Evaluation of the Hydrological Service and Water Survey: chapter 7

6.0 Recommendations and Management Response

The recommendations of the evaluation of the Hydrological Service and Water Survey program are addressed to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Meteorological Service of Canada, as the ADM responsible for program management and delivery for both Weather and Environmental Monitoring, and Weather and Environmental Operations.

Recommendation 1: Develop a program logic model and performance measurement strategy for the Hydrological Service and Water Survey (sub-program 1.2.3) to guide performance measurement and reporting. Performance indicators for the program’s principal outputs and expected results have been defined and included in the departmental Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) and program Quality Management System (QMS). However, the program has not confirmed that all relevant Hydrological Service and Water Survey (HSWS) outputs and outcomes have been identified and is not able to readily report on the production of key outputs and results, which limits its ability to report on its performance. There is a need for a logic model of the HSWS (sub-program 1.2.3), which defines clear and realistic outputs and outcomes for which the program can reasonably be held accountable. The logic model should also specify the program’s primary and secondary clients. This will help to clarify Environment Canada (EC)’s specific responsibilities under this program. In addition, the logic model should incorporate longer term, ultimate outcomes to which EC’s program is intended to contribute, along with other players/factors. The model should document the influence of key external players/factors in order to accurately set the context for EC’s activities and intended outcomes including the ultimate aspirational goals. Development of a program logic model and associated performance measurement strategy should aid in reporting on the production of key outputs and progress toward the achievement of intended outcomes.

Management Response to Recommendation 1

The ADM of the Meteorological Service of Canada agrees with the recommendation.

Management Action
Our QMS already serves as the basis for a logic model and performance measurement strategy for the program. We will use the QMS core processes, sub-processes and metrics to generate a model that meets the departmental and Treasury Board standards for logic model development for the national program outcomes and we will implement program-level performance measurement and reporting.
Timeline Deliverables Responsible Party
March 31, 2015 Develop a logic model and a performance measurement strategy for hydrometric production and hydrometric data services. Director WSC, as supported by Director General (DG) Corporate Management Directorate (CMD)

Recommendation 2: Investigate and implement ways to improve the program’s understanding of user needs and demand trends in order to support a risk-based approach for the ongoing management of the network of gauging stations. To supplement the program’s current consultations with its primary users - its Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) partners in the National Hydrometric Program (NHP) - greater breadth and depth of understanding of demand and users will be necessary if the program is to continue to develop its products and services to ensure it maintains its relevance to the Crown under its obligation outlined in the Canada Water Act and other federal mandates.

Management Response to Recommendation 2

The ADM of the Meteorological Service of Canada agrees with the recommendation.

Management Action
Historically, the Water Survey of Canada (WSC) program held stakeholder engagement workshops and conducted surveys to collect information about stakeholder data and service requirements as well as the uses for hydrometric data. Our current Quality Management System (QMS) processes require regular stakeholder engagement to assess stakeholder requirements. Engagement of the provinces and territories is substantially met through the monthly teleconferences and annual meetings of the NAT and their sub-committees. Nonetheless, we can always improve and enhance our engagement interactions with the NAT and the broader stakeholder community through the revitalization of specific activities such as workshops and surveys, as well as the Canada Water Resources annual meeting. This approach will allow the program to meets its current obligation as part of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) risk assessment requirement. Moreover, the risk-based analysis on network design and hydrometric products and services will allow the program to ensure it is meeting its departmental obligations and priorities. Regular updates of the risk-based assessment will also allow the program to synchronize its monitoring priorities with departmental priorities.
Timeline Deliverables Responsible Party
March 31, 2015 Annual client satisfaction metrics will be rolled up and followed on an annual basis and will be reported to NAT (note: first one completed March 31, 2014). Director WSC
June 15, 2014 A plan for broader stakeholder and user engagement is being developed by the Weather and Environmental Monitoring (WEM) Directorate. Director Monitoring Strategies and Data Management (MSDM)
March 31, 2015 Develop a plan for recurring risk-based network assessment and review to meet departmental plans and priorities. Director WSC

Recommendation 3: Review the current approach to human resource planning and staffing for professional and management positions, and develop an integrated program-wide plan to guide the attraction, retention and deployment of such staff.Maintaining a sufficient level of professional (engineering and scientific) staff and staffing of management positions has been a persistent challenge for the program. The resulting gaps have affected the program’s ability to perform certain key tasks and produce outputs required under transboundary agreements. In this context, an integrated approach to tasks undertaken by professional staff may be more effective than having each region manage their activities and staffing independently. Moving beyond the existing strategic Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) People Plan, this would require integrated planning at a more operational level.

Management Response to Recommendation 3

The ADM of the MSC agrees with the recommendation.

Management Action
Under the WSC re-organization launched April 1, 2014, all the MSC hydrometric and hydrology activities have been consolidated under one director, where previously six directors shared in the delivery of the programs. This simplification in the organisational structure should translate into streamlined integrated business and HR planning. As part of the MSC People Plan, which provides branch-wide strategic direction for human resource planning, a human resource strategy has been developed to ensure the sustainability of the hydrological services within MSC.
Timeline Deliverable Responsible Party
December 31, 2014 Finalize and confirm a multi-year integrated HR plan for the national hydrological services to inform the Directorate’s annual staffing plan. Director WSC
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