2019-20 - Departmental Results Report

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

ISSN 2561-0317

Departmental Results Report (PDF)

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Chair's Message

Christopher McNeil, Chair

I am pleased to present the 2019-20 Departmental Results Report for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB). We are an appeal tribunal that helps Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and RCMP members, and their families, obtain the benefits to which they are entitled for service-related disabilities.

Throughout the year, VRAB heard more than 2,800 cases. This resulted in benefits being awarded to Veterans in more than 75% of Review cases and 80% of Appeal cases; compared to 59% and 42% respectively in 2018-19. This year-over-year increase can be partially attributed to the Board’s implementation of a new Simplified Hearing Process that groups together less complex cases involving similar issues.

Communications and outreach have always played a vital role in improving and supporting access to the Board’s appeal program, while ensuring that Veterans, their families and stakeholders understand what the VRAB does. The Board continued to enhance relationships with Veteran stakeholders during 2019-20, through written updates, ongoing dialogue and participation in key events. Maintaining and strengthening these relationships significantly enhances our understanding of how we can best serve and support Veterans and their families.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Board to adapt to a new normal. This includes providing hearings to Veterans via teleconference and videoconference, as well as the increased use of written submissions for less complex cases. I am proud of the hard work and tremendous efforts by the VRAB staff and Board Members. Despite the many challenges that have arisen, they have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to those who serve.

Leading this organization and having a direct impact on the lives of Veterans, CAF and RCMP members, and their families is a tremendous honour. As Chair, I remain committed to excellence in decision-making and ensuring that Veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled for service-related disabilities.


Christopher J. McNeil
Chair, Veterans Review and Appeal Board


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Results at a glance and operating context

2019-20 Results Highlights
Results Highlights

Results Highlights

Funds used: $10,696,418

Full Time Equivalents: 16 Board Members and 67 Staff

2,285 Decisions rendered

77% of Veterans received new or increased disability benefits


Hearings and decisions

During the 2019-20 reporting year, the Board heard more than 2,600 cases and issued close to 2,300 decisions. This included more than 1,700 Review hearings where applicants had the opportunity to personally appear before Board members to present oral testimony and evidence; and 900 Appeal hearings where Veterans presented new information and arguments through their representatives.

The Board ruled favourably in 75% of Review decisions and 80% of Appeal decisions, compared to 59% and 42% in 2018-19. This year-over-year increase can be partially attributed to the Board’s implementation of a new Simplified Hearing Process that groups together less complex cases involving similar issues. For example, recent Veterans Affairs Canada policy updates to Hearing Loss and Partial Entitlement has resulted in a significant number of Veterans seeking a review of previous decisions. These changes have led to a higher favourability rate.

Quality decisions

Quality decisions are essential to the Board’s mandate of ensuring Veterans receive all the benefits they are entitled to. Throughout the year, the Board continued to build on the quality of its decisions through its robust training and professional development program for Board Members. The positive results of this work is reflected in this year’s quality rating of 93%, an increase of 8% from the previous fiscal year.

Communications and outreach

Communications and outreach are fundamental to improving and supporting access to the Board’s appeal program, while ensuring that Veterans, their families and stakeholders understand what the Board does. Throughout the reporting period, the Board continued to enhance relationships with internal and external stakeholders through written updates, regular dialogue and participation in key events. Strengthening these partnerships helps the Board better understand how we can best serve Veterans and their families.

The Board continued to gather feedback from Veterans about their hearing experience to identify improvement opportunities and ensure Veterans are receiving high quality hearings. The results show the majority of Veterans are satisfied with how they are treated by the Board.

VRAB 2019-20 Exit Survey Results
  • 99% said Board Members clearly explained how the hearing would proceed.
  • 98% said Board Members treated them with respect.
  • 96% said Board Members gave their representative and themselves the opportunity to fully explain their case.
  • 98% said Board Members listened to what they had to say.
  • 95% said Board Members made efforts to put them at ease.
  • 93% said their hearing was conducted in a fair manner.

Operating Context

The Board is a micro-organization with a small, dedicated staff. The Chairperson, appointed by the Governor in Council, is the Board’s Chief Executive Officer and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

The Board can have up to 25 full-time Members (including the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson). Members hear Veterans’ cases brought forward for redress. They then decide whether the evidence meets the requirements of the legislation to award new or increased levels of disability benefits.

