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Section V: Executive and Corporate Services

Executive and Corporate Services do not constitute a program activity within the PAA construct.  They do, however, comprise the corporate management activities carried out by individual organizations within Defence.

Safety Programs

The General Safety Program

The General Safety Program was established at DND to ensure that safety considerations are incorporated into every aspect of Defence operations, training and support activities. As well as occupational safety for both civilian and military personnel, it comprises occupational health and the Return to Work program for Defence civilians. The General Safety Program is designed to meet the legislative requirements of the Canada Labour Code, Part II (CLC, Part II), and is complemented by ten specialized safety programs that address regulatory regimes such as nuclear and flight safety, and functional areas such as diving and work with explosives.

During the reporting year, Defence established the Departmental Safety Co-ordinating Authority as a unified health and safety governance structure under the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The head of this organization chairs the National Defence Health and Safety Council ex officio.

In response to the enactment of Part XIX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (Hazard Prevention), and under the direction of the National Defence Health and Safety Council, Defence promulgated new policy and guidance pertaining to hazard identification and risk management; provided Human Resources and Social Development Canada with a status report on the state of occupational health and safety in the department; and promulgated an implementation plan to satisfy the requirements of the new regulation.

Nuclear Safety

Defence continued to meet the requirements of the Order in Council that excludes DND and the CF from the Nuclear Safety and Control Act or any regulations made pursuant thereto. The requirements established for DND and the CF on behalf of the Minister of National Defence for the management of nuclear-related activities were consistent with the requirements for health, safety, security, and the protection of the environment established under the Act, and provided the flexibility required to achieve operational effectiveness in Canada and abroad.

Management of nuclear-related activities in Defence is assessed annually for safety and effectiveness through its compliance assessment program. Satisfactory levels of compliance were demonstrated during fiscal 2006–2007.

The DND/CF nuclear safety requirements established in the Nuclear Safety Orders and Directives are available on line with the annual reports on nuclear safety at:

Enhance Modern Management

Defence in its effort to enhance modern management supports effective and efficient management practices consistent with the Government of Canada standards. Defence is tracking performance in this area using the Management Accountability Framework (MAF).

Governance and Strategic Direction

Defence has implemented a new strategic governance structure for DND and the CF, devised to correct shortfalls identified by the Auditor General and to improve decision-making in the new chain of command and control in the CF. The new strategic governance structure retains many components of its predecessor, such as the Defence Management Committee, but it also includes new bodies such as the Commanders’ Council, a venue for resolving strategic issues that affect the conduct of operations. In the new structure, the Joint Capability Requirements Board has been replaced with the more strategically focussed Defence Planning Board and its subordinate, the Capability Development Board. The Capability Development Board and the Program Management Board will advise the Defence Planning Board on the development of an effective, achievable defence program.

Just as important as structural changes are the philosophical changes to the governance committee structure that affect how the various boards, committees and councils operate. Now the primary role of a committee is not to make decisions but to advise the committee chair, which is the decision-maker held accountable. While this change liberates committees from the obligation to reach consensus, it preserves effective consultation with committee members as a salient feature of board processes. Structural change has also brought new members to the various boards, councils and committees. Level 1 authorities — that is, Group heads and the Environmental Chiefs of Staff — no longer sit ex officio on all the committees of the strategic governance structure. Representatives at the Assistant Level 1 level now make up the Defence Management Oversight Committee, the Capability Development Board and the Program Management Board. These changes were introduced to relieve Level 1 authorities of committee work and allow them to focus upon strategic concerns.

The new strategic governance structure is the first of a series of significant improvements to DND/CF decision-making processes. More refinements will follow in due course.

Risk Management

In January 2007, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff released a new version of the DND/CF Integrated Risk Management Policy and Guidelines and approved Part 1 of the Corporate Risk Profile. Part 2 of the Corporate Risk Profile, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007, will detail the top-level strategic risks to Defence, with the department’s risk-tolerance and risk-mitigation strategies. The assimilation of integrated risk management into the Performance Management Framework began in early 2007; the DND/CF Integrated Risk Management Implementation Plan is complete and currently awaiting signature by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. This document details the steps in integrating risk management across the Defence Planning and Management functions. The business planning call letter for fiscal 2008–2009 requires, for the first time, a risk assessment linked to corporate strategic objectives. An on-line course entitled “Introduction to Risk Management” is now available to all Defence personnel, both military and civilian.

