The Tribunal of social security must be reformed, says a committee

Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
The system created proves to be more “legalistic” than the old, more “distant and formal”, too.

The social security Tribunal (SST) has failed in his examination. The report that KPMG prepared at the request of the minister Jean-Yves Duclos (social Development) points to numerous flaws in the structure of appeal of the employment insurance system, and argues for a “renewal” in the depth of the SST.


Delivered to the minister in October 2017, and the full report is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. But by different sources, The Duty was able to review excerpts that paint a portrait of a structure that does not meet the expectations in respect of time limits, fairness, transparency, accessibility and effectiveness “.


Each file sent to the TSS, set up by the conservatives in 2013 with the express aim of saving $ 25 million per year, proves to be in reality more expensive than in the old system of bor : nearly 2400 $ currently 720 $ before.


However, it should be noted that thousands of cases of dispute are now treated upstream of the TSS, by a mandatory review of the records conducted by the insurance Commission the Canada employment (CEIC). Thus, the total cost of the TSS is lower than that of the four courts that it replaced… and the real comparative is difficult to establish.


In the first pages of its report, KPMG points out that the SST has never been able to take a flight : it was established without consultation with the stakeholders, the tribunal has inherited an impressive amount of records waiting to be processed and was a “very shaky” which he never identified.


The system created proves to be more “legalistic” than the old, more ” distant and formal “, too (the hearings will take place primarily by phone, for example). Results in a process that fails a fundamental principle of social programmes, said : put the customer at the centre of its approach.




Not surprisingly, the issue of unreasonable delay in the processing of cases is found in chapter of the shortcomings of the SST. The report speaks of the time “five times longer” than under the old regime. The problem has already been recognized by the minister Duclos, who has promised that changes will be made to the functioning of the SST.


Data obtained by The Duty in September reported an average of 219 days for a call employment insurance. Since the establishment of the court, this delay has not stopped growing : it was 109 days at the end of the first year, and 183 days at the end of the financial year 2016-2017.


But there is more, reports KPMG. The advisory firm concluded that the TSS lack the flexibility required for the processing of the folder type which it inherits — those of Canadians in a situation of economic vulnerability.


The firm provides a number of recommendations — at least seven — to “renew” the SST, or ” restart “. We speak in particular of a necessary simplification of the steps and processes that are currently difficult to approach for the applicants.


But according to the excerpts consulted, we are not talking about abolishing the SST. However, it is this that several groups had called for during the consultations conducted by KPMG. And this is also the meaning of a resolution adopted by the four members of the Commission for employment insurance this fall.


The CEIC was then also a failure around the TSS, saying that there was a ” strong consensus around the fact that the current system does not offer the process that contributors to the employment insurance deserve “.


The Commission recommended to the government the return of the bor tripartite and in-person hearings, among others.


The report will be made public while the government is seeking a new president for the SST. In the posting, to be in effect until January 9, it is written that ” the president of the Tribunal will play a leading role in the creation and implementation of a series of changes to improve the culture and the model focused on the client’s Court, while creating and supporting an environment conducive to change. “


The TSS was set up in the wake of a reform of the system of the employment insurance adopted by the conservatives. The Trudeau government abolished the main elements of the reform, but without touching the system call — at least up here.


KPMG has received, in march, the mandate to ” verify [whether the TSS] still fulfils its role in the most efficient manner possible.” This review had been recommended to the minister by the standing Committee on human resources, skills development and social development.