At a glance – Five-year Departmental evaluation plan, from fiscal year 2018 to 2019 to fiscal year 2022 to 2023
About the Departmental evaluation plan
Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Audit and Evaluation Branch (AEB) produces a five-year rolling departmental evaluation plan that is informed by an annual planning exercise and approved by the Deputy Minister. The plan follows the Mandatory Procedure for Evaluation outlined in the Directive on Results. It is a result of discussions at each ECCC branch executive management table. It was also reviewed at the ADM Corporate Operations Committee, and discussed at the Executive Management Committee, which recommended the plan for approval by the Deputy Minister. The Departmental Evaluation Plan (DEP) was approved by the Deputy Minister and the Associate Deputy Minister on June 7, 2018.
The primary purpose of the plan is to help the Deputy Minister and senior management ensure that credible, timely and neutral information on the ongoing relevance and performance of direct program spending and ongoing programs of grants and contributions is available to support evidence‐based decision making and provides results for Canadians.
The plan serves as a resource to:
- assess the Department’s compliance with the Financial Administration Act (FAA) and the Policy on Results
- ensure that evaluation commitments in submissions approved by the Treasury Board are respected
- confirm evaluation coverage of the areas of highest risk for the Department
- assess the adequacy of resourcing for the evaluation function
- provides an opportunity to align evaluations, to ensure that the information needs of the Department and other evaluation users (for example, other government departments where ECCC is delivering horizontal programming) are being met
- helps ensure that evaluations supporting program redesign are planned and completed in advance of program renewal
- allows departmental groups engaged in strategic planning and reporting activities to identify when evaluation results will be available to inform their work
- provides central agencies with advanced notice of when evaluation results will be available to inform government policy development, spending reviews and resource allocation decisions
The AEB uses the previous year's risk assessments and plans as a starting point for the annual planning exercise. The approach to planning considers the following key elements and principles.
- A planning exercise is conducted before the start of each fiscal year, in consultation with senior executives, relevant ECCC governance committees and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Planned evaluation projects, scheduling and resources are discussed and recommended for approval by the Deputy Minister.
- An initial review is based on the AEB's knowledge of ECCC's programs and priorities and consideration of a number of key sources and documents, including the Departmental Plan and the Departmental Corporate Risk Profile.
- All mandatory evaluation requirements, including fulfilling commitments specified in Treasury Board submissions and addressing the statutory requirements of the FAA (section 42.1), are catalogued for inclusion in the plan.
- Where appropriate, the AEB takes into account similar risks and projects identified by key partner departments (for example, science-based departments and agencies), and considers opportunities for collaboration and joint evaluations.
The final plan reflects an adequate resource allocation. It factors in the AEB’s available resources, capacity and expertise, as well as the capacity of ECCC branch and program areas to accommodate multiple projects.
2017 to 2018 in review
The DEP is a five-year rolling plan. Work carried out in the previous year often impacts the work in subsequent years. Fiscal year 2017 to 2018 is a case in point. In 2017 to 2018:
- AEB evaluators worked on 19 projects, including eight horizontal evaluations, 3 of which were led by ECCC.
- Of the 19 projects, 13 were initiated prior to fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and 6 were initiated in FY 2017 to 2018. A backlog of projects had resulted from a combination of two factors: a large number of evaluations initiated to meet the 100% coverage requirements of the previous 2009 Policy on Evaluation and a staff shortage in the Evaluation Division.
- Nine of the 19 projects were approved in fiscal year 2017 to 2018. Another 6 projects are planned for approval in 2018 to 2019. Two large-scale horizontal evaluations are planned for completion after fiscal year 2018 to 2019 (Youth Employment Strategy and the Oceans Protection Plan).
- A further 2 projects were postponed or cancelled, based on feedback received from program senior management.
- Evaluation staff reviewed and provided input on 15 Memoranda to Cabinet, 9 Treasury Board Submissions and on 12 implementation or performance measurement strategies for new or amended regulations.
Evaluation resources and capacity
The Evaluation Division forecasts a budget of $1.4 million, with 13.3 indeterminate full-time equivalent employees for fiscal year 2018 to 2019. The Evaluation Division shares resources with the Internal Audit Division for branch administration, the provision of support to committees, the publication of reports and follow-up on recommendations.
ECCC’s five-year evaluation plan
A total of 28 evaluation projects are planned for the five-year planning horizon.
- Twenty-five of the 28 projects are being conducted to meet mandatory evaluation requirements, including fulfilling evaluation commitments specified in TB submissions and addressing the statutory requirements of the FAA (section 42.1), taking into consideration the exemptions identified in the TB Policy on Results.
- Three of the 28 projects are discretionary evaluations (non-mandatory under the Policy on Results). They were identified during consultations with senior management and the Deputy Heads as being of particular value to support decision making.
- Fourteen of the 28 projects are horizontal evaluations that will address initiatives across multiple departments and organizations. Through the AEB, ECCC is the lead department on 6 horizontal evaluations and a participant in 8 evaluation projects.
Overview of planned ECCC evaluation projects, by fiscal year of approval by the Deputy Minister
Fiscal year 2018 to 2019
- Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan
- National Wetland Conservation Fund
- Major Projects Management Office Initiative
- West Coast Energy Initiative
- Joint Audit/Evaluation of the Management of the Pan-Canadian Framework
Fiscal year 2019 to 2020
- Chemicals Management Plan
- Horizontal Youth Employment Strategy
- Single Window Initiative
- Weather Observations, Forecasts and Warnings
- World Class Tanker Safety Initiative
Fiscal year 2020 to 2021
- Air Pollution Mitigation
- International (Climate Change) Cooperation
- Carbon Pricing – Climate Change Mitigation
- Low Carbon Economy Fund
- Freshwater – Great Lakes
- Freshwater – Lake Winnipeg
- Freshwater – St. Lawrence
- Environmental Emergencies
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- Horizontal Evaluation of Oceans Protection Plan
- Adaptation – Canadian Centre for Climate Services
- Clean Transportation Initiative (GHG and Air Pollutants)
- Core Climate Change Mitigation
- Climate Change Adaptation – Horizontal Roll-up
Fiscal year 2022 to 2023
- Green Municipal Fund
- Species at Risk, including SAR components of the Canadian Nature Fund
- Protected Areas, including the Canadian Nature Fund
- Habitat Conservation Partnerships (for example, NACP, NAWMP)
- Hydrological Services
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