Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - RCMP External Review Committee

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

The RCMP External Review Committee aims to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP.

Program Activity by Strategic Outcome

In order to work towards achieving its strategic outcome, the ERC carries on two program activities: Program Activity 1- Independent and impartial case review; and Program Activity 2 Outreach and information dissemination.

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.

Program Activity 1: Independent and impartial case review
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
5.6 1,449 5.6 1,165 4.2 746
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Parties and RCMP Commissioner are provided with an independent review of the dispute to facilitate transparent and accountable dispute resolution. Percentage of cases where findings and recommendations are issued. 100%
A body of findings and recommendations is created to assist RCMP Level I Adjudicators, concernedparties, RCMP Commissioner and staff representatives to interpret legislation, regulations and policy. Number of times legislative, regulatory or policy interpretative guidance provided in findings and recommendations. As required
Identification of areas for legislative, regulatory or policy change/clarification. Number of recommendations for change/ clarification provided in findings and recommendations. As required

The ERC can dispose of matters referred to it by the RCMP Commissioner either on the basis of the material in the record or following a hearing.  In conducting its review of the matters referred to it, the ERC attempts to achieve timeliness and quality in its recommendations, and a balance amongst the many complex and different interests involved.  It strives to ensure that the principles of administrative and labour law are respected and the remedial approach indicated by the RCMP Act is followed.  In each case, the ERC must consider the public interest and ensure that members of the RCMP are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

The ERC's focus on effectiveness and efficiency in both its case review process and management functions will assist it to achieve this result.  The statutory mandate of the ERC in the RCMP Act is case review.  It is in this respect that Program Activity 1 supports Priority 1.

Benefits for Canadians

Canadians are served through the ERC's contribution to fair, transparent and accountable labour relations processes within the RCMP. They are assured that RCMP members are treated by Canada's national police force as would be expected by Canadians whose tax revenues support it.

Program Activity 2: Outreach and information dissemination
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
2.4 362 2.4 291 1.8 186
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Make available information to the public on labour relations issues within the RCMP to support accountability and transparency. Subscription levels for quarterly Communiqué; subscription levels for annual report; Website traffic; volume of requests for information. Ongoing
Increase awareness of labour relations issues and resolutions within RCMP Policy. Website access statistics; subscription and distribution data; number of requests for information; number of outreach events. Ongoing

The ERC ensures that its findings and recommendations in each case are clearly explained for the concerned parties and the RCMP Commissioner.  Summaries of the findings and recommendations in each case, as well as articles of interest on the role of the ERC, relevant legal principles and information on related issues, are distributed widely.  Communication and outreach tools include: a quarterly publication (Communiqué), including the most recent case summaries, updates, and legal principles; a Website with timely inclusion of publications and case summaries; the annual report and other government accountability documents; and presentations, meetings, training and other outreach activities.

The ERC strives to make information available in a timely and accessible manner, with the objective of influencing in a positive way the RCMP labour relations environment, and contributing knowledge and ideas to the disciplines of administrative, employment, and labour law.

Part of the ERC's work is dedicated to Program Activity 2, and in this way it supports Priority 3.

Benefits for Canadians

Canadians are served through the ERC's contribution to fair, transparent and accountable labour relations processes within the RCMP. They are assured that RCMP members are treated by Canada's national police force as would be expected by Canadians whose tax revenues support it.

Planning Highlights

Operating Environment

The strategic outcome of the ERC is to “aim to positively influence the manner in which labour relations issues are addressed within the RCMP”.  The ERC is an independent arms-length agency created under the RCMP Act.  The focus of the ERC's work is the impartial, independent and timely review of RCMP labour relations cases referred to it and the timely issuance of recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP.

As a very small agency, the ERC has one member who is both the Chair and Chief Executive Officer.  She has been appointed by the Governor in Council for a term of three years, starting November 1, 2008.  Under the Act, anyone who sits on the ERC cannot be a member or former member of the RCMP.

By law, the ERC's case review process starts when the Commissioner refers a case to it.   The ERC itself cannot initiate a review without a referral from the Commissioner.  The cases that must be referred are described in the RCMP Act and include disciplinary appeals, discharge and demotion appeals and certain categories of grievances.  When the ERC conducts a case review, it examines the entire record including: the original documents, the decision made, and the submissions of the parties.  Where the review involves the appeal of a disciplinary, or discharge or demotion decision, the transcript of the Adjudication Board hearing is also before the ERC, as well as any exhibits entered at the hearing.  The ERC reviews all the evidence, legal issues, relevant legislation and judicial decisions in making its recommendation.  After consideration of all the issues, the ERC provides findings and recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner, who is the final decision-maker.  If the RCMP Commissioner decides not to follow the ERC recommendations, the law requires that the Commissioner provide reasons for not doing so.

The expeditious handling of cases referred to the ERC is fundamental to maintaining its integrity and credibility in carrying out its statutory mandate.  The ERC routinely deals with, and must respond to, significant fluctuations in workload, as it has no control over the number of cases that are referred to it.  The ERC has adopted a number of case management practices to ensure that its review process is as expeditious as possible and to enhance the quality of its findings and recommendations.  The ERC utilizes part of its term funding to ensure that one staff member is dedicated to the pre-screening process to identify and respond to issues earlier in the process.  It continues to monitor internal practices to ensure more timely issuance of recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner and the parties.

The ERC is committed to continuing with its quality case reviews and to expanding its ability to undertake reviews.  Enhancing the case review process and developing a more robust infrastructure to support the ERC in meeting standards of excellence in its mandate of labour relations oversight and review is an on-going priority.

