Evaluation of Indian Moneys, Estates and Treaty Annuities - Follow-up Report Status Update as of June 30, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of June 30, 2014

RIA

Evaluation of Indian Moneys, Estates and Treaty Annuities
Approval Date: 04-25-2013

Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. Explore the development of a workable alternative to Band Moneys that would provide First Nations access to funds in the CRF outside the constraints of the Indian Act and present proposed alternative to the Strategic Policy Committee. After exploring options regarding Indian Moneys, RIA has drafted an optional policy allowing for the transfer of all of a First Nation's current and future capital moneys pursuant to Section 64(1)(k) of the Indian Act. The policy will be finalized in 2013. December 2013 Status: Completed - Closed

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

  • Policy drafted.
  • Once approvals are provided, AANDC will be inviting First Nations to comment on the proposed policy through the Departmental website in Q1 of 2014-15 fiscal year.
  • Implementation of the policy is targeted for 2014-15.
AES: Closed
2. Any changes to Band Moneys and alternatives, be designed to increase the transparency of Band moneys expenditures to members, better supports access to capital for economic development and promote greater self-sufficiency. The new 64(1)(k) policy will include requirements that trust arrangements provide for reporting to membership on the management of the trust. December 2013 Status: Completed - Closed

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

  • The draft policy includes reporting requirements to membership.
  • Once approvals are provided, AANDC will be inviting First Nations to comment on the proposed policy through the Departmental website in Q1 of the 2014-15 fiscal year.
  • This online engagement approach aligns with the Government of Canada’s commitment to increase transparency.
The input gathered during the online engagement period will be used to finalize the new policy.

AES: Closed
3. That AANDC revise the Manual for the Administration of Band Moneys to reflect current policy and modern practices. The new 64(1)(k) policy will include a requirement that trust arrangements have guidelines on capital encroachment.

IMETA will ensure that policies, directives and procedures are aligned with the Indian Act.
December 2013 Status: Completed - Closed

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • The Manual for the Administration of Band Moneys (MABM) has been updated and approved for translation.
  • Upon completion of translation, MABM will be posted on AANDC website as per Departmental web-content policy and procedures.


AES: Closed
4. Facilitate a discussion with First Nations on how to report back to members in a clear and useful manner on Band Moneys expenditures. The new 64(1)(k) policy will include requirements that trust arrangements include provisions regarding accountability and reporting to the membership for moneys expended out of the trust. December 2013 Status: Completed - Closed

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

  • Draft policy includes accountability and reporting requirements.


AES: Closed
5. Develop policies and procedures for Living Estates to identify dependent adults and confirm AANDC jurisdiction. The Manual for the Administration of Property Pursuant to Section 51 of the Indian Act was updated and circulated in August 2012.  The new edition clarifies how to determine and confirm AANDC jurisdiction. Completed  
RIA, in collaboration with regions, will pursue the development of information sharing agreements with provinces and territories with a view to clarifying jurisdictional issues and identifying dependent adults who are subject to the Minister's legislative authority. March 2014 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • Joint RO-RIA working group has been struck.
  • Terms of reference and workplan have been established and agreed to by working group members.
  • Regional practices and operations are being reviewed and compared nationally.
  • Potential for information-sharing agreements with provinces is being explored.
  • Community of practice will be established following the completion of the working group final report.
  • The working group meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss recommendations from this evaluation and review current practice and review policies and procedures to address identified challenges in service delivery as needed. To this end, the creation of a new directive based on "Jordan's principle" to clarify roles and provide clear guidance in determining jurisdiction for living estates. 
  • A GCpedia Estates Community of Practice hub has been created and is currently being used to facilitate quick and effective communication and collaboration between RO and RIA including spaces for the working group, the national training group, and other relevant information and links / resources.
AES: Good progress made. Follow-up report in Q3 2014-15.
The joint RIA-RO working group will establish a community of practice on living and decedent estates to identify implementation strategies to support the application of policies and procedures outlined in the manual on an ongoing basis. The community of practice will also be mandated to explore alternatives to the estates regime with a view to improve services to clients. Online options will be explored such as using GC Pedia, video conferencing and other available technologies. March 2014
6. Examine the appropriateness of the "administrator of last resort" policy for Living Estates. The new edition of the Manual for the Administration of Property Pursuant to Section 51 of the Indian Act provides clearer direction with respect to AANDC's responsibility to monitor the administration of property of a dependent adult when a non-departmental administrator is appointed. Completed Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • The working group meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss recommendations from this evaluation and review current practice and policy to develop new policies and procedures to better address identified challenges in service delivery. Clear guidelines related to "the administrator of last resort" policy for living estates are being developed, and alternative service delivery models are being explored. 
AES: Good progress made. Follow-up report in Q3 2014-15.

