Management Response and Action Plan

Project Title: Evaluation of the Justice Federal Victims Strategy

Responsibility Centre: Policy Sector (Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI) and Innovations, Analysis and Integration Directorate (IAID))

Conclusions Recommendations Management Response Action Plan Responsible Manager (Title) Planned Completion Date

The evaluation found that the Justice FVS was successful in achieving its objectives and expected outcomes. This was most evident with regards to increasing awareness and knowledge of victim issues, legislation and services available; enhancing the capacity for the delivery of appropriate, responsive victim services; and increasing access to services for victims of crime.

However, recognizing that there is variability in service delivery across Canada, the Department could play a role in enhancing the availability of services through the Victims Fund. This could be achieved by placing higher emphasis on capacity building and innovative projects that expand the scope and reach of new services to under-served areas and clientele. PCVI could also play a leadership role to facilitate discussion with provinces and territories on how to address the variability of access to services across the country.

That PCVI and IAID use policy and program instruments to engage the provinces and territories on the issue of variability of access to services across Canada

Agreed. There is a strong history of FPT coordination and cooperation in areas of mutual interest relating to victim issues, however it should be noted that the extent of federal influence is limited regarding the variability of access to services across the country.

The delivery of core victim services is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments as they are primarily responsible for the administration of justice. There is significant variability between jurisdictions in victim program delivery models (e.g. systems-based, police-based, volunteer-based, or community-based), eligibility criteria and resources available. Provincial and territorial governments have varying primary resources for their victim services.

The FVS will increase efforts in this area by leveraging policy and program instruments to engage FPT colleagues on this issue. Efforts will identify key gaps and mechanisms to assist P/T governments in filling them.

PCVI will continue to explore areas of mutual interest for collaboration with FPT partners.

PCVI and IAID will continue to collaborate when reviewing funding proposals to ensure that greater emphasis is placed on capacity-building and innovative projects. To that end, PCVI and IAID may launch a specific call for proposals.

Director and Senior Counsel, PCVI March 31, 2020
The FPTWG is the main vehicle for moving national and regional priorities forward for victims of crime. The bi-annual in-person meetings, conference calls and collaborative work are considered invaluable to achieving the objectives of the Justice FVS. As a result of departmental limitations on hosting events and travel, one of the FPTWG in-person meetings in 2014-15 was not held. Key informants (11%) indicated that the 18-month gap between meetings had an impact on the sharing of information and best practices, collaboration on projects, and coordination of FVS activities at the federal level to reduce duplication of efforts and inconsistencies in activities. That PCVI hold regular FPTWG meetings to ensure continued coordination, collaboration and sharing of information. Agreed. The FPTWG of Victims of Crime is a critical forum for collaboration and coordination in the area of victim legislation, policy and program delivery. While ongoing FPT dialogue has been advanced, the focus of that dialogue was on implementation of specific legislative and policy reforms. Broader discussions are critical to the FPTWG and will be scheduled.

Conference calls with the FPTWG resumed in June 2015 and December 2015. These calls have been focussed on the CVBR implementation.

PCVI will endeavour to resume in person meetings of the FPTWG on Victims of Crime to restore the opportunity for national information sharing, coordination, and collaboration in victim policy and programs. PCVI officers will be in attendance.

PCVI will also schedule regular conference calls of the FPTWG to ensure ongoing information sharing and dialogue. These will be attended by PCVI officers

Director and Senior Counsel, PCVI Meetings to be scheduled as indicated each fiscal year, starting in 2015-16
An analysis of the resources available for the Justice FVS between 2010 and 2015 found that PCVI was not able to fully expend all of the salary and O&M resources as per TBS authorities as a result of a number of government-wide and departmental spending limitations (e.g., travel, hospitality, contracting caps, Deficit Reduction Action Plan, staffing). This impeded the ability of PCVI to fully undertake the core Justice FVS activities, namely hosting in-person FPTWG meetings, and undertaking a range of federal public awareness activities. That PCVI prioritize their activities based on available resources. Agreed. Taking into consideration government-wide and departmental spending limitations, PCVI will continue to advance core Justice FVS activities.

