Audit of the Implementation of the Child and Family Services Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 30, 2013

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of September 30, 2013

ESDPP

Audit of the Implementation of the Child and Family Services Enhanced Prevention Focused Approach
Approval Date: 09/28/2012

Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. Ensure that more formal processes be put in place that provide/ demonstrate proper governance, accountability and oversight for initial costing models, accountability frameworks, and actual implementation leading to an overview of expenditures and results. AANDC HQ and Regions should then collaborate with partners in trying to address arising issues. Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships (ESDPP) will analyze what may be necessary to have within formal tripartite processes and will discuss these needs with relevant stakeholders.

With this information, ESDPP will formalize EPFA processes for:
  1. Establishing initial costing models;
  2. Establishing accountability frameworks;
  3. Regular monitoring of implementation, expenditures and results.
In addition, ESDPP will produce records of EPFA bilateral and tripartite meetings.

ESDPP will organize and host regular conference calls and face-to-face/ videoconference meetings with regional partners to address implementation issues as they arise within specific jurisdictions.
September 2013 Status: Underway
Update/Rationale:

As of September 30, 2013

AANDC is currently reviewing costing models under EPFA; however any changes to costing models that result in increased funding will create cost pressures on the program that may not be able to be addressed without seeking external funding sources. Ongoing tripartite meetings take place in all six EPFA jurisdictions to monitor progress.

AANDC has been working with its partners in jurisdictions that have and have not yet transitioned to EPFA, to ensure formal tripartite processes are in place to establish and monitor initial costing models and accountability frameworks.

The process for establishing initial costing models involves ensuring adequate representation at tripartite discussions, walking through the various costing elements, and building on work done in other jurisdictions.

AANDC Regions develop annual compliance plans and also perform in depth desk audits to monitor the implementation of expenditures and results.

In jurisdictions that have transitioned, bilateral and/or tripartite processes are in place to monitor implementation, expenditures and results.

Bilateral conference calls with regions occur on a regular basis to share information and discuss emerging issues in each region. Monthly conference calls continue to be held between HQ FNCFS program staff and their regional counterparts with the SPPB DG and ARDGs on all Branch issues.

AES: Ongoing
2. Ensure that the Program undertakes regular reviews (i.e. annually) of the implementation of EPFA in each jurisdiction that will include an assessment of the costing models and the development of and reporting against business plans both financially and on activity results. Agencies provide the Program with sufficient information with respect to EPFA expenditures against the activities in the Agency business plans. AANDC HQ and Regions should then collaborate with partners in trying to address any arising issues. ESDPP will continue to liaise with regions through monthly conference calls and informal conversations to review financial pressures that may arise during EPFA implementation. These conversations have/will allow HQ to forecast future costing while also allowing HQ and Regions to develop possible mitigation strategies for arising issues.

ESDPP HQ will also begin the process of annually reviewing a sample of Business Plans in order to allow ESDPP to better report against business plans both financially and on results.

In the last quarter of fiscal year 2011/12, ESDPP reviewed the 5-year Business Plan templates and has ensured consistent use of the tool by clarifying that the intent is for recipients to provide annual updates which project ahead 5 years.
September 2013 Status: Request to close
Update/Rationale:

As of September 30, 2013

Bilateral conference calls with regions occur on a regular basis. Monthly conference calls continue to be held between HQ FNCFS program staff and their regional counterparts with the SPPB DG and ARDGs on all Branch issues.

Regions and HQ FNCFS continue to review the EPFA costing models to identify options to mitigate future financial pressures.

In 2012-13, HQ continued to work with Regions to ensure that the common template outlining criteria required to develop business plans (developed in FY 11-12) was being used consistently across all regions.

AES: Recommend to close. Closed.
3. Establish a common set of outcome-based non-financial performance measures and baseline for EPFA These should be communicated to all Regions and incorporated into Agency business plans. In addition, ensure that the development of the new Information Management system incorporates the ability to track and report on the performance measures and baseline. The program will develop and establish baseline measures of their First Nation Child and Family Services (FNCFS) National Child Welfare Outcomes Matrix indicators by March 31, 2013. March 31, 2013 Status: Request to close
Update/Rationale:

As of September 30, 2013

FNCFS data collection instruments (DCI) have been reduced to one national DCI and one national business plan.  Six outcome-based indicators have been developed for FNCFS that are measurable and reportable. Following release 2 of the First Nation Child and Family Services Information Management System scheduled for April 1, 2014,AANDC will report on the Social Development Performance Measurement Strategy on an annual basis. The review of the Agencies’ business plans involve ensuring that the measures are incorporated.

The system will further enhance the program’s data quality and contribute to evidence-based decision making. In an effort to streamline and reduce the reporting burden, SPPB is working to enter into data sharing agreements with willing provinces and territories.

AES: Recommend to close. Closed.
In the annual update on indicators for the approved 2011 Social Development Performance Measurement Strategy, the FNCFS program has identified the data that would be required to support ongoing measurement of the programs. September 2013
4. Review the EPFA administrative structure and distribution of Human Resource needs of both HQ and the Regional Offices in order to determine an optimal and/or practical level of staffing necessary to efficiently administer and manage the EPFA. Headquarters will review the FNCFS administrative structure and distribution of Human Resources needs in consultation with Regional Operations.

ESDPP will develop and update tools, manuals, guidelines, templates, technical interpretation bulletins and information circulars in order to clarify program requirements enhance compliance and reduce reporting burden in the regions. Tools that will be updated include the National Social Programs Manual. Tools now being developed include the Management Control Framework; Integrated Risk Management Framework; a National Handbook on Program Compliance; a DCI Management Framework; and technical interpretation bulletins or information circulars to clarify FNCFS program policy, as required.

Through monthly conference calls and annual face-to-face/videoconference meetings, ESDPP and Regions will continue to support one another in identifying efficiencies in order to help ease the workload burden that has been identified. Minutes from all Headquarters/Regions monthly calls and face-to-face/videoconferences will be produced and shared.

All above documents will help ensure consistent and streamlined processes, serving to alleviate the administrative burden on regional staff.
September 2013 Status: Underway
Update/Rationale:

As of September 30, 2013

Further to the 2013 face-to-face annual meeting with regional colleagues, an analysis will be undertaken in the next six months to assess the number of additional FTEs required in each region. Once departmental decisions are made, these will be communicated.

AANDC Social Programs continues to streamline data collection instruments (DCIs), develop and update tools, manuals, guidelines and templates in order to facilitate program management and evidence-based decision making. The National Social Program manual will be updated by January 2014 to amalgamate regionally specific practices and procedures necessary to sustain consistent and coherent program operations, at a national level.

In 2012-13, HQ continued to work with Regions to ensure that the common template outlining criteria required to develop business plans (developed in FY 11-12) was being used consistently across all regions.

Two Information Circulars were developed (Policy on the Use of Funds under the FNCFS Program and Exceptional Costs Related to Maintenance Funding for EPFA Recipients) and will be published shortly. Amongst some of the policies currently being developed to address operational issues are: Registration/ Residency, Children’s Special Allowance (CSA), Capital, and Minimal Threshold. This work is ongoing.

In 2013-2014, the review and update of the CFS program compliance review process and procedures continues. This work is scheduled to be completed by April 1, 2014 at which time the compliance review activities will be fully integrated within a Sector wide approach for Social and Education.

AES: Ongoing
 
 
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