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Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits

Response to Parliamentary Committees

The Government Response to the second report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry entitled: The Canadian Forest Sector: a Future Based on Innovation was deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on July 5, 2011.

This response can be found online at:

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

2012-03 OAG Audit of theBorder Controls on Commercial Imports

For more information on this audit, go to

Recommendation 1.53
NRCan should assess Canada Border Services Agency referrals systematically to determine whether responses are provided within agreed service standards and whether recommendations are followed. Each organization should use the results of this assessment to determine whether further action is required.

In October 2011, NRCan developed a new recording system for the Explosives Program which is currently being implemented by NRCan officers located in Ottawa for all referrals coming from border services officers. This is also being communicated by the end of Quarter 1, 2012, to all NRCan officers who may be contacted by border services officers.

2011-06 OAG Chapter 3  Follow-up Audit of Internal Audit

For more information on this audit, go to

No recommendations for NRCan.

2011-12 CESD Chapter 5 A Study of Environmental Monitoring

For more information on this audit, go to

No recommendations issued as this report is a study and not an audit.

2011-10 CESD Chapter 1 — Climate Change Plans Under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act

For more information on this audit, go to

Recommendation 1.83
As a department responsible for implementing and reporting on measures in the climate change plans, NRCan should develop and implement a quality assurance and quality control system for reporting actual greenhouse gas emission reductions, measured or estimated against a baseline. This should include

  • publishing complete and transparent information regarding the analysis underlying each measure and its corresponding baseline, the calculation methods for the reductions, and how the criterion of additionality has been defined and met; and
  • documenting the accuracy of the actual greenhouse gas emission reductions by providing an uncertainty range for each measure and for the total of all measures, for each remaining year of the Kyoto Period (2009 to 2012). This information should be published in the next climate change plans.

Since the 2011 plan, wherever possible NRCan works with Environment Canada and other departments to provide greater clarity on the consistency of quality assurance and verification systems by asking that departments preparing greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates clearly describe

  • the analysis, including methodology and assumptions, underlying the measures;
  • the process that departments used to develop the baseline(s);
  • the calculation methods for GHG reductions; and
  • how the criterion of additionality has been defined and met.

In addition, departments preparing GHG estimates will be asked to provide a range for the actual GHG reductions associated with each measure.
NRCan responded to Environment Canada's requests for more information about GHG emissions, which were based on the criteria  recommended in the Management Action Plan. NRCan has provided the required information where possible. NRCan continues working on improving the quantification of its emissions reductions estimates.

Response to the OCG

2011-05 OCG Horizontal Internal Audit of the Grants and Contributions Management Control Framework in Large Departments and Agencies – Phase 1

For more information on this audit, go to

No recommendations for NRCan.

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

2011-10 PSC —Audit of Natural Resources Canada

For more information on this audit, go to

Recommendation 1
The deputy head of NRCan should update the Staffing Monitoring Plan to ensure that it includes, at a minimum, all of the Public Service Commission’s mandatory monitoring elements and that this monitoring plan is fully implemented.

NRCan has already taken action to implement the recommendation. A revised Staffing Monitoring Plan that includes all of the Public Service Commission's mandatory monitoring elements has been developed. This plan was presented to and approved by the department's Human Resources Renewal Committee (HRRC) on May 10, 2011. The revised plan is currently being implemented. The HRRC will also be monitoring implementation

Recommendation 2
The deputy head of NRCan should improve the control mechanism to ensure that the processes of selecting and appointing a person respect the guiding values and that documentation, as it pertains to appointment-related decisions, is complete, accurate and compliant with the Public Service Employment Act and the Public Service Commission Appointment Framework. Findings of the compliance monitoring mechanism should be reported to senior managers for action, as needed.

NRCan has already taken action to implement the recommendation. As part of the revised Staffing Monitoring Plan, NRCan took corrective measures to ensure the monitoring findings are complete and accurate and can be presented to senior management to raise awareness about compliance issues and to address required improvements.

In particular, NRCan implemented a new monitoring control checklist that captures all relevant information needed to assess compliance with the Public Service Employment Act and the PSC appointment framework. The information gathered in the checklist serves to ensure that the core and guiding values are taken into consideration in all staffing actions, and provides evidence of the Human Resources Advisor's advice and challenge function.

With regard to the conduct of its staffing operations, NRCan has developed an action plan to correct the deficiencies noted in the audit. Actions include ensuring that human resources advisors and hiring managers receive training on the latest staffing policy and program developments. Mandatory use of People Soft Staffing Checklists for all staffing files has also been implemented. Additional measures regarding the application of merit and the importance of properly documenting staffing decisions are also in preparation.
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