2020-21
Departmental Results Report

Office of the Correctional Investigator


The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

 

Catalog No: JA2-5E-PDF
ISSN: 2560-9173

 

Table of Contents

From the Institutional Head’s message
Results at a glance
Results: what we achieved
Core Responsibility
Internal Services
Analysis of trends in spending and human resources
Actual expenditures
Actual human resources
Expenditures by vote
Government of Canada spending and activities
Financial statements and financial statements highlights
Corporate information
Organizational profile
Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
Operating context
Reporting framework
Supporting information on the program inventory
Supplementary information tables
Federal tax expenditures
Organizational contact information
Appendix: Definitions

 

From the Institutional Head’s message

Fiscal year 2020-21 was a challenging one for all, as various public health and safety measures were implemented across the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.  It has been particularly challenging to fulfill particular aspects of my Office’s mandate when planned or scheduled visits to federal prisons by my staff were suspended. Despite limitations to in-person visits and ongoing travel restrictions, through the reporting period my Office completed and published three status updates on the impact of COVID-19 on federal corrections.

In early 2021, my Office made the pivot to a virtual visits model, which allowed members of the investigative team to confidentially interview incarcerated persons by remote video link-up. The Office completed 43 virtual visits (148 days) and conducted nine in-person inspections of institutions in the Quebec and Ontario regions in the summer and fall of 2020.

As FY 2020-21 closed, regular and scheduled institutional visits from staff members continued to be suspended and most of my staff were working remotely. Nonetheless, as an external independent oversight body, it was important for my Office to continue to maintain an essential level of services and operations, including regular situational monitoring, throughout the pandemic. Accordingly, in 2020-21, the investigative team received and responded to 4,509 complaints and conducted 481 interviews with federally sentenced persons. The use of force team reviewed 1,471 use of force incidents and an additional 136 reviews into incidents involving death or serious bodily injury were conducted in 2020-21.

The Office also undertook a national investigation into uses of force involving federally incarcerated Black, Indigenous and Peoples of Colour (BIPOC), as well as other vulnerable populations (e.g., women, individuals with a history of mental health issues, self-injury and/or attempted suicide). Placed in the context of wider social movements and calls to action in Canada and elsewhere, and consistent with our oversight role to review all uses of force in corrections, this investigation takes a specific look at the intersection of racial representation and use of force incidents inside Canadian federal penitentiaries. Other national-level investigations conducted during the reporting period include:

  1. A review of women’s corrections 30 years since Creating Choices

  2. Structured Intervention Units: Preliminary Observations

  3. An Investigation of the Use of Medical Isolation in Federal Corrections

  4. An Investigation into a Suicide in a Maximum-Security Facility

 

In the last quarter of the reporting period, the Office embarked on the first phase of a strategic planning exercise. Our collective focus is on ensuring that our employees are provided a workplace of choice and that they have the tools and training they need to do exceptional work. Our intention is to develop a 3 to 5 year strategic plan that will help us maximize the efficiencies we must find to operate within our allotted resources.

It is my privilege to submit this year’s Departmental Results Report, which provides an overview of financial, human resources, planning and performance information about the operation of the Office and how we fulfilled our important mandate in 2020-21.

 

Ivan Zinger J.D., Ph.D.

Correctional Investigator of Canada

 

Results at a glance

Who was involved?

38 Actual FTEs

What funds were used?

$ 5,827,476 Actual Spending

Results Highlights

Over the fiscal year 2020-21, the Office:

  • Received 4,509 complaints out of which 4,107 were reviewed/investigated
  • Interviewed 481 with federally sentenced persons
  • Responded to over 19,143 contacts (including via the toll free number)
  • Completed the review of 1,471 use of force incidents
  • Completed the review of 136 cases involving serious bodily injury or death
  • Conducted 43 virtual visits
  • Completed 9 inspections

All this in an effort to ensure better correctional outcomes for federal sentenced persons.

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

 

Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility

Description: The Office of the Correctional Investigator conducts investigations of complaints by federally sentenced persons (incarcerated or in the community), and by family, friends, or other representatives on behalf of a sentenced person. It also carries out systemic investigations of issues that affect large numbers of federally sentenced persons. The Office reviews all Correctional Services of Canada investigations of deaths in custody and serious bodily injury cases to ensure compliance with law and policy, and conducts reviews of all use of force incidents. The OCI’s investigative activities support a safe, lawful and humane federal correctional practice to ensure that federal correctional decisions and practices are in compliance with human rights, law, policy, and are fair.