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:
  • Existing agreements are being reviewed and evaluated for the possible development of bi-lateral agreements between regions and provinces.
Upon further review of the agreements and a general review of statistics for estates cases conducted by RIA in April – May 2014, it was determined that new agreements would need to be developed on a case-by-case basis based on the diversity of laws and practices among provinces and territories.  Partnerships with other stakeholders are also being explored.

AES: Good progress made. Follow-up report in Q3 2014-15.
The joint RIA-RO working group will assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the policy and develop implementation strategies to guide regional officers. March 2014
The working group will also review existing agreements between various regions (Manitoba, British Columbia and Northwest Territories) and their respective Provincial Public Guardians and Trustees as well as other potential alternatives. The working group will explore the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of encouraging the development of similar agreements or alternatives nationally. March 2014
7. Examine IMETA HQ's relationship with regions in order to provide more consistent and timely support for the administration of Living Estates. Establish monthly training and information teleconferences between IMETA and regions focused on specific topics. June 2013 Status: Completed - Closed

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:
  • National training sessions for all RO and RIA employees engaged with estates business have been held monthly since April 2014 (2 hours). Training is held by teleconference and the use of Adobe Connect meeting software which has enabled improved collaboration and communication. This allows training sessions to achieve multiple-goals simultaneously, including: i) training on the administration of estates; ii) review of training and policy materials; and iii) the sharing of best practices among regions. 
AES: Closed.

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • Regional practices and operations are being reviewed and compared nationally by the joint RIA-RO working group.
  • Training sessions also involve the review of training materials, and the sharing of best practices and for RO to provide annotation / commentary on all of the areas of estates work as the relevant sections come up for training.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report in Q3.
The joint RIA-RO working group will review the management systems and procedures in place in each region, identify best practices and draw upon this analysis to propose additional strategies to resolve the communication gap between regions and IMETA. Timely and consistent communications will then be supported and maintained through the community of practice on living and decedent estates on an ongoing basis. March 2014
8. Ensure a standard approach to data entry into the Estates Reporting System in order to generate more reliable data for program management. IMETA is currently working with the Indian Registration System (IRS) re-development team with a view to preparing the Estates Reporting System for integration in the new IRS system. Ongoing Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:
  • IMETA is working with the Indian Registration System team on the IRS (re-development) to ensure a smooth integration of ERS into the new Indian Registration System.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report in Q3.

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:
  • Development of guidelines for using the ERS as an effective case management, reporting and monitoring tool will be a focus of the joint RIA-RO working group in late 2014-15 fiscal year. 
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q4 2014-15.
The joint RIA-RO working group will identify areas requiring enhancements to enable regional officers and AANDC managers to use the Estates Reporting System as an effective case management, reporting and monitoring tool.  The working group will mandate the community of practice on living and decedent estates to explore strategies to encourage a national standard approach to data entry. March 2014
9. Revisit the policy of securing assets in Decedent Estates to identify and mitigate risks such as addressing delays in the notification of death and possible policy conflicts with existing cultural practices. The joint RIA-RO working group will develop strategies to mitigate the risks related to delays of notification of death and other impediments to securing assets. March 2014 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • The joint RIA-RO working group has approved a schedule of issues to review prioritizing areas highlighted by this evaluation report uploaded and updated on GCpedia.
  • Development of strategies to mitigate the risks related to delays of notification of death and other impediments to securing assets will be a focus of the joint RIA-RO working group in mid 2014-15 fiscal year. 
  • Development of the new IRS will also help mitigate these risks and RIA is working to continue to be involved in its development.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q4 2014-15.
10. Develop a strategic approach to capacity development to increase effectiveness and efficiency of Decedent Estates with appropriate measurements to monitor success. The joint RIA-RO working group will draw upon current examples of capacity building initiatives, such as the Memorandum of Understanding with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, and wills workshops, to explore the feasibility of developing a sustainable and accessible approach to capacity development for estates management in First Nations communities nationally. December 2013 Status: Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:
  • Development of a strategic approach to capacity development to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of decedent estates will be a focus of the joint RIA-RO working group in mid 2014-15 fiscal year.
Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • The joint RIA-RO working group has approved a schedule of issues to review prioritizing areas highlighted by this evaluation report (updated on GCpedia as needed.
  • The working group directed RIA to conduct a review of regional statistics and data collection. The results of interviews with directors and estates managers across all regions found a variety of documents as well as ERS being used. The working group recommended a review of the various proprietary data collection documents in the regions and the ERS data fields to produce a new list of operationally relevant indicators and measures to be implemented into the new IRS system to standardize and improve the quality of estates data.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q4 2014-15.
11. Examine the appropriateness of the "administrator of last resort" policy in the administration of Decedent Estates. The joint RIA-RO working group will engage with Land and Economic Development to assess the appropriateness of the "administrator of last resort policy" and explore strategies to ensure the proper legal distribution of the reserve land assets of an estate. March 2014 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

