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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

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Wendy A. Tadros, Acting Chair
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Michael D. Chong, President Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Chair's Message

Section 1 - Overview

Section 2 - Analysis of Program Activity

Section 3 - Supplementary Information

Chair's Message

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) enjoys a solid reputation, nationally and internationally, as a technically skilled and professional investigative organization. As one of only a few multi-modal safety investigation agencies in the world, the TSB pursues its mandate within a framework of independence that makes it a global leader in that regard.

The TSB is a knowledge-based organization. We collect and analyze information, transform it into knowledge and communicate what we know in order to influence positive changes to transportation safety. The TSB must therefore have efficient and effective information management practices. In April 2003, we initiated a major project to modernize our information management practices and the enabling technology used by investigators. Significant progress was made over the past three years, and we are about to implement our new integrated tool set for investigators. However, work remains to be done in order to fully implement the new tools and to complete the development of the remaining modules. This project will therefore continue to be a major area of focus for the coming year.

The public expects safety deficiencies in the transportation system to be identified and corrected. The TSB has done an excellent job of identifying safety deficiencies and has issued numerous safety recommendations over the years. However, not all recommendations are acted upon satisfactorily. Recently, we have reinstituted the practice of annually re-evaluating actions taken to address our recommendations and have begun to publish the Board's assessment of those actions on our website. We hope that this public disclosure will act as an incentive to influence greater change and lead to improved safety actions. This year, the TSB will continue its efforts to follow up on its safety recommendations and to communicate key safety messages to stakeholders and industry.

Over the coming year, the TSB will also maintain its efforts toward the continuous improvement of its internal processes, the management of its human resources and the development of partnerships. Finally, work will also be undertaken on the development of business continuity plans.

The TSB is strongly committed to making a significant contribution to transportation safety in Canada and abroad. Our sustained efforts will ensure that our products and services, as well as our business activities, remain effective and efficient for the delivery of our mandate.

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Section 1 - Overview

1.1 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department's approved Program Activity Architecture as reflected in its Management, Resources and Results Structure;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to the department; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Wendy Tadros signature
Wendy A. Tadros
Acting Chair

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1.2 Raison d'ĂȘtre

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is an independent agency created in 1990 by an Act of Parliament (Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act). It operates at arm's length from other government departments and agencies such as Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the National Energy Board to ensure that there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest. Under the legislation, the TSB's only objective is the advancement of transportation safety in the federally regulated elements of the marine, pipeline, rail and air transportation systems. This mandate is fulfilled by conducting independent investigations including, if necessary, public inquiries into transportation occurrences. The purpose of these investigations and inquiries is to make findings as to the causes and contributing factors of the occurrences and to identify safety deficiencies. As a result, recommendations may be made to improve safety and reduce or eliminate risks to people, to property and to the environment. The TSB has the exclusive authority to make findings as to causes and contributing factors when it investigates a transportation occurrence.

The jurisdiction of the TSB includes all transportation occurrences in or over Canada. The TSB may also represent Canadian interests in foreign investigations of transportation accidents involving Canadian registered, licensed or manufactured ships, railway rolling stock or aircraft. In addition, the TSB carries out some of Canada's obligations related to transportation safety at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).     
A transportation occurrence is any accident or incident associated with the operation of an aircraft, ship, railway rolling stock or pipeline. It also includes any hazard that could, in the Board's judgement, induce an accident or incident if left unattended.

Marine, pipeline, railway and air logos

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1.3 Resources

The two tables below show information on planned utilization of financial and human resources over the coming three-year period.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
32,314 31,711 31,539

Human Resources
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
240 FTE 240 FTE 240 FTE

FTE = full-time equivalent

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1.4 Priorities for 2006-2007

The following table summarizes the five departmental priorities for 2006-2007 and the planned direct spending for each one.

Departmental Priorities Type Planned Spending

($ thousands)
Priority 1: Continuous Improvement of Internal Processes and Practices Ongoing 550
Priority 2: Continuous Improvement of Human Resources Management Ongoing 0
Priority 3: Sustainable Communication Services and Products Ongoing 30
Priority 4: Business Continuity Planning New 145
Priority 5: Ongoing Development of Partnerships Ongoing 0


Figures shown do not include the salaries for regular staff time dedicated to these priorities and related overhead costs.

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Section 2 - Analysis of Program Activity

2.1 Strategic Outcome

The TSB has one strategic outcome: to advance transportation safety, thereby reducing risks to people, property and the environment. This strategic outcome is reflected in the TSB mission statement:

We conduct independent safety investigations and communicate risks in the transportation system.