Results:

Fiscal year 2020-21 was a challenging one for all, as measures were implemented to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also being innovative and accommodating the continuation of operations through the implementation of virtual visits. The office conducted 43 virtual visits (148 days) and conducted nine (9) inspections (9 days). During the last year, the investigative team received 4,509 complaints out of which 4,107 were reviewed/investigated. In addition to having conducted 481 interviews with sentenced persons, the team also produced and published three COVID-19 status updates providing an assessment of the pandemic impact within correctional institutions. Furthermore, the office conducted reviews of 1,471 incidents involving use of force and 136 reviews of investigation reports conducted under sections 19 and 19.1 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act related to incidents involving death or serious bodily injury

Gender-based analysis plus

In its Annual Report, OCI demonstrated its commitment to GBA Plus through its investigative work on Uses of Force involving federally incarcerated Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour and other vulnerable populations including women and individuals with mental health concerns. The Office continues to raise concerns regarding the lack of progress on tracking, responding to and preventing incidents of sexual coercion and violence. With changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act, OCI increasingly received and investigated complaints regarding the treatment of gender diverse individuals in federal institutions, and also conducted a comprehensive review of CSC’s new Commissioner’s Directive on gender considerations. Finally, the Office completed a focused review of women’s corrections 30-years since Creating Choices. This investigation included an analysis of a variety of GBA Plus groups including Indigenous women, women with mental health considerations and gender diverse individuals housed in facilities designated for women.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Through the delivery of its mandate, the OCI contributes to two main UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals: Gender Equality (5) and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16). As indicated in the GBA Plus section, in its 2020-21 Annual Report, OCI examined the evolution of women’s corrections over a thirty-year period, since the release of the landmark report on the state of women’s corrections, Creating Choices. OCI’s in-depth review of women’s corrections offers a number of targeted recommendations to improve conditions for women who are federally incarcerated, with specific consideration of the needs of Indigenous women and women with complex histories of trauma and mental health concerns. Additionally, through the continuous delivery of its mandate, the OCI also contributes to the Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions goals by ensuring the fair and humane treatment of persons serving federal sentences. The OCI demonstrated this through its investigative work and recommendations related to use of force and CSC’s security-first approach to working with people who have mental health needs and its overuse with Black and Indigenous individuals. To support a stronger organization, the OCI increased its capacity to do more systemic investigative work. The investigative team also worked collaboratively with CSC staff to respond to inmate complaints with the goal of improving conditions in institutions. Finally, OCI collaborates with international partners through the Expert Network to identify best practices in corrections.

 

Results achieved

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2018–19
Actual results
2019–20
Actual results
2020–21
Actual results
A safe, lawful and humane federal correctional practice Percentage of recommendations made in relation to individual offender complaints that were addressed by the CSC

90%

March 31, 2020 89% 89% 82%
A safe, lawful and humane federal correctional practice Percentage of recommendations made in relation to the OCI’s corporate priorities that were addressed by the CSC 100% March 31, 2020 100% 100% 85%

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2020-21
Main Estimates
2020-21
Planned spending
2020-21
Total authorities available for use
2020-21
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2020-21
Difference
(Actual spending minus
Planned spending)
4,273,557 4,444,854 4,760,125 4,736,304 420,115

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Actual full-time equivalents
2020-21
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus
Planned full-time equivalents)
35 33 -2

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

 

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
  • Communication 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

The fiscal year 2020-21 has been a challenging one for Internal Services teams across all organizations. The OCI’s internal services were successful in providing information technology and information management equipment and available applications to ensure the implementation of work from home practices and support the continuing delivery of the program. Building on this momentum, the OCI has also initiated its Digital Office project with the implementation of digital signature and rolling out of a new information management system.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2020-21
Main Estimates
2020-21
Planned spending
2020-21
Total authorities available for use
2020-21
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2020-21
Difference
(Actual spending minus
Planned spending)
1,030,053 1,050,018 1,176,390 1,091,172 41,154

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Actual full-time equivalents
2020-21
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus
Planned full-time equivalents)
6 5 -1

 

Information Management

Fiscal year 2020-21continued to be a busy year for OCI information management. Between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021, the OCI’s internet site (www.oci-bec.gc.ca) was viewed 272,431 times by 100,892 unique visitors.

Over the past year, COVID19 pandemic has expedited OCI’s workforce mobility and has accommodated its personnel to work from home by implementing digital signature and paperless office practices. The Office has also been successful in pivoting and implementing virtual visits, which will inform our future planning.

Contributing to greening government, OCI has also initiated in 2020-21 a Disposition project through which we disposed of 6,993 paper files as at March 31 2021, adhering to Library and Archives Canada regulations.

Human Resources Management

In fiscal year 2020-21, OCI has processed retro-payments and Phoenix damages, with over $268,000 in back-pay paid to staff. The continued delays and errors from Phoenix processing and correcting of staff pay placed a substantial financial pressure on the organization.

Further pressures were placed on human resources to ensure that Covid19 Interim Telework Agreements and Incident Report procedures were developed to support staff during the pandemic.

Real Property Management

During the last fiscal year with the pandemic measures in place, no real property projects were undertaken. Nevertheless, focus was given to staying abreast of the pandemic to inform the number of staff allowed in the office to ensure continuity of operations.

