Environment Canada has good practices to ensure the quality of its science

(Chapter 2—Environmental Science—December 2011 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

Ottawa, 13 December 2011—Environment Canada uses a range of practices to ensure the quality of the science it conducts, says Scott Vaughan, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, in his report tabled today in Parliament. Practices include peer reviews of scientific publications and accreditation of environmental testing laboratories.

“We found that Environment Canada’s systems and practices to ensure the quality of its science activities are consistent with those generally used in the scientific community,” said Mr. Vaughan.

The audit also found that the Department uses a variety of methods to communicate the results of its science activities to decision makers. However, it needs to do more to assess how useful and effective its communication methods are.

The report notes that while Environment Canada developed a science plan in 2007 setting out long-term directions for its science activities, the plan has yet to be adequately implemented. After five years, it has not been integrated into departmental planning. In addition, it lacks objectives and targets.

“Now Environment Canada needs to put its plan into practice,” said Mr. Vaughan. “A department-wide plan for science is more urgent than ever in this period of fiscal restraint.”

- 30 -

The chapter “Environmental Science” is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.

For more information, please click here.