ARCHIVED - Summary Report on the Second Alternative Service Delivery Policy Consultation

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As part of its work in developing an Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Policy, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) consulted with stakeholders to seek their feedback on the draft policy prior to its implementation.

A consultation was conducted from April 20, 2015 to June 19, 2015 and was open to the general public, government employees, industry associations, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders. Participants had the option to complete the survey online or submit their responses via e-mail and by mail.

Participants were asked to comment on three areas of the ASD Policy:

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Guiding Principles
  3. Policy Requirements

The report summarizes the input received from the second consultation.

About the Respondents

In total, 220 participants completed the consultation. The participants were asked to provide some general information about themselves and/or their organization, which is summarized in tables 1 through 4 below.

Table 1: Category of respondents
Category of respondents Total responses Distribution
Member of the general public 20 9.1%
Business 67 30.5%
Industry association 26 11.8%
Municipal government 0 0.0%
Provincial government 7 3.2%
Federal government 74 33.6%
Non-government organization (NGO) 9 4.1%
Other 17 7.7%
Table 2: Location of respondents
Location of respondents Total responses Distribution
Alberta 10 7.4%
British Columbia 22 16.3%
Manitoba 8 5.9%
New Brunswick 6 4.4%
Newfoundland and Labrador 2 1.5%
Northwest Territories 0 0.0%
Nova Scotia 6 4.4%
Nunavut 0 0.0%
Ontario 68 50.4%
Prince Edward Island 2 1.5%
Quebec 2 1.5%
Saskatchewan 6 4.4%
Yukon 1 0.7%
Other (USA) 2 1.5%
Table 3: Respondents currently directly affected by CFIA programs and services
Status Total responses Distribution
Affected 115 85.2%
Not affected 11 8.1%
Unsure 9 6.7%
Table 4: Respondents who use programs or services provided by an alternative service provider recognized by the CFIA
Status Total responses Distribution
Affected 38 28.6%
Not affected 69 51.9%
Unsure 26 19.5%

What We Heard

ASD Policy Statement

The first question in the survey asked for comments or concerns on the draft ASD Policy Statement. Nearly 60% of all respondents had no comments or concerns. The main concerns presented by federal government respondents include:

  • maintaining effective oversight
  • foreign ownership
  • conflict of interest
  • potential offloading or compromising essential CFIA services
  • impact on federal jobs

While the majority of respondents had no concerns, certain business / industry associations raised the following issues:

  • offloading or compromising essential CFIA services
  • potential deregulation
  • increased burden and costs of compliance
  • conflict resolution between responsible parties
  • consistency of program delivery

Respondents from all affiliations requested further detail and information about: specific services that will be affected by the policy, approval process, training, compliance, periodic review, and conflict resolution and ongoing dialogue between responsible parties.

ASD Guiding Principles

For the guiding principles of the draft ASD Policy, most had no concerns or responses, though 17% provided comments. Of these, some supported the intent of the draft guiding principles, while others thought they lacked detail and led to further questions. Of those that had questions, the majority requested further clarification on: values and ethics; consistency and transparency; and possible increase in costs.

Respondents from the "Other" category suggested that the CFIA ensure that prices of services offered by 3rd parties remain competitive.

ASD Policy Requirements

The third question dealt with policy requirements, where half of all respondents had no comments or concerns. Of the 23% who commented, many felt the requirements were quite comprehensive, while a few thought that they were too vague and require further consideration, particularly during implementation. Some said further detail is needed, perhaps in supporting guidance, on how the CFIA will assess the qualifications or external parties, conduct oversight and review existing ASD arrangements.

A few respondents noted that agreements should be bilingual where possible, developed in collaboration with relevant users, provide performance indicators, and support ongoing competitiveness.

Additional Comments

On the last question, "Is anything missing from the draft ASD Policy", 75% responded "no" or "nil".

Some underscored the need to allocate resources for policy implementation and have a commitment from all Branches to deliver on roles and responsibilities in support of ASD arrangements to guarantee the program's success. Others highlighted opportunities on electronic systems interoperability and reporting from CFIA and ASD providers, and the need to place limits on the number and scope of ASD arrangements in certain sectors. There was a suggestion to ensure that ASD arrangements with industry are reviewed by these stakeholders as well as foreign governments to avoid duplication of effort and meet acceptable international standards.

Conclusion

The CFIA would like to thank all participants for their time and feedback, which was taken into account throughout the development of the ASD Policy, as well as the supporting guidance and implementation material.

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