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Appendix D - Alternative Approaches for the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program

Discussion Paper and Workshop Notes


Table of Contents


Background

Context

Currently, an evaluation is being conducted by Stratos Inc., to assess the efficiency, effectiveness and limitations of the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP) from a broad, whole-of-program perspective, as well as from the perspective of each of the three partner (CFIA, DFO, EC) and the three broad delivery regions (Atlantic, Pacific, and Quebec).

As part of this evaluation, Stratos was asked to identify and analyse program redesign alternatives. As a preliminary step in this process, the evaluation team prepared a brief discussion paper on design and delivery alternatives, based on input from the preliminary evaluation findings and on the work previously completed by the CSSP redesign project team. The draft discussion paper was shared with and presented to a wide-cross section of representatives from CSSP, at the workshop held on March 15, 2007 in the National Capital Region (see Appendix A for a list of participants).

Input and information received from the workshop has been integrated into this discussion paper. The material presented in this paper was used as input to the CSSP program evaluation and has been incorporated into the evaluation's final conclusions and recommendations.

Workshop Objectives

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. Validate and refine the proposed CSSP scope, key guiding principles, and governance options;
  2. Identify and discuss additional governance options and alternative delivery activities.

It should be noted that the workshop was designed to stimulate and gather input and ideas that would contribute to the work of the CSSP program evaluation. The workshop was not intended to resolve outstanding issues, draw conclusions on any specific issues, or to reach consensus on recommendations.

Recent Redesign Efforts and Considerations

Stemming back to as early as 1994, significant effort has been made to review alternative approaches to the delivery of the CSSP. The most recent effort was initiated in 2004.

In July 2004, the CSSP ADMs agreed to establish a project team (with representatives from all partners) to undertake a CSSP program redesign. The team was tasked to work within current resource levels and to deal with the growing concern about public safety and federal liability due to the increasing gap between the demands being placed on the CSSP and available funding.

To clarify the ADMs' question on the program scope and objectives, the project team completed an analysis of the CSSP's legislative mandate, relevant cabinet decisions, the federal government's fiduciary responsibility and whether the Government of Canada is meeting the Federal Government's mandate and obligations. A summary of some of the research completed on comparing international shellfish sanitation programs is presented in Appendix B, and was reviewed as input to generating ideas for alternative design and delivery options for the CSSP.

A presentation made to the CSSP ADMs in August 2004 outlined various alternatives for CSSP redesigned scope, governance, and program principles.

Using the August 2004 presentation and ADM approval as a starting point, the redesign team (composed of representatives from CFIA, DFO and EC) undertook several studies and cross-Canada consultations. Discussions with regional representatives from all three departments/agencies were held.

The results of this work culminated in the development of a presentation for the CSSP ADMs in February 2005, and included several recommendations. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the CSSP ADMs meeting scheduled for April 2005 did not occur and the discussion on the scope, governance, and delivery of the CSSP has yet to take place. This effort was superseded by the request to undertake this evaluation.

Since the presentation made in February 2005, the program has been otherwise occupied with responding to the results of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) audits. Subsequently, it was decided that an independent evaluation of the program be conducted.

Sections 3 - 5 of this report present the results of the discussion on validating and refining the three elements of the program that had previously been developed for the ADMs steering Committee: scope, governance, and program principles. For each of these elements, the report includes a brief discussion of the definition of the issue, its current status, and results of the workshop discussion.

Section 6 presents the results of the workshop session on program alternatives.

Validate and Refine Proposed CSSP Scope

Definition

In the context of the CSSP, scope refers to the coverage of the program (i.e. extent of coverage - population served, geographic coverage, activities included/excluded).

Current CSSP Scope

The current CSSP objective/scope is defined in the MOU as:

"Provide reasonable assurance that molluscan shellfish are safe for consumption as food by controlling the harvesting of all molluscs within the tidal waters of Canada".

Redesign Scope Options

The redesign investigation indicated that while the scope of the federal responsibility is broad, the scope of federal activity in Program delivery needs to be reconsidered.

The potential scoping approaches that were considered include:

Status Quo: Maintain current program and federal delivery scheme but limit geographic scope to areas currently classified. Harvesting shellfish outside these CSSP areas would be done at own risk.

Aboriginal/recreational/subsistence focus: Direct existing federal resources to Program delivery in aboriginal and recreational harvest areas. Commercial operations would have to assume the full cost of Program delivery in commercial harvest areas.