The ERC also performs an important outreach function.  As part of this outreach function, the ERC issues a quarterly publication (Communiqué) which provides updates of findings and recommendations issued by the Chair, updates of decisions rendered by the Commissioner, and summaries of applicable Federal Court cases.  The Communiqué also includes articles of interest which have been very well received for their educational role.  These articles respond to trends and developments in labour relations that have particular interest to the members.

ERC staff meet with various RCMP stakeholders, including the Professional Standards and External Review Directorate, Offices for the Coordination of Grievances, Level I Grievance Adjudicators and Adjudication Board members for disciplinary matters.  The ERC also participates in the annual meetings and orientation seminars held by members of the RCMP Staff Relations Representatives Program.  ERC staff also inform themselves of the work done by members of the RCMP through visits to RCMP detachments and training centres, and have also engaged in training and orientation sessions with the RCMP.

The ERC is dedicated to continually improving its corporate management framework and infrastructure which supports its legislative mandate, ensures accountability and sets out a shared vision of expected results.  Initiatives are undertaken on an ongoing basis to enhance the ERC's practices, policies, frameworks and systems.  Over the last several years, the ERC has experienced an increased workload stemming not only from a general increase in cases, but also due to a growing number of reporting and corporate requirements coming from Central Agencies.  Even though the ERC is a very small agency, it must deal with added reporting pressures, yet it remains fully committed to implementing government priorities.

The priorities for the ERC's program activities in this planning period are described in more detail below.  These include delivering on the statutory mandate; raising awareness through outreach; enhancement of its corporate management framework and infrastructure; and an ongoing investment in our people.

Planning Highlights by Priority

1.  Continue to deliver on statutory mandate

The ERC's overriding priority continues to be to review cases and make sound recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner in an expeditious manner.  Within this context, the ERC strives for continuous improvement in its service delivery.  It continues to examine ways to streamline its processes and improve effectiveness in this area.  The complexity of cases and resource issues related to the current volume of workload, continue to make it challenging to address case backlog.  Longer term strategic planning and the streamlining of processes are planned to continue in the future.

The ERC must balance the dual role of exercising due diligence and meeting corporate demands without compromising its statutory requirement to review cases and to provide recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner.  The ERC continues to receive a significant number of often, very complex files.  It continues to experience an increasing workload stemming from a growing number of reporting and corporate requirements from Central Agencies.  The ERC is fully committed to delivering on its mandate, while ensuring it is compliant with federal government policies and legislation.

2.  Raise awareness through outreach

Outreach activities remain a priority for 2010-2011.  Outreach activities provide a number of important benefits to the RCMP, its members, stakeholders and the public.  The educational role the ERC plays in this regard contributes in a proactive way to a better understanding of grievance administration and to discipline, and discharge and demotion appeals.  The ERC uses its publication (Communiqué), its Website and Request for Information process to ensure that RCMP members have access to information on the process for presenting grievances and appeals, as well as similar past cases.  To the extent that resources allow, ERC staff will also provide general information on its mandate directly at the detachment level via in-person visits.

The ERC will continue to provide key stakeholders (i.e. RCMP Adjudication Boards, Level I Adjudicators, Offices for the Coordination of Grievances; Member Representatives; Appropriate Officer Representatives, Staff Relations Representatives) with information on the process, findings and recommendations, including information which offers a precedential value and updates regarding applicable case law.  In addition, the ERC will continue to provide formal training to these groups, when requested, and as resources allow.  The ERC offers readily available insight into the RCMP grievance process, disciplinary appeals, and appeals of discharge and demotion through its Website and provides a universally accessible point for information.

The ERC will also continue to engage the RCMP and other stakeholders on the issue of the strengthening of the Force's governance framework, particularly as it relates to the ERC's mandate. 

3.  Enhancement of the corporate management framework and infrastructure

The ERC remains committed to meeting government-wide management and accountability priorities.  A Performance and Accountability Framework has been in operation since the 2007- 08 fiscal year.

The priority for 2010-11 will be to continue to stabilize the corporate management framework and infrastructure based on the resources available and to pursue stability in the available resources.  Future steps will be undertaken to ensure that it has a renewed Memorandum of Understanding in place for Human Resources (HR), Information Management and Technology (IM/IT ) and transactional financial support.  The ERC will also ensure that it continues to work towards processes and systems that fully comply with government-wide policy.  For example, compliance with the Management of Information Technology Security Policy (MITS) was assessed in 2008-09 to ensure that the ERC has the appropriate action plan in place to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, availability, intended use and value of electronically-stored, processed or transmitted information. 

4.  Continue to invest in our people

HR Modernization has changed the way government hires, manages and supports its public service employees.  The ERC places a priority on integrating the vision and intent of HR Modernization into its day-to-day activities.  The ERC has updated its Strategic HR Plan, first established in 2006 and it plans a full-scale review in order to make enhancements to take effect for three years beginning in 2010-2011.  In 2010-11, the ERC will continue to provide time and resources towards training and education that enhance existing skills and contribute toward the current capacity building that has already started, and longer term career objectives of staff.   The ERC will also continue to hold regular staff meetings and ensure multiple approaches to encourage collegiality, dialogue and discussion.  It will consult staff and seek their input on workplace policies and practices.  An ongoing priority for the ERC will be to ensure that indeterminate and temporary positions within the ERC are filled.  Last but not least, the ERC will work with central agencies to ensure a higher level of knowledge about staffing and staffing strategies at all levels of the organization.