DAOD 2008-0, Public Affairs Policy

Identification

Date of Issue: 1998-01-30

Effective Date: 1998-03-01

Application: This is an order that applies to members of the Canadian Forces (CF) and a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND).

Supersession:

Approval Authority: This DAOD is issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister (DM) and the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).

Enquiries: Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) (ADM(PA))


Definitions

Canadian Forces Member (membre des Forces canadiennes)
A Canadian Forces (CF) member is a member of any component of the CF, Regular or Reserve, unless the contrary is indicated.
Issue-Specific Public Affairs Plan (plan d'affaires publiques axé sur un problème particulier)
An issue-specific public affairs (PA) plan articulates the approach and activities required to support the implementation of a specific program, initiative, operation and/or event, or to manage an issue or crisis.
Public Affairs (affaires publiques)
Public affairs (PA) encompasses activities related to informing internal and external audiences. It includes research and analysis, communications advice and planning, and the delivery of information programs.
Public Affairs Material (matériel d'affaires publiques)
Public affairs material refers to information products designed to support public affairs activities with internal and/or external audiences.
Public Affairs Plan (plan d'affaires publiques)
Public affairs plan is specific documents that articulate the public affairs objectives, themes, approaches and activities required to support the implementation of a policy, program, operation or initiative, and/or to manage an issue or crisis.
Public Announcement (annonce publique)
A public announcement refers to an official public statement or public affairs activity designed to inform the public of a new initiative, or the DND and/or CF's position on a policy, program, service, operation, activity, initiative, issue and/or crisis. Examples include issuing a news release or bulletin to inform the public of a new policy, program, service, base opening/closure, special event and/or changes in a CF operation.
Strategic Public Affairs Plan (plan stratégiques d'affaires publiques)
The Strategic Public Affairs Plan is issued annually and provides overall direction for public affairs programs and activities in the DND and the CF. The plan articulates objectives, corporate themes and major public affairs activities. It links governmental, ministerial, and DND and CF public affairs priorities and goals to provide guidance for all operational public affairs planning activities.

Policy Direction 

Context

Together, the CF and the DND is a unique Canadian institution. They bring together Canadians from all regions of the country and all ethnic backgrounds, through military and public service, in pursuit of the common mission of defending Canada and Canadian interests and values while contributing to international peace and security.

In fulfilling this mission, the role of Public Affairs (PA) is to promote understanding and awareness among Canadians of the role, mandate and activities of the CF and DND, and of the contributions that the CF and DND make to Canadian society and the international community.

Canadians expect and deserve to know what the men and women of the CF and DND do on their behalf. Public support for the CF and DND follows from public understanding of how the CF and DND make a difference at home and abroad. Public confidence, in turn, is enhanced by the ability of the CF and DND to achieve its mandate in a manner that is open, transparent, and consistent with Canadian values and expectations.

In short, public support and confidence follow from the ability of the CF and DND to both deliver and inform.

The intent of the PA policy is to ensure that Canadians are well-informed and aware of the role, mandate, operations and contributions of the CF and DND. The policy is designed to establish and articulate PA operating principles, authorities, accountabilities, responsibilities, requirements and guidelines for CF members and DND employees at all levels to help them build, nurture and maintain a strong relationship with the public.

The policy seeks to achieve these objectives by establishing a modern, progressive and professional approach to PA that actively encourages openness and transparency, integrates PA into CF and DND operations at all levels, delegates authority and empowers CF members and DND employees to speak more openly to Canadians about what they do and how they make a difference to Canada and the international community.

Policy Statement

It is DND and CF policy to:

Requirements

The CF and DND shall:

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Operating Principles

Legislation, Regulation, and Policy

DND employees and CF members at all levels must manage their PA programs and activities, as appropriate, in accordance with the principles and requirements of federal laws and policies, including the:

CF members must also adhere to the principles and requirements of Queen's Regulations and Orders, including:

Openness, and Transparency

CF members and DND employees face significant challenges in their efforts to inform the public and ensure the public's right to know, while being fully aware and respectful of legal restrictions on releasing detailed information about:

While these restrictions place legal limits on the ability of the CF and DND to live up to demands for complete openness, every effort should be made to be as open and transparent as possible within the law.

To this end, CF members and DND employees at all levels shall manage their programs and activities in a manner that:

Accountability

Regardless of rank or level, CF members and DND employees are accountable to their chain of command for the accuracy and currency of the information they make available to the public.

