Letter from the Chief of the Defence Staff: DGCB backlog update

19 April 2017

Mr. Gary Walbourne,
Ombudsman
Office of the Ombudsman
Department of National Defence
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa, On K1P 5M1

 

Dear Mr. Walbourne,

The purpose of this letter is to provide an update on the progress made since the release of your 2013 report outlining the delays in the processing of adjudications and grievances by the Director General Compensation and Benefits (DGCB).

As a result of the Report, the Department of National Defence has taken decisive action and eliminated the backlog of adjudications and grievance applications held at DGCB:

a.  the Queen’s Regulations and Orders chapter 7 was amended;
b.  a “surge” team was provided to the under resourced directorates;
c.  grievances were more quickly determined under Operation RESOLUTION; and
d.  a performance management framework was implemented.

The backlogs of over 4000 adjudication and 278 grievance files were completed as of 31 December 2016. The key factor in enabling the DGCB to eliminate the backlog was the surge of personnel resources. The surge was maintained until the backlog was eliminated and personnel directly involved in those files were protected from other taskings. The surge capacity has expired and the lengthy staffing process for attrited Public Service positions is currently the greatest challenge to effectiveness.

DGCB is developing several initiatives intended to increase effectiveness:

a.  digitization of documents;
b.  migration from a separate protected B server to the DWAN and GCDocs;
c.  provision of enhanced research support to CBGS analysts;
d.  facilitation of timely legal service advice from the Deputy Judge Advocate General; and
e.  implementation of section level performance measurement.

DGCB is also applying lessons learned from the past grievance decisions to current adjudications and grievances decisions in order to developing policy more appropriate to current service conditions. This may diminish service member’s desire to seek adjudication or redress. For example, DGCB is negotiating components of the Canadian Armed Forces Relocation Program and other key compensation and benefits amendments with the Treasury Board Secretariat.

I trust that the information is this letter reassures you that the 2013 Report drew attention to this important matter and has had a direct and lasting effect.

Thank you for your concern for the welfare of the Canadian Armed Forces members. 

Sincerely,

J.H Vance
General

Enclosures: 4

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