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Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

This 2018–19 plan introduces our new Departmental Results Framework (DRF)Footnote 1, which outlines what we do (Core Responsibilities), what we’re trying to achieve or influence (Departmental Results) and how we’re going to assess progress (Departmental Result Indicators). We have centered our new framework on the well-being of Veterans and their families and the results we seek to achieve are enduring — they should stand the test of time.

In developing this framework, we considered and leveraged well-established research on the domains of well-being, which comprise many of the departmental results we seek to influence. Extensive research indicates what contributes to Veterans’ well-being—known as the domains of well-being. These factors include things like health and financial security. The results we are aiming to achieve under the Core Responsibility of Benefits, Services and Support speak squarely to Veterans’ well-being, while the results of our second Core Responsibility are focused on Commemoration.

The expected results within our DRF represent a balance between those which our government can realistically expect to influence, and those which are longer-term, more ambitious results. As such, we recognize that VAC cannot do this work alone. To truly influence the well-being of Veterans, our government must continue to work closely with partners across all levels of government, with stakeholder groups, and with individual communities across the country.

In this first year of the DRF, we rely heavily on the Life After Service Study (conducted every three years) as a data source. While it is the best source of information and evidence available, we will continue working with other government departments to identify other data sources to supplement the Life After Service Study findings; build capacity in data analytics; increase frequency of collection; and partner with other government departments to expand our knowledge of the Veteran community.

The following section is organized according to our DRF and what results we seek to achieve.

Core Responsibilities

Benefits, Services and Support

Description

Support the care and well-being of Veterans and their dependents or survivors through a range of benefits, services, research, partnerships and advocacy.

Planning Highlights

Implement Budget 2017 Commitments

In FY 2018–19, VAC will continue to implement the Government’s mandated commitments and departmental priorities, including initiatives from Federal Budget 2017. On April 1, 2018, the following initiatives—all of which are mandate letter commitments, will come into force:

Budget 2018 Highlights

  • Pension for Life benefits package to help Veterans live a successful post-service life
  • Funding to increase our service delivery capacity to help deliver more timely services to Veterans and their families.
  • New Education and Training Benefit
  • Redesign of Career Transition Services
  • Caregiver Recognition Benefit paid directly to Veterans’ caregivers
  • Changes to Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Expanded access to Military Family Services Program
  • New Centre of Excellence on PTSD and Related Mental Health Conditions
  • New Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund
  • New Veterans Emergency Fund
Set conditions to re-establish lifelong pensions (Mandate Letter Commitment)

The proposed Pension for Life will provide ill or injured CAF Members and Veterans with new benefits, via monthly payments, for life. These benefits, to take effect April 1, 2019, are intended to provide appropriate compensation to recognize the pain and suffering resulting from service-related disabilities, and with greater flexibility in how this is compensated. These changes are part of an overall well-being package that combines financial recognition of pain and suffering, income replacement, and a host of wellness services and programs to help Veterans successfully transition to life after service.

These changes, as announced in December 2017, will also streamline and simplify program delivery by consolidating six existing financial benefits into a single monthly benefit—the Income Replacement Benefit. This will ensure that every injured Veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.

Greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to Veterans living with physical and/or mental health issues as a result of their service (Mandate Letter Commitment)

An online caregiver training program, tailored to the unique culture of the military, will be developed and delivered along with an online resource called Caregiver Zone, focused on helping caregivers develop skills and knowledge, build confidence in their abilities, access support for themselves and find validation in the tremendous work they do in supporting their loved ones. The expected result is that caregivers will be better equipped to care for Veterans and their families.

Improve career transition services to help Veterans gain skills to successfully transition to the civilian workforce (Mandate Letter Commitment)

Career transition is an ongoing process throughout one’s working life, requiring planning and preparation. Ultimately, the outcomes are linked to three main themes: readiness in terms of fostering a culture which recognizes and supports all aspects of military to civilian transition; recruitment and employment in fostering a culture across the public and private sectors which recognizes and supports the transition to civilian life and increases the recruitment of Veterans; and, synergy in that increased knowledge and understanding about issues relevant to Veteran employment across sectors. The Joint VAC/CAF Career Transition and Employment Strategy enables Veterans to successfully transition to civilian employment by enhancing readiness, promoting recruitment and employment, and nurturing collaboration amongst the Veteran employment community. In addition, in strict collaboration with CAF, VAC has undertaken the development of Civilian Employment: A Strategy for Veterans of Today and Tomorrow – a comprehensive plan to enhance employment opportunities for Veterans, promote their well-being, and support their success as they make the transition to civilian life. This strategy also aligns with recent federal government commitments to strengthen partnerships between CAF and VAC to ensure that Veterans receive the respect, support, care, and economic and career opportunities they deserve.

