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Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome: A military police organization that performs its policing duties in a highly professional manner, free from interference and with the confidence and support of those it serves.

Program Activity: Complaints Resolution – To successfully resolve complaints about the conduct of military police members as well as complaints of interference with military police investigations.

Financial Resources ($000)

Planned Spending Authorized Spending Actual Spending
3,434 3,489 2,909

Human Resources (FTEs)

Planned   Actual
18   16

The Commission derives its authority from Part IV of the National Defence Act, which sets out how complaints about the conduct of military police and complaints of interference with military police investigations are to be handled. The previous section detailed the different mechanisms for dealing with both conduct and interference complaints. By statutory direction, the Commission must resolve matters that come before it as informally and expeditiously as circumstances and the consideration of fairness permit.


The current fiscal year was a busy year. During 2007 – 2008, the Commission monitored the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal's (CFPM) investigation of thirty-eight (38) complaints about military police conduct, eleven (11) complaints from prior to April and twenty-seven (27) new complaints received during the fiscal year. The Commission also received six (6) requests for review of the CFPM's handling of conduct complaints which required an independent investigation by the Commission. There were no new interference complaints received during the year but one interference complaint, received prior to the fiscal year, was completed during the year. In addition, the Commission completed, during the fiscal year, its first public hearing in its brief history. The result was a substantial report targeting areas of key importance such as police training and supervision.

As mentioned earlier, the Commission initiated, just as the year was closing, its second public interest hearing. The complaint concerns allegations of military police misconduct in relation to the handling of Afghanistan detainees. It should also be noted, in events subsequent to the year-end, that the Attorney General of Canada filed a Notice of Application with the Federal Court of Canada challenging the Commission's jurisdiction in this matter.


Monitoring and Investigations

The Commission prepared eleven (11) reports during the fiscal year, six (6) final reports and five (5) interim reports. The number of recommendations in these reports increased significantly (more than double) from the previous year. One hundred percent (100%) of the Commission's recommendations were accepted by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal or the Chief of the Defence Staff, as was the case in the two previous years. Details are as follows:

  • For the public interest hearing completed during the year, it was determined that the complaint was well founded and the findings and recommendations were all accepted by the CFPM.
  • The Commission issued five (5) interim reports and six (6) final reports. There were fifty-six (56) findings, twenty-seven (27) in the interim reports and twenty-nine (29) in the final reports. There were sixty-five (65) recommendations made, thirty-one (31) in the interim reports and thirty-four (34) in the final reports. All thirty-four (34) recommendations were accepted. Five (5) of these recommendations addressed the need for corrective measures for individual members and all were responded to positively. The other twenty-nine (29) recommendations addressed the need for changes to and improvements in military police policies and practices. All twenty-nine (29) were accepted and implemented.

Good results don't just happen. The Commission has improved its practices and procedures. It has provided extensive training to its investigators. The Commission's roster of investigators is impressive as well, averaging thirty-four (34) years in law enforcement and police management.

Part-time Commission members are Governor in Council (GIC) appointees and hold office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding five years. The members, as a group, bring to the MPCC experience and expertise in a variety of disciplines including law, law enforcement, and international relations as well as an appreciation of the role and responsibilities of oversight agencies.

The Commission members participate in the achievement of the MPCC mandate and the performance of its activities. Prior to their assignment by the Chairperson to active cases, the members are provided training in the principles, practices and processes of administrative tribunals and administrative law. This training helps to ensure that the members are able to perform their assigned functions and duties at the highest level possible. One of the challenges faced by the Commission is the infrequency of the training provided and the delays caused by this infrequency. To mitigate this challenge, the Commission has developed an in-house mentoring program which allows for a quicker integration of its members.

Once trained, Commission members are assigned cases by the Chairperson based on the Commission's workload, member's availability and linguistic competencies. The members may be required to perform similar duties as would the Chairperson including the review of documents, and the drafting and approving of Final Reports. They take a leadership role and work collaboratively with the Commission lawyers, the Registrar's Office and the Investigators.

Members also participate in the Outreach Program by delivering bilingual presentations during their visits on the Canadian Forces Bases (CFB). During these visits, the Members gain a better understanding and appreciation of the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Forces chain of command and the role of the Military Police. The Members are also provided guided tours of the Military Police detachments / units and included, during one visit, a walk-through of the Military Police Training facilities at CFB Borden. By participating in the Outreach Program, the Members are able to promote and increase the awareness of the MPCC mandate and its activities.

