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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