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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Table 12: Reponses to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Responses to Parliamentary Committees

Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (SCAAF)

A Government Response was tabled in the Commons on April 16, 2007 in response to the SCAAF's report entitled Report on the Review of the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission conducted by COMPAS Inc. Legislation was introduced in the House of Commons on December 13, 2007 to amend the Canada Grain Act based on the SCAAF report, the COMPAS study, and the general policy direction of the government.

A report by the Committee entitled “Growing Forward” was tabled in February 2008, with a Government Response requested by July 16, 2008. This report was a result of extensive hearings across Canada, including Ottawa with recommendations to the Government with strong emphasis on primary production research and innovation.

The Committee also tabled a report entitled “Study on the Collapse of the Beef and Pork Sector Revenues” in December 2007. The Committee requested a comprehensive Government Response which was tabled on April 10, 2008. This was a unanimous report by the committee members, undertaken due to the income crisis suffered by the beef and hog farmers in Canada. It included calling for measures to enable immediate cash-flow to producers, measures to improve the responsiveness of Business Risk Management programs as well as recommending that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada review program funding as it pertains to the implications of ruminant specified risk material.

On February 27, 2008, the Committee reported back to the Commons on Bill C-33, An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The Bill would enable the introduction of regulations with respect to the renewable content in fuels. It also provides for a periodic and comprehensive review of the environmental and economic aspects of biofuel production in Canada by a parliamentary committee and be reported to Parliament.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts

On June 16, 2008, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts tabled its 18th report in the House of Commons, entitled “Chapter 4, Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada of the May 2007 Report of the Auditor General of Canada.” This report, building on an audit of the CAIS program conducted by the Office of the Auditor General, made five recommendations to the department, including improving program transparency, program evaluation, and performance monitoring and reporting. A government response to the report, currently under development, must be tabled in the House of Commons on or before October 14, 2008.

Responses to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

Office of the Auditor General (OAG )

Chapter 4 of the May 2007 OAG report related to AAFC's Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization program.

An audit was conducted by the OAG at the request of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. It examined how the department processes applications for income support, ensures that all parties are respecting the various monitoring provisions set out in the federal-provincial-territorial agreements, and measures and reports its performance to Parliament.

AAFC agreed with the Auditor General's recommendations and is acting on them as part of its continued effort to improve delivery of farm financial support programs to clients across Canada.

The detailed May 2007 report and a listing of recommendations with departmental responses can be found on the Auditor General's website

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Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Table: Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Responses to Parliamentary Committees

No recommendations were received for 2007-2008.

Response to the Auditor General (including the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development).

The Auditor General of Canada did not report on the activities of ACOA in 2007-2008.

The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development did not report on the activities of ACOA in 2007-2008.

External Audits

Officer of the Commissioner of Official Languages – 2007-2008 Annual Report.

http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/html/ar_ra_2007_08_e.php

 

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Canada Border Services Agency

Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Table 3.17: The CBSA’s Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits


Response to Parliamentary Committees
 
Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) conducted a review of Chapter 5 (“Keeping the Border Open and Secure”) of the 2007 October Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

In February 2008, the PAC held a meeting to examine Chapter 5, which focused on the CBSA. The PAC met with the Assistant Auditor General and CBSA senior officials before tabling its report in May 2008.

The report made four recommendations:

  • The CBSA should provide the PAC with a status report on the implementation of the audit recommendations made by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) by December 31, 2008;
  • The CBSA’s risk-management strategies should be reported in its Departmental Performance Report (DPR);
  • The CBSA should include a status report on the implementation of the Agency’s training models in its 2008-2009 DPR; and
  • The CBSA should review the examination fees process to ensure there are no additional charges levied for random inspections.

In addition, the PAC stated it was concerned with the CBSA’s ability to assign the needed resources to best manage the risks inherent in its mandate.

At the end of 2007–2008, the CBSA was working on its response to the PAC’s report, which it subsequently completed in early 2008–2009.


 


Response to the Auditor General of Canada
(including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
 
“Keeping the Border Open and Secure”
The OAG conducted an audit of CBSA operations between October 2006 and May 2007 that examined the extent to which the Agency’s approach to border management is based on threat and risk assessments and achieves the desired levels of border openness and security (2007 October Report of the Auditor General of Canada, Chapter 5, “Keeping the Border Open and Secure”). 