This strategic outcome is aligned with the broader Government of Canada outcome of "safe and secure communities."

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2.2 Program Activity

The TSB also has only one program activity: safety investigations. The TSB conducts independent safety investigations into transportation occurrences in the federally regulated elements of the marine, pipeline, rail and air transportation systems to identify causes and contributing factors; formulates recommendations to improve safety; publishes investigation reports; and communicates safety information to stakeholders.

The expected results of safety investigations are:

  • the timely implementation of safety actions by stakeholders to improve transportation safety for Canadians; and
  • increased awareness of safety issues and a strengthened safety culture on the part of governments, industry and the public.

All five priorities identified in section 1 are aimed at supporting and enhancing the TSB's ability to conduct safety investigations and to communicate safety information.

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2.3 Key Service Areas

In order to optimize the use of resources and to effectively respond to its stakeholders, the TSB has defined four key service areas based on the four transportation modes included in its mandate: marine, pipeline, rail and air. This approach enables alignment with the transportation industry and the way it operates. Resources are therefore allocated and managed separately for each of these key service areas.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Key Service Areas 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Marine 6,995 6,976 6,939
Pipeline 758 634 631
Rail 6,189 6,025 5,992
Air 18,372 18,076 17,977
Total 32,314 31,711 31,539

Human Resources (FTE)
Key Service Areas 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Marine  58  58  58
Pipeline  5  5  5
Rail  52  52  52
Air 125 125 125
Total 240 240 240

Activities carried out in all four key service areas are basically the same. Dedicated personnel collect information on occurrences, conduct investigations and analyses, identify safety deficiencies, draft investigation reports and communicate key safety information to stakeholders. Other specialized personnel, such as engineering, human performance, corporate services and communications staff, provide a full range of support services to all four key service areas.

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2.4 Planning Context

The TSB is primarily funded by Parliament through an operating expenditures vote and, as a departmental corporation, it has authority to spend revenues received during the year. The TSB operates within the context of Canada's very large, complex, dynamic and ever-changing transportation system. For more details on the operating context, see the Transport Canada website and the National Energy Board website.

Many individuals and groups cooperate with the TSB in the fulfillment of its mandate. During the course of an investigation, the TSB interacts directly with:

  • individuals, such as survivors, witnesses and next-of-kin;
  • operators;
  • other organizations and agencies, such as coroners, police, manufacturers, owners and insurance companies; and
  • other federal government departments and agencies.

Their cooperation is essential to the conduct of the TSB's business, whether they contribute information or support services. More details on the investigation process are available on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada Web Site.

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The TSB is one of many Canadian and foreign organizations involved in improving transportation safety nationally and internationally. Because it has no formal authority to regulate, direct or enforce specific actions, the TSB can only succeed in fulfilling its strategic outcome through the actions of others. Operating at arm's length from other federal departments involved in the transportation field, the Board must present its findings and recommendations in such a manner that others feel compelled to act. This implies ongoing dialogue, information sharing and strategic coordination with organizations such as Transport Canada, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Coast Guard. The TSB must engage industry and foreign regulatory organizations in a similar fashion. Through various means, the TSB must present compelling arguments that will convince these "agents of change" to take action in response to identified safety deficiencies.

The TSB has established memorandums of understanding with a number of federal government departments for the coordination of activities and the provision of support services. These agreements provide the TSB with access to a range of support services that can rapidly supplement internal resources (for example, assistance in the recovery of wreckage, the documentation of evidence, and the examination or testing of components). The agreements also define operating practices to ensure good coordination of activities and to avoid potential conflicts that could arise from the simultaneous implementation of various organizational mandates. Such agreements are currently in place with Transport Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Coast Guard, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, and the National Research Council. Similarly, the TSB has established strategic cooperation alliances with provincial and territorial coroners and with certain provincial government agencies (primarily in the rail area).

Further alliances have been established with the TSB's counterpart agencies in other countries, such as the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, France and the United Kingdom. The TSB cooperates on a reciprocal basis with foreign safety investigation agencies through the ad hoc exchange of specialized services or the provision of assistance as a means of coping with capacity gaps. As one of the world leaders in its field, the TSB regularly shares its investigation techniques, methodologies and tools. For example, the Recorder Analysis and Playback System (RAPS), originally developed by the TSB for decoding, analysis and animation of flight recorder data, is being used in more than 10 countries to aid in safety investigations. Recently, the RAPS software was commercialized by a Canadian company and renamed Insight, which expanded its worldwide use even further. Similarly, the TSB has contributed to the training of safety investigators from numerous countries, either by integrating foreign investigators into its in-house training programs or by sending senior staff to teach abroad. The TSB also shares data and reports with sister organizations and participates in international working groups and studies to advance transportation safety.