Workload

The Board’s operating environment is directly influenced by the unpredictability of the nature and volume of applications. A good indicator of how many applications the Board is likely to receive in a given year, is the volume of Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) disability benefits decisions from the previous year. The reality is that more applicants have been receiving positive outcomes earlier in the process (i.e. at VAC), and no longer need to seek redress at the Board.

Even though the Board’s caseload is primarily correlated with VAC decision volumes, it can fluctuate from year to year due to other factors. One factor is that there is no time limit to bring forward an appeal, so Veterans can request an independent review of their VAC or VRAB decision at any time. In 2019-20, the Board received 4,137 applications, a significant increase compared to 2,306 received in the previous fiscal year. This increase is due, in part, to recent Veterans Affairs Canada policy updates to Hearing Loss and Partial Entitlement that have resulted in a significant number of Veterans seeking a review of previous decisions.

Human Resources

The Board relies on its Members and staff to provide Veterans and their families with a fair and timely appeal process. As a small tribunal, it faces unique challenges in workforce management and makes ongoing efforts to maintain knowledgeable and skilled Members and staff to deliver its program.

Board Members are Governor-in-Council (GIC) appointees selected from a pre-qualified pool of Canadians. As the membership is dynamic, it is both a challenge and a priority for the Board to maintain a balance of experienced and new Members for expertise and knowledge transfer. The Board’s capability to effectively deliver on its mandate hinges upon an adequate complement of Members appointed through the open and transparent merit-based GIC selection process.

The Board continues to implement a more robust approach to human resources planning to ensure that a responsive and adequate workforce is in place to effectively support the organization. This includes communicating with the Minister on the Board’s appointment needs, recruiting strategically to respond to organizational resource and skill needs, and focusing on learning and professional development by investing time and resources in learning activities and providing Members and staff with developmental opportunities.

During the reporting period, 31% of hearings held were French or bilingual, signaling a need to maintain a high proportion of bilingual staff and Members to ensure a strong level of service in both official languages. The Board remains committed to ensuring it has the bilingual resource capacity to provide quality service to its applicants. This is achieved through strategic staffing efforts that are aligned with identified language requirements, and through skills development – as the Board supports staff in acquiring and maintaining second language skills at a level appropriate to the requirements of their position, and the organization.

For more information on the VRAB’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

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Results: what we achieved

Core Responsibility

Appeals

Description: Provide an independent review and appeal program for disability benefits decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada; ensure Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, and their families, receive the benefits they are entitled to under law for service-related disabilities.

Results

To fulfill its Core Responsibility and deliver on results, the Board is guided by its strategic priorities:

  • Providing Veterans with excellent service
  • Maintaining a high-performing organization
  • Being open and accountable about its work

The initiatives and activities that flow from these priorities directly contribute to the results the Board is trying to achieve, namely that:

  • Applicants receive high-quality hearings and decisions; and
  • Applicants receive timely decisions.

Priority #1: Excellence in Service Delivery

  • The VRAB is continuously working to help Veterans and their families obtain access to the disability appeal process, and ultimately benefits, more quickly. During the reporting period, the Board continued with the implementation of a “Simplified Hearing Process” that groups together less complex cases involving similar issues. This approach has enabled a larger volume of cases to be heard in a shorter timeframe, while increasing the time and resources to address more complex cases. The Board also continued to explore opportunities to ensure that Veterans have access to hearings in their local community, by expanding the number of hearing locations.

    These process improvements have led to better results by allowing Veterans and their families to receive hearings, decisions and disability benefits sooner. In 2019-20, Board Members conducted over 2,800 hearings, close to 800 more than the previous year.

  • The Board is committed to serving Veterans better through continuous improvement and innovation. During the reporting period, the Board continued work with the Veterans Affairs Canada’s My VAC Account team to improve the access to, and the timeliness of, their VRAB decisions and other important information from the Board. My VAC Account is a secure online service that allows Veterans, still-serving Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP Members, and their families to easily communicate and engage with Veterans Affairs. Based on this work, in the 2020-21 fiscal year, VRAB applicants will be able to communicate with the Board using the secure messaging feature in My VAC Account and access their decisions through the online portal. This will reduce wait times as applicants will no longer have to wait to receive their decisions by mail.

