Justice Canada clarifies information related to the reconciliation of leave

February 17, 2016 – Today, the CBC reported that a payroll discrepancy credited Justice Canada staff with $50M worth of time off. Justice Canada would like to clarify a few key points on this subject.

To begin, the current value of the leave entries still to be reconciled is estimated at no more than $3.5M for the period between 2007 and 2013. The reconciliation exercise is still being finalised and no "financial liability" to the Government has been established to date.

In fact, this issue is not related to salaries or payroll. The differences stem predominantly from the fact that Justice Canada uses two separate systems: one is specific to the department, and is used by legal practitioners for the purpose of official time keeping; the other is used more generally across government to record all leave. Some employees did not realize that they had to input the same information into both systems, which has resulted in the discrepancies.

The CBC is correct in stating that Justice Canada took immediate action once the variances were discovered. The priority was to immediately identify the differences, reconcile as many as possible, and take the necessary steps to correct the situation. Many of the instances that were originally thought to be inconsistencies turned out not to be, and a vast majority of the employees involved were able to reconcile the information by making administrative updates in both systems. Where leave was owed, employees have submitted leave requests and their balances have been adjusted accordingly. In addition, as the leave reconciliation process is in its final stages, every effort will continue to be made to reconcile all of the outstanding inconsistencies.

Since the reconciliation exercise occurred, all employees and managers have received additional training, information, and instruction on the use of both systems.

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