Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Response to parliamentary committees

In Spring 2014, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security released its Report on Economics of Policing, which put forward constructive recommendations to continue improving the efficiency and effectiveness of police services across Canada. On August 20, 2014, the Government Response was tabled in the House of Commons and since then, Public Safety Canada (PS) has continued to move forward with the Economics of Policing and Community Safety Shared Forward Agenda, a strategy for the future of policing in Canada. The Strategy is a key policy and research priority for Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for Justice and Public Safety and the entire policing community.

To further the Government’s Response, in 2014-15, PS engaged in the following initiatives: 

  • The Department worked with FNPP partners and stakeholders resulting in 454 First Nation and Inuit communities having access to professional, dedicated and responsive policing services through the program. The federal government, along with its provincial and territorial partners, funded 186 policing agreements, which included approximately 1,299 police officers serving a population of approximately 414,578.

  • Throughout 2014-15, Public Safety Canada continued to discuss alternative service delivery options and innovative policing models with provincial and territorial officials through the FPT Working Group on the FNPP. Additionally in 2014-2015, Public Safety Canada agreed to provide contribution funding through the FNPP, along with the Government of Ontario, to support a Social Navigator Initiative as part of the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Police Service, Ontario. This initiative is expected to contribute to the provision of effective and efficient policing through an increased focus on community resources engagement and crime prevention as opposed to enforcement. A Social Navigator position will be created within the UCCM Police Service to work closely with other services agencies and communities to develop partnerships to more effectively deal with at-risk individuals. 

  • In support of the sharing of best practices and regional policing research, PS launched the Canadian Policing Research Catalogue in March 2015. The Catalogue is a central, widely accessible online library for Canadian policing research. It consolidates over 5000 documents summarizing research conducted by academics, police services and other researchers, making them available across Canada and around the world. The Catalogue addresses a major gap in policing research in Canada and is a key deliverable under the Economics of Policing and Community Safety Shared Forward Agenda, an objective of which is to disseminate policing research findings.

  • In addition, in March 2015, PS hosted the second Summit on the Economics of Policing and Community Safety: Innovation and Partnerships. The 2015 Summit continued the momentum of policing innovation originally achieved by the first Summit on the Economics of Policing: Sustaining Canada’s Policing Advantage. The goals of the 2015 Summit were to: engage in a robust dialogue on the future of policing and public safety in Canada; advance the Shared Forward Agenda Strategy approved by all FPT governments; provide helpful and practical information to the policing community on innovation and partnerships.

  • To examine core policing duties to improve police services, PS is continuing to work with Statistics Canada to review current police performance measures and develop new indicators linked to efficiency and effectiveness.  Statistics Canada has also undertaken an examination of police calls for service data.

  • In support to new models of community safety, PS and the Governments of Saskatchewan and Ontario hosted the National Policy Makers Dialogue Session on Privacy and Information Sharing Workshop in January 2015.  This workshop examined best practices in information sharing between police services and other social services when addressing, in a collaborative manner, the needs individuals experiencing acute risk of harm to themselves or others.

  • Finally, PS has commissioned a research study to examine the inefficiencies that exist between the police and the justice system, as well as existing best practices in addressing such inefficiencies.

Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

2014 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada - Chapter 5—First Nations Policing Program—Public Safety Canada (released in May 2014).

The objective of this audit was to determine whether Public Safety Canada’s First Nations Policing Program, including legacy First Nations policing programs, was designed to deliver and provides policing services on First Nations reserves in a manner that is consistent with selected principles of the First Nations Policing Policy. The audit also examined whether program performance was adequately measured and reported. The audit covered the period between October 2012 and December 2013.

The audit concluded that Public Safety Canada adequately measured and reported on the FNPP’s financial performance, while noting that the First Nations Policing Program did not adequately ensure that policing services on First Nations reserves were delivered in a manner that is consistent with selected principles of the First Nations Policing Policy.

The audit made eight recommendations that were all accepted by the Department. The Department developed a Management Action Plan, which was shared with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts. All of the deliverables from the Management Action Plan that were due in 2014-15 were successfully met in a timely fashion. Work continues on the implementation of the remaining deliverables.   

Response to external audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

PSC Audit of Public Safety Canada (released in October 2014 as part of the 2013-14 PSC Annual Report)

The objectives of the audit were to determine whether Public Safety Canada had an appropriate framework, practices and systems in place to manage its appointment activities and whether appointments and appointment processes in Public Safety Canada complied with the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), any other applicable statutory instruments. This audit covers Public Safety Canada’s appointment activities for the period between December 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013.

The audit concluded that most of the elements of Public Safety Canada’s appointment framework were in place but that some improvements were required to ensure that sub-delegated managers met all the conditions of sub-delegation prior to exercising their staffing authorities, and ensure that persons with a priority entitlement received proper consideration. Two recommendations were made in that regard. The Department accepted the recommendations. A rigorous action plan has been developed and steps have been taken in order to complete the implementation of the plan in 2015-16.

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