Results at a Glance - Evaluation of PMRA's Activities in Support of the Minor Use Pesticide Program 2013-14 to 2019-20
The Minor Use Pesticides Program was launched in 2003 as a joint initiative between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The Program aims to increase grower competitiveness by improving access to crop protection tools and technologies for minor crops. A minor use refers to a pest control product for which the anticipated volume of sales is not sufficient to persuade a manufacturer to register and sell the product in Canada.
Based on the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding between AAFC and Health Canada, PMRA receives $4-million annually.
The evaluation assessed the activities delivered by Health Canada's PMRA in support of the Minor Use Pesticides Program managed by AAFC.
The evaluation focused primarily on the effectiveness and efficiency of program delivery from 2013-14 to 2019-20.
- Document and file review
- Financial data review
- Key informant interviews
- Data analysis
What the Evaluation Found
The evaluation found that PMRA has successfully met its MOU objectives and has exceeded performance targets, contributing to an increase in the availability of minor use pesticides to growers. However, the number of submissions received per year far exceeds the performance target, creating an increasing number of applications in queue to be completed. Considering that funding has been static for the past 17 years, any increase in program activities may have implications for program resources.
PMRA's activities (reviewing submissions and making regulatory decisions) are considered to be evidence-based and a credible source of scientific expertise and knowledge.
As a whole, stakeholders felt the MUPP program is of great value with a good reputation and a world leader in the minor use pesticides international field.
Some areas of improvement were noted around:
- the need to re-examine performance targets to better reflect the time and level of effort required to assess incoming submissions which have become increasingly complex due to global, environmental and agricultural changes (e.g., the emergence of unique crops and new technologies); and
- the need to increase transparency and communication related to the review and approval process to better address stakeholder expectations.
- As the level of complexity increases due to new technologies, new crops, multiple submissions, as well as joint reviews, PMRA should determine the length of time and. level of effort (e.g., HR capacity) required to complete and process submissions received.
Response: PMRA will Analyze time tracking data to determine level of effort (time spent) to review submissions and consider future service standards based on level of effort review.
- Increase communication and awareness both internally and externally to address a perceived lack of transparency with respect to PMRA's processes for reviewing submissions, and to clarify and manage stakeholder expectations.
Response: PMRA will develop and share three quarterly submission status reports with the F/P/T Committee, publish an update to URMULE Regulatory Directive DIR-2001-01, as well as review and finalize the Minor Use Program process flow chart for inclusion in DIR-2001-01.
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