2017-2018 Corporate Risk Profile

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Table of contents

 

 

Introduction

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) supports Indigenous peoples (First-Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to:

The Department has a mandate to support Canada's Indigenous and northern peoples in the pursuit of healthy and sustainable communities, and broader economic and social development objectives. Efforts are guided by the Department's mission statement: Working together to make Canada a better place for Indigenous and northern peoples and communities.

INAC is faced with many challenges and opportunities as it delivers its mandate and contributes to the achievement of the Government of Canada's priorities and commitments. INAC funds or delivers programs and services to diverse groups of people and individuals who have varied and distinct needs and priorities. Those programs and services are delivered to communities large and small, urban and remote, all across the country. Most of INAC's services are delivered through partnerships with Indigenous communities, the provinces and territories, Indigenous organizations and organizations in the North.

INAC's responsibilities are largely shaped by unique demographic and geographic factors, as well as centuries of Canadian history that include the signing and implementation of treaties. At the same time, the changing national, social, economic and political landscapes strongly influence INAC priorities and delivery of services. Given that the Department operates in a complex and continually changing environment, INAC is faced with a variety of risks. In order to mitigate these risks and achieve departmental objectives, INAC employs a range of risk mitigation and management practices.

 

 

Risk Management Approach

A well-defined governance structure has been established within INAC to implement and sustain effective risk management practices throughout department. The governance structures and processes for risk management are set out in detail in the INAC Integrated Risk Management Framework and embedded within INAC's governance structures.

Consistent with the requirements of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Framework for the Management of Risk, the Deputy Minister (DM) is primarily responsible for the management of corporate risks and the effective implementation of risk management practices within the Department. The Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADM) and Regional Directors General (RDG) are responsible for the identification, assessment, mitigation, monitoring and reporting of risks at the program and sector/region levels, and are supported by their respective Directors General (DG) and Associate Regional Directors General (ARDG). 

Furthermore, ADM-level Risk Leads are assigned responsibility by the Deputy Minister for each corporate risk and are tasked with: co-ordinating mitigating actions across the department and with external partners and stakeholders and; reporting to senior management on a regular basis to consider the need to reassess risk levels and adjust mitigation strategies.

Responsibility for identifying, assessing and mitigating corporate risks is shared by managers at all levels.  Responsibility for the oversight function within the department, including oversight of the effectiveness of risk management, rests with the Deputy Minister who is supported by the Associate Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Chief Risk Officer, the Operations Committee, the Senior Management Committee (SMC) and the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC).

The cornerstones of INAC's risk management approach are the Corporate Risk Profile (CRP), program risk profiles, and region/sector risk assessments that serve as primary risk management tools at each level.  At the Corporate level, the CRP and Corporate Business Planning processes serve as the primary means of assessing and planning to respond to corporate risks.  Although the CRP process is facilitated by the Risk Management Centre, the annual update of the CRP is championed and led by the Deputy Minister and the Chief Risk Officer.  The results of the CRP feed directly into the corporate business planning process of the department, informing the establishment of both priorities and plans. 

 

 

The Development of the INAC Corporate Risk Profile

The purpose of the CRP is to present a point-in-time overview and assessment of the most significant risks which could impair achievement of the Department's mandate. The INAC CRP was updated in December 2016 in order to allow sectors to integrate risk mitigation activities into the Report on Plans and Priorities and the Corporate Business Plan.

The INAC CRP update process for fiscal year 2017-18 included a thorough review and discussion by Operations Committee members, chaired by the Deputy Minister, of all the corporate risks designated as high risk.  This discussion allowed senior management to re-examine the assessments as well as to discuss the validity and comprehensiveness of proposed mitigation measures.  Risk Leads subsequently updated the risks based on the results of the discussion. 