Case Management and Support Services

Case management is a service offered by Veterans Affairs to assist Veterans, RCMP and their families who may be finding it difficult to navigate a transition or change in their lives. Veteran demand for case management services has outpaced all projections so, in 2018–19, we plan to implement initiatives to improve case management efficiency and effectiveness, ensure quality Veteran services for those who need them, and continue to improve the caseload ratio.

We intend to further implement a Guided Support approach to service delivery. Guided Support means Veterans and their families are fully managed by one Veteran Service Agent, who becomes their primary point of contact at VAC. We will also update Case Management electronic tools, develop a new joint CAF/VAC Transition Model, and improve Veteran Screening and Risk Assessments.

GBA+
  • The Canadian Veteran population is diverse in terms of age, and the needs of this population are also varied. Therefore, an ideal service delivery model would be flexible in its approach, so as to engage and be pertinent to Veterans at any age, and offer tailored services to best meet their individual needs.
  • Proposed Pension For Life benefits are designed to address the unique needs of Veterans. The benefits are designed to ensure that eligible male and female Veterans are financially secure; recognized and compensated for their pain and suffering; and will address the different needs of all Veterans so that the outcomes are the same and equality is achieved for all.
  • VAC has embraced a population health approach to Veteran well-being. In the development of the proposed Pension for Life benefits, consideration is given to ensure that the proposed changes are equitable to both genders and that there are no identified gender-based obstacles to be removed or mitigated.
  • As with all programs at VAC, the intent of the service delivery model is to be able to address the needs of Veterans regardless of gender. To do this effectively, it is necessary to understand the role that gender-diverse individuals play in the CAF to ensure that any proposals are equitable for both.
  • The Bureau of Pensions Advocates has effectively advanced societal perspectives, obtaining positive decisions for female and other Veterans who previously may have been disadvantaged by gender biases.
  • The Department is ensuring that both eligible male and female Veterans are considered through both qualitative and quantitative measures. The economic benefits Veterans receive from VAC are compared to the pre-tax median income of the Canadian public to ensure Veterans do not fall below the low income tax measure calculated by Statistics Canada. In addition, VAC is surveying Veterans to obtain feedback on their satisfaction with their financial situation. The information available through VAC’s database and the survey data helps us know whether the financial security of Veterans in general, and more specifically male and female Veterans, are in line with the targets established in the Departmental Results Framework.
Experimentation
  • The 2017 VAC National Client Survey revealed the need to improve our application processes. On April 1, 2018, we will have the authority to waive the requirement for an application for compensation if it is determined, based on information already collected, that a person may be eligible for the compensation, services or assistance. This approach is intended to simplify the application process for programs and benefits including the proposed Pension for Life benefits.
  • We are partnering with Canadian Digital Service to develop a ‘Benefits-at-a-Glance’ online tool that will make it easier for Veterans to ensure they are accessing all of the VAC benefits for which they may be eligible. We are also preparing to implement a new online self-service tool that will allow Veterans and others to easily find current processing times for our main programs. These efforts align with the Policy on Service as well as the Government of Canada’s Open Government commitment.
Planned results

The new Departmental Results Framework represents a significant change in how performance is measured and reported. This is the first time targets have been established for these measures and as many of the results indicators are new and rely on data that is only collected every three years, our date to achieve these targets has been set accordingly. Most of these targets represent challenging but realistic minimum results we are seeking to achieve, while recognizing that the responsibility for Veterans’ well-being is shared across multiple jurisdictions, other government departments, and individual Veterans.

