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The Honorable Stockwell Day, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)
In June 2006, I was appointed Chairperson of the National Parole Board (NPB), a task that I approach with enthusiasm and commitment. Since my appointment, I have spent many hours talking with the members and staff of the Board about the numerous challenges that we face as a small but important partner in Canada’s criminal justice system. With these discussions in mind, I am certain that the Board’s Plans and Priorities for 2006/07 provide the foundation for solid progress in the coming years.
Plans and Priorities for 2006/07 focus on promoting continuous improvement in the quality of conditional release and pardons decisions, and therefore, on the Board’s legislated responsibility for contributing to public safety.
This commitment to continuous improvement is essential as the Board strives to meet the challenges of heavy workloads and important shifts in its operational environment such as the more difficult profile of the offender population, recent trends toward shorter sentences, new knowledge and information about risk assessment and risk management, and the expanding information needs of the Board’s criminal justice partners, victims of crime, and the community.
In this context, the Board will implement numerous measures for improvement in the area of conditional release, including enhanced orientation and training for Board members; provision of more time for Board members to prepare for and conduct hearings; strengthened staff work to ensure that Board members have access to relevant and timely information for decision-making; and an expanded capacity for responding to the information needs of victims. NPB also plans to work with the Correctional Service of Canada to upgrade automated information systems supporting corrections and conditional release. In addition, the Board will continue to refine its process for dealing with pardons, resulting in better information for decision-making, better sharing of information about pardons with NPB’s criminal justice partners, and better service for pardon applicants.
NPB’s commitment to continuous improvement also extends to corporate management. Improvements in these areas will emphasize management accountability through rigorous strategic and operational planning, financial comptrollership, sound procurement strategies, risk-based internal audit and evaluation and effective human resource management highlighted by a human resource plan that integrates business and “people” needs.
Public safety is the highest priority for the National Parole Board. NPB’s Plans and Priorities for 2006/07 position the Board for progress in contributing to public safety and in supporting the broader strategic priorities established for the Public Safety portfolio: fighting serious and organized crime; enhancing the role of Canadians in community safety and security; and protecting the security of Canada. Progress toward Plans and Priorities for 2006/07 will be reflected in upcoming Departmental Performance Reports.
Chairperson, National Parole Board
I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006/07 Report on Plans and Priorities for the National Parole Board (NPB). This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2006/07 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:
Name: Mario Dion
Title: Chairperson, National Parole Board
The National Parole Board is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for making decisions about the timing and conditions of release of offenders to the community on various forms of conditional release. The Board also makes pardon decisions and recommendations respecting clemency through the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM).
Legislation governing the Board includes the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), the Criminal Records Act (CRA), and the Criminal Code. The CCRA empowers the Board to make conditional release decisions for federal offenders and offenders in provinces and territories without their own parole boards. Provincial boards currently exist in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. The CRA authorizes the Board to grant or revoke pardons for convictions under federal acts or regulations. The Governor General or the Governor in Council approves the use of the RPM for those convicted for a federal offence, following investigations by the Board, and recommendations from the Minister of Public Safety.
The National Parole Board, as part of the criminal justice system, makes independent, quality conditional release and pardon decisions and clemency recommendations. The Board contributes to the protection of society by facilitating, as appropriate, the timely integration of offenders as law-abiding citizens.
The Mission establishes four core values:
Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
NPB works in a complex environment, demanding effective support for government priorities, including proposals for legislative change, which contribute to sustaining safe and secure communities, careful assessment of pressures within the justice system, thoughtful consideration of public issues and concerns in a dynamic and challenging community context, and rigorous pursuit of innovation and improvement to meet workload pressures.
The Board delivers two legislatively based programs – conditional release and pardons and clemency. The Board also has a corporate service function which provides critical support for program delivery. The conditional release area is, by far, the most complex and resource intensive, accounting for more than 80% of annual program expenditures. Program delivery is labour-intense. Salary costs amount to about 80% of program expenditures each year. Most of the remaining expenditures cover essential operating costs such as Board member travel to parole hearings. The high proportion of resources devoted to legislative responsibilities, seriously constrains resource flexibility. In this context, managing heavy and increasingly complex workloads presents a constant challenge.
