Management Response and Action Plan - Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch - Audit of the Management of Scientific Research - March 2013

Recommendations Management Response and Planned Management Action Deliverables Expected Completion Date Responsibility
Recommendation 1

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch implement an enhanced branch level governance for scientific research supported by the program governance.
Management agrees with the recommendation.

The Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch had made significant strides in engaging Branch management through the establishment of the Branch Research Governance Committee, which reports to the Assistant Deputy Minister and the Branch Executive Committee, in October of 2012. The mandate of the Committee is to provide advice and broad procedural oversight on Branch science governance processes by:
  • reviewing governance practices for all research, monitoring and surveillance and research-related activities within the Branch;
  • developing a framework of recommended best practices for Branch research governance;
  • providing a forum for ongoing communication on governance practices in the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch;
  • providing a forum for communication on priorities and results of research for information sharing and to identify areas of overlap and strategic collaboration;
  • supporting and responding to recommendations resulting from audits and programmatic peer review; and
  • establishing ad hoc working groups, as required.
Terms of reference for Branch Research Governance Committee (BRGC) Completed Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM)- Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch (HECSB)
Work Plan/Forward Agenda for BRGC Completed
Framework of best practices for planning, prioritization and application of research activities November 2013
Recommendation 2

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch build on existing practices to:
  • define the spectrum of  scientific research;
  • detail scientific research plans; and
  • monitor and report expenditures and personnel devoted to scientific research.
Management agrees with the recommendation.

The Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch supports the establishment of Branch and program specific research plans. The Branch will continue to utilize the Integrated Planning Performance Reporting System (IPPRS) to track the allocation of funding each planning cycle.

Effort has been made to utilize IPPRS to track program level research initiatives (for example, Clean Air Regulatory Agenda (CARA), Genomics Research and Development Initiative (GRDI), Chemicals Management Plan (CMP)), within the detailed Directorate plans. This has proven helpful in facilitating the Branch's ability to improve the accuracy of performance tracking and reporting.

The appropriate forum for the discussion of Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch scientific research plans is the Branch Research Governance Committee (BRGC). A key component of the Committee's efforts is to establish a formal, Branch-wide definition of research. All plans will be held to the Committee's standards, mandate and authority. The BRGC also serves as the appropriate forum to facilitate knowledge translation, transfer and exchange efforts across the Branch.
HECSB definitions of scientific research March 2013 ADM - HECSB
Program-specific research plans March 2014
Establish mechanism for reporting to BRGC and to senior management Completed
Monitoring framework December 2014
Recommendation 3

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch extend the performance measures to all its scientific research.
Management agrees with the recommendation.

The new BRGC has a mandate related to the development of such a performance management framework. Previous efforts are being examined as case studies to help design and steer this initiative. It will be important to ensure that any performance measurement framework established at the Branch level does not duplicate or conflict with program level performance measurement frameworks such as under the Chemicals Management Plan or the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda.
Research performance measures December 2014 ADM - HECSB
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