Planned Results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
Veterans are physically and mentally well.
% of Veterans who report that their health is very good or excellent 50% March 31, 2020 49% 49% 46%
% of Veterans who report that their mental health is very good or excellent 60% March 31, 2020 60% 60% 56%
% of Veterans accessing national network of Operational Stress Injury Clinics having improved overall mental health 30% March 31, 2020 Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 2
Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 2
Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 2
Veterans and their families are financially secure.
% of Veterans whose household income is below the low income measure 5%Footnote 3 March 31, 2020 5% 5% 4%
% of Veterans who are satisfied with their financial situation 70% March 31, 2020 74% 74% 69%
Veterans have a sense of purpose.
% of Veterans who are satisfied with their job or main activity 75% March 31, 2020 75% 75% 74%
Veterans employment rate 70% March 31, 2020 69% 69% 65%
Veterans are able to adapt, manage, and cope within civilian life.
% of Veterans who report an easy adjustment to civilian life 55% March 31, 2020 54% 54% 52%
% of Veterans who report they need help with an activity of daily living 20%Footnote 3 March 31, 2020 23% 23% 20%
Veterans are satisfied with the services they receive. % of clients who are satisfied with the quality of service delivery they receive from Veterans Affairs Canada 85% March 31, 2019 n/a n/a 81%

The Department has seen a decreasing trend across a number of results in recent years due in part to an increase in the number of CAF medical releases, including those who served in Afghanistan. Recent improvements to programs and services for Veterans and their families are intended to help improve these results.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned Spending
2019–20
Planned Spending
2020–21
Planned Spending
4,263,463,384 4,263,463,384 4,284,105,457 4,303,578,130
Human Resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
1,951.1 1,951.1 1,951.1

Financial, human resources and performance information for Veterans Affairs Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the Government of Canada (GC) InfoBase.

Commemoration

Description

Pay tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of those who served in Canada’s military efforts.

Planning Highlights

Commemorative Highlights for 2018:

  • Centennial of end of First World War
  • 65th anniversary of Korean War Armistice

Commemoration is comprised of a suite of complementary elements that support the Government of Canada’s duty to pay tribute to the contribution and sacrifice of all who have served, and continue to serve, our country in times of war, conflict and peace.

  • In 2018, we will mark the centennial of the end of the First World War, notably Canada’s Hundred Days and the armistice of November 11, 1918. Building on initiatives undertaken by the Department since the beginning of the centennial period in 2014, commemorations in 2018 will take place both in Canada and overseas. Various initiatives will support these major milestones, including ceremonies and events, programming at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in France, banners along Confederation Boulevard in the National Capital Region, an outdoor photographic exhibit in Ottawa and Veterans’ Week learning resources to engage youth and educators.
  • The year 2018 will also be a time for Canadians to mark the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. To commemorate this important milestone in Canadian history, we will plan and support ceremonies and work with Canadian Heritage to create special street banners to be displayed in Ottawa. To raise awareness and highlight this anniversary year, a suite of learning resources focusing on the Korean War will be available to educators and youth.
  • We will continue to engage community and other groups across the country who wish to spearhead commemorative projects, such as events and the creation of community war memorials. In 2018, projects with links to the centennial of the end of the First World War, the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and other military milestones will be considered for grants and contributions.
  • The Department will lay the groundwork for domestic and international initiatives to commemorate key Second World War milestones in 2019 (e.g. D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, Italian Campaign) and 2020 (e.g. Liberation of the Netherlands/Victory in Europe [VE] Day, Victory over Japan [VJ] Day). These will be opportunities for Canadians to mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War and for youth in particular to connect with those who so valiantly defended peace and freedom.
  • The Books of Remembrance, which commemorate the lives of Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in uniform, lie in the Peace Tower’s Memorial Chamber on Parliament Hill. As the Memorial Chamber will be closed to the public during the upcoming Centre Block rehabilitation, we are working with partners to ensure the continued care and public accessibility of these works of art.
  • We also remain committed to creating a National Memorial to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan. The Memorial will recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canadian men and women, both military and civilian, who served in Afghanistan as well as the support provided to them by Canadians at home. The Department will continue to work closely with Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission to make progress on this important memorial project.

Budget 2018 Highlights

Funding to maintain the graves of our Veterans both in Canada and overseas, ensuring our respect for their bravery and sacrifice continues.

