Message from the Ombudsman (April 28, 2015)

Ombudsman Responds to the Auditor General’s Spring 2015 Report


The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) today released its report into the Office of the Ombudsman for the 2009-2014 timeframe. I have accepted all of the Auditor General’s findings and recommendations.


The OAG report flags insufficient internal controls and monitoring of human resources management, finance and contract management. The report also focusses on internal frictions that largely relate to the 2010-2012 timeframe. The organization itself dealt with many of the cited frictions through an all-staff working group in 2012 and 2013.


I assumed the role of Ombudsman in April 2014. Over the past year I conducted a gap and risk assessment of the areas cited by the OAG. I invited the Department of National Defence’s Expenditure Management Review Team to assess our financial systems. There were no irregularities noted.


Additionally, since assuming office I have made efforts to foster a respectful workplace, fully implementing values and ethics training and establishing a new union-management consultation committee. We also now have five members trained as workplace relations advisors.


I recently completed a Service Level Agreement with the Department of National Defence for the provision of integrated civilian human resources services. We will also be discussing and implementing audit mechanisms to ensure the Office’s compliance with legislation and policy regarding delegated authorities.


As the Auditor General highlights in his report, the Office is an essential recourse mechanism for military personnel and civilians. I would like to assure our constituents that the Department’s processes for monitoring the administrative activities of our Office will not, in any way, impede our operational independence or confidentiality. Service level agreements and other joint initiatives will only serve to strengthen our ability to serve our constituents.


Every employee at the Office of the Ombudsman is committed to fulfilling our mandate of bringing long-lasting, positive changes to the Defence community.


Gary Walbourne


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