Commercial focus: Direct existing federal resources to Program delivery for commercial harvest only. Other harvest sectors would have to (i) harvest at own risk or (ii) carry the cost of Program delivery, possibly through involving other parties/partners

Full program: Accept federal responsibility for program delivery to current scope and find federal resources to deliver across Canada to all harvest sectors.

Develop different/flexible models of CSSP delivery to address all harvest sectors:

Where:

  • Stakeholder partnerships are key in facilitating/resourcing Program delivery
  • Federal involvement in the models (as delivery agents) would vary, as appropriate. Federal involvement, as a primary delivery agent, could apply to harvesting for FSC and subsistence.

Scope Recommendations

The scope that was recommended by the redesign team to the CSSP ADMs in the February 2005 presentation was:

Given the constitutional responsibilities, cabinet decisions and law of general application, it is recommended that:

  1. The federal government provides oversight and priority is given to:
    1. Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) harvest
    2. commercial harvest (wild and aquaculture), and
  2. Engage all other level of governments for the delivery of an integrated shellfish control program, including intra-provincial/territorial sale and recreational and subsistence harvesting via the re-design process

Workshop Considerations

Participants were asked to consider the following questions:

  1. Can you validate this scope?
  2. If not, consider "what you like and what you would change".

Workshop Discussion

Overall, the participants were not able to unanimously agree upon the proposed scope of the program. Several concerns and discussion points were raised, including:

  • The redesign's team mandate was to examine the scope within the context of existing resources available to deliver the program and within the federal government's legal mandate. As a result, the proposed mandate does not encompass all molluscan shellfish (as currently defined in the MOU).
  • Some participants emphasized that the federal government is not liable for recreational use/harvest (legally there is no responsibility), and as such the proposed scope does not include all harvesters under the federal government's area of responsibility. This reduced scope was proposed in an effort to make the scope of the program manageable within existing resources.
  • In contrast, some participants raised concerns about the proposed scope in terms of misalignment with: some partners' mandates (particularly DFO's); health and safety of recreational harvesters; fish being considered a public resource (under section 35 of the Fisheries Act), etc. Participants questioned whether there is a liability for the federal government to manage all uses and users.
  • Substantial discussion about the aboriginal component of the program was also held. Some participants indicated that the impetus of the redesign relates to the federal government's fiduciary obligations to aboriginals. Issues about including aboriginal communities in the north (would require a program overhaul), the potential risk of creating two levels of users: recreational vs. aboriginal, opens the doors with INAC, where the CSSP may be drawn to the aboriginal program
  • Participants generally agreed that only the ADMs can make the decision about the program's scope, and in particular the decision of including or excluding recreational harvesting from the program's scope. There was a general sense that recreation should be, at the least, presented as an option. Some participants felt that geographical coverage should also be included in the scoping options. Others felt that the process of defining program users will automatically define the geographic scope.
  • Participants felt that a decision on program priorities will provide greater clarity on issues that need to be addressed. Participants suggested that defining the proposed scope and the redesign can be considered a prioritization exercise for the government.

Validate and Refine Key Guiding Principles

Definition

In the context of the CSSP, key guiding principles are the factors that must be taken into consideration as the program is designed and implemented. The guiding principles set broad boundaries within which the program should operate. They should be considered when discussing scope, governance and activities of the program.

The following key CSSP guiding principles where proposed for consideration in August 2004:

  1. Science- and risk-based
  2. Consistent with international standards (EU, USFDA)
  3. Harvesters/growers/processors should take maximum responsibility for assuring product safety
  4. Federal government provides oversight and delivery as appropriate
  5. Work within existing resources to the extent possible
  6. Provide flexible delivery options based on equivalent level of protection
  7. Effective communications strategy

Workshop Considerations

Participants were asked to consider the following questions:

  1. Do any of these guiding principles need further clarification?
  2. Are there additional guiding principles to include?
  3. Do any of these guiding principles need to be removed?

Workshop Discussion

Participants were presented the August 2004 of the key guiding principles. After some discussion, it was agreed that this list of guiding principles was not the most recent version, as some of these guidelines were more operationally related, rather than overarching principles.

One of the participants had the most recent list of guiding principles available, and a copy of these was circulated to participants. The final listing (April 13, 2005) of the guiding principles is listed below. Note that no additional discussion was held during the workshop to review and validate this list of principles.