NPB’s workloads are driven by factors beyond its control. Legislation governing the Board (Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Criminal Records Act) is prescriptive, specifying when and how the Board must conduct its business (e.g. when to conduct parole hearings). In addition, workloads are driven by the actions of offenders, victims and pardon applicants. In concrete terms, this means that NPB must deal with high workload volumes in tight timeframes, amid intense public scrutiny. For example, each year, the Board must complete 20,000 to 25,000 conditional release reviews, respond to 15,000 contacts from victims, arrange for more than 1,100 observers at its hearings, and send out 5,000 decisions from its registry of decisions in response to requests from victims, the media, and interested citizens. Normally, the Board must also manage about 20,000 pardon applications each year. In the second half of 2005/06, however, the Board experienced a sharp spike in application volumes. This issue is being monitored closely, given the implications of increases in applications for NPB workloads and resource needs.
The Board must also deal with growing complexity in conditional release decision-making as reflected in three important trends. The first is the “hardening” of the federal offender population, characterized by longer criminal histories, greater prevalence of violence, more gang affiliations, more serious substance abuse problems and more serious physical and mental health problems. The federal offender population is also becoming more culturally and ethnically diverse. The second trend involves the shift toward shorter federal prison sentences. In fact, sentences of less than three years have increased by more than 60% in recent years. A more difficult offender population with shorter sentences (and less time to benefit from programs/treatment) challenges NPB’s work to assess factors related to safe reintegration in the community. The third trend is the need for innovative decision processes such as elder-assisted and community-assisted hearings which recognize the needs of Aboriginal offenders, and the increasing numbers of offenders from ethnoracial communities. Complexity has also been influenced by greater involvement of victims and observers at hearings, media and community involvement, and the involvement of lawyers as offenders’ assistants in the hearing process.
From a legislative and policy perspective, the Board must continue to address important challenges such as the information needs of victims of crime, the broad impacts of diversity, the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system and low levels of public confidence in parole and parole boards. All of these issues must be considered in the context of NPB’s enduring commitment to public safety.
In terms of corporate management and accountability, the Board must continue to address the challenges of a modern management agenda comprising sound financial processes and systems, effective human resource planning, and thorough program monitoring (management review, audit, evaluation) to support improvements in management and program delivery. The key challenge in this area involves the Board’s limited capacity to identify the resources necessary to support numerous government-wide management initiatives, given its extensive funding requirements for conditional release and pardons operations.
|Priority: Effective management of legislative responsibilities related to conditional release decision-making.||Type||Planned Spending|
NPB will continue efforts to strengthen its capacity for quality conditional release decisions. Plans to enhance the effectiveness of conditional release
decision-making will address the key factors which influence the complexity and volume of annual workloads (e.g. the current and projected size of the federal
offender population, and the characteristics of this population).
To assess workload volumes, the Board combines offender population information with legislatively-based information such as parole eligibility dates and the number of Board members required to make a decision. In fact, the Board uses a detailed resource formula to forecast the number of conditional release reviews it expects to complete each year, and the numbers of Board members and staff required to complete these reviews. Based on data currently available, the Board expects to conduct the following numbers of conditional release reviews over the planning period.
|Conditional Release Reviews||22,450||22,520||22,600|
Recent trends (shorter sentences, “harder” offender population) have increased the complexity of conditional release decision-making. In response,
the Board has introduced measures to: provide more time for Board members to prepare for and complete conditional release reviews; to enhance orientation and
training for Board members; and to strengthen support for the decision-making process. Implementation of these plans began in 2005/06 and will continue in
Performance indicators in this area include:
|Priority: Effective management of legislative responsibilities related to open and accountable conditional release processes.||Type||Planned Spending|
Planning in this area must address the realities of heavy and steadily increasing workload demands involving the public, victims and the media. For example,
the annual number of NPB contacts with victims has almost tripled since 1995/96, rising from about 5,900 to 15,300. Plans must position the Board for quality
program delivery in a number of areas such as public information and community engagement, timely and professional sharing of information with victims and
other interested parties, consistent with the provisions of the CCRA, assistance for those who wish to observe a hearing or acquire a decision from NPB’s
registry of decisions and effective investigation of serious incidents in the community. Workload growth in this area is expected to continue in view of the
introduction of a fund to pay the travel costs for victims who attend NPB hearings.
