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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Fair and impartial resolution of disputes related to internal appointments and lay-offs in the Government of Canada

The Tribunals Strategic Outcome is derived directly from the mandate conferred upon it by the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). Subsection 88(2) of the Act reads as follows:

The mandate of the Tribunal is to consider and dispose of complaints made under subsection 65(1) and sections 74, 77 and 83.

Sections 65, 74, 77 and 83 of the PSEA refer to lay-offs, the revocation of an appointment, internal appointments and the failure of corrective measures respectively.

In considering whether a complaint against an internal appointment or lay-off is founded, the Tribunal may interpret and apply the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).

The CHRA also permits the Tribunal to provide mediation services at any stage of its proceeding in order to resolve a complaint.

By providing neutral, third party recourse for staffing complaints within the federal public service, the Tribunal helps to ensure that Canada and Canadians are served by a highly competent and professional public service based on merit and non-partisanship.

Program Activity by Strategic Outcome



Program Activity: Adjudication and mediation of complaints filed under the Public Service Employment Act
2008-2009 Financial Resources
($ thousands)
2008-2009 Human Resources
(FTEs)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
4,968 5,489 4,810 35 34 1


Expected
Results
Performance
Indicators
Targets Performance
Status
Performance
Summary
Tribunal decisions are timely, sound and well reasoned

Percentage of decisions where reasons are issued within two months of hearing

80% Not met An increase in the number of complaints received by the Tribunal and a decrease in the number of members available to render decisions resulted in the Tribunals inability to meet its target for decisions where an oral hearing is held.

Percentage of Tribunal decisions upheld on judicial review

95% Met None of the Tribunals decisions was quashed by the Federal Court.
Optimal utilization of Tribunals dispute resolution services by parties

Percentage of mediations resulting in withdrawal of complaint

70% Exceeded Of the 175 mediation sessions held in 2008-2009, 158 resulted in a withdrawal of the complaints. This represents a 90% settlement rate.
Outputs Performance
Indicators
Targets Performance
Status
Performance
Summary
Complaints processed

Percentage of case files closed within 270 days

80% Exceeded Of all of the 727 files closed during the fiscal year, 99% were closed within 270 days following the receipt of the complaint.

Number of complaints processed per year

As required A total of 1,214 complaint files were processed during the year: 393 files were carried over from the previous year and 821 new complaints were submitted The number of complaints continue to increase each year. In 2007-2008, there were 742 new complaints. The number of new cases this year 821 - represents a 10% increase in the number of complaints filed in the previous year.
Mediation sessions conducted

Number of mediations held per year

140 Exceeded With a full complement of staff mediators and four part-time members available to provide mediation services, 175 mediation sessions were held during the year.
Mediation training courses delivered

Number of mediation training courses for stakeholders given per year

6 Met The Tribunal is able to meet the training needs of its stakeholders by providing the Interest-based Negotiation and Mediation course six times a year.

Program Activity: Adjudication and mediation of complaints filed under the Public Service Employment Act

Benefits for Canadians

The PSEA was intended to modernize staffing in the public service by providing independent recourse for complaints related to internal appointments and lay-offs and also increase the availability and effectiveness of mediation in resolving complaints.

The Tribunal contributes to the Government of Canadas Government Affairs Outcome. Through its efforts to both providing transparent, impartial and sound decisions to its stakeholders, and helping the parties resolve complaints without a hearing, the Tribunal contributes to the effective human resources management in the public service and the protection of the integrity of the appointment process. In this way, the Tribunal provides support to a public service based on merit and capable of delivering services of the highest quality to Canadians.

Performance Analysis

Expected Results

1. Tribunal decisions are timely, sound and well reasoned.

The Tribunals main objective is to render high quality decisions with respect to complaints filed under the PSEA within a reasonable time frame. An important measure of the quality of decisions is the number of applications for judicial review regarding Tribunal decisions and, of those, the number dismissed.

The indicators and targets for measuring the quality and time involved in rendering decisions are as follows:


Indicator Target
Percentage of decisions where reasons are issued within two months of hearing 80%

The Tribunal fell short of its target with respect to the time it takes to issue the Reasons for Decision after a hearing. This is due to three main factors: the complexity of precedent-setting decisions issued, the increase in the number of complaints and the limited number of members available to conduct hearings and write decisions, both Reasons for Decision and letter decisions. The Tribunal entered the year with five permanent members whose main responsibility was to render decisions; however, by the end of the fiscal year, only two permanent members remained. Although two temporary members had begun to hold hearings by the end of the year, the remaining two permanent members were responsible for issuing all 166 letter decisions. This responsibility combined with the increasing number of complaints submitted to the Tribunal and the limited number of members to conduct hearings resulted in an increase in the time that it took the Tribunal to issue its decisions.