Responsibility

PA is a responsibility of the CF and DND chain of command, and must be adequately resourced and fully integrated into the decision-making process for policy development, program design, service delivery, and military operations.

To this end, Group Principals and Environmental Chiefs of Staff (ECS) shall:

Group Principals shall:

ECS shall:

Flexible, but Corporate

With support from public affairs officers or account managers, COs and DND managers shall ensure that the PA components of their programs, operations and/or activities reflect the needs of their intended audiences and:

Internal Communications

Perhaps more than any other function, internal communications is a collective responsibility that cuts across all levels of the DND and the CF.

CF members and DND employees have a responsibility to keep their colleagues informed of how their activities impact on their unit, base or section. COs and DND managers, in turn, have a responsibility to inform CF members and DND employees of corporate policies, programs and services that have a broad impact on the CF and DND.

In this corporate context, internal communications is a vital element of PA. CF members and DND employees contribute to public understanding of what the CF and DND do on behalf of Canadians. To communicate effectively with the public, however, CF members and DND employees must be well-informed.

To this end, internal communications shall be a responsibility of the DND and CF chain of command and shall be fully integrated into PA planning and program delivery.

In fulfilling their responsibilities for internal communications, COs and DND managers shall:

Modern Values and Practices

COs and DND managers shall ensure that:

COs and DND managers shall ensure that PA materials are made available:

Training

COs and DND managers shall ensure that CF members and DND employees receive the training required to complete assigned tasks in accordance with PA policies, orders and directives.

Federal and Corporate Identity

All DND and CF PA materials shall meet the requirements of the Federal Identity Program and the requirements of the DND and CF Corporate Communications Standards (to be developed).

National Linkages

DND and the CF, like all federal departments, agencies and institutions, has a responsibility to support the overall efforts of the Government of Canada to explain the decisions of Parliament to the public.

For this reason, all DND and CF public affairs plans, materials and/or activities shall, as appropriate:

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Authority

Authority Table

The following table identifies the authorities responsible for implementing the policy.

The... has/have the authority to...

Minister
(see Note)

  • speak on behalf of the Government as the principal spokesperson of DND and the CF.
  • Approve the Strategic PA Plan, public announcements and issue-specific PA plans, materials and activities of a national scope or nature.

DM
(see Note)

  • approve PA policy and administrative orders and directives, as well as public announcements and issue-specific PA plans, materials and activities of a national scope or nature that do not require ministerial approval.
  • authorize implementation of annual DND and Corporate Operational PA Plans.
  • appoint ADM(PA) in consultation with the CDS when ADM(PA) is a DND employee.

CDS
(see Note)

  • approve PA policy and administrative orders and directives, as well as public announcements and issue-specific PA plans, materials and activities of a national scope or nature that do not require ministerial approval.
  • authorize implementation of annual CF and Corporate Operational PA Plans.
  • appoint ADM(PA) in consultation with the DM when ADM(PA) is a CF member.

ECSs

  • approve requests to make public announcements by COs one level down their chain of command.
  • approve PA plans, materials and activities of a Command-specific scope or nature.
  • approve the allocation of resources to support implementation of their Command's annual Operational PA Plan and its related programs and activities.

Group Principals

  • approve PA plans, materials and activities of a Group-specific scope or nature.
  • approve the allocation of resources to support implementation of their Group's annual Operational PA Plan and its related programs and activities.

ADM(PA)

  • approve the allocation of resources to support implementation of approved PA programs and initiatives of a national scope or nature.
  • coordinate and manage all aspects of DND and CF corporate PA programs and activities, including research and analysis, advice and planning, PA training, and CF outreach.

Commanders of Operations

  • approve issue-specific PA plans, materials and activities dealing with CF operations within a deployed area.
  • coordinate PA programs and activities dealing with CF operations in a deployed area.

Area, Division, Base, Wing, Formation and Unit Commanders

  • approve requests to make public announcements by COs one level down their chain of command.
  • approve issue-specific PA plans, materials and activities of a regional or local scope or nature &endash; within their areas of responsibility and within their Command's Operational PA Plan.
  • approve the allocation of resources to support implementation of the PA components of their program responsibilities, within their Command's Operational PA Plan.

Note - This table articulates, for purpose of clarity, the existing authorities conferred by Parliament or other governance.

References

Source References

Related References