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2015–16 Departmental Performance Report

Section I: Organizational Overview

Organizational Profile

Chief Electoral Officer: Marc Mayrand

Agency: Office of the Chief Electoral Officer

Year established: 1920

Main legislative authorities:

Other:

New Legislation

An analysis of proposed amendments to electoral legislationFootnote 4 impacting Elections Canada's business can be found on the agency's website.

Judicial Decisions and Proceedings

An analysis of judicial decisions and proceedingsFootnote 5 that may affect electoral legislation can be found on Elections Canada's website.

Organizational Context

Raison d'être

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, commonly known as Elections Canada, is an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament. Its mandate is to:

Responsibilities

In fulfilling its mandate, Elections Canada also has the responsibility to:

Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Alignment Architecture

Elections Canada has a single strategic outcome, supported by the following Program Alignment Architecture (PAA):

1. Strategic Outcome: An Accessible Electoral Framework that Canadians Trust and Use

Operating Environment and Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to the Organization's Program(s)
General election called before October 19, 2015 While Elections Canada achieved election readiness by March 1, 2015 in anticipation of a spring election, it did not foresee an election call in the middle of the summer. Some delays were encountered in opening local offices but this did not impact the successful delivery of the election.
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services
Insufficient time to fully implement changes in Bill C-50 within the proposed 60 days for its coming into force The agency was prepared to make every effort to implement Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act, which was introduced on December 10, 2014. However, the bill died on the order paper with the dissolution of Parliament.
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services
Electoral event delivery impacted by a compromise of information and communications technology systems or services The agency implemented the following preventive measures to mitigate risks:
  • extensive in-house testing and simulation
  • vulnerability and threat risk assessment
  • contingency planning and disaster recovery planning
  • a new governance to respond to incidents
During the election, the agency conducted a 24/7 incident monitoring and response process. A few very minor incidents were reported and addressed almost instantly; none of them impacted the successful delivery of the election.
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services
Non-compliance by poll workers with rules and procedures prescribed by the Canada Elections Act Elections Canada invested in a new program to recruit and train election officers, considerably increased the number of poll officials hired and made processes more user friendly. It proceeded with a Treasury Board submission to increase election workers' wages to offer fair compensation and help attract qualified individuals. The audit of poll worker performanceFootnote 6 found that election officers properly performed their duties and functions.
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority 1: Maintain readiness and successfully deliver the 42nd general election in 2015

Description: Delivering elections is at the core of Elections Canada's mandate. The 42nd general election is scheduled to take place on October 19, 2015. Elections Canada achieved election readiness by March 1, 2015. The agency has largely implemented amendments to the Canada Elections Act and completed the vast majority of its three-year plan of administrative changes aimed at improving services to electors. Deploying resources for conducting and wrapping up the general election will be the agency's sole priority in 2015–2016.

Priority Type: New

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization's Program(s)
  • Maintain election readiness
April 2015 August 2015 Previously committed to
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services

Progress Toward the Priority

Elections Canada achieved readiness by March 1, 2015. It implemented changes required by amendments to the Canada Elections Act and completed its planned administrative changes aimed at improving services to electors.

In the months preceding the election, Elections Canada hired additional personnel at its headquarters to conduct the election and printed manuals and various geographical products for distribution. The agency also took part in preparations that included staging field material and equipment, setting up call centres and providing technology for field offices.



Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization's Program(s)
  • Deliver the 42nd general election
August 2015 March 2016 Previously committed to
  • Electoral Operations
  • Regulation of Electoral Activities
  • Electoral Engagement
  • Internal Services

Progress Toward the Priority

Upon issue of the writs, Elections Canada hired, trained and deployed election workers to the field. It opened and equipped 338 local offices and 240 additional points of service, and then informed Canadians on when, where and the different ways to register and vote. Elections Canada began registering electors, prepared the preliminary lists of electors and subsequently delivered voter information cards to approximately 25.8 million electors. The agency assessed and confirmed candidate nominations and also supported political entities with timely information. Lastly, the agency participated in rolling out 4,946 advance polls, 66,026 stationary polls and 1,885 mobile polls, for a total of 72,857 polls located in 16,185 poll sites. The agency successfully delivered the 42nd general election on October 19, 2015.

Following the 42nd general election, the agency participated in close-out activities. Elections Canada validated election results and presented the Chief Electoral Officer's report on the conduct of the election to Parliament in February 2016. In fall 2016, it released a more detailed retrospective report on the general election and an audit report on the performance of poll workers. The agency released the Chief Electoral Officer's recommendations report in the fall of 2016.

Finally, the agency has begun to audit political entities' financial returns and to reimburse election expenses of eligible political parties and candidates–a process that will run through 2016–17.