The mandate of this Committee is to examine all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as any issue referred to it by the House of Commons. As is the case for other committees of the House of Commons, the powers, membership, and activities of this Committee are governed by Chapter 13 of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons. Thus, the Committee is empowered to review the program and policy objectives of the department within its mandate, its success in meeting these objectives, its planned expenditures, and the law or laws that guide its activities.
Much of this review is done on a regular basis, for example, when the Main Estimates outlining departmental spending for each fiscal year are presented to Parliament. The Committee can also undertake studies on specific issues of interest to veterans and report its views to the House of Commons. Its opinions and recommendations are based on the information gathered during meetings with ministers, departmental officials, independent experts, and anyone else it wishes to invite. The Standing Orders provide for a response from the Government to the views and recommendations expressed in each of its reports.
The Committee can also examine and enquire into all matters referred to it by the House of Commons. Any bill creating or amending legislation related to the activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs and programs for veterans such as the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, the Pension Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act can be referred to the Committee for review after it has been tabled in the House. The Committee can review the new legislation and report it back to the House of Commons with or without amendments. The Committee can also review Orders in Council appointing individuals to non-judicial posts related to the mandate of the department after they have been tabled in the House of Commons and referred to it.