Audit of Consultation and Accommodation - Follow-up Report Status Update as of December 31, 2014

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

TAG, LED & PSD

Audit of Consultation and Accommodation
Approval Date: 27/11/2014
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Treaties and Aboriginal Government should identify an existing appropriate governance mechanism (e.g. departmental governance Committee) that can allow for formal senior level management strategic discussion and approval on Sector consultation and accommodation policies that could potentially impact other Sectors. Terms of Reference should be modified accordingly and include the sharing of information gathered and held by the respective Sector Branches that can support AANDC and other Crown officials in fulfilling the legal duty to consult. The Treaties and Aboriginal Government sector will explore and identify an existing and appropriate governance mechanism for senior level discussions on consultation and accommodation. The Consultation and Accommodation Intradepartmental Working Group Terms of Reference will be adjusted to support senior level management strategic discussions and approvals. April 1, 2015  
2. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Strategic Development, through the renewal process of the Memorandum of Understanding between AANDC and the Department of Justice, should continue to promote the need for consistent legal advice, re: Consultation and Accommodation, across Sectors and Regions. This includes identifying departmental leading practices in utilization reports and revising utilization reports to provide the Department with more standardized, detailed, and consistent reporting to AANDC on a project by project basis. The Senior ADM Policy and Strategic Development Sector will bring the issues of consistency of legal advice and standardized, detailed and consistent reporting on legal costs to the attention of the Department of Justice for their consideration. October, 2014

Status: Request to close - Completed

As of December 2014, the Senior ADM Policy and Strategic Direction Sector has brought these issues to the attention of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio. These issues are also being addressed through the Treasury Board / Justice exercise called "Legal Services Review".

AES: Recommend to close. Closed.

3. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should ensure draft operational guidance on consultation and accommodation procedures is finalized, ensure consultation tracking logs are properly retained for audit trail purposes in all active ATR files, and define and communicate procedures specific to environmental assessments.

Interim Addition to Reserve Consultation Guidelines were completed and implemented in November 2013. The Lands and Economic Development Sector is updating these interim guidelines in consultation with Regional Offices, Treaties and Aboriginal Government and the Department of Justice. The Guidelines will include templates, sample letters and a Consultation Tracking Log that will be an evergreen document used to record Addition to Reserve consultation and accommodation efforts. The Guidelines will be made available online.

The Lands and Economic Development Sector is developing in consultation with Treaties and Aboriginal Government and Regional Offices an operational guide on consultation and accommodation specific to project reviews (assessments) on reserve. The guide will incorporate the "Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Duty to Consult", and include information on how to maintain and track Aboriginal consultation logs using the Integrated Environmental Management System (IEMS).

March 31, 2015
Revised Consultation and Accommodation Addition to Reserve Guidelines completed and available online.

March 31, 2015
Draft Environmental Reviews Operational Consultation and Accommodation Guide completed and shared with regional offices for review.

December 2015
Finalized Environmental Reviews Operational Consultation and Accommodation Guide completed and provided to regional offices.

 
4. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Treaties and Aboriginal Government should review the processes and practices within each of its Branches: Negotiations West, Negotiations Central, and Negotiations East to determine, based on risk, what controls are necessary to fulfill the Sector's legal duty to consult obligations and where applicable, identify any areas where controls can be modified to increase consistency across Branches. The Treaties and Aboriginal Government sector will again review processes and practices within its branches and make the appropriate improvements, consistent with existing tools such as guidance for consultation processes on Agreements-in-Principle and Final Agreements, in light of evolving case law. April 1, 2015  
5. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Treaties and Aboriginal Government should, as ATRIS functionality evolves, communicate and update the capabilities and limitations of ATRIS in legal duty to consult training and ATRIS user guides, and periodically review ATRIS business requirements to evaluate the feasibility of making future updates to ATRIS The Treaties and Aboriginal Government sector will continue to update ATRIS users through webinar training and guidance (e.g. next release of ATRIS will include a "What's New" function). Information on ATRIS and the other sources of information will also continue to be provided and updated in the training on the duty to consult. The Treaties and Aboriginal Government sector will regularly meet with IM/IT to ensure cost benefits are considered in further addition to ATRIS. Ongoing

Status:

Update/Rationale:
As of 31/12/2014:

Version 2.4 (mid-December 2014) includes a "What's New" page within the "Help" tab and a basic overview of how the system works has been added to the welcome page. Enhancements to consultation training materials will provide a primer on what information is available through ATRIS and tips on how to use the system. Dedicated ATRIS webinars (public-monthly, federal officials only- biweekly) are scheduled for 2015 and additional training tools and outreach strategies will be considered for development in Q4 and Q1 (2015-16).

AES: Recommend to close. Closed.

 
 
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