Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information 2016

General Information

Introduction

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.
 

The Introduction and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.
 

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

The Office of the Ombudsman was created in 1998 to increase openness and transparency in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, as well as to ensure the fair treatment of concerns raised by Canadian Forces members, departmental employees, and their families.
 

The Office of the Ombudsman is independent of the military chain of command and senior civilian management, reporting directly to the Minister of National Defence. The Ombudsman is appointed to the position by Governor in Council order pursuant section 127.1(1)(c) of the Public Service Employment Act, S.C. 2003, c. 22. He derives his authority from the Ministerial Directives Respecting the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces and their accompanying Defence Administrative Order and Directive (DAOD).
 

Responsibilities

The Office of the Ombudsman has the mandate to investigate both individual and systemic complaints and act as a direct source of information, referral, and education. The Office is responsible for reviewing and investigating complaints from current and former Canadian Forces members, Department of National defence employees, family members, and other constituents who believe that they have been treated unfairly by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. In addition, the Office of the Ombudsman must report annually and may report publicly on specific investigations if the Ombudsman considers it to be in the public interest to do so.
  

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Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

The Office of the Ombudsman operates under the Program Activity Architecture of the Department of National Defence (DND). It is structured as part of DND’s Internal Services program, sub activity of Government and Management Support, and sub-sub activity of Management and Oversight.
 

Information, Referral and Education

The Office of the Ombudsman acts as a direct source of information, referral and education. It helps members of the Defence community navigate a large and complex organization in order to access existing channels of assistance or redress when they have a complaint or concern. Intake Officers receive complaints, provide information about policies and procedures, and may refer complainants to other bodies or mechanisms designed to assist them with their issues.
 

Each year, the Office of the Ombudsman presents commendations to recognize individuals who bring pride to the National Defence and Canadian Forces community through exemplary dedication and service. The Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation recognizes individuals and groups who exceed expectations in helping their colleagues resolve a difficult problem or in bringing about positive change to the Defence community.
 

The Ombudsman presents an annual report to the Minister of National Defence on the activities of the Office of the Ombudsman for that year and may submit a report on any investigation or other matter within its mandates if the Ombudsman considers that it is in the public interest to do so. The Office of the Ombudsman Annual Reports and published Special Reports are available on the Internet. The Ombudsman is also asked to testify before Parliamentary committees with regard to matters within his mandate.
  

Outreach

The Office of the Ombudsman conducts outreach programs to raise the profile of the Office with constituents, as well as with authorities within the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence who may be called upon to assist with the investigations of the Ombudsman’s Office. Outreach activities also include assistance to newer ombudsman or ombudsman-like offices within Canada and internationally.
 

Investigations and Complaint Resolution

The Office of the Ombudsman is responsible for reviewing and investigating complaints from current and former Canadian Forces members, Department of National Defence employees, family members and other constituents who believe they have been treated improperly or unfairly by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Forces. In addition to direct contact from complainants, the Office of the Ombudsman can initiate an investigation on his own motion, the Minister of National Defence can direct the Office to investigate a matter, and authorities within the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence can refer a matter to the Ombudsman.
 

Office of the Ombudsman complaints analysts and investigators attempt to resolve complaints informally and at the lowest level possible. However, complaints can also be the subject of thorough investigations, leading to a formal report with findings and recommendations that are made public. Complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman are treated confidentially, subject to access to information and privacy legislation.
 

Most cases that go to investigation are complaints where only one individual is affected by the matter complained of. An individual complaint is assigned to an investigator. Theinvestigator will review the complaint. Once the investigator has gathered all the relevant facts, he or she will report on the findings and make recommendations. Reports resulting from individual investigations are not usually made public. However, if the Ombudsman determines that it is in the public interest to make such a report public, he may do so.
 

Complaint Files

Description: Information on complaints made to the Office of the Ombudsman by constituents alleging unfair treatment by the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces.

Document Types: Notes about the nature of a complaint, information about the complainant, analysis, legal advice, summary of information or referral provided to the complainant, subject matter of the complaint, disposition of the complaint, Office of the Ombudsman staff who dealt with the complaint.

