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VRAB corrects a point.

I am a Communications Officer with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. I wanted to bring to your attention a factual error contained in "Commentary: The Executive War College on veterans rights," recently published in Vol. 19 Issue 6 of Esprit de Corps.

The article states: "Only recently did Parent produce two long-overdue reports on the malfeasance of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. In the first, Parent reviews some 200 decision letters VRAB sent to applicants and determines they don't provide adequate explanations of how the decisions were made."

Actually, the Ombudsman's first report focussed on Veterans Affairs Canada decision letters, as indicated in the report title, "Veterans' right to know reasons for decisions--A matter of procedural fairness: Examination of the adequacy of information in decision letters from Veterans Affairs Canada." Only the second of these two reports, "Veterans' Right to Fair Adjudication: Analysis of Federal Courts decisions pertaining to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board," focussed on the Board.

With respect to the Ombudsman's second report, I am sending along a link to the Board's recent progress update, should you want to post it for the benefit of your readers: http://www.vrab-tacra.gc.ca/Documents/Action-Plan-Response_Plan-daction-reponse-eng.cfm.

You'll see that to date, the Board has: established a task force with VAC and the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to study and learn from trends emerging from Federal Court decisions; launched a review of our decision format and language; begun posting noteworthy decisions on our Web site; and has streamlined its procedures for cases returned by the Federal Court.

Together, these actions have already improved our procedures for reviewing and applying Federal Court rulings, increased transparency in our decision making and will ensure our decisions are clearer and more plainly written. We have only just begun this work and will continue to focus on it to improve the appeal program for veterans and their families.

Alexandra Shaw

Communications Officer

Veterans Review and Appeal Board

Charlottetown, PEI
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Title Annotation:Letters to the editor
Author:Shaw, Alexandra
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:328
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