The CRP update process included the following:

INAC's CRP for FY 2017-18 reflects the Department's most significant external and internal risks related to its broader, longer-term mandate, as well as strategic and policy risks.  After careful consideration by INAC's senior and executive management, eight risk categories were included in the 2017-18 CRP,  three external risks and five internal risks.  All risks were thoroughly reviewed and revised by senior management to refine the risks, the risk drivers and the impacts, and to ensure the current realities of INACs internal and external operating environments were well reflected. Below are INAC's assessed corporate risks for 2017-2018:

  1. Legal Risk (High)
  2. HR Capacity Risk (High)
  3. Environmental (High)
  4. Indigenous Relationship Risk (High)
  5. Implementation Risk (High)
  6. External Relationship Risk (Moderate)
  7. Information for Decision-Making Risk (Moderate)
  8. Government Partnerships Risk (Moderate)

Notice to the reader:  The information found in the following Corporate Risk Summaries is based on information and considerations available at the time of the risk assessment. The risk mitigation activities are reviewed by the Risk Leads and presented to the Operations Committee for discussion and updating on an annual basis.

 

 

Descriptions of the External Risks

(1) Environmental Risk (High) - There is a risk that INAC may not be able to manage environmental issues and liabilities in a timely and cost-effective manner. "Environmental Risk" refers to the risk to the Department posed by human activities that affect the environment, including economic development activities (such as new infrastructure construction, agriculture, mining, and forestry), waste disposal (such as wastewater and solid waste), and environmental processes such as climate change.

(2) Legal Risk (High) - There is a risk that INAC may not be able to effectively plan for, or respond to, legal risks that affect the activities of the department. "Legal Risk" recognizes that legal agreements and court decisions of the past, legal actions currently in progress; and potential litigation and contingent liabilities, have a significant impact on the activities of the Department. INAC must invest substantial effort into foreseeing, planning for, and responding to, legal decisions to ensure it is responsive to legal change.

(3) Indigenous Relationship Risk (High) - There is a risk that INAC may not be able to build and sustain strong, productive and respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples, communities, organizations and governments to contribute to the delivery of its mandate, and that there will be a lack of common understanding as to the nature of the relationships and related expectations. "Indigenous Relationship Risk" relates to fostering and maintaining the broad spectrum of relationships with Indigenous communities, persons and their representative organizations. To truly succeed in the long-term, INAC must renew its relationship with Indigenous Peoples and continue to build open and trusted partnerships that take into account a fast changing context and that are based on efficient service delivery, recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. 

 

 

Descriptions of the Internal Risks

(4) Implementation Risk (High) - There is a risk that INAC may not be able lack the ability and capacity to successfully implement new initiatives, while sustaining current program delivery. "Implementation Risk" refers to the systems, practices and governance needed during the execution phase of an initiative in order to generate value and benefit. Successful implementation is a demonstration to the public and intended beneficiaries of the competence and resolve of the Department. 

(5) Human Resources Capacity Risk (High) - There is a risk that INAC managers may not be able to attract, develop and retain qualified, experienced and representative human resources in a timely manner. "HR Capacity Risk" speaks to the fundamental need to accomplish goals through people. INAC must succeed in attracting, developing and retaining qualified, experienced and representative Human Resources in a timely manner.

(6) Government Partnership Risk (Moderate) – There is a risk that INAC and its federal government partners may not effectively and efficiently collaborate in the development and delivery of policies and programs. "Government Partnership Risk" recognizes that if a whole-of-government approach is not taken to Indigenous and Northern issues, federal partners will assume these issues are the sole responsibility of INAC, potentially undermining cross-government policy development, program design and implementation improvements, operational efficiency, as well as efforts toward reduce the administrative burden for recipients.

(7) Information for Decision-Making Risk (Moderate) - There is a risk that INAC may not make sufficient progress to improve access to timely, pertinent, consistent and accurate information to support planning/policy, resource allocation and programming decisions, monitoring/oversight, and to fulfill accountability, legal and statutory obligations. "Information for Decision-Making Risk" acknowledges the critical importance of having information that is reliable, timely, pertinent, consistent and accurate to support good decision making and to ensure legal and statutory obligations are met.

(8) External Partnership Risk (Moderate) - There is a risk that INAC and the provinces, territories, local government, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations may not effectively and efficiently partner with INAC to contribute to the delivery of its mandate. "External Partnership Risk" recognizes that strong and effective relationships with external partners facilitate the Department's ability to deliver programs, services and funding agreements and that in the absence of effective external relationships, these activities could negatively affect social and economic outcomes in Indigenous and northern communities.