Stewardship and Comptrollership

In response to the Government Action Plan on strengthening public sector management, DND worked on many initiatives to strengthen accountability and comptrollership.  Some of these include:

  • Financial Administration Act – DND continued to improve its financial control framework to ensure Departmental Compliance with the FAA for the over one million payments made during fiscal 2006–2007 for a value of  $14.4 billion. The Department employed a rigorous pre- payment audit of the 4,609 payments over $250,000 in value (totalling more than $7.6 billion). It also conducted a cyclical, representative, on-going review by spending authority of payments under $250,000. Feedback from internal and OAG audits helped improve the departmental risk-based assessment of activities that fall under the financial control framework. Quarterly FAA Compliance reports were provided to all Senior Management outlining the results of the various compliance reviews conducted on their respective areas of responsibility. A senior level steering committee provided regular oversight to all aspects of the financial and contractual control frameworks on behalf of the Deputy Minister.
  • Commitment Accounting – During the reporting period, commitment accounting for invoice processing, including Salary Wage Envelope, National Procurement and Work Breakdown Structure activities, as well as the payment of invoices to a supplier/contractor, became a mandatory requirement within the DND FMAS.
  • Accrual Accounting Implementation – DND worked on issues related to assets and inventories to ensure these are properly recorded in the DND FMAS and correctly represented in the DND Financial Statements. A three-year action plan, to guide the implementation of accrual accounting, was established and is being monitored by a senior management Interdepartmental Steering Committee on Asset and Inventory Valuation. As part of the DND Audited Financial Statements Project, a complete review and documentation of internal controls (automated and manual), as they relate to assets and inventories, is being conducted and once completed should result in procedural and process changes to further improve the way DND accounts for these items.


In June 2004, the DM issued a Strengthening Accountability and Comptrollership Directive.  The Directive provided clear guidance and direction to managers and leaders at all levels on management practices and controls, stewardship of resources, probity and fiduciary responsibilities.  In November 2004, 2005 and 2006 senior level Comptrollers provided updates on implementing the Directive in their respective organizations.  November 2006 was the final formal update; however, informal oversight will continue.

Management Accountability Framework

Each year, the Secretariat of the Treasury Board of Canada conducts an analysis using the 10 elements of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) to evaluate management at Defence. This assessment is not only a insightful source of information for the Treasury Board, Parliament, the Office of the Auditor General and the Canadian public, but also an excellent opportunity for Defence to see where management practices and processes should be improved, and to pursue excellence. In fiscal 2006–2007, DND conducted an internal assessment using 20 MAF indicators and associated measures covering all 10 MAF elements. Overall, the department’s performance was graded as satisfactory, with specific recognition for establishing a productive, principled, sustainable and adaptable workforce; achieving effective management of information technology; and delivering citizen-focused service. Areas identified as requiring improvement included risk management and financial management and control. The following three management priorities were identified for fiscal 2007–2008:

To this end, DND established an implementation plan for integrating the MAF process and recommendations into Defence operations. MAF indicators and measures will be integrated into the department’s strategic performance measurement system in support of the Balanced Scorecard, and OPIs will be formally appointed for each MAF indicator and measures to track compliance with recommendations from assessments and to support the integration of these measures into the Balanced Scorecard and their regular submission.

Governance Framework

Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP conducted a Readiness Assessment to identify the steps the Department must follow to document, assess, implement and improve on the various controls over all aspects of business being reported in the departmental financial statements. To this end, a solid governance framework was put in place to monitor the activities. DND initiated a project to move to a controls-reliant[6] audit of its financial statements and took a deliberate and methodical approach to moving forward on this initiative.

Results and Performance

The Performance Management Framework (PMF) system at DND is maturing, and senior managers discuss issues raised through the PMF system in structured Balanced Scorecard discussions. However, the DND/CF PMF is challenged to maintain relevant indicators and measures for strategic objectives that are difficult to quantify. Some strategic objectives on the corporate strategy map are combinations of related corporate objectives or legally mandated programs that do not lend themselves to definitive measurement. The senior leaders have identified a need to examine certain strategic objectives for current relevance and to refine the indicators and measures that relate to the health of those strategic objectives.