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2.5 Risks and Challenges

The TSB faces many risks and challenges that have a potentially significant impact on the organization's ability to achieve its mandate. Managers are aware of these risks and challenges and are expected to take appropriate action to mitigate the risks while ensuring the delivery of their mandate. The most important challenges for 2006-2007 are described in the following paragraphs.

2.5.1 Prioritizing and Managing the Workload

The TSB is facing a number of internal and external demands not only to sustain existing activities but also to undertake new initiatives to meet government change requirements, such as human resources modernization and procurement reform, and to mitigate risks in areas such as information technology security and business continuity planning. The challenge lies in achieving all of this within a limited resource base. The TSB must therefore find the right balance between the level of activity to be undertaken and the capacity of available human and financial resources. This implies an ongoing review of products, services and processes to ensure that resources are applied in the best possible way to achieve optimum results.

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Maintaining a Knowledgeable and Professional Workforce

The TSB, like many organizations, faces a specific challenge with respect to its workforce. Many positions are "one deep" - meaning that there is only one person responsible for a specific task or function. Over the next few years, the TSB must continue to operate while many of its key employees move into retirement. The TSB must also contend with a high turnover rate in some of the functional support areas of Corporate Services due to the high demand for such specialists across the Public Service. The TSB must ensure that it is adequately prepared to fill any gaps and to secure the proper transfer of knowledge to new employees. The 2005 Public Service Employee Survey will provide the TSB with a current assessment of employee satisfaction and concerns. Sustained efforts will then be required to respond to any employee concerns, including any issues related to career development and job classification.


Implementing and Sustaining the Transportation Investigation Information Management System (TIIMS)

The TSB has invested substantial resources, time and effort in the development of an internal information system to better manage its business while meeting government requirements with respect to information management and technology. As the rollout of TIIMS is undertaken, the TSB will encounter specific challenges with respect to change management and temporarily increased workloads for some employees. These challenges will need to be addressed through training and ongoing reviews and monitoring of the operation of the system. Furthermore, significant work remains to be done to complete the development of the full functionality required. This residual work will have to be done in parallel with the initial rollout. In order to make the implementation and sustainability of TIIMS a success, the management team must ensure that full employee buy-in and participation is achieved. Sustained investments will also be required to operate and maintain the new TIIMS work environment. Not meeting these challenges would result in the loss of resources invested to date and would have a significant impact on the delivery of products and services, given that the TSB has made a conscious decision not to revert to old tools and systems. Anything less than full adoption and use of TIIMS would result in a loss of productivity and create inefficiencies in work processes.

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2.5.4 Sustaining External Communications

The TSB has improved stakeholder awareness of the agency and its work and has better positioned itself to influence key change agents to take actions that lead to improvements in transportation safety. For this planning period, the challenge will be to strike the best balance between enhanced external communication activities and changing stakeholder expectations. The TSB must ensure that external communication products and services are available, up-to-date and of a high quality in order to retain the levels of integrity and credibility required to fully achieve its mandate.

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2.6 Departmental Plans and Priorities

The TSB is committed to providing Canadians with advancements in transportation safety through independent, objective and timely investigations and subsequent identification and analysis of safety failures in the federally regulated transportation system.

Based on the risks identified and on input received from managers and staff, five priority categories have been identified for 2006-2007. All require strategic investments aimed at enhancing the TSB's contribution to transportation safety in Canada and internationally and strengthening the organization from within. The five priorities are described briefly in the following paragraphs.

The TSB has developed a Business Plan that describes its 2006-2007 priorities in greater detail. Resources are allocated to specific initiatives, responsibilities are clearly defined and timelines established. A copy of the Business Plan can be found on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada Web Site.

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2.6.1 Continuous Improvement of Internal Processes and Practices

The Transportation Investigation Information Management System (TIIMS) was designed to leverage knowledge, capabilities and capacity; eliminate disparate processes and systems; and provide staff with a central and integrated repository of key information and tools. As the rollout of TIIMS modules proceeds, the TSB will ensure that a robust change management strategy is in place to support users in the new way of conducting their business. The TSB will also foster a culture of continuous improvement through the development of a long-term sustainability strategy for its operational processes, tools and systems. This strategy will include end-user support, training and ongoing reviews. At the same time, work will continue on the development of outstanding modules. This year, the development emphasis will be on the Report Production and Corporate Management modules.