RIA is working closely with LED on the joint RIA-RO working group goals and targets and is developing tools to support regions in assessing and applying the "administrator of last resort" policy in light of regional experiences and practices.
  • The working group meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss recommendations from this evaluation and review current practice and policy to develop new policies and procedures to better address identified challenges in service delivery. Clear guidelines related to "the administrator of last resort" policy for decedent estates are being developed, and alternative service delivery models are being explored. To this end, the creation of new policies / directives is being discussed, including one which would address and provide clear guidance on how to determine jurisdiction in difficult cases
LED is a member of the working group meetings and has access to all meeting minutes and agendas.

AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q3 2014-15
12. Explore the feasibility of adopting and implementing the British Columbia Minimum Value Policy for Decedent Estates on a national scale. Finalize and implement the British Columbia Minimal Value Estates and Expedited Section 50 Sale policies for Decedent Estates on a national scale. Completed Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • Regional practices and operations are being reviewed and compared nationally by the joint RIA-RO working group.
  • Sharing of specific procedures used by different regions is highly encouraged and space is provided for this during monthly national training sessions and online at the Estates Community GCpedia pages. Some regions  have begun sharing their procedures with the group.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q3 2014-15
Other tools identified by and based on best regional practices are currently undergoing a risk analysis. The joint RIA-RO working group will review the outcome of this analysis and recommend strategies for implementation. March 2014
13. Revisit and revise as appropriate the Treaty Annuities Payment Experience to better serve regional needs. Since they are better placed to recruit individuals to meet their needs, regional offices will be responsible for managing the Treaty Annuity Payment Experience. A letter to the regional directors general was sent on October 19, 2012, to advise the regions that RIA will no longer be involved in the TAPE. Completed CLOSED
14. Explore options for dealing with resource shortages during the treaty payment season, including making participation in treaty events mandatory to regular duties of all Individual Affairs staff. A workshop with regions and other sectors was held in January 2012 to identify current issues with respect to the effective delivery of treaty annuities to First Nations individuals.

The joint RIA-RO working group will review and confirm key issues identified and recommend sustainable solutions as well as explore alternatives to the current service delivery model.
March 2014 Status: Underway

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

  • Development of a Community of Practice is underway and is planned to be initiated in Q1 of the 2014-15 fiscal year before the treaty annuity events begin in late April 2014.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q3 2014-15
15. Refine the TPS data collection in order to facilitate more effective program management and synchronize the TPS with the Estates Reporting System in order to improve the reliability of the data overall. IMETA has begun engaging the IRS re-development team with a view to preparing the TPS for integration in the new IRS integrated platform. Ongoing Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2014:
  • IMETA is working with the Indian Registration System team on the IRS (re-development) to ensure a smooth integration of TPS into the new Indian Registration System.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q3 2014-15

Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:
  • Development of guidelines for using the TPS effectively to better support service delivery in the regions will be addressed by the joint RIA-RO working group in late 2014-15 fiscal year.  A working group meeting to occur following the 2014 Treaty season.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q4 2014-15.
The joint RIA-RO working group will identify necessary improvements to better support service delivery in the regions and support management in their reporting requirements. March 2014
16. Coordinate regular forums among Indian Moneys, Estates and Treaty Annuities regional and headquarters staff to provide opportunities for information exchange, sharing of best practices and lessons learned. The joint RIA-RO working group will recommend approaches to improve the communications between IMETA and the regions. The community of practice on treaty annuity payments will be mandated to foster and maintain sustainable, timely and consistent communications. It will also promote the sharing of best practices with a view to developing standardized approaches to the administration of treaty annuity payments. March 2014 Status: Underway

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014:

  • Development of improved communications between IMETA and the regions will be the addressed by the working group throughout its mandate.
  • Development of a Community of Practice is underway and is planned to be initiated in Q1 of the 2014-15 fiscal year before the treaty annuity events begin in late April 2014.
  • The success of the working group in relation to estates related recommendations and the monthly national estates training, as well as the deployment of the estates community hub on GCpedia will be reviewed and considered as a model for Indian Moneys and Treaty Annuities.
AES: Good progress to date. Follow-up report due in Q3 2014-15
 
 
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