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|Response to Parliamentary Committees
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) appeared before two parliamentary committees in 2009-2010.
On November 23, 2009, the Honourable Keith Ashfield and ACOA’s Executive Vice-President, Paul LeBlanc, appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages to discuss the Agency’s implementation of Part VII of the Official Languages Act (i.e. The Advancement of English and French). Minister Ashfield provided the committee with an overview of the official language minority community in Atlantic Canada. He and Mr. LeBlanc then discussed examples of the Agency’s initiatives to support the act through internal processes and policies, and through financial assistance to various projects under regular ACOA programs and the federal Economic Development Initiative.
On November 30, 2009, ACOA President, Monique Collette, and Vice-President of Finance and Corporate Services, Denise Frenette, appeared before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. ACOA was one of three regional development agencies to appear before the committee at this meeting to discuss funding appropriation under Supplementary Estimates B. More specifically, the agencies discussed the administration of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program within their respective regions of Canada. Ms. Collette provided the members with an understanding of how ACOA is structured and its role in Atlantic Canada. She and Ms. Frenette provided examples of RInC investments in the four Atlantic provinces and explained how funds in the Supplementary Estimates were critical to realizing the success of such initiatives to stimulate the economy in Atlantic Canada.
No recommendations have been received from committees during the 2009-2010 year.
|Responses to Reports by the Auditor General
(including the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
The Office of the Auditor General’s (OAG) audit of Canada’s Economic Action Plan (CEAP), including certain programs delivered by ACOA (Building Canada Fund, Community Adjustment Fund, RInC), is in progress at the national level. The report is to be tabled in October 2010.
The 2009 November Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development included a chapter entitled “Applying the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act”, the audit coverage for which included ACOA. The audit identified a number of potential improvements in respect of the timeliness, effectiveness and quality of environmental screenings, though ACOA was not specifically mentioned in the report, and accordingly was not required to provide any response for inclusion in it. The complete report is available at http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_200911_e_33253.html.
(conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages)
PSC Audit (in progress)
The PSC undertook an audit of the staffing function in November 2009. It was anticipated that a review of the findings would be made available to ACOA’s director general of human resources in mid-May 2010, with the final report being presented to ACOA’s President in early to mid-June 2010. In October 2010 the PSC will be tabling the results of the ACOA audit in Parliament, along with those of other organizations.
The horizontal internal audit of high risk expenditure controls in large departments and agencies (LDAs), conducted by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, was completed during 2009-2010. It covered a number of federal departments and agencies, including ACOA. The audit concluded that LDAs are not taking advantage of risk management to help make their account verification practices more efficient, and recommendations for improvements were made. ACOA was not referenced in the report in respect to specific weaknesses, and accordingly was not required to provide any response for inclusion in it. The complete report can be found at http://publiservice.tbs-sct.gc.ca/report/orp/2009/hia-vih-eng.asp.