  1. Science- and risk-based
  2. Consistent with international standards and trade requirements for exported product
  3. Federal government primary role is to set standards; monitor and enforce compliance and maintain responsibility with respect to international arrangements
  4. Provide delivery arrangements that are appropriate to the geographical and industry situation, based on provision of equivalent levels of protection
  5. Harvesters/growers/processors:
    1. Take responsibility for assuring product safety and
    2. Are providing with the opportunity for increased participation in the management of the program
  6. Strengthened domestic inter-governmental arrangements
  7. Effective communication on program and safety risks

Validate and Refine CSSP Governance Options

Definition

In the context of the CSSP, governance refers to where the leadership and responsibility for the management of the program lie.

Current Governance

The CSSP has been administered by various combinations of federal departments over the years. Currently, there is no CSSP lead formally identified in the MOU, although CFIA has informally taken on program leadership over the past 2 -3 years. Three organizations with significantly different mandates oversee the program (CFIA, DFO, and EC), and the responsibility for the CSSP is shared through the interdepartmental MOU signed in 2000.

Redesign Governance Options

Potential approaches to redesigning the governance structure that were proposed by the redesign project team include:

Strengthen current partnership (status quo): Retain divisions of responsibility among CFIA, DFO, and EC

Assign program to one organization: Clarifies roles and responsibilities for program

Establish new governance structure for program with DM accountability

Assign lead to one organization: Allows for coordination and decision-making processes to be established. Would need to:

  • Identify and provide incremental resources to one government department as the lead with clear decision-making processes
  • Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of the other partner(s) in the program (federal, provincial, industry)

Joint management by DFO and CFIA

Joint management by DFO and CFIA, with EC in supporting/service role

Governance Recommendations

The two governance options that were recommended by the redesign team to the CSSP ADMs in February 2005 include:

  1. A strengthened partnership of the current three partners (CFIA, DFO, and EC)
  2. Joint DFO-CFIA management

General Evaluation Observations

To initiate the discussion, Stratos presented some of the preliminary evaluation observations pertaining to governance. Generally, it was found that the current governance structure of the CSSP is inadequate. The evaluation findings indicate that a comprehensive CSSP program does not currently exist because some of the key program elements (i.e. management framework elements) are missing.

With this in mind, a brief presentation was made about management frameworks and how this framework could be "mapped" onto the current CSSP management and governance structure. This information was used to ignite discussion.

  Senior Management Functional services and middle management Field staff
Policy program sufficient    
Planning   program lacking  
Operations     program sufficient
Monitoring reporting   program lacking  
Oversight program sufficient    
  • Observations from the evaluation indicated that operations (as described in the MOU, Manual, etc.) are done well within the context in which the program operates.
  • The issue of program leadership needs to be addressed because it has not been addressed within the MOU or elsewhere in the program.
  • Other observations coming from the evaluation indicate that clearly assigned responsibilities are needed to define accountability.
  • The need for completion of a program RMAF was also identified as a weakness. An RMAF will highlight shared outputs and define how departments can move forward to achieve common results.
  • Examples of horizontal programs/initiatives were discussed. One such program is the FCSAP program (management of Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan), where Treasury Board (TB) and EC have a joint secretariat with responsibility for program-related planning, resource allocation, and reporting on performance. An additional 28 horizontal initiatives were mentioned as having structures which could be investigated for CSSP alternative design and delivery solutions.

Workshop Considerations

Participants were asked to consider the following questions:

  1. Are there other governance options, in addition to those recommended by the redesign team?
  2. For each governance option, describe what would be different between this option and the current approach? Describe the characteristics of this governance option (key elements).
  3. What would it take to implement each option?
  4. What would be the implications of implementing each option? (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

Workshop Discussions

The participants were divided into breakout groups and asked to identify different governance models for the CSSP. The key options that came forward included:

  • Single Management Board/ Formal MOU
  • Secretariat
  • Joint Management: DFO lead
  • Joint Management: CFIA lead

Details about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each distinct governance option, as discussed in breakout groups, are presented below. Overall, it was agreed that there are a variety of ways to look at program governance options for the program. In some cases, there may be benefit in having co-leads. However, participants suggested it may be beneficial to identify what the overall objective of the CSSP program is before establishing a lead or particular governance model.

Single Management Board

This governance option would require a higher and more formalized senior management commitment. The Board would provide better oversight and direction, which would oversee accountability. The Board would have the authority to direct resources, and would be responsible for the approval of overall CSSP planning (e.g. annual plans and delivery improvements). The Board could include representatives from other departments, provinces, industry stakeholders, and First Nations into delivery approaches.

