Progress Report on Recommendations

Message from the Ombudsman

July 14, 2017

As Ombudsman, part of my mandate is to investigate and report on matters affecting the well-being of members and employees of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces and others falling within my jurisdiction. The ultimate goal is to contribute to substantial and long-lasting improvements to the Defence community. This includes the production and publication of reports on the systemic reviews that our office undertakes on a regular basis. These systemic reviews contain evidence-based recommendations made to the Minister of National Defence - as his special advisor - that can lead to real, positive, and timely change that will directly benefit the men and women who work in this complex but rewarding environment.

Since 2013, this office has published a multitude of reports on subjects ranging from periodic healthcare assessments for reservists to military families to the basic mandate and governance model in which it operates. We have offered up a new service delivery model and an accompanying report on who should determine whether an injury or illness is attributable to military service that, if adopted, could significantly ease the administrative and procedural burdens facing members who are medically releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Our standard practice is to validate our evidence and findings with the Department before officially submitting our reports to the Minister of National Defence for an official 28 day holding period prior to publication. In some instances, such as with our recent report on Boards of Inquiry, we have even embedded one of our staff into departmental teams in order to help produce the soundest and most implementable recommendations possible. However, there have been many recommendations over the years that simply have not been or have only been partially implemented.

As standard procedure, all formal recommendations made in a Systemic Investigation Report are re-examined at specific intervals, to determine whether the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are implementing those recommendations. Today, I am happy to present to you a new feature on our website that clearly tracks the progress the department has made on implementing our recommendations. The “Progress Report on Recommendations” explains what the department has done in response to our reports. It will be updated regularly to keep the Defence Community and Canadians informed on these important matters.


Gary Walbourne

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