Demonstrating Results
  • To guide policy and program improvements, Commemoration will rely on performance data as well as recommendations and observations made in evaluations. Public opinion research, such as the Attitudes Towards Remembrance and Veterans’ Week survey, will assist in measuring the impact and effectiveness of the Canada Remembers Program and the Funeral and Burial Program in achieving desired outcomes.
  • Likewise, evaluation findings will be used to help inform the development of new approaches and make adjustments, as needed. For example, we will implement measures to help ensure that the estates of Veterans whose deaths have been deemed related to service receive the benefits and recognition to which they are entitled, in a timely manner. Also, the Department will develop and implement an approach to capture additional feedback from visitors at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, the only two National Historic Sites located outside of Canada.
  • VAC can be assured of its positive impact by maintaining strong results year after year with respect to the number of visits to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the overseas memorials.
GBA+
  • We will engage in key initiatives and activities that promote inclusive outcomes. Delegations for ceremonies and events will include intergenerational representation. The struggles and accomplishments of Veterans from the Second World War, the Korean War and modern-day conflicts will continue to be shared through content such as the Heroes Remember series of testimonial videos. Every effort will be made to develop material featuring men and women of diverse cultural and regional backgrounds. Furthermore, the Department will use various means, such as social media, to promote commemorative initiatives across the country.
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
Veterans and those who died in service are honoured.
% of Veteran clients who are satisfied with the way Veterans Affairs Canada’s commemorative initiatives honour Veterans and those who died in service 80% March 31, 2020 Data available starting
2017–18Footnote 4
Data available starting
2017–18Footnote 4
Data available starting
2017–18Footnote 4
# of visits to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial 2,000,000 March 31, 2019 1,539,133 1,564,735 2,322,941
# of visitors to the overseas memorials, Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel 900,000 March 31, 2019 814,004 974,836 925,834
Canadians remember and appreciate Veterans and those who died in service.
% of Canadians who indicate they make an effort to appreciate Veterans and those who died in service 75% March 31, 2019 66% Survey not conducted this fiscal year 73%
# of “Likes” on the Canada Remembers Facebook page
See erratum notice
1,000,000 March 31, 2019 881,866 987,378 1,048,948
# of Canadians who participated in community engagement activities financially supported by Veterans Affairs Canada 200,000 March 31, 2020 Data available starting
2016–17Footnote 4
Data available starting
2016–17Footnote 4
202,353
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned Spending
2019–20
Planned Spending
2020–21
Planned Spending
42,409,890 42,409,890 40,333,490 40,433,490
Human Resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
89.6 89.6 89.6

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

Veterans Ombudsman

Description

Provide an independent and impartial review of complaints and issues related to programs and services delivered by the Veterans Affairs Portfolio and uphold the Veterans Bill of Rights.

Planning Highlights

  • The focus of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO) is the fair treatment of Veterans and their families by the Department. In encouraging the Department to provide adequate, sufficient and accessible benefits and services that address the unique needs of those who have served and their families, the OVO will be supporting both the Department and the Government of Canada in their obligations to enable the well-being of Veterans and their families.
  • The OVO will continue to take full advantage of new technology to modernize operations and increase efficiency.
  • Through engagement with Veterans, families and stakeholders, using a variety of channels (including town halls, social media and speaking engagements), the OVO will identify areas of concern among the Veterans’ community. The OVO will engage and educate parliamentarians and other key influencers of the need to take action, all while working to address emerging and systemic issues related to the Department’s portfolio, making recommendations, tracking the Department’s progress against recommendations, and intervening early in matters so that complaints and information requests will be resolved in a timely manner. In this regard, the OVO will aim to address 75% of the complaints received within 60 working days and have 70% of recommendations implemented within three years.
  • In the past three years the OVO has seen an increase in the complexity of the complaints it has received. This has resulted in a slower response time in addressing complaints. To mitigate this challenge, the OVO has implemented a LEAN process initiative leading to more streamlined processes, implemented a new case management system, and provided additional training to the team regarding the handling of complex cases. These efforts should lead to an improvement in our service standards, a better understanding of our program management and more realistic 2018–2019 planned results.
GBA+
  • In reviewing complaints, emerging and systemic issues related to the benefits and services provided by the Department, the OVO will assess fairness as defined by: adequate benefits and services are in place, they are sufficient to meet needs, and they are quickly and easily accessible. The OVO will review VAC regulations, policies and programs with a lens of “Fairness for all” which takes into account the diverse Veteran community. If barriers or gaps in terms of adequacy, sufficiency or accessibility are identified, for a particular group or for the community overall, the OVO will inform the department and make recommendations for improvement. In addition, the OVO will be introducing learning and information sessions on GBA+ for its team to be carried out during the 2018–19 fiscal year and will update yearly to encompass new employees.
Experimentation
  • Within the next two years, the OVO hopes to experiment with the addition of an online chat function to better support Veterans’ real-time access to OVO services and to fully integrate our online complaint form with the newly implemented case management system. This is in line with the current approach of the Government of Canada to increase the digitization of services.
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
Veterans and their families have access to a timely review of complaints about the programs, services and support delivered by the Veterans Affairs Portfolio
# of complaints received by the Veterans Ombudsman 1,300 March 31, 2019 977 1,485 1,253
% of complaints closed within 60 working days 75% March 31, 2019 72% 62% 60%
Issues about the programs, services and support provided to Veterans and their families by the Veterans Affairs Portfolio are identified and addressed % of OVO recommendations on emerging and systemic issues implemented by the Veterans Affairs Portfolio 70% March 31, 2021 Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 5
Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 5
Data available starting
2018–19Footnote 5
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned Spending
2019–20
Planned Spending
2020–21
Planned Spending
5,386,623 5,386,623 5,386,623 5,386,623
Human Resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
38 38 38