  • Continuous training for Board Members is key to the success of the Board’s outcome, and continued to be a focal point in 2019-20. Understanding the increasingly complex and evolving needs of Veterans and their families is crucial to ensuring they receive fair, consistent, quality and timely hearings and decisions. To support Board Members in making quality decisions for Veterans, they received training on a variety of topics including trauma-informed care, chronic pain, VAC Entitlement Eligibility Guidelines, administrative law and harassment.

Priority #2: High-Performing Organization

  • The Board respects the diverse Veteran population we serve, and strives to be responsive to their needs. Providing better service to Veterans and their families also means ensuring employees and Board Members are supported. The Board is committed to building a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace, where employees and Members have the tools they need to do their jobs, allowing them to better support Veterans and their families. Highlights from 2019-20 include:

    • Creating and staffing a Wellness Officer position.
    • Holding an Employee Wellness Day that included speakers on a wide variety of health education topics, including interactive sessions on areas such as mindfulness and meditation.
    • Raising awareness in the unique cultural values and traditions of Indigenous peoples through participation in a KAIROS Blanket Exercise and presentations from former Canadian Armed Forces members on their Indigenous experiences.
    • Providing a facilitated one-day session for the Board’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee to identify actions to be taken in VRAB to promote the government’s priority of strengthening diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
    • Celebrating diversity and inclusion by encouraging participation in various events, activities and education and awareness sessions hosted by Veterans Affairs Canada

Priority #3: Transparency and Accountability

  • To be more transparent and accountable, the Board continued to make timely, accurate and clear communications about its program a priority in 2019-20. During the reporting period, the Board continued to strengthen outreach through engagement and consultation with stakeholder groups across the country including the Royal Canadian Legion, the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association, and the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada. The Board’s Chair and Deputy Chair also had the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs to speak about the appeal process and to answer committee member’s questions. Board leadership was also honoured to participate in several events associated with Veterans’ Week in November.

  • As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Board is bound by the open court principle, which assumes that public confidence in, and understanding of, decision-making requires openness and transparency. In 2019-20, the Board continued to post all of its decisions on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website. Publishing depersonalized decisions is important because it allows Veterans to see how the Board applies the law in cases similar to their own, and shows Canadians that the Board is fulfilling its obligations.

Key Risks

Due to the evolving nature of the Board’s workload, concurrent with the start and end of Board Member terms, there is a risk that the Board will not be able to meet the demands for timely hearings and decisions. To mitigate this risk, the Board worked with representatives to improve the scheduling process and communicated with the Minister on the Board’s appointment needs. The Board also continued to streamline processes to ensure that resources were focused on delivering decisions to Veterans and their families as quickly as possible.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

The Board continued to promote the Government of Canada’s priority of strengthening diversity and inclusion by considering gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) in its activities and processes.

During the reporting period, the Board assessed its program and services to align with the policy direction to modernize the Government of Canada’s sex and gender information practices. As a result, potential opportunities for change were identified. Further analysis of these opportunities will be conducted in the coming fiscal year.

Throughout 2019-20, the Board continued to build awareness of GBA+ in the organization by encouraging staff to complete the Women and Gender Equality Canada online GBA+ course, and take part in the GBA+ Awareness Week activities hosted by VAC. The Board also continued to participate in the VAC GBA+ network which has the goal of raising awareness and disseminating tools and best practices.

Experimentation

No experimentation initiatives were identified for 2019-20.

Results achieved
Departmental
results
Performance
indicators
Target Date to achieve
target
2017-18
Actual
results
2018-19
Actual
results
2019-20
Actual
results
Applicants
receive high
quality
hearings and
decisions
Percentage of
Applicants who
provide positive
feedback about
their hearing
<95% March 31, 2020 Not
available1
96% 96%
Percentage of Board
decisions that meet
quality standards
<85% March 31, 2020 Not
available1
85% 93%
Percentage of Board
decisions overturned
by the Federal Court
<2% March 31, 2020 0.7% 1.6% 0.9%
Applicants
receive timely
decisions
Percentage of
Review decisions
issued within 16
weeks of the
applicant/
representative
notifying the Board their
case is ready to
be heard
<95% March 31, 2020 93% 93% 95%
Percentage of
Review decisions
issued within 16
weeks of the
applicant/
representative
notifying the Board their
case is ready to
be heard
<85% March 31, 2020 Not
available1
41% 48%2

1This performance indicator was new or revised for fiscal year 2018-19 and prior year data is not available.