NPB’s plans will continue to focus on measures to address the results of a survey of victims carried-out by the Board in 2003/04. The survey, which sought feedback from victims on the quality of information and assistance provided by NPB, will set the stage for review of a range of measures to introduce more inclusive processes for victims including policy, training, and the use of technology to enhance information sharing. Performance measurement in this area focuses on the timeliness and quality of information and assistance provided, and the results of surveys of users and key stakeholders.
|Priority: Improved information management in support of NPB’s conditional release responsibilities through development and implementation of the Conditional Release System (CRS).||Type||Planned Spending|
|Previously Committed||To be determined||To be determined||To be determined|
|Initial plans called for development and implementation of CRS to be completed in 2006. Recent developments with project planning and project funding have, however, created delays in project start-up. As a result, CRS is currently scheduled for implementation in the fall of 2007. NPB and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) work in close partnership in the delivery of the conditional release program. CSC provides information for NPB decision making, supervises offenders in the community when NPB makes decisions to release offenders and informs NPB when the level of risk changes for offenders in the community. In this environment, timely sharing of accurate information is essential for the effective operations of both agencies. As a result, CRS will be developed in close collaboration with CSC`s efforts to renew its Offender Management System. This approach will ensure consistency and interoperability.|
|Priority: Support for the development of legislative and policy proposals to strengthen the effectiveness of corrections and conditional release in contributing to public safety.||Type||Planned Spending|
|Priorities for 2006/07 will emphasize information and analysis to support the development of proposals for legislative change, program enhancements and policy refinement, as required.|
|Priority: Effective management of legislative responsibilities related to the processing of pardon applications, including measures to enhance productivity.||Type||Planned Spending|
NPB will continue its multi-year plan to enhance productivity in the processing of pardon applications. Phase 1 dealt with policy refinement and process
streamlining. Phase 2 involved the modernization of the automated system used to support pardon application processing, along with the training necessary to
support effective use of the system. Phase 3, scheduled for 2006/07, will involve full implementation of process improvements and the new automated pardons
applications processing system. Based on these improvements, the Board expects to reduce the average process time for pardon applications in a significant
The Board also plans to review its approach to user fees for pardons, and in particular, the cap of $410,000 that has been placed on the revenues that the Board can use annually in order to provide flexibility for managing fluctuations in application volumes. Plans to review user fees will include public consultations, as required by Treasury Board policy. Consultations may, however, be limited, given the reluctance of pardon applicants or recipients to identify themselves. The key performance measures for the pardon area are the average time required to process applications, and the numbers and rates of pardons revoked annually.
|Priority: Integrated human resource and business planning to support modernization of human resource management in the federal government||Type||Planned Spending|
|NPB will continue to develop a business plan that integrates human resource and program delivery needs. Priorities for this plan will
include: recruitment and retention of qualified employees in order to counter anticipated increases in staff turnover as a result of ageing in the workforce; sound
knowledge management, training and development to sustain quality program delivery in the midst of significant levels of staff turnover; effective response to the
growing diversity within Canadian communities (e.g. ethno cultural trends, language, gender issues, etc); and continued implementation of the new Public Service
Employment Act. In this context, the Board has developed internal policies to deal with choice of the appointment process, areas of selection, and corrective
actions and revocations, as required by the Public Service Commission, and provided training for NPB managers to support delegation of authority for staffing under
the new Public Service Employment Act.
Progress on this priority will be monitored and assessed on several levels (recruitment, training, diversity, etc.). Progress will be tracked regularly through management reviews and studies and employee surveys, as required, to identify areas where change and improvement are necessary.
The Program Activity Architecture for the National Parole Board reflects the key aspects for the Board’s legislative framework (Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Criminal Records Act), and the areas of performance in which Parliament and the public most frequently express interest. In this context, the Board’s strategic outcomes are the cornerstones of its public accountability.
Strategic Outcome: Conditional release decisions which contribute to public protection through safe reintegration of offenders in the community.
Program Activity Name: Conditional Release Decisions.
Program Activity Description: Case review and quality decision-making; provision of support for decision-making; provision of appropriate training to ensure professionalism in all aspects of decision-making; and policy development to guide decision-making and operations.
Through this program activity, the Board works to provide quality decisions on the timing and conditions of release of offenders to the community on various forms of release. Effectiveness is assessed through the monitoring of the outcomes for release of offenders on parole. Monitoring of outcomes addresses violent reoffending as a priority. This program activity relates directly to the Board’s priority for effective management of ongoing responsibilities for conditional release decision-making.
Financial Resources (FTE):
Strategic Outcome: Open and accountable conditional release processes that ensure active involvement and engagement of victims of crime and the public, before and after conditional release decisions are made.
Program Activity Name: Conditional Release Openness and Accountability.
Program Activity Description: Provision of information for victims and assistance for observers at hearings and those who seek access to NPB’s decision registry; public information strategies; and investigation of tragic incidents in the community.
