Audit of the Income Assistance Program - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of March 31, 2014

ESDPP

Audit of the Income Assistance Program
Approval Date: 04-26-2013

Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. The Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) should ensure that an Implementation Strategy, that includes all of the key elements that are typical for a major change project such as Income Assistance reform, is prepared. We concur. Social Policy and Programs Branch, in collaboration with our counterparts at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada have already commenced the development of an interdepartmental Implementation Strategy to guide the roll out of the Income Assistance Reform initiative. The strategy is being viewed as an evergreen document that will be updated throughout the four year life of the reform initiative. The Strategy will address the overall vision/goals for reform, anticipated key results and timelines for implementation, and describe departmental (AANDC and HRSDC) responsibilities and commitments to advancing the strategy. The strategy will also address stakeholder engagement, communications, and management accountability/performance expectations. Draft Strategy by April 2013.

Updated Strategy by June 2013
Status: Request to Close (Completed)

Update/rationale:
As of 31/03/2014


A comprehensive Implementation Strategy, through the development of separate documents which address key implementation issues, timelines, and deliverables, has been developed. AANDC and ESDC continue to work collaboratively on program implementation.

Key elements supporting the Implementation Strategy include:
  • The Governance Project Charter was signed by both departments;
  • The direction, accountability and expectations have been set;
  • The Joint Performance Measurement Strategy;
  • AANDC-ESDC Data Sharing MOU (in progress);
  • Reporting will include anticipated key results performance expectations;
  • An approved communication strategy and engagement strategy addresses the stakeholder engagement; and
  • The Key dates, Information Circular and other working documents are updated as required.
AES: Implemented. The recommendation will be closed.
2.The Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) should ensure that a National Income Assistance Program Directive, at an appropriate level of detail to support the consistent application of practices across the Regions in the management of the program, is prepared. The National Income Assistance Program Directive should provide clear and concise direction to support effective and efficient governance, management and administration, monitoring and compliance of the Income Assistance program that is delivered consistently across all Regions. The Directive should be communicated to all regions to ensure that expectations are clear and understood. We concur. As part of its five-year change management agenda for improving the management and delivery of AANDC’s 5 social programs the Social Policy and Programs Branch had already planned for the development of a Social Programs Directive that would include the Income Assistance Program. Development of the Directive is slated for 2013-2014 and will provide broad direction with respect to how the programs are to be governed, managed and administered. The Directive will be shared in draft with regions before being finalized. The final Directive will be communicated to all regions and will be made available on-line. Draft Directive by September 2013

Final Directive by December 2013
Status: Request to Close (Completed)

Update/rationale:
As of 31/03/2014


The National Income Assistance Program - Information Circular, regarding the Enhanced Service Delivery, including the background, direction and other reference documents is finalized. The regions can distribute the materials to the ESD providers in advance of the online inclusion to the National Social Program Manual.

The Social Programs - National Manual will be posted in Q1 2014.

AES: Implemented. The recommendation will be closed.
3.The Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) should ensure that performance measurement targets, linked to the IA reform Implementation Strategy and overall IA program expected outcomes, as identified in the Performance Measurement Strategy, are established, communicated and tracked on a consistent basis. We concur. Social Policy and Programs Branch and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada are currently working to develop a joint (horizontal) Income Assistance Reform Performance Measurement Strategy. The Strategy will include a logic model, key performance targets, indicators, and data sources. Targets and results will be identified and tracked on a regular basis and results will be communicated to stakeholders as well as the public according to approved interdepartmental guidelines. Draft PMS by March 31, 2013

Approved PMS before June 2013
Update/rationale:
As of 30/06/2013


The On-Reserve Income Assistance Reform Performance Measurement Strategy was approved April 25, 2013 by the departmental Evaluation Performance Measurement and Review Committee (EPMRC). Annual updates will be provided to EPMRC. Human Resources and Skill Development Canada is in the process of securing senior-level approvals of the document.

AES: Fully Implemented. The recommendation will be closed. Closed.
4. The Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) should ensure that roles and responsibilities within AANDC and between AANDC and HRSDC are clarified to help manage coordination, governance and oversight for Income Assistance reform. This should include the establishment of governance committees with clear terms of reference. We concur. An interdepartmental policy and program accountability structure is being developed and will be operationalized by June 2013. This structure includes defined oversight bodies with representatives from both departments at both the headquarters and regional levels (as well as representation from other implicated departments and central agencies). This structure will provide enhanced governance and coordination capacity for IA reform implementation, which will be complementary to both departments’ existing program and fiscal accountability processes. Policy and Program Accountability Structure defined by March 31, 2013

Structure to be operationalized by June 2013
Status: Request to Close (Completed)

Update/rationale:
As of 30/06/2013


A joint three-level Governance Structure between Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada was developed and approved as part of the May 30, 2013 Treasury Board Submission.

The Oversight Committee was formed in April 2013, and the Program Review and Advisory Committee was formed shortly thereafter. Both committees have clear terms of reference. Regional Implementation Teams were also formed by June 2013.

AANDC and HRSDC collaborated on an interdepartmental Program Charter, which was authorized by the Oversight Committee and is being recommended for approval by respective Deputy Ministers.

Committees, terms of reference, the joint work on the Performance Measurement Strategy, and the Information Sharing MOU, provide clarity of roles and responsibilities.

AES: Fully Implemented. The recommendation will be closed. Closed.
 
 
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