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The RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) is an integral component of the RCMP Act. The Act is the legislative basis for the administration of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police employment dispute process and the structure for the resolution of RCMP member relations issues. The ERC provides the RCMP Commissioner with legally sound recommendations that account for the realities of a national police force and that respect the expectations of Canadians.
The ERC's aim is to positively influence the manner in which the RCMP addresses its employment and labour relations issues. The ERC pursues this through the independent and impartial review of cases that are referred to it, and by outreach initiatives and information dissemination. The ERC is aware of the transitional change agenda that the RCMP has begun following reviews by parliamentary committees and a federal task force. The ERC continues to support the building of a stronger, more accountable and modern RCMP.
Together with enthusiastic support and commitment of ERC staff, I am eager to contribute to the betterment of Canada's federal police force.
February 3, 2010
The RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) is an independent and impartial agency that aims to promote fair and equitable labour relations within the RCMP, in accordance with applicable principles of law. To this end the ERC conducts an independent review of appeals in disciplinary, and discharge and demotion matters, as well as certain categories of grievances that are referred to it pursuant to s. 33 of the RCMP Act and s. 36 of the RCMP Regulations.
The ERC reports directly to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety. The ERC has a single member, the Chair, who is appointed by an Order in Council, and is supported by an Executive Director and a very small staff. The ERC's jurisdiction is restricted to employment and labour matters that relate to regular members and civilian members of the RCMP only. Public servants employed by the RCMP have separate labour relations processes. The role of the ERC in the Force's labour/management resolution process is a crucial one. Over the years, the RCMP has made changes in a variety of areas based on recommendations made by the ERC.
As one of two oversight/review bodies over the RCMP, the ERC plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in the RCMP and ensures that it respects the law and human rights.
The ERC is within the portfolio of the Public Safety Canada whose Minister is the appropriate Minister responsible for the purposes of the Financial Administration Act. The ERC's mandate is simply put: the independent and impartial review of grievances and appeals that involve the discipline, demotion or discharge of RCMP members. Upon completing its review of a case, the ERC presents findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP for a final decision. The Commissioner is not bound by the recommendations of the ERC, but the Commissioner must provide reasons when there is disagreement with the recommendations of the ERC. In carrying out its mandate, the ERC ensures that its recommendations are solidly grounded in law and that members of the RCMP are treated in a fair and equitable manner, in keeping with the public interest.
The RCMP External Review Committee aims to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP.
|SO - Strategic Outcome||The RCMP External Review Committee aims to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP.|
|PA-1 - Independent and impartial case review||Independent, timely, fair and impartial case review leading to the provision of quality findings and recommendations in all cases referred to the Committee.|
|PA-2 - Outreach and information dissemination||Outreach to Canadians and members of the RCMP along with dissemination of information on the role of the Committee and its findings and recommendations, as well as on relevant legal principles.|
In fiscal year 2009-10, the Program Activity 'Internal Services' was appended to the ERC's Program Activity Architecture. As a result of its experience in attempting to meet the reporting requirements, the ERC determined that the uniquely small size of the organization made the reporting of this Program Activity particularly inaccurate. The related expenditures cannot be reliably apportioned between program activities without an inordinate expenditure of resources. This justification was provided to Treasury Board who in turn agreed with the ERC's assertion. As such, the ERC has been granted an exemption until the end of the 2010-11 fiscal year from reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate Program Activity.
* Two of the 8 FTE's will be available for only 9/12th's of FY 2011-12.
Planning Summary Table
|Issuance of findings and recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner and the parties||100%|
|Information to the public and the RCMP||100%|
|Program Activity*||Forecast Spending
|Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes|
|Independent and impartial case review||1,559||1,449||1,165||746||The Strategic Outcome of the RCMP External Review Committee supports all government outcomes:
1. Economic Affairs
- Income security and employment for Canadians;
- Strong economic growth;
- A fair and secure marketplace.
2. Social Affairs
- Healthy Canadians;
- Safe and secure communities;
- A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion;
- A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage.
3. International Affairs
- A safe and secure world through international cooperation.
4. Government Affairs
- Public Service Excellence
|Outreach and information dissemination||390||362||291||186|
|Total Planned Spending||1,949||1,811||1,456||932|
* For program activity descriptions, please access the Main Estimates online at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est- pre/estime.asp. The ERC has been exempted to report on Internal Services expenditures for fiscal years 2009-2010 to 2010-11.
|Operational Priorities||Type||Links to Strategic Outcome||Description|
|1. Continue to deliver on statutory mandate||Ongoing||The RCMP External Review Committee aims to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP.||Why is this a priority?