Strategy reviews are conducted on a semi-annual cycle. Senior managers recently identified a requirement to discuss strategy between formal reviews, possibly quarterly or more often when necessary. It was also decided that decisions made at the formal reviews would be assigned milestones with one senior manager responsible for oversight and for reporting results to the senior management committee.

The semi-annual Performance Measurement Report has evolved into a discussion paper circulated among senior managers to share information about the state of all areas of the Strategy Map. It continues to be a cornerstone of communication among senior leaders and stimulates the discussion among decision-makers that is necessary if appropriate actions are to be identified. Risk management has also been introduced to the PMF and will be integral to the monitoring of strategic objectives in the future. Defence is endeavouring to cascade this structure and format down to other levels of DND and the CF. While many of DND’s senior management level organizations have a Strategy Map or a Balanced Scorecard, few subordinate units have adopted them for measuring their own objectives. Although Defence still has work to do to achieve a fully cascaded PMF, some of these senior management level organizations are reporting success with the framework.

For example, the strategic PMF continues to evolve at Maritime Command, producing performance measurement reports focussing on the capability plan to track actual spending against planned spending. Non-fiscal reports concentrated on force generation and the number of funded sea days required to achieve overall fleet readiness and satisfy force employment requirements.

Land Force Command continues to focus on its performance measurement program with the development of an army-wide Action Directive on program requirements. The Area Commands use the program extensively to monitor business lines and the Area Commander has hard data to make decisions. The program supports the reporting requirements of the biennial Defence Management Committee (DMC), and is involved in developing performance measures for the annual Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Report. Currently, the LFC performance measurement program is in a period of regeneration, as measures and data sources are updated or automated to comply with new reporting requirements and tap departmental records systems more effectively, gathering higher-quality data.

Air Command uses the Balanced Scorecard as its primary performance management tool, and the strategic objectives in the Strategy Map are the keys to overall strategy execution in the air force. Since continuous improvement in resource stewardship is a key goal, Air Command will continue to improve the monitoring of the effective use of resources, focussing on assigning resources to tasks and priorities, and aligning the business planning process more closely with the parallel performance management process. At the strategic level, Air Command will implement the Comptrollership Action Plan to continue developing and strengthening its management processes and tools. The plan includes process enhancements to the Air Command Performance Management Framework (including the Balance Scorecard), the Business Plan Quarterly Report, shifting allocations under the business plan to the Program Activity Architecture, and the initial development of a formal risk assessment framework for Air Command.

The Human Resources – Civilian Group has maintained a Performance Measurement Framework for the last four years, with measures focused on retention, workforce health, and workforce growth. The PMF has helped identify civilian human resources processes that should be improved. It will be combined with the risk management framework, and developed further, primarily to cover other areas of the Balanced Scorecard and to assess the quality of programs and services. The PMF will also include management tools to help senior management in the Human Resources – Civilian Group align the Group’s PMF with the Defence-wide Strategic Performance Management Framework.

Effective performance measurement will produce information useful to planning and control across Defence, helping to ensure a close alignment of direction, efforts and results. Defence still has work to do to ensure that a relevant PMF structure is disseminated throughout the organization. Corporate priorities that used to be developed in isolation from the corporate strategy map are now written to reflect both the corporate strategy objectives and the MAF. The execution of the Defence Program through the Defence Plan has yet to be linked to the corporate strategy map. Through reference to the business planning and the new governance structure, this linkage will be established.

Audits and Evaluations

Internal Audit

A key goal of the internal audit function during fiscal 2006–2007 was its expansion to meet the requirements of the new Treasury Board internal audit policy. Expansion efforts were constrained by several factors, including the continued growth of internal audit in both the public and private sectors, which has led to sharp competition for the limited supply of personnel with the appropriate skills and qualifications. As a result, although the Chief of Review Services launched a competitive process to staff senior-level audit positions and continued to take advantage of the Internal Audit Recruitment and Development Program, expansion efforts have been slower than originally planned.

Despite shortages in audit staff, CRS initiated all but one of the audit projects planned for fiscal 2006–2007 and responded to several unforeseen requests for audit services. Audit work focused on major capital procurement; information management and information technology systems; and management of human and financial resources. A list of audit work completed during fiscal 2006–2007 is given in Table 13, and audit reports are available on line at

Program Evaluation

During fiscal 2006–2007, the program evaluation function continued to play an important role in advising senior management on value for money, program rationale, and program effectiveness in DND and the CF. CF Transformation and key areas of CF operations also became more prominent in evaluation work, particularly as they relate to people, technology, ways of conducting operations, and ways of thinking.

