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Veterans Affairs' mandate stems from laws and regulations. Among the more significant is the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, which charges the Minister of Veterans Affairs with the following responsibilities for the Department:
"the care, treatment, or re-establishment in civil life of any person who served in the Canadian Forces or merchant navy or in the naval, army or air forces or merchant navies of Her Majesty, of any person who has otherwise engaged in pursuits relating to war, and of any other person designated ... the care of the dependants or survivors of any person referred to..."
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board's mandate is to have full and exclusive jurisdiction to hear, determine and deal with all applications for review and appeal that may be made to the Board under the Pension Act, the War Veterans Allowance Act and other Acts of Parliament.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs is supported by a Deputy Minister and an Associate Deputy Minister. The Associate Deputy reports directly to the Deputy. The Department has three branches, and two divisions which report to the Deputy Minister while four divisions report directly to the Associate Deputy Minister. General Counsel is functionally responsible to the Deputy Minister for legal services.
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is headed by a Chairperson who is the Chief Executive Officer and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The Chairperson is supported by a Deputy Chairperson, an average of 30 full-time Governor-in-Council appointees, and a Director General.
Veterans Affairs Canada has three senior management committees: the Senior Management Committee (SMC), the Departmental Executive Board (DEB), and the Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC).
VAC's Senior Management Committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister. SMC is the Department's senior Departmental review/decision-making committee comprising: Deputy Minister, Associate Deputy Minister, three Assistant Deputy Ministers, two Directors General, and the General Counsel.
The Departmental Executive Board is chaired by the Deputy Minister and consists of all senior management down to and including all Directors General. DEB reviews Departmental programs, finance, systems and human resource policies and implementation plans and results. This forum also provides an opportunity for vertical horizontal information exchange and discussion on organizational, program and commemorative initiatives and events.
The Audit and Evaluation Committee's portfolio-wide role includes: approving the audit and evaluation plan, providing advice on risk management; strengthening the independence, objectivity and effectiveness of the internal audit and evaluation functions; emphasizing accountability of managers; and, facilitating communication concerning the internal audit and evaluation functions between senior management, central agencies and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). AEC includes VAC's Deputy Minister (chairperson), Associate Deputy Minister, Department Senior Managers appointed by the Deputy Minister, and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board's Chair. The Treasury Board Secretariat and the OAG sit on this committee as observers.
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board has a Senior Management Team comprising: Chair; Deputy Chair; Director General; Director, Legal Services; and the Director, Professional Development and Advisory Services. The Team provides leadership and strategic direction in the delivery of the Board's program and addresses emerging issues.
The organizational charts on the following pages illustrate how Veterans Affairs is structured, keeping in mind that the Deputy Minister and Associate Deputy Minister have overall responsibility for the Department. The Chairperson has overall responsibility for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs is directly supported by the Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada. The Chair of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board reports to Parliament through the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada is directly supported by the Associate Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada.
The following personnel report directly to the Deputy Minister: Assistant Deputy Minister, Veterans Services Branch*; Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services Branch; Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Programs and Communications Branch; Director General, Policy Planning and Liaison; Director General, Co-ordination Secretariat; General Counsel, Justice Canada**.
The following personnel report directly to the Associate Deputy Minister: Director General, Audit and Evaluation Division; Director, Office of Early Conflict Resolution; Executive Director, Federal Healthcare Partnership; Chief Pensions Advocate, Bureau of Pensions Advocates.
* Includes Regional Offices and Ste. Anne's Hospital
** General Counsel is functionally responsible to the Deputy Minister for legal services.
The following personnel report directly to the Chair of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board : Deputy Chair, Members, Director General.
|($ millions)||Budgetary||Non-Bud- getary||Total Main Est- imates||Adjust- ments (Planned Spending not in Main Est- imates)||Total Planned Spend- ing|
|Program Activity||Oper- ating||Cap- ital||Grants||Contri- butions and Other Trans- fer Pay- ments||Gross||Re- spend- able Rev- enue||Net||Loans, Invest- ments and Ad- vances|
|Pensions, Awards, Allowances for Disability and Death, and Financial Support||107.9||1,956.9||–||2,064.8||–||2,064.8||–||2,064.8||0.6||2,065.4|
|Health Care and Re-establishment Benefits and Services||759.8||23.0||280.0||1,062.8||–||1,062.8||–||1,062.8||(0.3)||1,062.5|
|Veterans Review and Appeal Board redress process for disability pensions and awards||13.7||–||13.7||–||13.7||–||13.7||–||13.7|
Table 3: Voted and Statutory Items
|Pensions, Awards, Allowances for Disability and Death, and Financial Support||Health Care and Reestablishment Benefits and Services||Remembrance Programming||Veterans Review and Appeal Board redress process for disability pensions and awards||Total|
|Veterans Services Branch||2,014.3||1,030.4||–||–||3,044.7|
|Public Programs & Commun- ications Branch||2.6||2.0||56.9||0.4||61.9|
|Corporate Services Branch||31.1||24.1||4.6||1.8||61.6|
|Executive Branch *||17.4||6.0||1.0||0.5||24.9|
|Veterans Review and Appeal Board||–||–||–||11.0||11.0|
VAC has received Effective Project Approval (EPA) for the following two projects:
|Ste. Anne's Hospital Renovation (projected)||23.4||19.2||20.0|
|European Monuments Restoration||10.4||–||–|
The European Monuments Restoration Project is expected to be completed in the fiscal year 2006-2007 at a total cost of $30 million. The funding identified above for the Ste. Anne's Hospital Renovation project is based on the original EPA at a total cost of $67.7 million. For further information on the above-mentioned projects, see http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20062007/p3a-eng.asp.