PCVI will assess current and ongoing HR needs and will endeavour to undertake staffing measures as required.

PCVI will regularly revise the FVS work plan objectives in light of departmental and governmental priorities.

Director and Senior Counsel, PCVI To be completed on an annual basis starting in 2016-17.
Although the Victims Fund is operating efficiently, the IAID in collaboration with PCVI could put in place measures to help increase the efficiency of the funding review process. These include managing the demand for project funding through the communication of eligibility criteria and messaging provided around calls for project proposals, and developing clear policy guidelines over what can be funded under the victimized abroad component. That in collaboration with PCVI, the IAID increase the efficiency of the Victims Fund review process through the clear messaging of eligibility criteria and availability of funding. Agreed. IAID will work in close collaboration with PCVI to ensure that the funding criteria is clear. The IAID will also work closely with PCVI in developing a sound policy to manage the program related to Canadians who have been victimized abroad. This policy will provide clear guidance to applicants as well as to departmental staff.

IAID, in collaboration with PCVI, will ensure that any calls for proposals include clear messaging and eligibility requirements to enhance management of demand on the funding and further advance efficiency in the funding review process.

PCVI, in collaboration with IAID, will ensure clear policy guidelines for eligibility are developed for the Canadians victimized abroad component of the Victims Fund. This will include ensuring clarity about eligibility as it relates to the established offences; ensuring website information reflects policy and the terms and conditions of the fund; and, developing a manual to guide those working on this sensitive file.

Director, IAID, Programs Branch

Director and Senior Counsel, PCVI

Clear policy guidelines for the Victimized Abroad Component will be put in place by the first quarter of  2016-17
Recognizing concerns from the last evaluation, the IAID increased the flexibility to move funding between the various Victims Fund components. However, there still continue to be issues with committing and expending the full amount of the Victims Fund each year. Although the IAID does not have control over the final approval for funding, it can put in place measures to reduce late lapsing of funding for multiyear agreements so that there is time to reallocate funding to other projects. That IAID put in place measures to minimize the late lapsing of funds for multiyear agreements. Agreed. The IAID has already initiated a process whereby earlier communication with recipients of multi-year agreements is undertaken with a view to ensuring that the allocated amount is fully utilized by the end of a fiscal year. The IAID will formalize this process for fiscal year 2016-2017. The IAID will communicate earlier in a fiscal year (likely in September) to determine whether recipients of multi-year agreements will fully utilized the funds made available. Where a recipient indicates that funds can be reallocated, the IAID will review, in collaboration with PCVI, other priority areas within the Fund with a view to reallocating funds to those projects that best meet the objectives of the Fund. Director, IAID, Programs Branch March 31, 2017
To ensure that there is sufficient data for future evaluations, regular collection of performance data for policy initiatives, is essential. It is also essential that all outcome-related information from the Victims Fund projects are systematically captured in the Grants and Contribution Information Management System. This would allow for a review of outcomes for all projects funded, not just a selection. That PCVI and IAID review performance indicators and data collection mechanisms to ensure the regular monitoring, collection and reporting of all Justice FVS activities. Agreed. While PCVI, in collaboration with the Evaluation Division, has developed tools to report on outcomes of the Justice FVS, there is a need to explore additional methods to collect performance data related specifically to policy initiatives. In addition, IAID will update existing data collection mechanisms to ensure that funding activities provide useful measures.

PCVI will continue to explore, in collaboration with IAID and the Evaluation Division, methods to ensure effective policy data collection for evaluation purposes.

IAID will also refine its project summary reports, working with PCVI and the Evaluation Division, to ensure that appropriate and useful data is collected from funding recipients. In addition, the Programs Branch is working closely with the Information Solutions Branch to develop and implement a new G&C information system that will better capture evaluative information and that will facilitate the extraction of data for the next evaluation of the FVS.

Director and Senior Counsel, PCVI

Director, IAID, Programs Branch

September 30, 2016 (policy data collection strategy)

September 30, 2016 (new summary reports)

March, 2018 (new G&C information system)

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