Response to parliamentary committees and external audits

Response to parliamentary committees

1) House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts — Report 2 — Chapter 6, Nutrition North Canada — Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, of the Fall 2014 Report of the Auditor General of Canada (previously presented in the Second Session of the 41st Parliament as the 16th Report of the Committee).

The parliamentary committee report was presented to the House on May 12, 2016.

The report noted: "In its Fall 2014 Report, the Office of the Auditor General released a performance audit that examined whether INAC managed the Nutrition North Canada program to meet its objective of making healthy foods more accessible and affordable to residents of isolated northern communities, and to obtain the information required to demonstrate that the full subsidy was being passed on to consumers. In response to the audit, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has committed to revising its community eligibility criteria, including a clause in contribution agreements to require retailers to provide information about profit margins, clarifying expectations that compliance reviews should examine whether the full subsidy is passed on to consumers, updating its performance measurement strategy, and engaging Northerners on how to keep the program on a sustainable path. The Committee expects that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada will continue to make improvements to the Nutrition North Canada program in order to ensure that residents of northern communities have access to affordable healthy foods."

The Government response was presented to the Committee on August 17, 2016.

2) House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts — Fall 2015 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada — Chapter 3: Implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

The Auditor General focused on whether Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, and INAC were implementing selected obligations in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and two related side agreements, the Fiscal Financing Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada (Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement).

The Auditor General examined whether these entities monitored the status of their obligations and if the information was shared with INAC to help it coordinate and report on the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. They also examined whether these entities, plus Environment Canada, tracked federal contracts issued in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and if this information was shared with INAC for public reporting purposes, as required by the Treasury Board's Contracting Policy. Two recommendations were directed to the Department.

The Action Plan from INAC provided to the Committee August 2, 2016.

3) House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts — Spring 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada — Report 3: The Governor in Council Appointment Process in Administrative Tribunals.

The parliamentary committee report was presented to the House on February 13, 2017.

The Auditor General focused on whether timely appointments of qualified individuals were being made to selected administrative tribunals to maintain continuity of service. The audit also included an assessment of progress on some of the areas for improvement identified in the 2009 Audit of the Appointment Process. The audit examined the roles played by the Privy Council Office, selected administrative tribunals, and respective portfolio departments. The Auditor General did not audit the appointment decisions or the roles played by ministers, ministers' offices, or the Office of the Prime Minister. One recommendation was directed to the Department.

The Action Plan from INAC provided to the Committee September 13, 2016.

4) House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts — Fall 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada — Report 6: First Nations Specific Claims.

The parliamentary committee report was presented to the House on May 2, 2017.

The Auditor General focused on whether INAC adequately managed the resolution of First Nations specific claims. The audit examined the design and implementation of the systems and practices to determine whether it adequately managed the specific claims process to provide reasonable assurance that First Nations had adequate access to the specific claims process. It examined if claims were resolved and documented in line with selected aims of Justice at Last, and whether complete results were reported to allow Parliament and Canadians to understand how well the government was handling specific claims. Ten recommendations were directed to the Department.

The Action Plan from INAC provided to the Committee February 15, 2017.

5) Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal PeoplesTwelfth Report: On-Reserve Housing and Infrastructure: Recommendations for Change.

The report was tabled in the Senate on June 22, 2016. The report was in response to the Order of Reference:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples be authorized to examine and report on challenges and potential solutions relating to First Nations infrastructure on reserves, including, but not limited to: (a) housing; (b) community infrastructure (such as water and wastewater treatment, schools and other community buildings); and (c) innovative opportunities for financing and more effective collaborative strategies.

The Government Response was tabled to the Committee on May 5, 2016.

6) Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal PeoplesThird Report: Border Crossing Issues and the Jay Treaty.

The report was tabled in the Senate on June 22, 2016. The report was in response to the Order of Reference:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples be authorized to examine and report on the federal government's constitutional, treaty, political and legal responsibilities to First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples and on other matters generally relating to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.

The Government Response was tabled to the Committee on November 3, 2016.

Response to audits conducted by the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

Report 3 — The Governor in Council Appointment Process in Administrative Tribunals (Spring 2016)

The Auditor General focused on whether timely appointments of qualified individuals were being made to selected administrative tribunals to maintain continuity of service. The audit also included an assessment of progress on some of the areas for improvement identified in the 2009 Audit of the Appointment Process. The audit examined the roles played by the Privy Council Office, selected administrative tribunals, and respective portfolio departments. The Auditor General did not audit the appointment decisions or the roles played by ministers, ministers' offices, or the Office of the Prime Minister. One recommendation was directed to the Department.

INAC Financial Statements for the Year Ended March 31, 2016 (Unaudited)

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2016 and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of INAC. These financial statements have been prepared by management using the Government's accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Report 6 — First Nations Specific Claims — Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (Fall 2016)

The Auditor General focused on whether INAC adequately managed the resolution of First Nations specific claims. The audit examined the design and implementation of the systems and practices to determine whether it adequately managed the specific claims process to provide reasonable assurance that First Nations had adequate access to the specific claims process. It examined if claims were resolved and documented in line with selected aims of Justice at Last, and whether complete results were reported to allow Parliament and Canadians to understand how well the government was handling specific claims. Ten recommendations were directed to the Department.

Response to audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Public Service Commission of Canada — Not applicable

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages — Not applicable

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