Implementation of this option would require government of Canada level of approval (possible PCO involvement and a MC).

Strengths

  • Relatively easy to implement
  • No new legislative authorities required
  • Could be done within existing resources
  • Less disruptive to staff and program delivery
  • Better program direction
  • Forum for stakeholders
  • Quick responsiveness

Weaknesses

  • Does not resolve resource issues
  • The complexity of coordinating all 3 partners will still be an issue
  • Possible competing interests
  • Challenge of selecting stakeholders (i.e. not all of them could be effectively engaged) in order to maintain manageability of the Board

Opportunities

  • Opportunity to get stakeholders more engaged and committed and accountable at a higher level
  • Address industry growth and stakeholders' needs at a more senior level, in a proactive way
  • Provide greater accountability

Threats

  • Unless the Board is effectively managed, the Board could:
    • become unwieldy and ineffective
    • have a lack of commitment of senior management

Secretariat

In this governance option, a secretariat would be established. This would result in clear focal point accountability (lead held by secretariat). The secretariat would report to a committee at the ADM/DM level. This secretariat would have dedicated staff resources with authority over mid-range issues, and would provide direction, coordinate interdepartmental efforts, and monitoring the program's policy/planning and monitoring/reporting.

Implementation of this option would require agreement with TB and the three agencies.

Strength

  • Better focus and coordination (could be more focused than a board)
  • Advantage of being small and coherent and having connections to senior management
  • Streamlined decisions/priority setting
  • Coordinated policy development
  • Coordinated responses to changing needs
  • Providing direction may improve accountability

Weaknesses

  • Not clear of what ultimate authorities or responsibilities would be (not sure of who would be accountable)
  • No budget authority over departmental programs
  • No obvious stakeholder or other department engagement process

Opportunities

  • Opportunity to clarify resource levels needed to make program function effectively
  • Opportunity to build better links with other departments and provinces
  • Better accountability
  • Better focused and a higher profile

Threats

  • Creates another bureaucratic entity with potentially poor accountability
  • Poor responsiveness to program demands (Delays; Disconnect with operational level)
  • Potential to create conflict with operations at department because of being an independent entity

Joint Management - DFO Lead

In this scenario, CSSP activities would be directly linked to the regulatory and mandated authorities of each partner (i.e. Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations (MCFR); and Fish Inspection Regulations (FIR)).

To implement this governance structure, there would need to be senior level approval and changes to the MOU would be required. Additionally, the issues surrounding technical/management capacity would have to be addressed. For instance, on the technical side, outsourcing and in-house delivery are both options. For management the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (FAM) could be the responsible / lead organization for DFO.

Strength

  • Stronger, more focussed leadership (one lead agency)
  • Single governance model
  • Dedicated resources to ensure program-wide requirements are met
  • Cohesive delivery
  • Fewer conflicting priorities (FSC v commercial)
  • Increased public comprehension of responsible agency
  • No regulatory changes required
  • EC as a service provider: allows EC to focus on a single activity

Weaknesses

  • The visions of the three existing agencies/departments could be lost (i.e. may not all be reflected by the one lead "DFO" for CSSP).
  • Loss of linkage to other programs at EC (i.e. pollution control)
  • Getting service agreements in place
  • Staff implications

Opportunities

  • Potential savings on resources
  • Greater alignment with a single mandate

Threats

  • Commercial harvesting could become a second priority to FSC (mandate to assure the program is delivered for Northern & Aboriginal harvest areas)
  • Oversight of sanitation issues could weaken
  • Water quality and pollution source assessment (habitat)
  • Potential loss of internal knowledge of partner specific activities
  • Unilateral decision making can be problematic (i.e. would CFIA be responsible for finding funding to cover EC or DFO costs?)

Joint Management - CFIA Lead

In this option, there would be more clear responsibility for food safety programs. EC staff could be transferred over to CFIA to be part of the program or EC could be contracted to CFIA to provide services. With CFIA taking on the water quality responsibility (and potentially other EC services), there could be extra costs for CFIA. Negotiations would be required to determine what duties and responsibilities are bound by legislation and how these duties could be transferred to CFIA.

In this scenario, CFIA is the link to HC (currently EC does not talk to Health Canada), and is the international lead on CSSP. Overall there would be leadership expertise developed, particularly in the area of program direction.

