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2005 September Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Appendix B—List of recommendations

2005 September Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

September 2005 Report—Chapter 1

Appendix B—List of recommendations

The following is a list of recommendations found in Chapter 1. The number in front of the recommendation indicates the paragraph where it appears in the chapter. The numbers in parentheses indicate the paragraphs where the topic is discussed.

Recommendation

Department's response

A national oceans strategy

1.30 Fisheries and Oceans Canada should, through its Treasury Board submission on the Oceans Action Plan Phase I, have Canada's Oceans Action Plan recognized and managed as a government horizontal initiative. Consistent with the Oceans Act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in collaboration with participating departments, should lead and facilitate the development and implementation of action plan initiatives. Working with the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Department should also co-ordinate the reporting of results achieved. (1.19–1.29)

Oceans are inherently complex, technically in the interconnectedness of ecosystems and relationally in managing across jurisdictions. Phase I of the Oceans Action Plan (OAP) represents the first commitment of funds across the government that aligns with the horizontal nature of oceans issues.

The governance structure includes deputy minister- and assistant deputy minister-level committees with representatives from almost 20 federal organizations with oceans responsibilities. A national implementation committee and regional implementation committees will be established by the end of 2005. Through the Oceans Action Plan Secretariat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will co-ordinate the work of these implementation committees and support the deputy minister and assistant deputy minister committees.

Led and facilitated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the seven funded departments and agencies under Phase I of the OAP developed a Treasury Board submission proposing 18 initiatives over a two-year period. They are now working together to implement these initiatives.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, working closely with the Treasury Board Secretariat, will co-ordinate the development of the Expanded Oceans Information Framework by spring 2006. The framework will measure and report on the progress and results of the 18 initiatives. The framework will contribute to the scoping and planning of Phase II of the OAP by fall 2006.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has led the development of an interdepartmental results-based management and accountability framework with the co-operation of its Phase I partners and the Treasury Board Secretariat. The OAP results information will be reported in Fisheries and Oceans Canada's annual report on plans and priorities (spring) and performance report (fall).

Integrated management, marine protected areas

1.57 Fisheries and Oceans Canada should

  • finalize and implement its operational guidance for integrated management planning, including marine protected areas, in the five priority ocean areas; and
  • plan and manage its resources to ensure that the oceans commitments and targets in the annual report on plans and priorities, the 2005–2006 Sustainable Development Strategy, and the 2005–2010 Strategic Plan will be met. This should also include oceans commitments specific to the Department that were made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. (1.31–1.56)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is implementing operational guidance and supporting documentation in each of the five priority large ocean management areas. Structures are in place to support processes and provide the necessary guidance so that the development of the Oceans Action Plan (OAP) Phase I deliverables can proceed and evolve, with the involvement of partners and stakeholders.

Service level agreements between the Assistant Deputy Minister, Oceans and each region responsible for OAP Phase I deliverables are the basis by which semi-annual and annual progress against commitment and targets in line with the funding received will be monitored.

Commitments will be reported to Parliament annually through the report on plans and priorities and performance report using the Department's new program activity architecture, which for the first time, breaks out budget and performance information for oceans. In addition, reporting on commitments will be guided by the OAP Phase I results-based management accountability framework with a formative evaluation to be completed in 2006.

Accountability for implementation

1.68 Fisheries and Oceans Canada should

  • finalize and implement an accountability framework for its oceans management activities;
  • provide sufficient relevant and reliable financial and other performance information in its annual report on plans and priorities and annual performance report to allow Parliament to hold the Department to account for its oceans-management activities; and
  • improve communications to the public, including periodic information on the state of the oceans. (1.58–1.67)

A results-based management and accountability framework for Canada's Oceans Action Plan (OAP) Phase I is complete but, due to its two-year timeframe, it focusses on outputs not outcomes. A formative evaluation of the OAP will take place in 2006. Longer-term outcomes to achieve healthy oceans will be developed over time, and the framework will be revised as necessary for future phases of the OAP in 2006 and beyond.

The new program activity architecture introduced in 2005 will provide transparent financial reporting of oceans activities. In addition, management tools for tracking OAP resources will be developed by fall 2005.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will identify tools for effective communication of oceans programming and elaborate products to implement Canada's Oceans Action Plan Phase I communications strategy (fall 2005 through April 2007). The Department will lead proactive communication of OAP deliverables, including working with other federal organizations, as well as provinces and territories, aboriginal organizations, and stakeholders. There will be a series of ministerial announcements beginning in May 2005.

Annual state-of-the-oceans regional science reports will provide the baseline for understanding oceans and ecosystems. Fisheries and Oceans Canada recognizes the value of broader and national level reports; however, given resource limitations, the focus in Phase I will be on knowledge development and communication in the targeted context of the development of integrated management plans in priority areas. Ecosystem overviews and the identification of sensitive areas will be completed for each of the five priority large ocean management areas by 2007.