Indicator Target
Percentage of Tribunal decisions upheld on judicial review 95%

Out of 210 final decisions issued in 2008-2009, only four were referred to the Federal Court for judicial review. The Federal Court rendered one decision during the same period; the application for judicial review was dismissed in this particular case. The Tribunal met its target, therefore, in that no applications for judicial review were upheld in 2008-2009.

2. Optimal utilization of Tribunals dispute resolution services by parties

In keeping with the spirit and intent of the Public Service Modernization Act, the Tribunal strives to assist the parties resolve complaints without having to proceed to an oral hearing.

The indicators and targets for measuring the quality and time involved in rendering decisions are as follows:


Indicator Target
Percentage of mediations resulting in withdrawal 70%

Parties made effective use of the Tribunals mediation services during 2008-2009 in that the Tribunals target was exceeded by a full 20%. One hundred seventy-five (175) mediation sessions were held during the year and, of these, 158 resulted in a withdrawal of the complaint. This represents a 90% settlement rate.

Outputs

1. Complaints processed

As noted in the summary table, the number of complaints filed with the Tribunal continues to rise each year. Procedures and policies have been put in place to enable the Tribunal to process complaints in a timely manner for example, pre-hearing conferences, paper hearings and mediation. In addition, the Tribunals case management system continues to be assessed and improved where possible.

2. Mediation sessions conducted

Under the PSEA, the Tribunal may provide mediation services at any stage of a proceeding in order to resolve a complaint. Accordingly, the Tribunal has placed considerable emphasis upon mediation and achieved a high rate of success. During the year, a full complement consisting of four staff mediators and four part-time members was available to provide mediation services.

3. Mediation training courses delivered

The Tribunal has offered mediation training since early 2006. As a result of the continuing interest in and demand for mediation training in the staffing context, the Tribunal is committed to offering its Interest-based Negotiation and Mediation training six times a year in order to meet the needs of its stakeholders.

Lessons Learned

Outreach

The Tribunals Interest-Based Negotiation and Mediation (IBNM) training along with general information sessions about the Tribunal, the complaint process and mediation services, and the information provided on the Tribunals website have been key factors in the success of the Tribunals dispute resolution services.

The IBNM training is delivered six times a year and general information sessions about the Tribunal are given upon request throughout the year. Between April 2008 and March 2009, a total of 17 information sessions were delivered across Canada: nine sessions were delivered in Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto), five in Quebec (Montreal, Gatineau), and three others were delivered in Alberta (Banff), Manitoba (Gimli) and British Columbia (Victoria).

In addition, the Tribunals website provides a great deal of information about the Tribunals processes, including mediation and the decisions rendered by the Tribunal. Assistance to the parties is provided during the course of the complaint process by Tribunal staff to provide clarification on policies and procedures of the Tribunal.

In light of the success of the Tribunals dispute resolution services, the Tribunal will continue to ensure that its stakeholders continue to receive timely and relevant information regarding Tribunal decisions, policies and procedures through its communications products and tools, training program and consultation with its stakeholders.

Judicial Review of Tribunal Decisions

The very small number of judicial review applications in 2008-2009 demonstrates that the Tribunal continues to issue well-reasoned and comprehensive decisions. The fact that no decision was quashed is a strong indicator that the Tribunal is fulfilling its mandate, while ensuring the right to be heard.

Given that the PSEA is still a relatively new piece of legislation, the Tribunal expects more Federal Court challenges, both to its jurisdiction and its decisions. The Tribunal will continue to strive to balance the need to consider and dispose of complaints as informally and expeditiously as possible with its duty to act fairly as a quasi-judicial administrative body.

Timeliness of Tribunal Decisions

A number of factors have an impact upon the time it takes to issue a decision following a hearing by a Tribunal member. These include: the number of complaints received by the Tribunal; the number of members available to conduct hearings and write decisions; the complexity of the case; the possibility of establishing a precedent; and the appointment process for Tribunal members. The Tribunal has no control over any of these factors and can only affect the length of the process by ensuring that appropriate internal mechanisms for producing and reviewing a decision within a reasonable time frame are in place. For this reason, the Tribunal continually monitors its internal processes and makes any adjustments deemed necessary.