The Commission examined its complaints handling process in an effort to improve timeliness. Processes were changed and a new service standard for the completion of reviews and investigations was established, reducing the target time for either to be completed from 8 months to 5 months. As mentioned in Lessons Learned in Section I, the Commission encountered a growing number of large and complex cases. Some changes have already been made; however, the Commission will develop strategies to address the need for new and innovative solutions to effectively handle the size and complexity of the cases now being received. This will certainly involve revisiting the target timeline for cases of this magnitude. This process is already underway.

The Chair cannot issue a final report in a given case until the appropriate authority within the military or defence hierarchy has provided a response to the Interim Report. The Commission's ability to ensure that cases are resolved in a timely manner is dependent upon the cooperation and collaboration of others. The ongoing dialogue with senior officials in DND and the Canadian Forces, so critical to the overall success of the Commission, appears to be paying dividends as the Commission had 100% of its recommendations accepted in the past year.

Outreach Visits to Canadian Forces Bases across Canada

Base visits, the outreach program, are an integral part of the Commission's operations. They provide the Commission the opportunity to increase the awareness of its mandate and mission and respond to any concerns about the complaints process. The outreach program was extremely active in 2007-08; the number of base visits increased to 8, up from 2 in the previous year. Representatives of the Commission visited the following bases: in Nova Scotia, Halifax and Greenwood, in Quebec, St. Jean and Montreal, in Ontario, Borden and Trenton and in British Columbia, Comox and Esquimalt. The visits were well received and through formal presentations and informal discussions, the Commission was able to reach its key stakeholders (military police, the military chain of command, and those who live, work or pass through a military base) and provide firsthand knowledge and information on why the Commission exists, how it operates and their rights as military police. Representatives of the Commission at the same time gained an on-site appreciation of the challenging and demanding environment in which the military police operate. Valuable feedback received included:

  • identification of common themes, such as concerns about the shortages of on-duty military police personnel;
  • the status of Reserve military police;
  • a genuine interest in the mandate and the complaints resolution process; and
  • suggestions on improving the presentations and dialogue to best meet the needs of specific audiences.

Human Resource Management

The workforce of the Commission has started to stabilize. Efforts by the Commission to create a workplace of choice appear to be working. Turnover has dropped. The need for almost continuous staffing action has diminished. Effective human resource management, especially succession planning, has helped to recruit well-qualified, experienced and dedicated personnel on a timely basis and has done so while meeting the standards of fairness, accessibility and transparency required by the Public Service Commission.

The Commission also employs a variety of partnerships and agreements to acquire skilled resources on a part and full-time basis to supplement its own internal resources. The stability and expertise of the workforce, internal and contracted, are critical elements in the completion of sound investigations and the delivery of quality reports with meaningful recommendations on a timely basis. The Commission continues to work with its human resource services provider to ensure the services provided are complete, timely and accurate.

The Commission has established an effective internal communications regime. A staff meeting is held each month with an emphasis on issues of interest to the staff.

Employees are kept up to date on the activities of the Commission and issues of staff concern are addressed and resolved.

Improved Organizational Model

This was the first full year of operations under the Commission's new organizational structure. The alignment of operational and corporate responsibilities between the General Counsel and the Chief of Staff allowed both to concentrate more fully on their individual responsibilities of mandate achievement and corporate services.

Accountability and Compliance

As part of the Commission's effort to ensure the effectiveness of its business practices, the Commission completed an external review of its procurement services, including the engagement of professional investigative services. The review concluded that its "roster" of professional investigators was working well as a source of investigative services. The review also identified an opportunity - the Commission's web site could provide access to professional investigators who may wish to express an interest in conducting investigations on behalf the Commission. Efforts are currently underway to make these changes to the web-site and provide the Commission with an opportunity to expand or replenish, when needed, its current roster of investigators.

The Commission recognizes and respects the requirements of the central agencies and is doing its utmost to comply with them. The Public Service Commission has publicly acknowledged the strong performance by the Commission in the area of staffing. Compliance with the procurement and contracting requirements of both the Treasury Board and Public Works and Government Services are considered in the acquisition of all goods and services. Compliance information and guidance is given by the finance office to the responsibility and cost centre managers as part of their procurement and contracting activities.

Management practices are improving. The Commission completed the first year of its evergreen program for informatics assets. By planning asset acquisition and disposal more or less evenly over the next several years, the Commission is better able to manage its limited cash resources. Internal financial reporting has improved and has expanded to include recording and reporting of costs related to the Afghanistan Public Interest Hearing. Informatics agreements are being reviewed to ensure the services being provided are necessary and make-or-buy decisions are being made with regards to all aspects of security. Work is still underway concerning the Management Accountability Framework with the current focus on risk management and performance measurement.