Ombudsman Message – Positions Over People

Message from the Ombudsman | 29 October 2018


Today I publish my office’s report titled Positions Over People: An Investigation Into Delays in the Administration of Civilian Classification at the Department of National Defence. This report makes thirteen recommendations to the Minister of National Defence. If implemented, we believe that these recommendations will bring positive change to all civilian employees at the Department of National Defence.

In August 2018, I announced that my office had launched a systemic investigation related to civilian classification grievances. This marked the Office’s first systemic report relating to Defence civilians since it opened its doors 20 years ago.

Complaints related to outdated job descriptions that are not reflective of the work being performed and are not reviewed on a regular basis as well as lengthy delays in the processing of classification grievances have become far too common in recent years. As evidenced in our report, while the Department has made some recent progress in addressing these issues, our office believes there is a long way to go to ensure that Defence civilians are treated fairly when it comes to their job classifications and related grievance processes.

Our office worked closely with our civilian counterparts at the Department of National Defence to ensure that the evidence uncovered by our office was accurately represented in our findings. We thank them for their responsiveness to our inquiries, requests for interviews, and the provision of statistics. Without their cooperation and collaboration, this office would not be able to fulfill its mandate to contribute to lasting, positive change for our constituents.


Gary Walbourne

Date modified: