Evaluation of the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of March 31, 2014

Regional Operations

Evaluation of the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan
Approval Date: 22-10-2013
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected Completion Date Program Response
1. Work with First Nations and Health Canada to develop a long-term strategy for investments in water and wastewater infrastructure and maintenance in order to address the pervasive and longstanding issues of water and infrastructure quality and maintenance. In response to the 2009-2011 National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater systems, AANDC worked with First Nations and other stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy to improve on reserve water and wastewater, resulting in a three pillar approach: 1) enhanced capacity building and operator training; 2) enforceable standards and protocols; and, 3) infrastructure investments. These priorities will continue under any future strategy. As FNWWAP ends on March 31, 2014, AANDC and Health Canada are actively engaged in exploring options for investments in water and wastewater infrastructure on reserve and will develop a strategy to guide activities beyond FNWWAP. March 31, 2014 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:


The First Nation Water and Wastewater Action Plan (FNWWAP) was extended by Economic Action Plan 2014 with further investments of $323.4 million over the next two years. This two-year extension will allow AANDC to work with First Nations and Health Canada in developing a longer-term strategy, at the same time as regulations are developed.

AES: Underway

The 2 year extension with additional funding has been approved. As a result, a new completion date has been set for 2016. AES recommend that this action item be re-evaluated at a future Committee to monitor the progress.
2. Ensure that the Regulations ensuing from the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act are developed with the engagement of First Nations, and that roles and responsibilities, both current and subsequent to the ensuing Regulations, are clearly understood and communicated. The department is committed to working with First Nation organizations, Provincial and Territorial governments to develop regulations, region by region, to support communities in bringing drinking water and wastewater systems into regulatory compliance. Support will be provided to First Nation organizations to develop regulatory proposals based on existing provincial and territorial regulations, with adaptations as appropriate. Develop nine sets of regulations by Fall 2015 AES: Underway

Originally there were 2 completion dates to develop 8 sets of regulations (2016 and 2019). The Program was modified to 1 completion date (Fall 2015) and added 1 set of regulations for a total of 9. AES is aware of this new completion date and will monitor the progress. AES recommend that this action item be re-evaluated at a future Committee meeting.
3. Engage First Nations to develop a concrete plan to address issues of recruitment, retention and capacity development of trained and skilled operators. As part of the response to the 2009-2011 National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems, AANDC developed a strategy with First Nations to reduce system risks. The top priority of that ongoing strategy is enhanced capacity building and operator training. AANDC agreed that trained and certified operators are key to reducing risk and helping to ensure safe drinking water in First Nation communities. To support First Nations in developing and retaining the capacity to operate and maintain water and wastewater systems. AANDC will provide funding for operator training and the Circuit Rider Training Program. AANDC will work with First Nations and First Nations technical organizations to identify barriers to develop measures to improve recruitment, retention, and capacity development of operators. Plan for measures to improve recruitment, retention, and capacity development created by March 31, 2014 Status: Completed – recommend to close

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:


Regional offices have implemented tools to support First Nations in recruiting and retaining operators, including salary top-ups and training. AANDC is funding the Circuit Rider Trainer Professional Association in 2014-15 to create new training materials for Circuit Riders to use with operators. In 2013-14, AANDC has produced and distributed technical guides and templates to develop the capacity of operators and support them in reducing management risks associated with the systems they operate, in areas of maintenance management, source water protection and emergency response. In 2014-15, Circuit Rider Trainers were invited to work with operators to apply the guides and help them develop and implement their own site-specific management plans. AANDC continues to provide funding to First Nations for Operator Training and to fund the Circuit Rider Training Program to provide on-site, hands-on training to operators of First Nation water and wastewater systems.

AES: Close – Complete

This action item has been fully implemented. The plan has been approved and the next phase will start this fiscal year. AES recommend to close this action item
4. Engage First Nations to facilitate their readiness to comply with Regulations ensuing from the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act; The department will work with First Nations to develop regulations region by region. Phased regulation development will provide time for the Government and First nations to bring infrastructure, capacity and oversight to the level required to comply. Develop nine sets of regulations by Fall 2015 AES: Underway

Originally there were 2 completion dates to develop 8 sets of regulations (2016 and 2019). The Program was modified 1 completion date (Fall 2015) and added 1 set of regulation for a total of 9. AES is aware of this new completion date and will monitor the progress. AES recommend that this action item be re-evaluated at a future Committee meeting.
5. Plan future investments in infrastructure with an equal emphasis on investing in the capacity to operate and maintain new and existing systems long-term, including program flexibility to outsource water and wastewater servicing where community-level capacity is not practical. As part of the response to the 2009-2011 National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems, AANDC developed a strategy with First Nations to reduce system risks. The top priority of that ongoing strategy us enhanced capacity building and operator training. AANDC provides operation and maintenance funding for community infrastructure, in accordance with the Capital Facility and Maintenance Program Operation and Maintenance Policy. Maintaining existing assets remains a higher priority than construction of new infrastructure. AANDC is updating the tools used to calculate operation and maintenance funding requirements and reforming the approach to operation and maintenance funding and minor capital into a coherent asset management approach. The operation and maintenance funding changes are being implemented in Ontario Region in 2013-2014 and will be rolled out to other regions over the next three years. Planning priority for capacity implemented April 1, 2012.

Asset management approach start date: April 1, 2013

1 additional region in 2014-15, 3 additional regions in 2015-16, 3 final regions in 2016-17.
AES: Underway

AES will monitor the progress and recommends that this action item be re-evaluated at a future Committee meeting.
6. Work with Health Canada to develop a robust Performance Measurement methodology that allows for the reliable periodic reporting of the stated outcomes of the FNWWAP including efficiency and comparability. AANDC will work with Health Canada to identify ways to improve performance measurement for the CFMP and to incorporate efficiency and comparability indicators Comparability-November 2013: Explore use of existing data to measure comparability as part of the process for updating the programs Performance Measurement Strategy. The updated strategy will be completed by March 2014 in accordance with the Departments Performance Measurement Strategy Action Plan.

Efficiency- This activity will be captured under the FNWWAP efficiency indicator currently under development in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines. The development of these indicators is in the testing phase and is expected to be completed for the 2015-16 reporting cycle.
Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:


A revised Performance Measurement Strategy for the CFMP will be presented to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee on April 25, 2014.

AES: Underway

The strategy will be presented at the April EPMRC. Will review after the April meeting.
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