To implement this governance option, service agreements/MOUs would have to be established. This option would require greater involvement with the provinces; however DFO could remain independent and continue its activities.

Strength

  • Single governance model
  • Food safety would be a key driver
  • Stability (of staff in particular) once decision is made and implemented
  • EC as a service provider: allows EC to focus on a single activity

Weaknesses

  • The visions of the three existing agencies/departments could be lost (i.e. may not all be reflected by the one lead "CFIA" for CSSP)
  • Getting service agreements in place
  • Staff implications
  • Loss of linkage to other programs at EC (i.e. pollution control)

Opportunities

  • Potential cost savings (especially at the management level)
  • Reduction of redundancy
  • Build a good program without having EC provide a managerial responsibility

Threats

  • Potential problem for partner priorities to not align
  • Unilateral decision making can be problematic (i.e. would CFIA be responsible for finding funding to cover EC or DFO costs?)
  • Lack of accountability· Potential loss of internal knowledge of partner specific activities.

Identify and Prioritize Alternative Delivery Activities

Definition

In the context of the CSSP, delivery activities refer to those activities that departments have identified, as part of the evaluation, as things they conduct to deliver the program.

Current CSSP Activities

The CSSP activities that currently comprise the program were validated by the partners as part of the evaluation. These activities are listed below:

CFIA

  1. The administration and enforcement of the Fish Inspection Act and the Fish Inspection Regulations, as it relates to the CSSP.
  2. Registration of shellfish processing and depuration facilities (export only)
  3. Harvest area monitoring for marine bio-toxins and non sewage micro-biological pathogens.
  4. Licensing of importers
  5. Laboratory QA and analysis of shellfish product
  6. International contact lead
  7. Lead for the CSSP (2004 ADM decision)

DFO

  1. Opening and closing shellfish areas, on advice from EC and CFIA
  2. Licensing commercial shellfish harvesters
  3. Posting, patrolling, and enforcing shellfish closures
  4. Licensing and controlling relaying and harvesting for depuration operations
  5. Providing information to stakeholders on shellfish growing areas
  6. Record keeping with respect to opening/closures and enforcement
  7. Ad hoc communications / educational activities

EC

  1. Conducting comprehensive and re-evaluation water quality sampling surveys for fecal coliform, and annual reviews of shellfish growing waters
  2. Conducting shoreline surveys to determine sources of point and non-point pollution impacting shellfish areas
  3. Maintaining records, maps and data bases for survey results and reports
  4. Water quality sampling and laboratory QA/QC
  5. Promoting pollution prevention (secondary role) through cooperative work with provinces and others (First Nations, community groups) to protect and remediate shellfish growing waters from land and water-based sources of pollution

General Evaluation Observations

Drawing on the preliminary findings of the evaluation, some observations related to the activities and their implementation were noted. For instance, the evaluation found that generally the program works well at the operational level. It was also found that NSSP influences the program's performance. The evaluation also observed that some economic opportunities are being foregone because of financial constraints to the CSSP. Throughout the course of the evaluation, several suggestions for alternative delivery mechanisms were identified. These were presented in a cursory format to the workshop participants (summarized in Appendix C).

Workshop Considerations

Participants were asked to consider the following questions:

  1. Identify those activities where there are no other alternative ways to deliver, and take note of this decision.
  2. For the remaining activities, what are alternative ways to deliver this same activity, keeping in mind service providers, partnerships, legal requirements, cost, efficiency, quality, etc?
  3. What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for each option presented?
  4. If this option is pursued, what impacts on other activities need to be considered?

Workshop Discussion

Alternative Mechanisms to Delivery CSSP Activities, by partner

CFIA Activities

1. The administration and enforcement of the Fish Inspection Act and the Fish Inspection Regulations, as it relates to the CSSP.