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

VAC’s 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: 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; and Acquisition Services.

Planning Highlights

The role of VAC’s Internal Services is to support the Department’s work toward achieving the mandate letter commitments while contributing to government wide priorities.

Caring for Our People

Building on student onboarding and other best practices, recruitment practices will be strengthened from planning through to onboarding.

Talent management will be reinforced to support succession, build leadership at all levels and improve performance management. Learning and development will be supported by clear mapping of learning opportunities for all levels through “Map Your Career”.

Workplace measures fostering diversity, inclusion, work balance and health of staff will be advanced. Notably, Mental Health Strategy and Action Plan will be implemented in collaboration with employees and bargaining agents. Positive workplace measures will include “Civility Matters” and “Mindfulness Challenge”. To support a safe work environment, communications and outreach efforts will be made to increase awareness of Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) resources and tools. Mandatory training on harassment and discrimination will be rolled out for all managers and employees.

Support Budget Commitments

Support commitments made such as proposed Pension for Life, Caregiver Relief Benefit, Income Replacement Benefit and more through the development and implementation of Information Technology (IT) systems and solutions.

Alignment with Government of Canada Information Technology initiatives and standardized tools
  • Implement the Government of Canada Financial Modernization initiative replacing VAC’s current financial system with a centralized Government of Canada financial system.
  • Resume the implementation of the Email Transformation Initiative.
  • Work to move parts of the VAC External Website to a modernized cloud infrastructure.
  • Continue supporting the Open Government initiative and ensure VAC is compliant.
Financial management and planning

In 2018–19 we will continue working towards accuracy in our forecasting and ensure that we are reflecting, to the extent possible, an accurate picture of the complex and dynamic environment in which we operate.

Access to Information Act

Amendments are being made to the Access to Information Act which will provide for new or expanded authorities on requests for information, to decline bad faith requests and to proactively publish information – all supporting the commitments of openness and transparency.

Greener Infrastructure and Processes

We are digitizing more processes in order to deliver services more efficiently and sustainably. In order to attract and retain a talented, mobile workforce, we are moving to more flexible work arrangements that take an activity-based approach to workspace.

GBA+

An Enterprise Architecture Review Board will be established which will ensure that all IT-enabled projects align with Government of Canada strategic direction. Members will be diverse representatives ensuring the work we do is examined for its impacts on various groups of women and men. Workplace measures will support a GBA+ inclusive environment, including clear mapping of required training for employees in “Map Your Career”.

Experimentation

In support of the Department’s efforts toward experimentation we will implement Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Cognitive Computing (IBM Watson) which is two-fold of a piloted conversational AI technology as well as a pilot to determine items of business value on shared network drives with goal of moving them to GCDocs.

We will also implement a Vet-Select pilot implemented in partnership with participating federal departments to test innovative recruitment practices to support Veteran hiring.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned Spending
2019–20
Planned Spending
2020–21
Planned Spending
83,294,535 83,294,535 82,137,640 75,219,527
Human Resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
646.1 646.1 646.1
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