A list of program evaluations completed during fiscal 2006–2007 is given in Table 13, and program evaluation reports are available on line at

Labour Relations

Defence continued to promote the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve complaints by: having senior managers propose or choose ADR as the first option; supporting Dispute Resolution Centres across the country; integrating ADR principles into training for supervisors; raising awareness of ADR; and working with bargaining agents to ensure their support of ADR processes. When offered, ADR was accepted as a dispute resolution mechanism in about 20 percent of cases.

DND prepared for the negotiation of Essential Services Agreements (ESAs) by: engaging senior management in identifying the essential services Defence provides and the level of service to be maintained; preparing policy and communication tools for managers; and working with the Union of National Defence Employees (a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada) to develop the negotiation process for the round of collective bargaining due to be conducted during fiscal 2007–2008.

To implement the provisions of the new Public Service Employment Act with respect to political activity, Defence provided its employees and managers with advice about changes to the Public Service Commission (PSC) process for obtaining approval to seek office, and worked with the PSC to expedite employees’ requests to seek office and to ensure respect for PSC decisions.

Civilian Recourse Registry

The Civilian Recourse Registry is the gateway for integrated receipt, tracking and administration of civilian labour relations and classification grievances, staffing complaints, and human rights complaints.

During the reporting period, the registry developed, tested, finalized and distributed procedures for the handling of staffing complaints to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal (PSST) under the new Public Service Employment Act. Procedures for the receipt and processing of classification grievances were drafted, and the standardized national process for labour relations grievances was modified.

The grievance tracking system (now called the Recourse Tracking System) was modified to capture staffing complaints referred to the PSST and the PSC as well as classification and labour relations grievances. Although the number of classification grievances remains constant, the proportion of grievances upheld has decreased.

Through networking, workshops, conferences and learning events, registry staff created opportunities to speak to human resources practitioners, managers and union representatives to communicate new ways to handle complaints and grievances. A website is being created to promote the registry and inform Defence employees about recourse.

Concurrent Jurisdiction

As a result of legislative projects that became high priorities at the Office of the Judge Advocate General during the reporting period (including Bill C-7, An Act to Amend the National Defence Act; Bill S-3, An Act to Amend the National Defence Act, the Criminal Code, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the Criminal Records Act; and Bill C-18, An Act to Amend Certain Acts in Relation to DNA Identification), no progress was made on the Concurrent Jurisdiction project during fiscal 2006–2007.

Office of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman

The Ombudsman’s Office contributes to substantial, long-lasting change in DND and the CF. Independent of the chain of command and civilian management, the Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister of National Defence and helps ensure fair, equitable treatment of all members of the Defence community.

The Ombudsman’s Office is a direct source of information, referral and education for Defence civilians and CF members. It helps individuals access channels of assistance or redress when they have a complaint or concern. The office also investigates complaints and serves as a neutral third party on matters related to DND and the CF and, when necessary, reports publicly on these issues.

During fiscal 2006–2007, the office handled 1,821 cases (including both new cases and cases carried over from previous fiscal years). Of this number, 1,514 cases were formally closed. Since the office was established in 1998, it has received nearly 12,000 contacts from CF members, Defence civilians, relatives of CF members, and other constituents.

During fiscal 2006–2007, the office finalized two investigations and published two special reports. In July 2006, the Ombudsman released The Canadian Face Behind the Recruiting Targets,, a report on the CF recruiting system. As well as identifying several problem areas in the current CF recruiting system, the report offered 18 recommendations aimed primarily at improving the level of service provided to applicants.

In October 2006, the Ombudsman issued Heroism Exposed: An Investigation into the Treatment of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment Kuwait Veterans (1991), a special report on the treatment received by CF members exposed to toxic environmental substances more than 15 years ago. Heroism Exposed contains nine recommendations aimed specifically at improving the way in which the CF communicate and document concerns — real, perceived and potential — related to environmental hazards on international military operations.

In June 2006, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) also launched its first systemic investigation involving CF Reservists. The investigation focused on the quality of care that Reservists or former Reservists received when they sought medical treatment from the CF over the past three years. The OMB is expected to finalize the investigation, and publish a special report, in the fall of 2007.

