governor in Council rates of pay
Member capacity Per annum retainer Per diem
Board chair $14,500 - $17,100 $565 - $665
Committee chair $11,100 - $13,000 $565 - $665
Director $7,300 - $8,600 $475 - $550

Table Notes

1. The total includes all in-person and teleconference meetings. One Board teleconference to finalize the Corporate Business Plan was restricted to chairs of the Board and committees and the Commissioner.

2. Francine Martel-Vaillancourt was appointed to the Board after the March meetings and is not included in the attendance statistics.

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