2.6.2 Continuous Improvement of Human Resources Management

The TSB will continue to focus on the strategic management of human resources. Management is committed to finalizing the implementation of Human Resources Modernization initiatives in order to meet the TSB's human resources obligations under the Public Service Modernization Act. This includes implementing effective human resources planning, a more flexible and responsive resourcing system, and increased delegation and accountability. The TSB will also develop and implement an integrated system for human resources planning that is in line with the existing business planning cycle, and that will support capacity, retention, development, knowledge transfer, succession and staffing activities for the coming years. All TSB managers will be expected to take ownership of the human resources planning activities.

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2.6.3 Sustainable Communication Services and Products

In the past few years, the TSB has raised public awareness of the TSB's mission and mandate through the development of internal and external communication products and services such as expanded use of the Internet, the TSB corporate video, an outreach program and a speakers' bureau. For this planning cycle, the priority will be to ensure the currency, visibility and availability of communication products and services while developing a long-term sustainability strategy for the management of the tools. The TSB will also continue to develop its stakeholder outreach program, thereby capitalizing on opportunities for Board members and senior staff to meet with stakeholders and discuss key safety messages.

2.6.4 Business Continuity Planning

The TSB has made significant improvements to its management processes, tools and systems over the past few years. The TSB must protect its investments by ensuring it is able to deliver its products and services without disruption. Starting from a revised corporate risk profile, essential services and assets will be identified. Threat and risk assessments will be conducted, and plans will be developed to mitigate the risks identified. Although a significant focus will be on achieving compliance with the Management of Information Technology Security standards, work will also be done in other areas such as materiel management and information management. The TSB's readiness to respond to major occurrences in all modes will also be reviewed.

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2.6.5 Ongoing Development of Partnerships

The TSB collaborates with many organizations in the course of its operational and administrative activities. A strategic review of partnerships was therefore undertaken in 2005-2006 in order to develop a framework for the management of such partnerships. Once completed, this framework will be used to review current arrangements and memorandums of understanding. The TSB is committed to seeking potential opportunities to establish new partnerships and to reinforcing existing ones.

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2.7 Performance Measurement

The TSB has developed a balanced scorecard that will be used to measure organizational performance. This scorecard will provide performance information from four different perspectives: financial, client/stakeholder, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

The financial perspective makes linkages between operational and financial results. Financial analysis will be used to evaluate the cost of investigations. Financial results will be benchmarked between modes and with other safety investigation organizations.

The client/stakeholder perspective will measure the TSB's performance through stakeholder feedback and stakeholder action. First, stakeholder awareness and satisfaction will be measured through formal and informal processes. Then, stakeholder action based on the TSB's work will be measured by tracking responses to TSB recommendations and safety actions taken. Finally, the TSB will continue to measure transportation occurrence rates as an ultimate measure of the achievement of its strategic outcome.

Results from the internal business processes perspective will be measured with the use of productivity ratio analysis and benchmarking of results between modes, as well as with other safety investigation organizations.

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Under the learning and growth perspective, the TSB will measure employee satisfaction, investments in employee training and employee attrition rates. Finally, the TSB will assess its management capacity against the Treasury Board's Management Accountability Framework (MAF).

The following table summarizes the key performance indicators included in the scorecard, with appropriate links to the current year's priorities.

Perspective Performance Indicators Link to Priorities
Financial Cost of investigations 1
Cost of Business Plan projects All 5 priorities
Client/Stakeholder Stakeholder awareness 1 + 3
Stakeholder satisfaction (quality + timeliness) 1 + 3
Responsiveness to TSB recommendations 1 + 3
Timely safety actions taken per investigation 1 + 3
Occurrence rates 1
Safety outputs issued 1 + 3
Internal Business Processes Number of investigations in process 1
Average time in process 1
Posting of reports on website 1 + 3
Investigations started and completed per investigator 1
Implementation of business continuity planning 4
Learning & Growth Employee satisfaction 2
Investment in training per person 2
Employee attrition rates (excluding retirement) 2
Effective use of partnerships 5
Management Accountability Framework implementation 1 + 2 + 4

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Section 3 - Supplementary Information

3.1 Organizational Information

The TSB's Program Activity Architecture identifies a single program activity: safety investigations. The TSB reports annually to Parliament on its activities, findings and recommendations through the President of the Queen's Privy Council. The Chairperson, assisted by the Executive Director and the Director General, Investigation Operations, is responsible for all activities associated with this program activity. The Director General, Corporate Services, is responsible for the provision of the full range of corporate services in support of departmental operations.