Record Number: NDCFO OPE 005

  • Office of the Ombudsman Complaint and Investigation files
    Description: Records in this bank consist of information about complainants and other individuals involved in investigations. (Not all complaints result in investigations, and some investigations are initiated by the Minister or the Ombudsman.) The files consist of: intake forms, correspondence and records of interviews with complainants and other individuals; material given to the Office of the Ombudsman staff by the complainant, Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces (DND/CF) personnel, and other persons in the course of investigations; waiver and consent forms signed by complainants and other individuals; activity logs, memoranda, findings and recommendations.
    Class of Individuals: This bank applies to members and former members of the CF and Cadets; applicants to the CF; employees and former employees of DND; employees or former employees of the Staff of non-Public Funds, CF; members of the immediate family of the above; and members of foreign armed forces serving, attached or seconded to the CF.
    Purpose: The purpose of this bank is to collect information to assess complaints, initiate investigations, review evidence and produce findings and recommendations.
    Consistent Uses: Information is used to identify and substantiate systemic problems, and contribute to improvements in the welfare of the DND and CF community. It can also be used for research and statistical purposes. Where evidence of a criminal act or breach of the Code of Service Discipline is found during an investigation, the Ombudsman may report the matter to the Provost Marshal or appropriate civilian police authority.
    Retention and Disposal Standards: Documents will be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    RDA Number: 2009/004
    Related Record Number: NDCFO OPE 005, NDCFO OPE 015, NDCFO OPE 020, NDCFO OPE 025
    TBS Registration: 005158
    Bank Number: NDCFO PPU 010
     

Complaint Resolution

Description: The records related to complaints made to the Office of the Ombudsman that have been identified as being capable of being resolved by informal resolution.

Document Types: Notes, records of contact, policies and regulations, records of internal consultations (which can include legal advice).

Record Number: NDCFO OPE 015

  • Office of the Ombudsman Complaint and Investigation files
    Description: Records in this bank consist of information about complainants and other individuals involved in investigations. (Not all complaints result in investigations, and some investigations are initiated by the Minister or the Ombudsman.) The files consist of: intake forms, correspondence and records of interviews with complainants and other individuals; material given to the Office of the Ombudsman staff by the complainant, Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces (DND/CF) personnel, and other persons in the course of investigations; waiver and consent forms signed by complainants and other individuals; activity logs, memoranda, findings and recommendations.
    Class of Individuals: This bank applies to members and former members of the CF and Cadets; applicants to the CF; employees and former employees of DND; employees or former employees of the Staff of non-Public Funds, CF; members of the immediate family of the above; and members of foreign armed forces serving, attached or seconded to the CF.
    Purpose: The purpose of this bank is to collect information to assess complaints, initiate investigations, review evidence and produce findings and recommendations.
    Consistent Uses: Information is used to identify and substantiate systemic problems, and contribute to improvements in the welfare of the DND and CF community. It can also be used for research and statistical purposes. Where evidence of a criminal act or breach of the Code of Service Discipline is found during an investigation, the Ombudsman may report the matter to the Provost Marshal or appropriate civilian police authority.
    Retention and Disposal Standards: Documents will be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    RDA Number: 2009/004
    Related Record Number: NDCFO OPE 005, NDCFO OPE 015, NDCFO OPE 020, NDCFO OPE 025
    TBS Registration: 005158
    Bank Number: NDCFO PPU 010
     

Individual Investigations

Description: Includes records related to investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman on complaints received from members of the Defence community.

Document Types: Investigation plans, investigation summaries, notes, records of contact, interview tapes and transcripts, correspondence, polices and regulations, consultations with directors and legal counsel, draft and final reports or letters,consultation drafts, and records of consultations.

Record Number: NDCFO OPE 020
 

  • Office of the Ombudsman Complaint and Investigation files
    Description: Records in this bank consist of information about complainants and other individuals involved in investigations. (Not all complaints result in investigations, and some investigations are initiated by the Minister or the Ombudsman.) The files consist of: intake forms, correspondence and records of interviews with complainants and other individuals; material given to the Office of the Ombudsman staff by the complainant, Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces (DND/CF) personnel, and other persons in the course of investigations; waiver and consent forms signed by complainants and other individuals; activity logs, memoranda, findings and recommendations.
    Class of Individuals: This bank applies to members and former members of the CF and Cadets; applicants to the CF; employees and former employees of DND; employees or former employees of the Staff of non-Public Funds, CF; members of the immediate family of the above; and members of foreign armed forces serving, attached or seconded to the CF.
    Purpose: The purpose of this bank is to collect information to assess complaints, initiate investigations, review evidence and produce findings and recommendations.
    Consistent Uses: Information is used to identify and substantiate systemic problems, and contribute to improvements in the welfare of the DND and CF community. It can also be used for research and statistical purposes. Where evidence of a criminal act or breach of the Code of Service Discipline is found during an investigation, the Ombudsman may report the matter to the Provost Marshal or appropriate civilian police authority.
    Retention and Disposal Standards: Documents will be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    RDA Number: 2009/004
    Related Record Number: NDCFO OPE 005, NDCFO OPE 015, NDCFO OPE 020, NDCFO OPE 025
    TBS Registration: 005158
    Bank Number: NDCFO PPU 010
     

Broader Issue Based Investigations and Systemic Investigations

The Office of the Ombudsman has a mandate to investigate and make recommendations to improve the overall well-being and quality of life of the members of the Defence community.
 