This program is designed to ensure that the Board operates in an open and accountable manner, consistent with the provisions of the CCRA, that it shares information effectively in support of public safety and effective conditional release. Work in this area recognizes that NPB operates in a difficult environment in which timely sharing of accurate information is fundamental for effective partnership and public trust. Results for this program are assessed by monitoring of the timeliness of information shared and selected surveys of those who receive information and assistance from the Board (e.g. victims). This program activity relates directly to NPB’s priority for effective management of responsibilities for open and accountable conditional release processes.
Human Resources (FTE):
Strategic Outcome: Pardon decisions and clemency recommendations which contribute to public protection and support the process of rehabilitation.
Program Activity: Pardon Decisions/Clemency Recommendations.
Program Activity Description: The review of pardon applications and the making of quality decisions to grant or deny pardons; provision of support for pardons decision-making; development of pardons and clemency policy; the collection of pardon revenues; and development of recommendations for clemency.
This program is designed to remove the stigma of a criminal record for those found guilty of a federal offence who, after satisfying their sentence and a specific waiting period, have shown themselves to be responsible citizens. A pardon is, therefore, a means to facilitate safe reintegration in the community. Results are assessed through ongoing review of the average time required to process pardon applications, and the rates of revocation of pardons granted. This program activity is related directly to the Board’s priority for effective management of legislative responsibilities for pardon decisions and clemency recommendations.
Human Resources (FTE):
The National Parole Board is an agency within the Portfolio of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The Board works in partnership with Portfolio agencies in pursuit of priorities such as safer communities, but NPB is unique in many ways. It is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for conditional release decisions for federal offenders and for provincial offenders in provinces and territories without their own parole boards, and for pardon decisions and clemency recommendations. Board members work within a legislative framework involving the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Criminal Records Act, and related policies, but are independent in their decision-making responsibilities.
Structure for Program Delivery
The Board carries-out its work through six offices across the country, and a national office in Ottawa. The national office makes clemency recommendations and pardon decisions and develops related policies. It is also responsible for a range of activities related to conditional release, including: investigations of tragic incidents in the community; appeal decisions; and coordination of Board member training. As well, the national office provides leadership and coordination for corporate management activities such as strategic and operational planning, resource management, communications, performance reporting, human resource services, security, and information management.
Conditional release decisions are made by Board members in the regions (except appeal decisions). Board members are supported by staff who schedule hearings, provide access to information for decision-making, ensure sharing of information with the offender, provide policy advice, and communicate conditional release decisions to the offender, CSC representatives, and others as required. Regional staff also provide information for victims, make arrangements for observers at NPB hearings, and manage requests for access to the Board’s decision registry.
* The Chairperson and the Executive Vice-Chairperson work as a team, sharing roles and responsibilities. The Executive Vice-Chairperson has been shown separately in this chart to illustrate management responsibility for pardons and clemency.
|($ millions)||Forecast Spending 2005-2006||Planned Spending 2006-2007||Planned Spending 2007-2008||Planned Spending 2008-2009|
|Conditional Release Decisions||25.5||33.0||33.1||33.1|
|Conditional Release Openness and Accountability||4.3||7.7||7.7||7.7|
|Pardons Decisions/Clemency Recommendations||2.0||2.3||2.3||2.3|
|Budgetary Main Estimates (gross)||31.8||43.0||43.1||43.1|
|Non-Budgetary Main Estimates (gross)||0||0||0||0|
|Less: Respendable revenue||0||0||0||0|
Total Main Estimates
|Governor General Special Warrants:|
|Carry-forward from 2004-05||1.1|
|Recovery of Pardon User Fees||0.4||0||0||0|
|Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement||1.3||0||0||0|
|Strengthening Community Safety||0.4||0||0||0|
|Salary Expenditures Eligible from TB vote||0.5||0||0||0|
|Collective Bargaining Agreements||1.3||0||0.0||0.0|
Total Planned Spending
|Less: Non-Respendable revenue||0.7||0.7||0.7||0.7|
|Plus: Cost of services received without charge||5.5||6.1||6.1||6.1|
Net cost of Program
Full Time Equivalents
* The dollars displayed include a reduction of $30,000 in 2005-2006 and of $50,000 in 2006-2007 for procurement savings which is below the threshold to display in this table.