Contributes to the ERC's overriding priority to review cases and make sound recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner in an expeditious manner.
|Plans for meeting the priority:
Longer-term strategic planning and streamlining of processes is planned for the future to continue to improve on service delivery.
|2. Raise awareness through Outreach||Ongoing||Why is this a priority?
Educational role the ERC plays contributes in a proactive way to a better understanding of grievance administration and discipline, and discharge and demotion appeals.
|Plans for meeting the priority:
Provides key stakeholders with information on process, findings and recommendations of the ERC;
Provides training where possible on labour relations; and,
Engages the RCMP to further develop its governance framework.
|Management Priorities||Type||Links to Strategic Outcome(s)||Description|
|3. Continue to improve on the corporate management framework and infrastructure||Ongoing||Why is this a priority?
ERC remains committed to meeting government- wide management and accountability priorities.
|Plans for meeting the priority:
Stabilize corporate management framework and infrastructure based on available resources; and,
Continue to develop MOUs for IM/IT, HR, and transactional financial support.
|4. Continue to invest in our people||Ongoing||Why is this a priority?
ERC places a priority on integrating the vision and intent of Public Service Renewal into its day-to-day activities.
|Plans for meeting the priority:
Provides time and resources towards training and education that enhance existing skills and contribute toward current capacity building, and longer term career objectives of staff.
Temporary funding was secured in 2006-07 from the Treasury Board Management Reserve to help alleviate the critical backlog of cases before the ERC. This funding envelope closes in 2011-12. A second amount was secured from the Management Reserve in 2007-08 to accommodate and address corporate management pressures. This second funding envelope closed at the end of the 2008 calendar year. A third temporary funding envelope has been secured starting in 2009-10. It also closes in 2011-12. Due to the volume of pending cases and the time necessary to review these complex cases, work will have to continue past 2012. As of yet, the ERC has not secured the additional funding required to keep up with its current caseload on an ongoing basis. Should permanent additional funding not be made available to the ERC, the ability of the ERC to respond to its main priorities, such as reviewing case files or responding to requests for information will suffer, and productivity may be affected on an organization-wide level.
Given the nature and unpredictability of the labour issues within the RCMP, the ERC has no control over the number of cases that are referred to it from year to year. Similarly, there can be great variance in the level of complexity of the cases it receives. Despite this, the ERC has attempted to estimate the reasonable amount of time required, on average, to process each type of case brought before it. For grievances, the ERC targets for approximately three months for the completion of the grievance review. For disciplinary, and discharge and demotion cases, the time frame is approximately six months.
In recent years, the ERC's caseload has varied somewhat as follows:
The ERC received a record number of cases in 2005-06, the consequence of large policing events that occurred in the previous years. On average, the ERC has received 39 new files each year since 2001-02. While the average number of cases that the ERC received in the last three years has been 32, the ERC is aware of a number of large policing events that could result in another spike in future years. Additionally, the membership of the RCMP has grown steadily to meet Canadians' expectation for safe and secure communities. One of the government's priorities since 2007, to significantly increase the size of the RCMP, has been successful. As a result, an increase is expected in the use of the grievance review and disciplinary appeal processes.
In addition to case reviews, the ERC workload also includes significant reporting and corporate requirements that come from Central Agencies. Given its small size and budget, the ERC is unable to employ staff with expertise in the variety of required reports, solely tasked to these reports. Therefore the ERC frequently re-assigns operational staff to work on unrelated corporate reports. These added reporting pressures have at times, contributed to delays in the case review process.
Outreach is also an important task of the ERC staff. This is done through the ERC website, its quarterly publication, Communiqué, responses to requests for information, and delivering training. Each year, the ERC receives a number of requests for information; some of these are simple, but others can be quite complicated and time-consuming. In 2008-09 for example, the ERC received 112 requests for information, with an average response time of three days. Without adequate resources to respond to an increasing workload, ERC clients and stakeholders (i.e. the RCMP Commissioner and members) will not receive the high level of service that they have come to expect from the ERC.
In the following table, the grey line represents the ERC's overall expenditure profile. The dotted black line represents the first Management Reserve funding envelope secured in 2006-07 to address the critical backlog of cases at the ERC, which closes in 2011-12. The black line represents the second funding envelope from the Treasury Board Management Reserve secured in 2007-08 to accommodate corporate management pressures, which closed at the end of the 2008 calendar year. The dotted grey line represents the third temporary funding envelope, secured in the 2009-10 fiscal year, which also closes in 2011-12. The priority for 2010-11 will be to secure funding for 2012-13 onwards to accommodate the continuing effort on the part of the ERC to stay current with the rate of cases referred to the ERC and to reduce the waiting time for clients to an acceptable level.
|Vote # or Statutory Item (S)||Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording||2009-10
|(S)||Contributions to employee benefit plans||121||217|