Corporate Risk Summaries

Environmental Risk: There is a risk that INAC may be unable to manage environmental issues and liabilities in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Updating existing policies, guidelines, and tools to address, where applicable: water, wastewater, solid waste, housing, and infrastructure.
  • Continuing to draft regulations to support the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act.
  • Continuing to negotiate emergency management Memorandum of Understandings with provinces (assisting communities to cope with increasing numbers/ severity of emergencies as a result of climate change).
  • Improving waste infrastructure and management on reserve.
  • Improving northern regulatory regimes in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of the departmental policy framework for environmental protection and reclamation for mines under federal jurisdiction.
  • Working with Environment and Climate Change Canada to develop guidelines and tools to enable First Nations to better implement the Species at Risk Act and Migratory Bird Convention Act on reserve.
  • Developing resource management partnership frameworks with territorial and Indigenous groups to facilitate sound resource management plans and decisions north of 60.
  • Participating in environmental assessments of proposed projects in the territories.
  • Implementing new climate change adaptation programs. Aligning community projects with climate- informed structural and non-structural mitigation decisions.
  • Continuing to work with Environment and Climate Change Canada to support continued assessment and remediation of contaminated sites.
  • Maintaining robust governance structures and processes for its contaminated sites, which will include implementing the site stabilization plan for Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories to address urgent environmental risks.
  • Developing a strategy to address orphan wells.
  • Developing strategies with a focus on reducing reliance on diesel in northern, remote and isolated communities.

Infrastructure and Capacity

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Implementing the Budget 2016 essential infrastructure engagements

Amendment of environmental legislation

 

Legal Risk: There is a risk that INAC may not be able to effectively plan for, or respond to, legal risks that impact the activities of the department.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Resolving departmental litigation using the most appropriate resolution mechanisms (including negotiated settlements).
  • Supporting improved forecasting of advisory and litigation services through the development of risk tools for INAC sectors.
  •  Strengthening litigation awareness through outreach activities highlighting key legal risks that could impact Departmental programs/policies. This serves to enhance the integrity of Departmental program/policy initiatives currently under development, and to avoid future litigation.
  • Monitoring the implementation of legal obligations resulting in increased compliance and reduced litigation.
  • Undertaking a robust analysis of litigation drivers and trends to highlight possible legislative, policy or operational shortcomings.
  • Communicating court decisions to INAC sectors to support integration and harmonization of approaches to address legal risks.
  • Streamlining approaches and increasing consistency in transactions, with the ongoing view of reducing risk as well as reducing costs (e.g. standardized commercial lease templates). 
  • Ensuring the Department is prepared for upcoming decisions through contingency planning.
  • Where appropriate, appealing decisions to the right level of court to bring more in-depth attention to the issues and clarity of the law.

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Other Claims

Review of laws, policies and practices
 

Indigenous Relationship Risk: There is a risk that INAC may not renew and sustain strong, productive and respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples, communities, organizations and governments to contribute to the delivery of its mandate.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Developing and implementing a national reconciliation framework informed by the Calls to Action.
  • Working with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatmi (ITK) on a Government of Canada-ITK framework to guide relationship and joint initiatives.
  • Increasing support to regional front line officers who lead relationship building with First Nations and Indigenous organizations.
  • Supporting the national inquiry to address the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
  • Supporting the Department of Justice's, review of laws, policies, and operational practices to ensure that the Crown is fully executing its consultation and accommodation obligations. Implementing more engagement processes at the national and regional level on key subject matters such as education, registration, infrastructure, etc.
  • Continuing to work on tripartite agreements and partnerships in Education and Child and Family Services agreements that focus on a new and comprehensive approach to governing, measuring and reporting on investments.
  • Developing a Métis Section 35 Framework along with a verifiable Métis membership system, etc.
  • Reforming the Urban Aboriginal Strategy
  • Streamlining departmental processes to increase flexibility and reduce administrative burden for recipients.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Internal Services

Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation commission's Call to Action

Modern treaties, self-government agreements and other key government structures

Launch the engagement strategy for a National Reconciliation Framework

Inquiring into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls

Review of laws, policies and practices

Implementing a new fiscal relationship

Enhancing First Nations Child and Family Services

Establishing a new First Nation Education System

Advancing the Métis Nation Reconciliation

Fostering Economic Development

 

Implementation Risk: There is a risk that INAC may lack the ability and capacity to successfully implement new initiatives, while sustaining current program delivery.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Better aligning of program reforms to community needs.
  • Better coordinate engagement sessions and the resources required for the sessions.
  • Developing proactive communication approaches both within and outside the Department that specifically address change initiatives and activities that are transparent, accountable and respect the principles of open government.
  • Continuing to implement, with other government departments, the Whole-of-Government approach to the implementation of modern treaties as set out in the Cabinet directive.  
  • Monitoring and evaluating programs that have been impacted by the change agenda to assess attainment of goals and the effectiveness and efficiency of initiatives, capture lessons learned and develop best practices.
  • Continuing efforts toward improving integrated planning and reporting.
  • Streamlining programs, systems and administrative processes to promote a "working smarter" approach and mitigate potential negative impacts of changes.
  • Simplifying the reporting requirements of First Nations.
  • Establishing a leadership and coordination function for compliance.
  • Working on tripartite agreements and partnerships that focus on a new and comprehensive approach to governing, measuring, and reporting on investments to First Nations' well-being and prosperity, led by First Nation governments, with support from federal and provincial governments.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Residential Schools Resolution

Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Community Economic Development

Strategic Partnerships

Infrastructure and Capacity

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Internal Services

Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation commission's Call to Action

Launch the engagement strategy for a National Reconciliation Framework

Implementing a new fiscal relationship

Advancing the Métis Nation Reconciliation

Review of laws, policies and practices

Modern treaties, self-government agreements and other key government structures

Enhancing First Nations Child and Family Services

Establishing a new First Nation Education System

Open and Accountable Government

 

Human Resources Capacity Risk: There is a risk that INAC managers may not be able to attract, develop and retain qualified, experienced and representative human resources in a timely manner and while sustaining program delivery.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Developing Sector and Region 2017-18 HR Plans based on four updated priorities.
  • Aligning with the PSC's new direction on staffing to ensure managers are using flexibilities available to them.
  • Reviewing key positions for which succession planning is necessary and to ensure the time to staff vacant key positions is minimized.
  • Developing a Talent Management Framework to ensure we maximize retention, career opportunities and productivity aligned with the departmental priorities.
  • Promoting the use of alternative work arrangements within the organization.
  • Promoting use of exit questionnaire and/or exit interviews. Renewing recruitment and retention approach for Indigenous employees.
  • Providing more support to managers in ensuring that the employees they recruit have the right skills/competencies.
  • Adapting INAC's core curriculum to that of the Canada School of Public Service.
  • Identifying departmental learning needs.
  • Providing training to help implement the TBS Performance Management Directive.
  • Integrating Talent Management in the new Performance Management System and using available tools to support managers in designing such a plan.
  • Developing a Strategy on Well-Being including a strategy on wellness and mental health.
  • Updating the INAC Values & Ethics Code and increasing awareness.
  • Conducting a Threat and Risks Assessment exercise in sensitive locations to identify potential new security risks, and develop plans to reduce and address them.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Residential Schools Resolution

Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Community Economic Development

Strategic Partnerships

Infrastructure and Capacity

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Internal Services

Open and Accountable Government

Implementation of INAC Workplace Well-Being and Mental Health Strategy

Implementation of an Indigenous Recruitment and Retention Framework

 