The audit covered the following:

  • strategic planning and risk management;
  • pre-arrival targeting of high-risk people and goods;
  • facilitation of low-risk people and goods; and
  • operations at the border.
The audit made 14 recommendations and was tabled in October 2007. The Agency’s response is included in the audit report.
“Detention and Removal of Individuals”
Between October 2007 and February 2008, the OAG conducted an audit of the CBSA’s management of the detentions and removals programs (2008 May Report of the Auditor General of Canada, Chapter 7, “Detention and Removal of Individuals”).

The audit examined the following:

  • Whether the CBSA and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have clearly articulated their respective accountabilities for administering the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Whether the CBSA manages and reports on the detention of individuals consistently, in compliance with its policies and standards and with due regard to economy; and
  • Whether the CBSA removes individuals from Canada consistently based on the risks they present and whether it does so cost-effectively.

The audit made three recommendations:

  • The CBSA, in conjunction with CIC, should develop and implement processes to ensure the quality of the temporary resident permits program;
  • The CBSA should develop suitable policies and procedures for detentions and removals to ensure risks, situations and individuals are treated in a consistent manner; and
  • The CBSA should improve the data and level of analysis to better manage detentions and removals.

The audit was tabled in May 2008. The Agency’s response is included in the audit report.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) Petition 223 – Green Procurement of Paper for Publications and Internal Use by Federal Departments
The CESD forwarded petition 223 to the CBSA in November 2007. The petition was from a Canadian resident who requested information from 27 departments and agencies on their commitment to implementing the Government of Canada’s green procurement policy. Specifically, the petitioner requested information concerning departmental and agency use of recycled paper for publications and internal documents. The Agency’s response, which was included in the Minister of Public Safety’s response, was provided in March 2008.

 


External Audits (Note: These refer to other external audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.)
 
None

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Canada Industrial Relations Board

Table 4–Response to Parliamentary Committees, and Audits and Evaluations for Fiscal Year 2007–08


Response to Parliamentary Committees
No recommendations were received.


Response to the Auditor General including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD)
To follow up.


External Audits (Note: These refer to other external audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.)
The Office of the Auditor General looked at the controls applied by three small organizations, including the CIRB, for acquisition cards, contracting, executive travel, hospitality, executive compensation, and selected areas of human resources management. They also examined whether the entities’ management and control practices comply with government policies.

Three recommendations were formulated:

Recommendation 1–The CIRB should ensure that controls for procurement are applied rigorously and that transactions are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Treasury Board Contracting Policy and the Government Contracts Regulations.

CIRB Response 1–The CIRB agrees with this recommendation. All managers have recently successfully completed the Canada School of Public Service’s Authority Delegation online assessment course on procurement. All new managers are required to undergo similar training in procurement policy. The CIRB is currently staffing the position of Manager, Materiel Management and Administrative Services, and will ensure that the successful candidate is fully trained in contract management and procurement and rigorously applies the requisite policies and controls.

Recommendation 2–The CIRB should develop and implement human resources plans that clearly define the current and future human resources needs, that are integrated with the business plans, and that outline the strategies to fill current and projected gaps in the workforce.

CIRB Response 2–The CIRB agrees with this recommendation. The CIRB currently has a number of strategic plans and/or anticipated actions covering a range of human resources activities, such as employment equity, official languages and succession planning. It will now move to integrate those existing plans into an overall comprehensive plan linked to business objectives. This will be completed in the 2007–08 fiscal year.

Recommendation 3–The CIRB should ensure that performance pay awards are based on complete performance assessments.

CIRB Response 3–The CIRB agrees that there have been shortcomings with respect to the performance management process and the maintenance of comprehensive file records of all completed performance assessments. The CIRB will rectify the process immediately, in the current year, and will ensure that all completed performance assessments are maintained by its Human Resources Unit. The CIRB will continue to ensure that performance agreements and assessments are prepared in accordance with government guidelines.

More detailed information can be obtained at the following link:

http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_200710_02_e_23826.html

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Canada Public Service Agency

Table 13: Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits


Response to Parliamentary Committees
During the period April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, the Agency contributed to two responses to Parliamentary Committee Reports, as follows:

Senate:</