2The volume of applications received by the Board increased significantly in 2019-20. This impacted processing times as it took longer to schedule and hear cases, and issue decisions for those cases that could not proceed through the Board’s Simplified Hearing model. However, the Board issued 170 more Appeal decisions within the service standard in 2019-20 than in 2018-19.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
Actual spending
minus Planned
spending)
10,911,155 10,911,155 11,398,006 10,696,418 (214,737)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents
minus Planned full-time
equivalents)
101 83 (18)

Financial, human resources and performance information for VRAB’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

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Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • Acquisition Management Services
  • Communications Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Legal Services
  • Material Management Services
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Real Property Management Services

VAC provides some internal services to the Board under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This service relationship has been in place since the Board was created in 1995 and provides VRAB with an excellent opportunity to maximize resources by capitalizing on the significant investment VAC has made in these services while maintaining its adjudicative independence.

The Board continued to work within the MOU for Internal Services developed with VAC.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities
available for use
2019–20
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
(Actual spending
minus Planned
spending)
01 01 01 01 01

1Internal Services to support the operations of VRAB are provided at no cost under an MOU with VAC.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents
minus Planned full-time
equivalents)
01 01 01

1Internal Services to support the operations of VRAB are provided at no cost under an MOU with VAC.

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Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph1

Departmental spending trend graph

1Totals in Departmental Spending Trend Graph may not add due to rounding.



Text Version

Description of the 2019-20 Departmental Results Report departmental spending trend graph

The image is a bar graph. It shows the spending trend by fiscal years from 2017-18 to 2022-23.

The fiscal years are devised into three sections:

  • Statutory
  • Voted
  • Total

All amounts are in millions.

The following are the numbers by fiscal year for the Statutory section:

  • For fiscal year 2017-18 the amount is 1.1.
  • For fiscal year 2018-19 the amount is 1.1.
  • For fiscal year 2019-20 the amount is 1.2.
  • For fiscal year 2020-21 the amount is 1.3.
  • For fiscal year 2021-22 the amount is 1.3.
  • For fiscal year 2022-23 the amount is 1.3.

The following are the numbers by fiscal year for the Voted section:

  • For fiscal year 2017-18 the amount is 9.7.
  • For fiscal year 2018-19 the amount is 8.8.
  • For fiscal year 2019-20 the amount is 9.5.
  • For fiscal year 2020-21 the amount is 9.6.
  • For fiscal year 2021-22 the amount is 9.6.
  • For fiscal year 2022-23 the amount is 9.6.

The following are the numbers by fiscal year for the Total section:

  • For fiscal year 2017-18 the amount is 10.9.
  • For fiscal year 2018-19 the amount is 9.9.
  • For fiscal year 2019-20 the amount is 10.7.
  • For fiscal year 2020-21 the amount is 10.9.
  • For fiscal year 2021-22 the amount is 10.9.
  • For fiscal year 2022-23 the amount is 10.9.

  • Total spending for 2019-20 was $10.7 million, an increase of 8% from 2018-19 when total spending was $9.9 million.
  • The majority of the increase relates to an increase in salary expenditures, as well as an increase in certain operating expenditures, such as travel and communications.

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core
Responsibilities
and Internal
Services
2019–20
Main
Estimates
2019–20
Planned
spending
2020–21
Planned
spending
2021–22
Planned
spending
2019–20
Total
authorities
available
for use
2017–18
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
2018–19
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
2019–20
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
Appeals 10,911,155 10,911,155 10,911,155 10,911,087 11,398,006 10,696,418 9,906,100 10,852,369
Internal
Services
01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01
Total 10,911,155 10,911,155 10,911,155 10,911,087 11,398,006 10,696,418 9,906,100 10,852,369

1Internal Services to support the operations of VRAB are provided at no cost under an MOU with VAC.