|Thousands of Dollars||2006-2007|
|Program Activity||Operating||Total Main Estimates||Adjustments (planned spending not in Main Estimates)||Total Planned Spending|
|Conditional Release Decisions||33,081||33,131||0||33,131|
|Conditional Release Openness and Accountability||7,668||7,668||0||7,668|
|Pardon Decisions/Clemency Recommendations||2,258||2,258||0||2,258|
|Thousands of Dollars||2006-2007|
|Vote or Statutory Item||Truncated vote or Statutory wording||Current Main Estimates||Previous Main Estimates|
|(S)||Contributions to employee benefit plans||5,397||4,261|
|Total National Parole Board||43,057||31,767|
|($ millions)||Conditional Release Decisions||Conditional Release Openness and Accountability||Pardon Decisions/Clemency Recommendations||Total|
|Total Planned Spending||33.0||7.7||2.3||43.0|
|Plus: Services Received without Charge|
|Accommodation provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)||1.9||0.4||0.3||2.6|
|Contributions covering employers' share of employees' insurance premiums and expenditures paid by TBS (excluding revolving funds)||1.8||0.4||0.3||2.5|
|Worker's compensation coverage provided by Social Development Canada||0.1||-||-||0.1|
|Salary and associated expenditures of legal services provided by Justice Canada||0.9||-||-||0.9|
|Total Cost of Program||37.7||8.5||2.9||49.1|
|Less: Non-respendable Revenue||-||-||0.7||0.7|
2005-2006 Net cost of Program
|($ millions)||Forecast Revenue 2005-2006||Planned Revenue 2006-2007||Planned Revenue 2007-2008||Planned Revenue 2008-2009|
|National Parole Board|
|Pardon Decisions/Clemency Recommendations|
|Pardons user fees||0.8||0.8||0.8||0.8|
|Total Non-Respendable Revenue||0.8||0.8||0.8||0.8|
The National Parole Board is involved as a partner in the ongoing implementation of Firearms legislation.
Introduction of the Firearms legislation and related changes to the Criminal Code created longer sentences for offences involving the use of a firearm or an imitation firearm. Longer sentences generate the need for more conditional release reviews which, in turn, increase NPB’s program delivery costs (salary and non-salary).
As a result, the Board received a permanent increase to its funding base. The increase was incremental, rising from $437,000 in 1999/2000 to $858,000 per year in 2004/05 and future years, consistent with projected workload growth. Workload data indicate that the Board now carries-out 1,800 to 2,000 reviews annually for offenders with firearms convictions. The estimated total cost for these reviews is $1.6 million, of which $858,000 is covered by funding provided specifically as a result of changes in Firearms legislation.
|The Minister has sole responsibility to Parliament for the following Acts:|
|Corrections and Conditional Release Act||S.C. 1992, c.20, as amended by S.C. 1995, c.42, S.C. 1997, c.17 and its regulations|
|Criminal Records Act|
|The Minister shares responsibility to Parliament for the following Acts:|
|Criminal Code||R.S. 1985, c. C-47|
|Prisons and Reformatories Act||R.S. 1985, c. P-20|
|Letters Patent constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada (1947)||Canada Gazette, 1947, Part I, Vol. 81, p. 3104, reprinted in R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 31|
Key Service Description: The provision of a range of management policies and services (financial, human resources, information management, security, planning) to support the Board’s strategic outcomes. The proportion and amounts of corporate service resources used to support NPB’s strategic outcomes in 2006/07 will be as follows:
|Strategic Outcome||Application of Corporate Management Support|
|• Quality conditional release decisions||75% ($4,529,000)|
|• Open, accountable conditional release processes||14% ($845,000)|
|• Quality pardon decisions/clemency recommendations||11% ($664,000)|
|National Office||Director, Communications
410 Laurier Avenue West
Phone: (613) 954-6547 Fax: (613) 957-3241
|Atlantic Region||Regional Director
1045 Main Street
Phone: (506) 851-6345 Fax: (506) 851-6926
|Quebec Region||Regional Director
200 René-Lévesque Blvd. W.
10th Floor, Suite 1001 - West Tower
Phone: (514) 283-4584 Fax: (514) 283-5484
|Ontario Region||Regional Director
516 O'Connor Drive
Phone: (613) 634-3857 Fax: (613) 634-3861
101-22nd Street East
Phone: (306) 975-4228 Fax: (306) 975-5892
Scotia Place, Scotia 2, Suite 401
|Pacific Region||Regional Director
32315 South Fraser Way
Phone: (604) 870-2468 Fax: (604) 870-2498
The National Parole Board's internet site address is: http://www.npb-cnlc.gc.ca/