The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, has instructed the Department to assemble a “Veteran-centric Communications Task Force” to improve how Veterans Affairs Canada communicates with Veterans — and he’s giving them a tight deadline to get the job done. The Task Force has 120 days to reduce the administrative paperwork burden for our Veterans and to ensure all letters and forms are easy to understand and necessary.
This work began a month ago, but is being expanded to all forms of regular communications between Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans being served. This is in keeping with the Minister’s early commitment to reducing red tape at Veterans Affairs Canada and creating a culture of service excellence that is more Veteran-centric.
The mandate of the Veteran-centric Communications Task Force is to look at each and every form and letter we use to communicate with our Veterans, and ask:
1. Is this letter or form easily understandable to a Veteran and his or her family?
2. Is each question in the form necessary to help the Veteran?
3. Could the letter or form be eliminated altogether?
4. If program eligibility requires updates or renewals, is the frequency appropriate for all Veterans, including many who have permanent impairments?
5. Could a case manager help fill out this paperwork for some Veterans?
6. Could more time be given for the Veteran to complete this paperwork?
The Veteran-centric Communications Task Force has authority to make a positive change at any time — its members don’t need to wait until the end of June deadline to make changes.
“The goal is to let our Veterans and their families focus on rehabilitation and living their lives. Communication with Veterans Affairs should be easy for Veterans to understand and clearly demonstrate that our focus is to serve the Veterans as clients and to promote their overall wellness.”
The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
For more information, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website.