Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP

December 14, 2007 14:15 ET

Sweeping Changes Recommended in Report on Governance and Culture Change in the RCMP

- Greater independence from government and separate employer status - New Board of Management to independently oversee the RCMP's financial affairs, personnel, property, services, resources and procurement - New independent complaints and oversight commission with enhanced authority - Implementation Council to oversee renewal process and provide public updates

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2007) - The Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP submitted its final report today ("Rebuilding the Trust") and calls for fundamental changes in structure, accountability, independence and oversight.

The Task Force was established in July to "review and consider the challenges faced by the RCMP" as outlined in the report of the Independent Investigator into Matters Relating to the RCMP Pension and Insurance Plans.

The report makes three major recommendations to address core issues facing the RCMP today: establishing the RCMP as a separate entity and separate employer from government; creating a new board of management to oversee all organization and administration of the RCMP; and creating a new independent complaints and oversight commission with extended power and authority.

The report also recommends creating an implementation council to ensure that the recommendations of the Task Force are implemented as intended - within a defined time frame.

The Task Force indicated that without the three core recommendations being addressed, implementation of an additional 45 detailed recommendations included in its report would be very difficult.

"Through our consultation and research, we clearly realized that continuing to simply treat the symptoms ailing the RCMP was not going to fix anything and would only serve to compound the issues for future generations," says David Brown, Task Force Chairman. "Fundamental change is required to create a modern, accountable and healthy national police force that is the pride of members and Canadians alike."

Separate Entity and Separate Employer

The relationship between the government and the RCMP must be changed. The RCMP should become a separate entity with separate employer status. The RCMP should have full authority to manage its own financial affairs within the spending authorities of Parliament and manage its own human resources requirements and decisions. The Report outlines that the RCMP must be able to ensure the commitments it takes on are backed up with sufficient funding, staffing and resources.

The report also acknowledged the RCMP has demonstrated that it is not adequately equipped to manage the kinds of new authority that would come with separate entity and separate employer status. As such, the Task Force has recommended building new capacity within the RCMP to address these new responsibilities - including a new Board of Management.

Board of Management

A new management structure is essential for the RCMP to take on and manage its new authority and responsibilities as a separate entity and employer from government. The Task Force recommends that the RCMP Act be amended to create a Board of Management responsible for overseeing the management of its resources, services, financial affairs, property, personnel and procurement.

The Board of Management should be comprised of knowledgeable Canadians with the leadership skills and necessary experience in managing complex organizations. The Board of Management will be accountable to the Minister and through him or her, to Parliament. The Commissioner would be responsible to the Board for the organization and administration of the RCMP. The Board of Management should in place and fully operational by December 31, 2009.

Independent Commission for Complaints and Oversight of the RCMP (ICCOR)

A new, independent complaints and oversight commission should serve as the central and single collection and processing point for all complaints against the RCMP, regardless of the source. The ICCOR would be an amalgamation of the CPC and the ERC but would also have expanded authority and responsibilities. Notably, it would have the power to initiate its own review of any aspect of policing operations.

The findings of the ICCOR relating to discipline or grievance situations would be binding on the Commissioner. Recommendations relating to policy or police operations would be made public and submitted for decision by the Commissioner and the Board of Management.

This civilian oversight body will increase coordination, consistency and action regarding complaints and boost the public confidence in the Force. The Task Force recommends that the ICCOR be established by legislation under the RCMP Act and be responsible to the Minister. ICCOR should in place and fully operational by December 31, 2009.

Implementation Council

Fundamental changes are required to create a modern day RCMP. The Task Force believes strongly that its recommendations need to be implemented as quickly as possible in order to effect meaningful change and rebuild a modern-day police force.

Many change initiatives have been imposed on the RCMP over the past decade. While many of the initiatives may have been the right ones, they inevitably failed during the implementation phase. The Task Force believes that the RCMP, in its current state, is not ready for or equipped to implement the fundamental changes required. External assistance in the form of an implementation council is required to guide and drive the change in a timely and responsible manner. The council should be comprised of up to seven Canadians who have the expertise and background to lead a significant change management process like this. An initial public progress report should be issued no later than June 30, 2008 with additional reports released every six months.

"We believe that that making the RCMP a separate entity, with a professional Board of Management and a single, enhanced oversight and complaints body will allow for the kinds of fundamental structural, cultural and governance changes that are needed for our detailed recommendations to have real effect," said David Brown, Chair of the Task Force. "We now have a plan to fundamentally fix the RCMP and restore trust in this institution - but the path we have laid out is not for the faint of heart."

The Task Force spent five months with individuals who intimately understand the Force, its responsibilities, operational realities and short-comings.

The Task Force gathered input and information from thousands of members and employees ranging from cadets to the Commissioner. It traveled across the country conducting consultations in every province and territory. It held individual meetings and broad town-hall information gathering sessions. It also met with federal departments and agencies that have responsibilities with the RCMP, as well as provincial Ministers, provincial and municipal officials including city counselors and mayors. It consulted with academics and management experts and extended an opportunity for broad input from Canadians.

Task Force members are David Brown, Linda Black, Richard Drouin, Norman Inkster and Larry Murray.

Editors Note: The following media materials are available for the Task Force Report:

- Media backgrounder of key quotes on issues and recommendations

- Speaking notes by David Brown for the December 14, 2007 press conference

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