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There were no recommendations to Infrastructure Canada from Parliamentary Committees in 2009-2010.
With respect to reporting on the environmental performance of the Infrastructure Canada Program, Infrastructure Canada will identify benefits by category of project activity.
When this recommendation was submitted to the CESD, it was stated that a summative evaluation would take place in March 2011, i.e. within twelve months of the completion of the program, and that it would assess the full range of results from outputs through immediate and intermediate outcomes and ultimately, where possible, the ultimate outcomes. The summative evaluation would provide a thorough reporting on the environmental benefits and will assess the full range of results. The framework for the Infrastructure Canada Program evaluation is currently under development.
Taking into account the timeline of March 2011, the results of this summative evaluation will also be taken into consideration in the context of future programming.
Update to Recommendation 3.44 – Infrastructure Canada’s (INFC) current suite of programs has integrated environmental sustainability and environmental benefits into the program. Both the Building Canada Fund-Major Infrastructure Component and the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component have incorporated these elements through project outcomes.
Project selection processes administered by Infrastructure Canada ensure that the Policy Leveraging Framework is fully considered in the identification of projects that contribute to environmental sustainability. However, as we continue to move forward with new programs, namely through projects under the Building Canada Fund-Major Infrastructure Component and the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component, green projects will no longer be identified as a category. With respect to the programs announced in Budget 2009, Infrastructure Canada continues to consult with federal and provincial partners to ensure that non-cumbersome, but efficient measures are developed which support the Government of Canada’s objectives, including a cleaner environment.
The Framework Agreements signed with provinces and territories provide for the development of a framework for reporting to the public on the results of infrastructure investments made under the Building Canada Fund (BCF).
Infrastructure Canada will be able to report on specific positive contributions made to infrastructure objectives by the Building Canada Fund and the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Base Fund which are of particular interest to the Government of Canada, namely: Economic growth, healthy and sustainable environment, and stronger and healthier communities.
The Accountability, Risk and Audit Framework (ARAF) for the Building Canada Fund currently indicates that reporting will be done. Examples of key performance issues include:
Examples of key indicators corresponding to the above issues include:
Infrastructure Canada is continuing to work with federal delivery partners to review and establish agreed-to business processes that capture reporting of benefits for the Infrastructure Canada Program, the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. It must be recognized, however, that these programs are distinct in need, scope, approach and implementation. Measures that are developed must reflect the needs and capacities of federal partners, and particularly the unique needs and capacities of municipalities.
Infrastructure Canada will continue to build the appropriate program reporting mechanisms into its program design. For the Building Canada Fund and the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Base Fund, federal-provincial Framework Agreements and the ARAF that provides for appropriate reporting at the program level.
As the current suite of sunsetting programs (the Infrastructure Canada Program, the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund) reach the end of their respective life-cycles, Infrastructure Canada continues to work with its Federal Delivery Partners (FDPs) to follow up on appropriate reporting of program benefits and lessons learned. It is recognized that these programs have distinct needs, scopes and approaches to implementation, and that Infrastructure Canada works with its Federal Delivery Partners to ensure that program reporting is accurate, appropriate, up-to-date, and that it reflects these differences. The successes and challenges of implementing these programs will be reflected in program evaluations. For example, planning has already begun to prepare for the Infrastructure Canada Program summative evaluation. Lessons learned will be reviewed and considered in new program design and development.
The Gas Tax Fund (GTF) is an outcomes-based program initiated in 2005-2006, to provide municipalities with infrastructure investments in select categories that contributes to the achievement of three key environmental outcomes, namely, cleaner air, cleaner water and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As per the design of the program, the signatories of the Gas Tax Fund are required to submit annual expenditure reports that provide details of the investments made for a specific year. These expenditure reports include a summary of projects in each eligible Gas Tax Fund category, and makes a link to contributing to the achievement of any or a combination of the three environmental outcomes. The signatories of the Gas Tax Fund are also required to prepare an Outcomes Report in the fourth year of the agreement that will report on the cumulative investments, and their performance in achieving or contributing to the program’s outcomes. The Gas Tax Fund performance measurement framework is aligned with the departmental performance measurement framework currently under development, as per the Management, Resources and Results Structures (MRRS) policy.
To meet the Gax Tax Fund’s reporting requirements, signatories have agreed to a performance measurement framework for this program. This framework includes clearly defined outcomes and a methodolgy to measure immediate, intermediate and final outcomes indicators, in order to assess how projects have achieved or contributed to the program’s outcomes. At the time that this response was submitted to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD), all agreements’ signatories were measuring project performance data and many had started to work on producing their Outcomes Reports which were published by September 2009. In addition, the Gas Tax Fund was the subject of a formative evaluation in 2007-2008, as well as a summative evaluation in 2008-2009. The findings of the formative evaluation indicate that the program design and implementation are conducive to the attainment of expected outcomes for the program. Moreover, the summative evaluation in its examination of results achieved has concluded that the Gas Tax Fund program is achieving its expected outcomes.
Public Service Commission of Canada’s Audit of Infrastructure Canada
An external audit was conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) titled Audit of Infrastructure Canada. The audit was a human resources (HR) audit that examined the human resources (HR) staffing practices at Infrastructure Canada.
The final audit report was published in October 2009 and covered the period of January 1, 2006 to April 30, 2008. Although the audit found several issues, the report also noted that systematic corrective actions had already been implemented or were underway. The Public Service Commission requires that Infrastructure Canada reports back twice a year to the Commission, to ensure that the concerns in the audit are completely addressed. During the progress updates provided to the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) in June 2010, three management action plans were listed as completed for this audit, while three remaining action plans were in various stages of completion. The Public Service Commission’s audit report is available at this link: http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/adt-vrf/rprt/2009/ic/index-eng.htm.