Over the past year, the Office of the Ombudsman began reorganizing its Operations Group to increase the quality and timeliness of its services. Three smaller, nimbler investigative teams that can manage both individual complaints and systemic investigations replaced the General Investigations Section and the Special Ombudsman Response Team. The Intake section was expanded to allow faster interventions and informal resolution of complaints and concerns. The reorganization of the Operations group will also include revised standard operating procedures, a more robust case-tracking and case-management system, and a stronger research and policy-development function.

Throughout fiscal 2006–2007, the Office of the Ombudsman also focused on establishing measures to increase openness, transparency and accountability in its activities and operations. For example, the Office launched a new Internet site that will allow public access to information about the progress of special investigations and the status of all recommendations from the Ombudsman to the Minister of National Defence, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces since 1998, when the Office was established.

Director Access to Information and Privacy

In fiscal 2006–2007, DND experienced a 60% growth in the number of files received under Access to Information. Based on the Information Commissioner’s Report, DND performance improved from a “ C” rating the previous year to a  “B”. The Director Access to Information and Privacy (DAIP) organization undertook an organizational review and implemented a number of changes to strengthen the capacity of the organization.

Defence Public Affairs

Throughout the year, Defence Public Affairs provided professional and timely communications advice and products to:

  • Promote understanding of the Canadian Forces among Canadians;
  • Foster, strengthen and expand Canadians’ engagement with the CF; and
  • Maintain and increase public confidence in the CF.

Public Affairs supported major procurement announcements, deployments in North America and around the world, the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and all departmental organizations. In addition, Public Affairs continued to stay on top of daily issues, coped with crises and orchestrated events at home and abroad.

PA assets across Canada, the United States, and Europe and around the world produced significant results for Defence.

During fiscal 2006–2007, both the news media and the public demonstrated a deep and continuing interest for information about the CF. The Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) received more than 6,400 enquiries from the media — almost twice as many as in 2005–2006 — and 16,679 enquiries from the public.

In addition, the Public Affairs Group:

  • Provided the news media with still and video imagery from every major CF operation;
  • Produced video stories on 16 CF operations and posted them on the Internet at sites as varied as the CF Image Gallery, YouTube and ITunes;
  • Continued the tradition of a prominent CF presence at major regional and national events;
  • Conducted extensive public opinion research to gauge Canadians’ attitudes to the Canadian Forces and its operations in Afghanistan; and
  • Produced thousands of communications products including issues and operations backgrounders, media advisories, news releases, speakers’ kits, Ministerial statements, media analyses, brochures, pamphlets and backdrops for exhibits.

The Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre (DPALC) opened officially in May 2006 with a mission to give Defence personnel, especially CF members, the training and expertise they need to connect effectively with Canadians, and to develop a cadre of professional Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) in the CF.

While hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel received training directly from DPALC staff, thousands more received media and public affairs awareness training via packages provided to PAOs across Canada. As a result, our CF members are authoritative, professional and articulate in a wide variety of situations in the public eye. DPALC also supported CF operations abroad; for example, by delivering four spokesperson-training sessions to commanders and headquarters staff before their deployment to Afghanistan.

Defence success depends in part on the perceptions, level of understanding, and support it receives from its stakeholders and clients. Reaching them requires a co-ordinated approach, communications that target the appropriate audiences with consistent messaging, and communications that respond to stakeholders’ needs. During the reporting period, Defence public affairs practitioners across Canada reached thousands of Canadians through stakeholder events and visits, roundtable sessions, speeches and outreach activities. Cumulatively, all of these efforts helped Defence build strong relationships with stakeholders whose knowledge, expertise and understanding are invaluable when issues arise.

While events and activities targeting strategic audiences and objectives helped increase awareness among Defence stakeholders, they also produced a multiplier effect when participating stakeholders related their experiences with the CF to their friends, colleagues and communities through activities, events and the media.

From CF Transformation to operations in Afghanistan, Defence Public Affairs was there every step of the way, delivering public affairs programs and activities, products, advice and support and, most importantly, expertise born of experience.

Due to the persistent efforts of Defence public affairs staff, Canadian soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen are now part of the fabric of Canadian life. Canadians have heard the voices and seen the faces of the men and women who defend Canada and contribute to international peace and security. In many cases, they have met face to face. “Support our troops” is a call to action that has become a reality.