  • The Board’s actual spending for 2019-20 was $10.7 million. This represents a 2% variance from the total planned spending of $10.9 million reported in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan.
  • Actual spending was relatively consistent with planned spending due to the stable nature of the Board’s operations.

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Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services

Core Responsibilites
and Internal Services
2017-18
Actual
full-time
equivalents
2018-19
Actual
full-time
equivalents
2019–20
Planned
full-time
equivalents
2019–20
Actual
full-time
equivalents
2020–21
Planned
full-time
equivalents
2021–22
Planned
full-time
equivalents
Appeals 86 84 101 83 101 101
Internal Services 01 01 01 01 01 01
Total 86 84 101 83 101 101

1Internal Services to support the operations of VRAB are provided at no cost under an MOU with VAC.

The variance between planned full-time equivalents and actual full-time equivalents relates to fewer staff and Member appointments than planned.

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Expenditures by Vote

For information on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–2020.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statements highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial
information
2019–20
Planned
results
2019–20
Actual
results
2018–19
Actual
results
Difference
(2019–20
Actual
results
minus
2019–20
Planned
results)
Difference
(2019–20
Actual
results
minus
2018–19
Actual
results)
Total expenses 12,386,758 12,220,377 11,234,459 (166,381) 985,918
Total revenues 0 10 0 10 10
Net cost of
operations before
government funding
and transfers
12,386,758 12,220,367 11,234,459 (166,391) 985,908

The Board’s total operating expenses were approximately $0.2 million lower than planned in the 2019-20 fiscal year. As well, the actual expenditures for the 2019-20 fiscal year were $1.0 million higher than the previous fiscal year. This is mainly attributable to an increase in salary expenditures.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20 2018–19 Difference
(2019–20 minus
2018–19)
Total net liabilities 1,479,946 1,343,071 136,875
Total net financial assets 671,981 733,632 (61,651)
Departmental net debt 807,966 609,439 198,527
Total non-financial assets 38,559 27,414 11,145
Departmental net financial position (769,407) (582,025) (187,382)

Net liabilities increased by $137 thousand in 2019-20 when compared with fiscal year 2018-19. This is mainly attributable to the increase in accrued liabilities. Net financial assets decreased by $62 thousand which is attributable to a decrease in the amount due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to discharge existing liabilities.

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Additional information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head: Christopher J. McNeil

Ministerial portfolio: Veterans Affairs

Enabling instrument(s): Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act; Veterans Review and Appeal Board Regulations

Year of incorporation/commencement: 1995

Other: Applications for review and appeal can be made to the Board under the following legislation:

The Board also adjudicates applications for compassionate awards made under section 34 of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act.

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Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the VRAB website.

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Reporting framework

VRAB’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Departmental Results Framework
Core Responsibility: Appeals
Departmental Result: Applicants receive high quality hearings and decisions   Indicator: Percentage of applicants who provide positive feedback about their hearing
  Indicator: Percentage of Board decisions that meet quality standards
  Indicator: Percentage of Board decisions overturned by the Federal Court
Departmental Result: Applicants receive timely decisions   Indicator: Percentage of Review decisions issued within 16 weeks of the applicant/representative notifying the Board their case is ready to be heard
  Indicator: Percentage of Appeal decisions issued within 16 weeks of the applicant/representative notifying the Board their case is ready to be heard
Program Inventory
Program: Review and Appeal

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Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for VRAB’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the VRAB website:

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Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

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Organizational contact information

Veterans Review and Appeal Board
161 Grafton Street
PO Box 9900
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 8V7
Canada

Telephone:

Toll Free in Canada and the United States

  • 1-800-450-8006 (English Service) or
  • 1-877-368-0859 (French Service)

From all other locations, call collect

  • 0-902-566-8751 (English Service) or
  • 0-902-566-8835 (French Service)

TTY: 1-833-998-2060

Fax: 1-855-850-4644

Email: vrab.info.tacra@canada.ca

Website: http://www.vrab-tacra.gc.ca

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Appendix: definitions

Appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3 year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

Departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

Departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.

Departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental results report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

Experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances.

Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

Full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

Government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.

Horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

Non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

Performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

Performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

Plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

Planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

Program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.

Result (résultat)
A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

Statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

Voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.


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