Joint Steering Committee
The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) is created pursuant to the
mutual commitment of the Government of Canada and the voluntary
sector to a collaborative approach and increased government –
sector cooperation through the second phase of the Voluntary Sector
Initiative (VSI). The mandate of the Joint Steering Committee
1.1 Provide coordination and oversight for the remaining work
of the VSI, and for the implementation, dissemination and delivery
of VSI products and services. This will include:
1.1.1 Ensuring horizontal coordination and implementation
of the work of the advisory bodies established to oversee the
implementation of the work initiated during the joint table process
under phase one of the VSI;
1.1.2 Providing direction to advisory bodies and other VSI
working groups by calling for reports as necessary, reviewing
work in progress and providing course correction as warranted;
1.1.3 Reviewing and proposing future action on remaining recommendations
emerging through the VSI.
1.2 Provide a forum for sharing information between advisory
bodies, working groups and the Strategic Management Committee
for the Canada Volunteerism Initiative.
1.3 Ensure implementation and follow-up to the Accord and Codes
of Good Practice. This will include:
1.3.1 Ensuring that the Accord and Codes are well known, accessible
and their application understood and undertaken across the federal
government and across the voluntary sector;
1.3.2 Setting strategic direction for developing measures to
monitor and assess progress within government departments and
the voluntary sector;
1.3.3 Overseeing the development of a voluntary sector lens
and a mechanism for resolving disputes related to the Accord
Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector and
the related Codes of Good Practices.
1.4 Serve as a forum for the identification and consideration
of issues arising in this joint work or other significant issues
brought forward by the sector or government. This will include:
1.4.1 Supporting annual discussions between Ministers
and the Voluntary Sector Forum (VSF) on issues on mutual interests.
1.4.2 Providing feedback and advice to the federal government
and the voluntary sector on the VSI and the potential role of
each in the current climate.
1.4.3 Making recommendations regarding future policies or work
that should be undertaken by the government and/or voluntary
sector after the completion of the VSI to support ongoing collaboration.
1.5 Provide a mechanism for dispute resolution for bodies and
activities within the Voluntary Sector Initiative.
2. Reporting Requirements
2.1 Oversee the development of an annual report on progress related
to the implementation of the Accord and on the effectiveness of
the joint work for consideration at meetings of key Ministers
with the Voluntary Sector Forum (VSF).
3. Committee Composition
- The total membership of the JSC will
be 14 members including 2 co-chairs - the Assistant Deputy Minister,
Income Security Programs, Social Development Canada and the
Chair of the Voluntary Sector Forum. Members will be drawn equally
from the government and the voluntary sector.
3.2 Governmental representation
- The government members will be at
the ADM level, drawn from the ADM Steering Committee.
- Substitution by another Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) or
Director General (DG) delegate is allowed. The replacement/alternate
needs to reflect continuity and someone with an interest and
3.3 Voluntary sector members:
- Members from the voluntary sector
will be members of and/or chosen by the Voluntary Sector Forum
and accountable to the Forum.
- The majority of voluntary sector JSC members will be at the
Executive Director or Board Chair level.
- Attendance is non-substituted.
4.1 Government officials are accountable for their participation
on the JSC through the normal reporting structures of their department/agency
in the federal government.
4.2 The voluntary sector members will be accountable to the Voluntary
Sector Forum on the basis of the work plan and Terms of Reference
developed by the VSF. When major disagreement or divergence arises
at the Committee the members may consult with the Forum for direction
5. Conflict of Interest Guidelines
5.1 All members of the JSC will act with honesty, integrity and
openness in advancing the joint process.
5.2 Federal employees are responsible for complying with the
Treasury Board Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for
the Public Service and any relevant departmental policy on conflict
of interest, outside activities, gifts and hospitality. They are
also subject to the application of paragraph 121(1)(c) of the
Criminal Code with respect to receiving directly or indirectly
a benefit of any kind from a person or an organization with ongoing
dealings with the Government.
