2021–22 Departmental Plan

(Original signed by)

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board

ISSN 2561-6641

This document is also available in PDF.


Table of contents


From the Commissioner

Commissioner Joe Friday

I am pleased to share with you the Departmental Plan for the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada for the 2021–22 fiscal year.

Providing information to Parliament and to all Canadians about our priorities and activities, as well as on our expected results, is both an important way to ensure transparency and accountability, as well as being a means of clarifying our role and mandate, especially for people considering coming forward with a disclosure of wrongdoing or a complaint of reprisal.

All of our planned activities and spending support our core mandate of investigating and reporting on disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, and our ongoing goal is to ensure we do this responsibly and efficiently, always looking for ways to be innovative as we strive to continuously improve our performance.

This past year, and in the coming year, as we continue to grapple with the enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, the context in which we do our work will continue to evolve and to change. We must be flexible in adapting to the changing society and workplace, and in doing so, we must also ensure that we remain responsive, efficient and focused in delivering on our important mandate. Timeliness is key to our success, and as the results to date show, our continued efforts to respect our service standard targets during the pandemic have been successful.

In the coming year, our focus will remain on operational efficiency and effectiveness, which includes continuing careful attention to timeliness as well as ensuring we have the right people with the right set of skills to carry out our work successfully. We will also continue our efforts to reach out to public servants, our key constituency, to ensure that people know who we are, what we do, and how to reach us when they want to make a disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal.

I look forward to moving forward to take on the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year for our Office and for us all, and to reporting on our progress in having been able to continue to deliver an important service to Canadians.

(Original signed by)

Joe Friday
Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Plans at a glance

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (the Office) supports the Commissioner’s ongoing duties under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act) to receive, review and investigate disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal.

The Office aims to achieve the following results:

  • Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.
  • Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal.

The Office plans to achieve these results by focusing on the following priorities for fiscal year 2021–22:

Timeliness and effectiveness
  • Continue to implement recommendations following the evaluation of the Disclosure and Reprisal Management Program.
  • Maximize flexibilities to meet our service standard targets and adjust to the evolving context and challenges presented by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Awareness and access to information
  • Participate strategically in events targeted to public servants.
  • Undertake focus group testing on perceptions about whistleblowing.

For more information on the Office’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

This section contains detailed information on the Office’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities.

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

Description

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office) improves oversight of government operations by providing public servants and members of the public with a process for receiving and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing in the federal public sector.

It reports founded cases of wrongdoing to Parliament and makes recommendations to chief executives on corrective measures. The Office also provides a mechanism for public servants and former public servants to make complaints of reprisal. It investigates and can refer cases to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.

Planning highlights

The Office will support and deliver on the Commissioner’s mandate, including dealing with disclosures of wrongdoing and reprisal complaints, engaging in outreach activities and providing funds for legal assistance.

In alignment with its core responsibilities and duties under the Act, the Office will focus on its identified priorities for 2021–22 to achieve its planned results.

Safe return to the workplace

In the context the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSIC physical Office was closed and PSIC employees were set up to work from home. Subsequently, PSIC developed and implemented a Plan for the Safe Return to the Workplace. In 2021–22, the Office will continue to implement the plan in adapting to the changing environment and ensuring the health and safety of all employees.

Planned Result 1: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.

A timely and effective process to deal with disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal in the federal public sector is essential to the success of the Office. It contributes to our vision of a trusted organization, as well as respecting our values and meeting our service standards.

In 2021–22, the Office will keep leveraging available technologies and tools to allow the delivery of the mandate in a timely and effective manner while ensuring the safety of those involved in our processes. The Office, since the spring of 2020, has been adapting to the evolution of the pandemic and has developed a “Return to work Plan” which has been implemented. With these adjustments, the Office has been able to continue its work, in a different manner, through online technologies.

The Office will also continue to implement the recommendations following the evaluation of the Disclosure and Reprisal Management Programi. In particular, as outlined in the Management Responseii to said evaluation, the Office will:

  • continue to encourage and support the full and effective delegation of tasks;
  • continue to build on the current model of having two investigators in each investigation and leveraging the capacity of team leads;
  • continue to develop and supporting the utilisation of the existing comprehensive suite of models, step-by-step guides and other tools;
  • adopt a new information and case management system;
  • continue its efforts to support the retention of staff by ensuring a transparent, collegial, collaborative and supportive work environment with a focus on sharing information, training and education; and
  • continue to improve the review process for investigation reports by leveraging the knowledge and experience of team leads.