Access to Information and the Privacy Act

From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 the OCI received 15 new requests under the Access to Information Act and 13 requests under the Privacy Act. The OCI closed 40% of these requests within legislated timeframes.

No complaints were submitted to the Privacy Commissioner during this reporting period.

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.

Departmental spending trend graph

The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s actual spending has incrementally increased over the past four years, averaging $5.0 million of voted appropriations. Because of incremental program integrity funding secured in Budget 2018, spending in 2019-20 increased to $5.4 million. This level of expenditures should be maintained in future fiscal years as well. The 3% increase between 2020-21 and 2021-22 budget is allocated to the signing of the collective agreement.

 

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2020-21
Main Estimates
2020-21
Planned spending
2021-22
Planned spending
2022-23
Planned spending
2020-21
Total authorities available for use
2018-19
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019-20
Actual spending (authorities used)
2020-21
Actual spending (authorities used)
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections 4,273,557 4,444,854 4,272,778 4,272,778 4,760,125 4,330,805 4,533,278 4,736,304
Internal Services 1,030,053 1,050,018 1,050,018 1,050,018 1,176,390 870,482 907,680 1,091,172
Total 5,303,610 5,494,872 5,322,796 5,322,796 5,936,515 5,201,287 5,440,958 5,827,476

 

2020–21 Budgetary actual gross spending summary (dollars)
Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2020–21
Actual gross spending
2020–21
Actual revenues netted against expenditures
2020–21
Actual net spending (authorities used)
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections 4,736,304 0 4,736,304
Internal Services 1,091,172 0 1,091,172
Total 5,827,476 0 5,827.476

 

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services
Core Responsibilities
and Internal Services
2018-19
Actual 
full-time equivalents
2019-20
Actual
full-time equivalents
2020-21
Planned
full-time equivalents
2020-21
Actual
full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned
full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned
full-time equivalents
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections 32 36 35 33 35 35
Internal Services 4 5 6 5 6 6
Total 36 41 41 38 41 41

The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s full-time equivalents (FTEs) utilization has decreased during the last fiscal to better align with the allocated budget and operational needs. Further organizational analysis will be conducted to inform upcoming planned FTEs.

 

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2020–2021.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ending March 31, 2021, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statement highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2020-21
Planned results
2020-21
Actual results
2019-20
Actual results
Difference
(2020-21 Actual results
minus 2020-21
Planned results)
Difference
(2020-21 Actual results
minus 2019-20
Actual results)
Total expenses 5,872,031 6,506,956 6,065,332 634,925 441,624
Total revenues 0 0 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 5,872,031 6,506,956 6,065,332 634,925 441,624

The Condensed Statement of Operations highlights the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s consistency in establishing planned results and linking these to the financial resources required to achieve them. In this reporting period, the difference between actuals and planned results is 634,925 or 10%.

 

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2020-21 2019-20 Difference
(2020-21 minus 2019-20)
Total net liabilities 555,712 763,489 -207,777
Total net financial assets 234,091 570,446 -336,355
Departmental net debt 321,621 193,043 128,578
Total non-financial assets 0 0 0
Departmental net financial position -321,621 -193,043 -128,578

In the Condensed Statement of Financial Position, the difference between the organization’s net financial position over the last two fiscal years is -128,578.

Corporate Information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister[s]: The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head: Ivan Zinger, J.D., Ph.D.

Ministerial portfolio: Public Safety

Enabling instrument[s]: Corrections and Conditional Release Act

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1973 pursuant to the Inquiries Act and 1992 pursuant to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

Other:

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 Office of the Correctional Investigator’s website.

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s website.

Reporting framework

The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2020–21 are shown below.

Graphical presentation of Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The Office of the Correctional Investigator, in its Departmental Plan 2020-21, has committed to contribute to the GBA Plus initiative and align with Green Procurement.

While supplementary information tables were not required, the Office has demonstrated its commitment to GBA Plus through its investigative work on Uses of Force involving federally incarcerated Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour and other vulnerable populations including women and individuals with mental health concerns.

The Office has demonstrated its commitment to Green procurement through its compliance with its Public Safety contracting service provider. Specifically, the OCI contributes to increasing the knowledge of green procurement by ensuring that each acquisition cardholder completes the green procurement training before issuance of the acquisition card. The Office has also integrated environmental considerations into procurement processes and instruments for proposals and contracts, by maximizing our use of the Mandatory National Master Standing Offer and Supply Arrangement that has green considerations and requesting that all contracting documentation is in electronic format, including invoicing.

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 as well as evaluations and GBA Plus of tax expenditures.

Organizational contact information

Office of the Correctional Investigator Canada
PO Box+ 3421, Station D
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L4
Canada
Telephone: 1-877-885-8848
Fax: 613-990-0563
E-mail: org@oci-bec.gc.ca

 

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)

A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on a 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 Plus) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS Plus])

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 federal organizations 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 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.