Government Partnership Risk: There is a risk that INAC and its federal government partners may not effectively and efficiently collaborate in the development and delivery of policies and programs.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Working with other government departments on economic development and major project readiness placing particular emphasis on improved coordination and reduced burden for Aboriginal communities.
  • Updating the Federal Guidelines on Consultation and Accommodation and engagement on the Federal Framework to Address Section 35 Aboriginal Rights to improve federal awareness and coordination.
  • Championing and coordinating the Northern Strategy across federal departments through both policy work on key northern challenges and Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister Committees.
  • Increasing departmental efforts in monitoring and supporting engagement activities of other government departments with Indigenous organizations to ensure more effective allocation of resources and lead to more constructive relationships that focus on shared priorities and meaningful engagement.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Residential Schools Resolution

Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Community Economic Development

Strategic Partnerships

Infrastructure and Capacity

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Internal Services

Fostering economic development and employment

Supporting sustainable development in the North and the expansion of the Nutrition North Canada program

Implementing a new fiscal relationship

 

Information for Decision-Making Risk: There is a risk that INAC may not have access to timely, relevant, complete and accurate information to: support policy, program and resource allocation decisions; monitoring and oversight of results and impacts of program investments; and, fulfill accountability, legal and statutory obligations.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Approving and implementing a new IM/IT strategy focused on key priorities and risks
  • Establishing a 'Data Lead Function' for INAC to work with a multidisciplinary data mobilization team to:  organize INAC's data holdings; create a central inventory of INAC's core data sources; identify data gaps and data strategies where possible; strengthen external collaborations to enable data sharing and linkages.
  • Implementing a mandatory approach to business planning and documenting business requirements for data/information.
  • Exploring partnerships with Statistics Canada, other government departments, and Indigenous organizations and communities to find ways to ensure access to relevant and high-quality information.
  • Implementing GCDocs to combine all libraries into one single repository enabling greater sharing across the regions.
  • Implementing a new e-docs corporate repository with more robust "Google-like" search capacity. 
  • Piloting a case management tool that will allow users to pull together information from different sources and form a more complete picture of their information and data.
  • Engaging the broader department on the implementation of the new TB Policy on Results – including defining of the Departmental Results Framework and Program Information Profiles to establish robust results measurement based on data of appropriate standards and quality. 
  • Supporting the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) to conduct surveys on reserve and continue to work with the center to understand the implications of OCAP® on INAC's data collection and governance processes.
  • Working towards automated reporting tools for recipients to improve efficiency of reporting and a single view for external recipients to submit data as a standard.
  • Implementing, in a phased approach, INAC's Open Government Implementation Plan
  • Engaging with other departments with aboriginal portfolios to ensure we work towards interoperability of systems.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Residential Schools Resolution

Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Community Economic Development

Strategic Partnerships

Infrastructure and Capacity

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Internal Services

Implementing a new fiscal relationship

Open and Accountable Government

 

External Relationship Risk: There is a risk that INAC and the provinces, territories, local government, industry, academia, Indigenous Representative Organizations and NGOs will not effectively and efficiently partner to contribute to the delivery of its mandate.

Risk response strategy Link to the department's programs Link to mandate letter,
government-wide and
departmental priorities
  • Increasing regular engagement of INAC senior management and provincial counterparts to monitor collaborative efforts/issues and trouble shoot challenges.
  • Implementing a results-based approach to Canada's participation in comprehensive land claim and self-government negotiations, and work with provinces, territories and Indigenous groups to harmonize consultation processes where appropriate.
  • Increasing efforts in monitoring other government departments activities with Indigenous organizations and providing coordination support to both other departments as well as with the organizations themselves. This heightened transparency and other work to build relationships will ensure more effective allocation of Indigenous Organizations' resources and lead to more constructive relationships that focus on shared priorities and meaningful engagement.

Governance and Institutions of Government

Rights and Interests of Indigenous Peoples

Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

Education

Social Development

First Nations Individual Affairs

Residential Schools Resolution

Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Community Economic Development

Strategic Partnerships

Infrastructure and Capacity

Urban Indigenous Participation

Northern Governance and People

Northern Science and Technology

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management

Internal Services

Implementing a new fiscal relationship

Open and Accountable Government

Modern treaties, self-government agreements, and other key governance structures

Initiating permanent bilateral mechanisms

Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action

Advancing the Métis Nation Reconciliation

 
 
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