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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

Independent, impartial and thorough analysis, findings and recommendations for transparency in RCMP grievances and appeals.

Program Activity by Strategic Outcome

In order to work towards achieving its strategic outcome, the ERC carries on a single program activity:  Independent and impartial case review.

As indicated above, the Program Activity ‘Internal Services’ was appended to the ERC’s PAA  in fiscal year 2009-10.  As a result of its experience in attempting to meet the reporting requirements, the ERC determined that its uniquely small size made the reporting of this Program Activity particularly inaccurate.  The related expenditures could not be reliably apportioned between program activities without an inordinate expenditure of resources.  The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat agreed with the ERC’s assertion.  It granted the ERC an exemption from reporting on financial commitments to Internal Services as a separate Program Activity until the end of the 2010-11 fiscal year.  In this area the ERC’s circumstances remain unchanged and given the state of flux it is currently experiencing, it has sought a second two-year exemption.  While the exemption has not been confirmed, this report will present information indicating that the ERC has a single, distinct program activity.

Program Activity 1: Independent and impartial case review
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
8 1,469 6 941 6 941
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Parties and RCMP Commissioner are provided with a timely independent review of the dispute to facilitate transparent and accountable dispute resolution. Percentage of cases where findings and recommendations are issued, subject to party’s right to withdraw. 100% of referred files, subject to party’s right to withdraw.
A body of findings and recommendations is made available to assist RCMP Adjudicators, parties, RCMP staff representatives to interpret legislation, regulations and policy. Body of findings and recommendations is updated quarterly and made available online. Updated within 2 months of end of quarter.
Public and Parliamentarians are advised of any areas for legislative, regulatory or policy change/ clarification. All recommendations for legislative change/clarification, if any, are provided to Parliament in annual report. Annual report submitted before June 30 of each year.
The public and RCMP labour relations stakeholders have access to timely and accurate information on employment and labour relations cases referred by the RCMP to the ERC. Proportion of stakeholders with access to ERC reports. 94% have access to ERC reports.

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 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.

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 all priorities.

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

Historical Operating Environment

The strategic outcome of the ERC is the “Independent, impartial and thorough analysis, findings and recommendations for transparency in RCMP grievances and appeals.”  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 theERCconducts 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. 

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.

Recent Initiatives

Given the current uncertainty about the ERC’s eventual status as detailed above, there are a number of activities that have surfaced as new and emerging priorities for the ERC.  These are intended to take into account the continuity of its functions while Bill C-43 proceeds and the critical contribution of its staff in meeting its statutory obligations.  These activities have included a number of initiatives that will continue into the next fiscal year.

Immediately upon tabling of the Bill, the ERC suspended its announced staffing processes to create a pool of pre-qualified LA-01 and LA-02s for determinate positions tied to short-term funding approved by Treasury Board.  The ongoing office consolidation project was reviewed with Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to determine the feasability of early termination.  Given the advanced stage of the project and its commitments to third-party service providers and to its public service tenant-partners, the ERC pursued this project on the basis that all improvements were made in compliance with current PWGSC standards, making the office space suitable for any public service tenants.  Where possible, office equipment purchases were restricted to only those for the ERC’s small number of indeterminate employees.  Additional expenditures were considered as certainty was gleaned as the Bill progressed in Parliament.  Staff training was weighted towards preparation for employment in the greater public service at large. 

The ERC’s staffing strategy changed to one of locating appropriate suitable employment for its staff elsewhere in the public service.  The ERCre-deployed resources from case review to strategic planning for its potential dissolution, particularly in regard to ensuring the best outcomes for present employees.  The ERC is developing contingency plans in the event that present staff leave for more secure positions while the ERC continues its operations.

The ERC is committed to continuing its quality case reviews as long as required and to supporting any future form of labour relations structure that may be designed.

Program Activity: Internal Services*
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
0 0 0 0 0 0

*  The ERC has sought to continue its exemption from reporting separately on Internal Services expenditures.