It appears to the Council that there has been significant progress in this area. We fully endorse the principles being followed by the RCMP…
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police Reform Implementation Council
Fourth Report, March 2010
The RCMP has continued, throughout this reporting period, to standardize and enhance the disciplinary process as set out in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act. In view of the fact that the RCMP’s disciplinary regime is governed by existing legislation, there are limitations to the extent of reforms that can be achieved. The Act regulates many facets of the system including such matters as process and sanctions. The only way to change these procedures is through legislative reform. The tabling of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Labour Relations Modernization Act suggests that potentially significant changes will be forthcoming. The proposed legislation may have a far-reaching impact on the existing discipline system. In the interim, the Branch will continue to focus on making improvements within the parameters of the current system. The Case Management System Pilot, the Early Resolution Process, the Independence Framework, policy development, the maintenance and monitoring of records as well as training initiatives are all slated for further improvements during the next reporting period.
The implementation of the Case Management System Pilot will provide data enabling the Branch to evaluate the impact of this system on the progress of cases. The system will increase the reporting obligations by representatives. During the next reporting period, the Branch will evaluate whether this increased scrutiny achieves the anticipated effectiveness.
The Pilot also raises issues related to the authority, mandate and responsibilities of the Case Manager with respect to adjudication boards, representatives and involved parties. Experience with the system will identify whether the policy framework needs to be adjusted.
Finally, an overall evaluation will determine whether the Case Management System Pilot will be extended as is, modified or terminated. Data for this final evaluation will be collected throughout the next reporting year and it is intended that the determination will be made by the spring of 2011.
The Early Resolution Process has played an important role in the resolution of cases as illustrated in Figure 8. As such, any modification or alignment with the Case Management System must be carefully considered during the next reporting period. A committee of stakeholders will conduct this evaluation and provide recommendations to ensure that all interests can be properly weighed and considered.
The Independence Framework will be finalized in light of the experience gained from the centralization of discipline, the Case Management System pilot, and the review of the Early Resolution Process. Steps will be taken to examine the best way to ensure the autonomy of the respective parties. This may lead to incorporation in policy, Commissioner’s Standing Orders or other formalized instruments.
The Adjudicative Services Branch will continue to expand its capacity to develop policies. One such initiative involves the release and publication of board decisions. As mentioned, the Adjudications Directorate, as a matter of practice, releases the board’s written decisions following the conclusion of hearings conducted in public and publishes them on the RCMP intranet. The written decisions can only be accessed by RCMP employees. The posting of the decisions is justified by the need for increased transparency and accountability and to instill confidence within and towards the organization. This practice is currently being examined in light of concerns raised by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The Adjudicative Services Branch is working with the RCMP Access to Information and Privacy Branch to clarify the implications surrounding the publication of board decisions and to draft acceptable policy guidelines.
With respect to policy development, the Branch is also providing support in the realm of legislative reform. The proposed Royal Canadian Mounted Police Labour Relations Modernization Act would provide for a new labour relations regime for the RCMP. It introduces or enhances several human resource management processes that would include discipline. The Adjudicative Services Branch will be called upon to provide advice as to what form the new processes and procedures should take. At the same time, the Branch must ensure that adequate resources are maintained to support the existing program. These competing interests underscore the requirement for the Adjudicative Services Branch to build a robust policy capacity.
The entire discipline regime now falls under the stewardship of the Office of Professional Integrity. As this new Office becomes fully functional, existing structures and budgets will be re-evaluated and formalized. During the course of this transformation, the immediate goal for the Adjudicative Services Branch will be to secure and stabilize adequate resources to proceed with current and planned initiatives. Of note, the Branch will collaborate with its partners in the Office of Professional Integrity to assess how it can best contribute to initiatives which may be mutually beneficial and of common interest.
The Adjudicative Services Branch is facilitating the consolidation and examination of data pertinent to both the informal and formal components of the disciplinary process. An improved database has been developed for the implementation of the Case Management System Pilot and this will serve as a repository to collate formal discipline data. An improved system to gather informal discipline data is still under consideration.
The RCMP recognizes that a better understanding of the type and frequency of disciplinary actions will enable the Force to assess what proactive and preventative measures might be implemented in response to trends. Efforts to build this capacity will continue during the next reporting period.
The Adjudicative Services Branch will continue its work to develop a formal plan to provide a comprehensive and consistent approach to disciplinary training. The Adjudicative Services Branch will work with the Employee and Management Relations Officers in the Regions to identify training opportunities aimed at providing employees with pertinent information regarding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and related discipline policies.
It is anticipated that the Office of Professional Integrity will play a critical role in overseeing training initiatives associated with the continuum of integrity. The Adjudicative Services Branch will take steps to collaborate with the Office so that information pertaining to the formal disciplinary process forms part of its educational focus.
The RCMP has embarked on a new course with respect to the management of employee behaviour. The Office of Professional Integrity will bring a strong, coordinated approach to this effort. Some aspects of employee conduct and resulting managerial responses will be linked through a continuum of integrity, with formal discipline constituting one component of the scale. The Adjudicative Services Branch will work within this new ethics-led continuum so that it may better fulfill its mandate of addressing conduct that requires formal disciplinary action.
No organization is immune from employee misconduct. Matters pertaining to police conduct will always present challenges for modern policing. From an organizational perspective, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, including the Code of Conduct establishes the standards for all members of the RCMP. It is the responsibility of every member to uphold these standards. The organization must ensure that its response to misconduct is effective, appropriate and timely. Informal discipline must be resolved in a prompt manner for it to be effective and must be administered at the lowest possible level. Formal discipline must be investigated expeditiously and comprehensively with the goal to resolve the matter through fair and prompt adjudication, when required. The disciplinary process must be effectively managed, efficient, transparent and accountable. These are the basic tenets of a well-managed disciplinary process and constitute the basic principles which will steer the course of the Adjudicative Services Branch in the year ahead.
The RCMP’s reputation as one of the best police organizations in the world is, for the most part, based on the conduct of its members. An important aspect of that reputation is based on the RCMP’s ability to maintain the trust and confidence of the public it serves. The RCMP is aware that the Force and the conduct of its members are under increased public scrutiny. The recent publication of the findings of the Braidwood Commission on the Death of Robert Dziekanski28 and the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 18229 brought focus on RCMP operations and the conduct of its members.
The RCMP must ensure that public confidence does not waver and that public trust is sound. Without public trust, the operational effectiveness of the organization will be greatly affected. The RCMP will maintain this trust by responding quickly to contraventions of the behavioral standards as laid out in the Code of Conduct. It must also make certain that the public is not only kept informed about disciplinary actions but is also assured that steps have been taken to address misconduct and that measures will be taken to prevent its recurrence.
28 Braidwood Commission on the Death of Robert Dziekanski (B.C.), Why? The Robert Dziekanski Tragedy, Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication, May 20, 2010. (Commissioner: The Honourable Thomas R. Braidwood, Q.C.): Available: http://www.braidwoodinquiry.ca/report/ P2Report.php [May 20, 2010].
29 Canada. Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182. (Online). Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2010. (Cat. No. CP32-89/2-2010E). (Commissioner: The Honourable John C. Major, Q.C.). Available: http://www.majorcomm.ca/en/reports/finalreport [June 17, 2010].