  • Possibly designate DFO

2. Registration of shellfish processing and depuration facilities (export only)

  • No alternative to the issuance of the registration
  • Alternatives exist for contracting out the inspection process, if designation is possible. This would have to be backed by standards, and with appropriate management/audits by CFIA

3. Harvest area monitoring for marine bio-toxins and non sewage micro-biological pathogens.

  • Alternatives exist if we develop standards for others to follow (options: contracts), and they are certified to follow the standards (i.e. as happens in QC)
  • This service could be contracted out to individuals, another agency or industry
  • Management and audit capacity is required
  • Would result in more program ownership by industry and other users
  • Would provide an opportunity for cost sharing

4. Licensing of importers

  • No alternative to the issuance of the licenses
  • However alternatives exist for contracting out the inspection process, if designation is possible. This would have to be backed by standards, and with appropriate management/audits by CFIA
    Note: Program already in place for importers to do their own testing
  • There are 2 options:
    1. Importers pay a lower fee and have CFIA do their testing (however this creates a delay of their product entering Canada)
    2. Importers pay a higher fee and conduct their own testing, and get their products into Canada quickly

5. Laboratory QA and analysis of shellfish product

  • Alternatives could include setting standards for others and contracting out services (Note: mouse bioassay may be problematic for private labs)
  • Questions arise regarding lab capacity (Will it be accessible to business? Will it be financially feasible for private sector?)
  • Will require capacity to manage and audit these services
  • This alternative could possibly offload costs
  • Risk: program could be held hostage to financial viability of lab business (i.e. fees)

6. International contact lead

  • No clear alternative. This service must be provided by a government body. DFAIT could be an alternative, however there is no clear benefit to this alternative as CFIA's expertise would still be needed in the process

7. Lead for the CSSP (2004 ADM decision)

  • Alternatives could include:
    • DFO Lead
    • Secretariat
    • Board
    • Health Canada Lead

DFO Activities

8. Opening and closing shellfish areas, on advice from EC and CFIA

  • No alternatives. Regulatory mandate.

9. Licensing commercial shellfish harvesters

  • No alternatives for wild and recreational - regulatory mandate.
  • No alternatives for aquaculture - provinces do (except in QC)

10. Posting, patrolling, and enforcing shellfish closures

  • Posting: Alternatives include posting by community association (groups) or industry
  • Patrolling: No clear alternatives, although patrolling in a limited way can be contracted out to policing services (e.g. provincial conservation issues, yet there are liabilities). Can contract out patrolling for lease areas
  • Monitoring: Alternatives include contracting out to industry, provinces and community

11. Licensing and controlling relaying and harvesting for depuration operations

  • No alternatives. Regulatory mandate

12. Providing information to stakeholders on status of shellfish growing areas

  • Alternatives include providing information on opening and closures. This is a DFO (only) responsibility, but if the status doesn't change, then others could provide the information
  • EC communicates classification information (e.g. approved areas)
  • There has to be better integration of communicating out classification areas

13. Record keeping with respect to opening/closures and enforcement

  • No alternatives. (Noted that patrol frequency is done by DFO, classification by EC, and biotoxin by CFIA)

14. Ad hoc communications / educational activities

  • Alternatives include: brochures, tv, cd & video, schools, radio, website, fish shows (seafood markets)

EC Activities

15. Conducting comprehensive and re-evaluation water quality sampling surveys for fecal coliform, and annual reviews of shellfish growing waters

  • Management and oversight to be done by EC
  • Interpretation and recommendations has to come from EC
  • Consultant or certified 3rd party could deliver training to qualify others to conduct the surveys
  • Requires audits
  • Already done in some areas (PEI, QC), but need to develop capacity (labs and sampling) in other jurisdictions
  • Cost shared / directly funded by industry

16. Conducting shoreline surveys to determine sources of point and non-point pollution impacting shellfish areas

  • Management and oversight by EC
  • Can be done by 3rd party or consultants
  • Could also be done by provinces
  • Would require a 1-2 year phase in period to build capacity· Cost shared (provinces / industry)

17. Maintaining records, maps and data bases for survey results and reports

  • Reports are currently being prepared by consultants in QC
  • Alternative management of databases /maps and record by 3rd or other department
  • Presently being done

18. Water quality sampling and laboratory QA/QC

  • Management and oversight to be done by EC
  • Interpretation and recommendations has to come from EC
  • Consultant or certified 3rd party could deliver training to qualify others to conduct the sampling
  • Requires audits
  • Already done in some areas (PEI, QC), but need to develop capacity (labs and sampling) in other jurisdictions
  • Cost shared / directly funded by industry

19. Promoting pollution prevention (secondary role) through cooperative work with provinces and others (First Nations, community groups) to protect and remediate shellfish growing waters from land and water-based sources of pollution

  • Currently this area isn't well developed
  • Management and oversight to be done by EC
  • Alternatives would include provinces doing this for a fee. Communities could also deliver this service, as well as Transport Canada (vessels)
  • Has implications in wider mandate for EC

Breakout Group Discussion on Alternative Delivery Activities

Following on from the previous discussion about alternative delivery activities, the participants selected those alternative delivery activities that were likely to have the highest level of success. For those selected options, groups conducted a brief analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of these options, as well as the expected impacts on other activities. The results of these discussions are itemized below.