Broader based or systemic investigations concern matters which affect more than one individual. They may arise out of an individual complaint, or may be started as a result of a trend in complaints received or information on broader issues facing the Defence community. Once a matter has been identified as systemic in nature, it is assigned to amay include support from other sections of the Office. The investigation proceeds much like an individual investigation, only on a larger scale. The recommendations are aimed at contributing to substantial and long-lasting improvements in the welfare of the Canadian Forces and National Defence community. Systemic investigation reports will be made public if the Ombudsman considers it to be in the public interest. Reports which have been made public are available on the Internet.
 

Systemic Investigations

Description: Includes records related to investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman to improve the overall well-being and quality of life of members of the Defence community. Records include information related to the assessment of an issue or concern, preparation of an investigation plan, compilation and review of relevant documentation (including the identification and interviewing of witnesses and experts), internal consultations with intake, communications and legal services staff, preparation of an investigation summary, draft and final report, development of recommendations and, if deemed appropriate, presentation of the report to the Minister of National Defence and public release of the report.

Document Types: Investigation plans, investigation summaries, notes, records of contact, interview tapes and transcripts, correspondence, polices and regulations, consultations with directors and legal counsel, draft and final reports or letters, consultation drafts, and records of consultations.

Record Number: NDCFO OPE 025

  • Office of the Ombudsman Complaint and Investigation files
    Description:
    Records in this bank consist of information about complainants and other individuals involved in investigations. (Not all complaints result in investigations, and some investigations are initiated by the Minister or the Ombudsman.) The files consist of: intake forms, correspondence and records of interviews with complainants and other individuals; material given to the Office of the Ombudsman staff by complainants, Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces (DND/CF) personnel, and other persons in the course of investigations; waiver and consent forms signed by complainants and other individuals; activity logs, memoranda, findings and recommendations.
    Class of Individuals: This bank applies to members and former members of the CF and Cadets; applicants to the CF; employees and former employees of DND; employees or former employees of the Staff of non-Public Funds, CF; members of the immediate family of the above; and members of foreign armed forces serving, attached or seconded to the CF.
    Purpose: The purpose of this bank is to collect information to assess complaints, initiate investigations, review evidence and produce findings and recommendations.
    Consistent Uses: Information is used to identify and substantiate systemic problems, and contribute to improvements in the welfare of the DND and CF community. It can also be used for research and statistical purposes. Where evidence of a criminal act or breach of the Code of Service Discipline is foundduring an investigation, the Ombudsman may report the matter to the Provost Marshal or appropriate civilian police authority.
    Retention and Disposal Standards: Documents will be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    RDA Number: 2009/004
    Related Record Number: NDCFO OPE 005, NDCFO OPE 015, NDCFO OPE 020, NDCFO OPE 025
    TBS Registration: 005158
    Bank Number: NDCFO PPU 010
     

Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.
 

Acquisition Services

Acquisition Services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfil a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public – internal or external – receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management

Financial Management Services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

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Human Resources Management

Human Resources Management Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and/or plans.
 

Information Management

Information Management Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency, and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology

Information Technology Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and Oversight Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and Other Administrative Services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

Legend

  • Standard Classes of Records (CoRs)
  • Standard Personal Information Banks (PIBs)

Manuals

  • Standard operating procedures Operations
     

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Additional Information

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through requests outside of the ATIP process. You may wish to consult our completed Access to Information (ATI) summaries. Completed ATI releases can be requested informally from us.
 

Please see the Introduction to this publication for information on formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The following outlines how to make a formal ATIP request.
 

The Office of the Ombudsman is part of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces. However, it operates independently from the management and chain of command of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces. The Minister of National Defence, under section 73 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of the Privacy Act, has delegated his authority in respect of records maintained by the Office of the Ombudsman, to the Office's Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator. Requests for records are processed independently of the Department of National Defence Access to Information and Privacy Office. The Office of the Ombudsman deals directly with the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners.
 

For additional information about the programs and activities of the Office of the Ombudsman, National Defence and Canadian Forces, please contact:
 

Office of the Ombudsman, National Defence and Canadian Forces
Urbandale Building
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1
 
Telephone: 613-992-0787 (General Enquiries)
Telephone: 613-992-6962 (Media Enquiries)
Toll-Free: 1-888-828-3626
Facsimile: 613-992-3167
Email: ombudsman-communications@forces.gc.ca
Internet: http://www.ombudsman.forces.gc.ca
 

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act, an area on the premises of this institution has been designated as a public reading room. The address is:
 
Ombudsman National Defence and Canadian Forces
Urbandale Building
100 Metcalfe Street, 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
 

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