Over the next three fiscal years, Veterans Affairs Canada will manage the following transfer payments programs in excess of $5 million:
|Pensions, and Allowances for Disability and Death||1,702.5||1,688.7||1,621.0|
|Disability Awards and Allowances||214.8||200.3||190.4|
|Earnings Loss and Supplementary Retirement Benefit||14.9||30.3||33.8|
|War Veterans Allowance / Civilian War Allowance||19.6||18.1||16.8|
|Veterans Independence Program||280.0||290.0||297.0|
|Last Post Fund||16.3||16.3||16.3|
|Commonwealth War Graves Commission||8.6||8.6||8.6|
For further information on the above-mentioned Transfer Payments Programs, see http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20062007/p3a-eng.asp.
Making a difference in sustainable development has been an ongoing commitment for the Government of Canada. Beginning in 1997, Veterans Affairs and other federal departments and agencies began the process of tabling a Sustainable Development Strategy every three years. These strategies profile the steps departments and agencies are taking to advance sustainable development. In December 2006, federal departments will table their fourth strategy covering the period 2007-2009.
Veterans Affairs' 2004-2006 Sustainable Development Strategy was developed with four themes: Sustaining the Health and Well-Being of our Clients, Sustaining the Health and Well-Being of our Staff, Sustaining Knowledge and Information, and Sustaining Government Operations. Within these four themes, progress is measured against specific objectives, targets and milestones. During the last year of this strategy, the final progress report will be made available on-line.
Veterans Affairs' 2007-2009 Sustainable Development Strategy will follow a more government-wide approach through the use of a series of common federal sustainable development goals that focus on environmental quality and sustainable development management. In particular, Veterans Affairs will make commitments to government-wide targets and performance measurements in three priority areas: building energy, vehicle fleets, and green procurement. In addition to these government-wide priorities, Veterans Affairs will also develop targets and performance measures appropriate to its mandate. Together, these government-wide and Department-specific goals and targets will demonstrate Veterans Affairs' strong commitment to advancing sustainable development.
Veterans Affairs Canada develops its annual audit and evaluation plan using a risk-based approach. This plan is approved by an Audit and Evaluation Committee, chaired by the Deputy Minister. The intent of the audit and evaluation plan is to ensure that the projects are clearly aligned with VAC's Five-Year Strategic Plan, Program Activity Architecture and Management Accountability Framework. The Department undertakes audit and evaluation projects in areas that are deemed the highest risk. To focus attention on those areas, where use of the available resources would best achieve the objectives of audit and evaluation, the following criteria are considered during project selection: materiality, likelihood, complexity and sensitivity/reputation. During the ranking of the proposed engagements, consultations are held with senior managers, program managers and audit and evaluation staff. Findings and recommendations of previous audits, evaluations and reviews, as well as the extent of follow-up and corrective action taken by management are also used to assess potential projects. Audit schedules are compared with those of the Office of the Auditor General and Veterans Affairs' Sustainable Development Strategy in order to prevent overlapping visits and undue interference with operations. Consultation with partners is conducted on an ongoing basis.
The long range plan attempts to provide some balance, so that a variety of functions, activities and organizational entities are covered annually through cyclical projects (e.g., Financial Management and Control, Residential Care, and Organizational Governance). Follow-up to findings also contribute to current and future year planning. The plan has some flexibility to allow for requests from management for special studies demanded by unforeseeable circumstances, from central agencies for the Transfer Policy requirements, and for follow-up reviews on the actions taken on recommendations.
|Conflict of Interest||Audit|
|Post-payment Process||Assurance Audit|
|Residential Care – Phase II||Audit|
|Equipment Recycling Program||Assurance Audit|
|Federal Health Claims Processing Systems Adjudication Process||Assurance Audit|
|Administered Accounts||Assurance Audit|
|Financial Management and Controls (cyclical) – Phase II||Assurance Audit|
|Information Technology Security||Assurance Audit|
|Service and Program Modernization (The New Veterans Charter) - Evaluation Assessment||Evaluation|
|Organizational Governance (cyclical) – Phase II||Audit / Evaluation|
|Federal Health Claims Processing Systems – Program of Choice Analysis||Assurance Audit|
|2007-2008||Business Continuity Planning||Assurance Audit|
|Follow-up of the Audit of Outsourcing of Health Claims Administration||Audit|
|Management of Medications at Ste. Anne's Hospital||Assurance Audit|
|Ste. Anne's Hospital – Capital Expenditures||Assurance Audit|
|Federal Health Claims Processing System - Special Authorization Units and Treatment Authorization Centres||Audit / Evaluation|
|Operational Stress Injury Clinics||Evaluation|
|Review Redress for the Re-establishment Program of the New Veterans Charter||Evaluation|
|2008-2009||Service and Program Modernization (The New Veterans Charter) - Formative Evaluation||Evaluation|
|Human Resources Division (cyclical) - Pay Audit||Assurance Audit|
|Funeral and Burial Program (Last Post Fund)||Evaluation|
|War Veterans Allowance||Evaluation|
For further information on planned audits and evaluations for Transfer Payments Programs in excess of $5 million, see http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20062007/p3a-eng.asp.