TSB Organization Chart

The Chairperson and Executive Director contribute to the program activity through the provision of leadership and vision, as well as the strategic management of all activities of the TSB. They also contribute by establishing strategic alliances with key stakeholders, client groups and change agents, and by communicating key safety messages through stakeholder outreach activities. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Division ensures that communications are integrated into all phases of program planning, development, implementation and management.

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Members of the Board contribute to the program activity through the review, approval and public communication of occurrence reports and safety recommendations. The Board also contributes to the communication of key safety messages through focused stakeholder outreach activities.

The Investigation Operations Directorate contributes to the program activity through the investigation of occurrences. It does so by assessing all occurrences and investigating those with the greatest potential for reduction of risks. The Directorate's work is focused on the collection and analysis of information, the drafting of reports and recommendations, the tracking and assessment of safety actions taken, data and trend analysis, as well as ongoing communication with the transportation safety community. The Directorate maintains a highly qualified staff of investigators who are experts in aviation, marine, rail or pipeline operations, engineering and other specialists, and investigation support staff.

The Corporate Services Directorate contributes to the program activity through the provision of sound corporate planning, financial, human resources, information management, information technology, administrative and materiel management services. The Directorate also contributes by promoting modern management practices and ensuring that the TSB complies with all government policies and directives.

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3.2 Financial Information

The following tables provide a summary of the financial resources required by the TSB for its operations. The current TSB reference levels, as stated in the Main Estimates, are approximately $29 million. Aside from the budget reductions for procurement savings, TSB funding is expected to remain relatively stable over the coming three years.

Table 1: 

Departmental Planned Spending and Full-Time Equivalents

($ thousands) Forecast Spending 2005-20061 Planned Spending 2006-2007 Planned Spending 2007-2008 Planned Spending 2008-2009
Safety Investigations 27,602 29,138 28,684 28,523
Budgetary Main Estimates (gross) 27,602 29,138 28,684 28,523
Non-Budgetary Main Estimates (gross)  
Total Main Estimates 27,602 29,138 28,684 28,523
  - Spending of proceeds from sales 23      
Governor General
Special Warrants2
  - Warrant #2 1,328      
  - Warrant #3 2,015      
  - Adjustment to Employee Benefit Plans 358      
  - Procurement Savings3 -40 -60    
Total Adjustments 3,684 -60    
Total Planned Spending 31,286 29,078 28,684 28,523
Plus: Cost of services received without charge 3,262 3,236 3,027 3,016
Net Cost of Department 34,548 32,314 31,711 31,539

Full-Time Equivalents 240 240 240 240

1. Reflects best forecast of total planned spending to the end of the fiscal year.

2. Adjustments are to accommodate approvals obtained since the Main Estimates through Governor General Special Warrants and other statutory adjustments. Amounts funded through warrants include: the carry forward of the previous year's lapse, collective bargaining increases, funding for HR modernization and three major investigations.

3. This reflects the reductions to the department's planned spending budget as a result of the ERC exercise, which were announced in the 2005 Budget.

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Table 2: Program by Activity

($ thousands)
Program Activity Budgetary Total Main Estimates Adjustments (planned spending not in Main Estimates) Total Planned Spending
Operating Net
Safety Investigations 29,138 29,138 29,138 -60 29,078
Total 29,138 29,138 29,138 -60 29,078

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Table 3: Voted and Statutory Items Listed in Main Estimates

($ thousands)
Vote or Statutory Item Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Current Main Estimates Previous Main Estimates
10 Program expenditures 25,486 24,039
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 3,652 3,563
  Total Department 29,138 27,602

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Table 4: Services Received Without Charge
($ thousands) 2006-2007
Accommodation provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada 1,737
Contributions covering employer's share of employees' insurance premiums and expenditures paid by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 1,442
Workers' compensation coverage provided by Human Resources and Social Development Canada 17
Audit services provided by the Office of the Auditor General 40
2006-2007 Services Received Without Charge 3,236

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3.3 Internal Audits and Evaluations

The TSB has developed an internal audit plan and resources have been allocated to the implementation of this plan. The following table identifies the audit projects planned over the coming year.

Audit Projects Planned Completion Dates
Compliance audit of hospitality expenses July 2006
Compliance audit of use of mandatory standing offers July 2006
Audit of internal controls - section 32 of Financial Administration Act July 2006
Value for money audit of Air France investigation deployment phase December 2006
Compliance audit of availability of work tools in both official languages March 2007

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3.4 Additional Information

Additional information about the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and its activities is available on this site or by contacting us at:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Communications Division
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage
4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Telephone: (819) 994-3741
Fax: (819) 997-2239