Planned Result 2: Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal.

Public awareness and understanding of the Office’s roles and responsibilities are also key to its success.

In order to build awareness and improve comprehension of the federal whistleblowing regime, in 2021–22, the Office will participate in events for public servants, such as conferences and learning events that provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions with public servants. Face-to-face interactions contribute to building our reputation as an approachable organization, as well as offering an opportunity to distribute promotional and educational items directly to public servants. The Office will also take advantage of opportunities for the Commissioner to speak at events for public servants, specialists and organizations in the fields of whistleblowing and values and ethics.

In 2011 and 2015, the Office led focus group testing with employees and executives in order to better understand public servants’ views about the federal whistleblowing regime. In 2021–22, the Office will undertake another cycle of testing on perceptions about whistleblowing and the fear of reprisal. The results will help to inform future outreach and engagement initiatives, as well as the development of informational and educational materials for use online and in person. It was the intention to undertake another cycle of testing in 2021–22, but due to travel and public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, testing was postponed.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Office’s Sustainable Development Strategy and actions support the United Nation’s sustainable development goal of a sustainable consumption and production patterns. More specifically and although the impact may be at a small scale, the Office will continue the practices to reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. The Office will also promote public procurement practices that are sustainable by applying the policy on green procurement of the Government of Canada.

Information on the Office’s Sustainable Development Strategy is available in the supplementary information tables.

Experimentation

As a micro organization with limited financial and human resources, the Office is not planning to conduct any experimentation.

Planned results for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 actual result 2018–19 actual result 2019–20 actual result

Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.

Percentage of cases addressed within established service standards. Service standards are available on the Office websiteiii.

Service standard targets are met 100% of the time

March 2022

100%

100%

100%

Percentage of applications addressed within established service standard under the Legal Access Request Program

Service standard target is met 100% of the time

March 2022

Not available

Not available

Not available

Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal

Percentage of new website visitors

90% of website visitors are new visitors

March 2022

Not available

Not available

Not available

Number of attendees at outreach events

Total number of attendees for the combined events, in which the Office participates in a year, is at least 2,500 attendees

March 2022

Not available

Not available

Not available

Result not available: Indicator was established in fiscal year 2021–22.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseiv.

Planned budgetary financial resources for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal (in dollars)

2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending 2023–24 planned spending
3,755,136 3,755,136 3,755,136 3,755,136

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseiv.

Planned human resources for public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal

2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents 2023–24 planned full-time equivalents
27 27 27

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseiv.

Internal Services: planned results

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Planning highlights

The year 2021–22 brought many changes and required adaptation from everyone. We expect that the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue in the year 2021–22 and that our new ways of operating will become the new normal.

What this means for the Office is continuing to invest in technologies by optimizing the current equipment and adding new tools to modernize ongoing needs. We will leverage digital technologies to better support employees, program delivery and achieving results.

The Office will continue to invest in its workforce. It will encourage employee learning and development, promote positive mental health and support the fast adaptation to the changing environment and use of new technologies.

As a micro organization with limited resources, the Office will continue to strengthen its current partnerships and create new ones for the provision of a number of Internal Services. Because of the current situation, emphasis will be placed on increasing oversight of procedures and internal controls.

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services (in dollars)

2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending 2023–24 planned spending
1,910,187 1,910,187 1,910,187 1,910,187

Planned human resources for Internal Services

2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents 2023–24 planned full-time equivalents
9 9 9

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department’s planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2018–19 to 2023–24 (in dollars)

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.

Departmental spending 2018–19 to 2023–24 (in dollars)

 

This bar graph illustrates the Office’s actual spending for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal (Voted) and the employees benefits plans (statutory items) for fiscal years 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 and planned spending for fiscal years 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24. Financial figures are presented in dollars along the y axis, increasing by $200,000 and ending at $5.8 million. These are graphed against fiscal years 2018–19 to 2023–24 on the x axis.

In 2018–19, actual spending was $418,784 for statutory items and $5,202,328 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total of $5,621,112.

In 2019–20, actual spending was $438,151 for statutory items and $4,960,450 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total of $5,398,601.

In 2020–21, forecasted spending is $471,232 for statutory items and $4,742,676 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total forecast of $5,213,908.