5.3 Voluntary sector members of the JSC will adhere to the conflict
of interest guidelines of the Voluntary Sector Forum.
6. Time Frame and Meetings
6.1 The JSC is constituted commencing in January 2003, through
March 31, 2005. The JSC will meet quarterly or at a frequency
to be determined by the co-chairs, using face-to-face meetings,
conference calls and/or electronic correspondence.
6.2 Working groups and sub-committees may be convened to address
specific issues or undertake activities as required.
6.3 The JSC will review its Terms of Reference each year and
may revise them for the remaining duration of the Committee.
7. Secretariat and Funding
7.1 The Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Affairs Division of Social Development
Canada is responsible for:
- secretariat service to the JSC, in collaboration with the
Voluntary Sector Forum Secretariat;
- preparation of records of decision from all JSC meetings
- expenditures associated with the organization of meetings,
contracts for JSC work, etc.;
- pre-approved, eligible travel and out-of-pocket expenses (Treasury
Board Guidelines) of voluntary sector members in relation to
JSC duties; and reporting on expenditures on a regular basis.
8. Dispute Resolution
8.1 Should the committee be unable to resolve an issue through
negotiation among the members, the committee will refer the issue
to its co-chairs for dispute settlement. A neutral third-party
may be involved at the discretion of the co-chairs. Joint decisions
made by the co-chairs will be considered final by the committee.
OPERATING PRINCIPLES FOR THE JOINT STEERING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Government of Canada - Voluntary Sector Initiative
Quorum for any votes taken at JSC will require 8 members,
4 from both the voluntary sector and federal government, which
may include the Committee Co-Chairs.
JSC members are expected to be open and candid in discussing
items before the Committee. For this reason it is important
to maintain confidentiality. Committee members are committed
to respecting the privacy of committee participants and agree
not to disclose information or views expressed by individuals
during meetings. Records of decision will respect the principle
of non-attribution. Deliberations should remain confidential
until there is general agreement and consensus to make them
public (see principle 3 below).
Public Communication and Media
Regular communications about the progress of work being undertaken
by the Committee is a priority and should be part of the regular
work of the JSC. Records of decision, progress updates and
other joint communications tools (questions and answers) will
be regularly developed and approved by Committee members for
posting on web sites and communicating with the media and
other interested observers. Material will be made available
to people outside the Committee upon approval of the Committee
Committee members will seek to reach consensus wherever possible.
If, for whatever reason, consensus can not be achieved, the
JSC Members may choose to move to a majority vote or permit
dissenting reports to be included in the record of decision.
All members will be encouraged to participate in the JSC
deliberations in the official language of their choice. All
JSC products will be produced in both languages (e.g. records
of decisions, joint reports, media lines).
To ensure the active participation by any members and invited
guests who may have accessibility requirements, JSC meetings
will be held in facilities that are barrier-free. Where required,
technical aids, anthropometric equipment, attendant and other
specialized services will be provided to accommodate the needs
of members with disabilities.
Expert Members and Invited Guests
The JSC may, from time to time, require experts, academics
or other government/voluntary sector representatives to attend
meetings as presenters, advisers or observers because of their
knowledge of the subject, of the sector or as part of another
consultation mechanism. Such invitations will be agreed to
in advance by the Co-Chairs.
INDEMNIFICATION OF VOLUNTARY SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE JOINT
Voluntary Sector representatives serving as members of the JSC
are extended the same risk management principles as public servants
serving on the Committee when it comes to matters of liability
and insurance and are subject to the Treasury Board's Volunteer
The Voluntary Sector representatives on the JSC would therefore
be considered "volunteers" under this policy.
Federal departments and agencies should support volunteers in
any third party liability claim, and do everything necessary to
ensure that volunteers suffer no financial losses as a result
of any claim arising from serving in a volunteer capacity.