The discussion surrounding alternative delivery activities indicated similar trends from each partner. For instance, it was evident that at the management and coordination levels, many of the activities could not be performed any differently. Many of these are regulatory obligations for which a federal body is required to deliver upon. However, it was noted that for many of the field activities, there was more flexibility in delivering the services. For instance, patrolling could possible be performed by contracted policing services. The level at which there was the most flexibility in terms of delivering the activities was at the support services (e.g. laboratory testing, pollution prevention outreach, etc). Here options for third party delivery of services (either contracted or through other voluntary agreements) are clearly available.

Alternative delivery options that were discussed by the participants are described below:

Alternative Ways to Deliver CFIA Services

Activity: CFIA 3: Harvest area monitoring for marine bio-toxins and non sewage micro-biological pathogens.

Option: Service could be contracted out to individuals, another agency or industry

Description/Considerations: In some jurisdictions, these services are currently being successfully contracted out

Strengths:

  • Program ownership by users
  • In some areas, it is already the only alternative (i.e. QC)
  • Cost sharing

Weakness:

  • Contracting out can increase the government's risk factor (liability/responsibility - i.e. LaRoque decision)
  • Big management task on a large scale
  • One-offs may also result in inconsistency in delivery
  • Currently, unequal between users

Impact on other activities:

  • Audits, oversight role of CFIA increases

Activity: CFIA 5: Laboratory QA and analysis of shellfish product

Option: RFP to private labs

Description:

  • Cost forecasting private vs. government services
  • Would have to manage mouse issues for biotoxins
  • Bacterial and meat testing may be easier to off-load but CSSP portion is small piece of this activity and some is already contracted out now

Strengths:

  • Cost assumed by users where private labs currently exist
  • CFIA will have more time to work on inspections

Weakness:

  • Can't service users who can't pay (i.e. FN - would government pay this part?)

Impact on other activities:

  • CFIA impact - loss of jobs
  • International trade assessment required
  • More audits will be required (by ISO)

Alternative Ways to Deliver DFO Services

Activity: DFO 12: Providing information to stakeholders on status of shellfish growing areas

Option: Mapping sub-committee for one-stop shopping for all information

Description:

Strengths:

  • Easier access for everyone

Weakness:

  • Expensive to keep updated (personnel, webmaster, etc.)
  • Differing definition of approved vs. open vs. unclassified prevents implementation of this alternative in all jurisdictions

Activity: DFO 10: Posting, patrolling, and enforcing shellfish closures

Option: Leaseholder or other third party monitoring

Description/Considerations:

Training will need to be provided to develop capacity, knowledge, etc.

Strengths:

  • May increase compliance
  • Could meet NSSP requirements
  • Could concentrate patrols in high risk areas. Potential to divert FOs into other high risk areas. Could decrease patrols

Weakness:

  • Self-patrolling increases risk
  • Conflict of interest
  • People may be poaching themselves

Alternative Ways to Deliver EC Services

Activity: EC 15 & 17 Water Quality Sampling / Conducting shoreline surveys and water quality sampling and laboratory QA/QC

Option: Sampling completed by certified third party (e.g. contractors, provinces, industry)

Description:

Must meet FDA sampling frequency

Strengths:

  • Would meet FDA sampling frequency
  • More flexibility in assigning and redirecting activities of staff
  • Reduce costs if stakeholder pays, as well as more direct stakeholder involvement and responsibility
  • Reduce human resource and capital costs if government pays (doesn't have to make commitment to hiring more staff)

Weakness:

  • Less consistency in program operations and delivery
  • More costly if GOC pays (because overall costs will be higher)
  • Potential inconsistency in cost recovery (i.e. inconsistency exists in the ability of all users to pay depending on their industry, fishery, location, etc.). Cost recovery must be equitable
  • Require funding for auditing
  • EC staff morale can be affected

Impact on other activities:

  • Shift to a greater auditing role
  • Need for greater scrutiny of externally provided information (data interpretation)
  • Generally accepted by FDA
  • Potential gains and cost sharing with other EC (non-marine) water quality programs

Closure

The workshop ended with a summary of the day's discussions. It was noted that the proposed scope and key guiding principles were reviewed. These discussions indicated that there is still uncertainty among partners about the scope in particular.