As the Office expects to spend its entire budgetary authority in the future, the planned spending will remain the same for fiscal years 2021–22 to 2023–24 as per the Main Estimates. This results in planned spending of $547,052 for statutory items and $5,118,271 for the management of public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal, for a total amount of $5,665,323.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (in dollars)

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for each of the Office’s core responsibilities and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2018–19 expenditures 2019–20 expenditures 2020–21 forecast spending 2021–22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending 2023–24 planned spending
Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal 3,184,253 3,586,396 3,379,266 3,755,136 3,755,136 3,755,136 3,755,136
Internal Services 2,436,859 1,812,205 1,834,642 1,910,187 1,910,187 1,910,187 1,910,187
Total 5,621,112 5,398,601 5,213,908 5,665,323 5,665,323 5,665,323 5,665,323

The Office’s total actual spending decreased by $222,511 (4.0%) from 2018–19 to 2019–20. The difference can be attributed to a one-time higher construction cost incurred in 2018–19 for the new office space. This construction was finalized in the beginning of 2019–20 and the subsequent relocation of all employees was completed within the first quarter.

The 2020–21 spending is also forecasted to be lower than previously expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other organizations, we were cautious in our spending at the beginning of the 2020–21 fiscal year due to the uncertainties of the environment.

Going forward, planned spending is expected to increase starting in 2021–22. The increase will be related to planned hiring of new employees and further upgrades in information technology capacity and tools to improve remote work.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in the Office’s departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2018–19 actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 actual full-time equivalents 2020–21 forecast full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents 2023–24 planned full-time equivalents
Public sector disclosure of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal 21 21 24 27 27 27
Internal Services 7 8 8 9 9 9
Total 28 29 32 36 36 36

The Office’s staffing level has remained constant for the last few years. Full‑time equivalents are expected to increase from 2019–20 to 2021–22 to correspond with the consistent upward trend of cases received. Minor fluctuations in FTE levels may occur, which reflect normal staff turnover.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2021–22 Main Estimatesv.

Future-oriented condensed statement of operations

The future-oriented condensed statement of operations provides an overview of the Office’s operations for 2020–21 to 2021–22.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Office’s websitevi.

Future-oriented condensed statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2022 (in dollars)

Financial information 2020–21 forecast results 2021–22 planned results Difference (2021–22 planned results minus 2020–21 forecast results)
Total expenses 6,047,237 6,664,316 617,079
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 6,047,237 6,664,316 617,079

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a slower pace in expenditures occurred which resulted in the 2020–21 forecast results being lower than previously expected. As we are progressively getting used to this new environment, the Office plans to return to normal activities and spend close to its entire authority in 2021–22. The difference between the two fiscal years is mainly attributable to the lapse forecasted in 2020–21.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board

Institutional head: Joe Friday, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Ministerial portfolio: Treasury Board

Enabling instrument(s): Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, S.C. 2005, c. 46 vii.

Year of incorporation/commencement: 2007

Other: The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada supports the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, who is an independent Agent of Parliament.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Office’s websiteviii.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Office’s websiteix.

Reporting framework

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s approved departmental results framework and program inventory for 2020–21 are as follows.

reporting framework 2019–20
Text version

Departmental Results Framework

  • Core Responsibility: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal
    • Departmental Result: Public sector disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal are dealt with in a timely and effective manner
      • Indicator: Percentage of cases addressed within established service standards
      • Indicator: Percentage of applications addressed within established service standard under the Legal Access Request Program
    • Departmental Result: Public servants and members of the public are aware of the Office and have access to information to make an informed decision about disclosures of wrongdoing and/or complaints of reprisal
      • Indicator: Percentage of new website visitors
      • Indicator: Number of attendees at outreach events

Program Inventory

  • Program: Disclosure and Reprisal Management

Internal Services

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Office’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseiv.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Office’s websitex :

  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Details on transfer payment programs

Federal tax expenditures

The Office’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2021–22.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government-wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures xi. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address

60 Queen Street, 4th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5Y7

Telephone: 613-941-6400 or 1-866-941-6400 (toll-free)

Email: info@psic-ispc.gc.ca

Website(s): http://www.psic-ispc.gc.ca/


Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)

Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)

Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)

An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)

A report on the plans and expected performance of a department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)

A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

departmental result (résultat ministériel)

A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)

A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.

departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)

A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

experimentation (expérimentation)

The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)

A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])

An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)

For the purpose of the 2021–22 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2020 Speech from the Throne, namely: Protecting Canadians from COVID-19; Helping Canadians through the pandemic; Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class; The Canada we’re fighting for.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)

An initiative in which two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)

Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)

What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)

A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)

The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.

plan (plan)

The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)

Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

program inventory (répertoire des programmes)

Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.

result (résultat)

An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)

Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)

A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

target (cible)

A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)

Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.