Supplementary Table - Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Response to Parliamentary Committees

Transport Canada has not received any recommendations from any reports tabled by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities which required a response during fiscal year 2012-13.

In June 2012, the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications issued its Fifth Report, The Future of Canadian Air Travel: Toll Booth or Spark Plug? – Report of the Future Growth and Global Competitiveness of Canada’s Airports.  The Report had six recommendations for Transport Canada all of which pertained to the governance of the National Airports System and airport operations, including recommendations calling on the Government to establish a National Air Travel Strategy and to take steps to phase-out airport ground rents.

Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

Chapter 1 of the Auditor General’s Spring 2012 Report on Border Controls on Commercial Imports was a horizontal audit of five departments that focused on Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) control of selected commercially imported consumer products that may pose a risk to the health and safety of Canadians.  The audit looked at the administration of import controls, targeting of goods and their examination prior to their release or denial of entry into Canada.  It found that Transport Canada has documented systems and practices in place for administering, targeting and examining the importation of vehicles and tires.  In consultation with Canada Border Services Agency, the department developed an action plan to the recommendation to assess whether referrals from the CBSA are responded to within agreed service standards and whether recommendations provided to the CBSA are being followed.  The department’s commitments made in its management response, which are published in the report that is available on the Office of the Auditor General’s website, have been fully implemented.

Transport Canada is responsible for developing and administering the policies, regulations and standards required for the safe conduct of civil aviation in Canada.  As well, it is responsible for overseeing aviation companies’ compliance with the safety framework and for taking appropriate enforcement action when required.  Chapter 5 of the Auditor General’s Spring 2012 Report on the Oversight of Civil Aviation examined the implementation of the civil aviation safety regulatory framework, surveillance activities, human resources planning and plans in whether plans were in place to implement a quality assurance program.  The audit concluded that, although the department has implemented a suitable regulatory framework for civil aviation safety, it is not adequately managing the risks associated with civil aviation oversight.  Progress had been made since the OAG’s 2008 findings with respect to human resources capacity, competencies and training but the need for a robust quality assurance program as identified at the time has yet to be implemented.  Transport Canada agreed to the 10 recommendations in the report, which is published on the Office of the Auditor General’s website, and continues to implement the commitments of its management action plan to strengthen and improve its aviation safety oversight program. More details are available in Section II.

Chapter 1 of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s Fall 2012 Report (Audit of Atlantic Offshore Oil and Gas Activities) looked at the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Boards along with the federal organizations responsible for providing advice and support to them, including Transport Canada, to determine whether the environmental risks and impacts of offshore oil and gas activities are managed in accordance with applicable legislation, regulations, directives and agreements.  In response to the recommendation directed at it and other federal entities, Transport Canada committed to working collaboratively with Natural Resources Canada as the lead department, the other federal entities concerned and the Boards to complete a review of its roles and responsibilities related to oil spill response.  The report and management responses to the recommendations are available on the Office of the Auditor General’s website.

Chapter 2 of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s Fall 2012 Report (Audit of Financial Assurance for Environmental Risks) examined whether federal organizations have appropriate systems in place to obtain and manage environmental financial assurances in the mining, nuclear, offshore oil and gas, and marine transportation sectors.  For Transport Canada it looked at the liability limits established for oil spills from ships.  The department acknowledged in the report, which is available on the Office of the Auditor General’s website, that there is a risk that maritime liability limits and compensation regimes may not be sufficient in the event of a major ship-source spill.  To address the recommendation in this regard, the Department will undertake a comprehensive review of the pollution liability and compensation regime associated with marine transportation.

Chapter 5 of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s Fall 2012 Report was the annual report on the number, nature and status of environmental petitions and the government’s responses.  For the time period reported, Transport Canada received six petitions that were all responded to within the legislated timeframe.  In his Report, the Commissioner commended the Government of Canada for its response to one petition that was lead by Transport Canada, noting that the joint response provided clear and detailed answers that explained the timing and reasoning behind government decisions.  The Report is available on the Office of the Auditor General’s website.

External audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Not Applicable

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