Partners made progress during the day in other areas. In particular, there was creative and extensive output related to:

  • Identifying and evaluating a range of governance options, and,
  • Identifying and evaluating alternative delivery approaches to key program activities.

The output gathered throughout the day will be used by Stratos to support the CSSP program evaluation's conclusions and recommendations.

Appendix A - Alternatives Workshop Participants (Not for publication)

Environment Canada

  1. XXXXX
  2. XXXXX
  3. XXXXX
  4. XXXXX
  5. XXXXX
  6. XXXXX
  7. XXXXX
  8. XXXXX

CFIA

  1. XXXXX
  2. XXXXX
  3. XXXXX
  4. XXXXX
  5. XXXXX
  6. XXXXX

DFO

  1. XXXXX
  2. XXXXX
  3. XXXXX
  4. XXXXX
  5. XXXXX
  6. XXXXX

Stratos

  1. XXXXX
  2. XXXXX
  3. XXXXX

Appendix B - Overview of Selected International Shellfish Monitoring Programmes

(Adapted from International Shellfish Sanitation Program Comparison, Blue Revolution Consulting Group Inc., August 2004)

Scope

New Zealand

Recreational fishery - non commercial monitoring is funded by Ministry of Health and is the responsibility of local health boards

Wild fishery - all wild harvesters must have a picking permit (defines the area they may harvest from and the maximum quota)

FN - Agreement was negotiated by the Maori with the NZ government for "full and final settlement" of their claims to commercial fisheries.

Ireland

Recreational fishery - subject to controls by FSAI, MI and DCMNR. Harvest closures are publicized

Wild fishery - info not readily available

FN - not applicable

France

Recreational fishery - governed by licensing legislation

Wild fishery - managed by National Committee of Fisheries, by licence only

FN - not applicable

Governance

New Zealand

Shellfish Sanitation programs in New Zealand are the responsibility of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (a division of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry).

Regulators in New Zealand have delegated almost all of the program delivery through the use of private laboratories, local health districts, and Shellfish Quality Assurance Programme Delivery Centres (SQAPDC).

These Centres are established in each geographic region where there is commercial shellfish harvesting.

Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is the single, regulatory authority with responsibility for enforcement of food safety legislation in Ireland.

In the area of shellfish monitoring, FSAI manages the responsibility for enforcement of food safety through subcontracts to two agencies which manage the programme:

  • Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources (DCMNR) - manages the sampling and monitoring program in the shellfish production regions.
  • Marine Institute (MI) - serves as the National Reference Laboratory for biotoxin and microbiological analysis and dissemination of results. It is also the link to the EU which harmonizes and coordinates monitoring standards through Council Directives and designation of reference laboratories.

The Molluscan Shellfish Safety Committee coordinates the involvement of stakeholders in the program. Management Cells are used for local rapid decision making and implementation.

France

Ifremer-Environnement is a public institute, which is mandated to control the quality of marine products, specifically shellfish aquaculture products

The Ifremer-Environnement is placed under the joint supervision of four ministries:

  • Research
  • Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Amenities, Transport, Housing Tourism and Sea
  • Ecology and long-term Development

Delivery Activities

New Zealand

The shellfish quality assurance program as required by IAIS 005.I is operated on a full cost recovery/user pay basis. The SQAPDC pay directly to the NAFSA for the mandatory services of the inspector in their area (including inspections, surveillance issues related to harvesting, tagging, and product management).

The SQAPDC may be set up wherever shellfish are grown and harvested for the export or domestic harvest. They are organized and operated by representatives of the shellfish growers. They are funded by the growers and in some cases by the local authority and/or regional councils.

Ireland

No charge is levied to producers for sampling because stakeholders contribute time, equipment etc. to support and carry out the sampling and monitoring activities. Program is fully funded by government agencies.

Molluscan Shellfish Safety Committee is the body that manages the sampling and monitoring program. It is a national forum for all those involved in the production and placing on the market of bivalve molluscs. Includes representatives of producers, processors, FSAI, DCMNR, Health Boards, MI, other testing laboratories, and the wild fishery stakeholder board. It is an umbrella for local "management cells".

DCMR coordinates sampling through a Sea Fishery Officer assigned to each growing area. Producers generally carry out the sampling (trained by the Sea Fishery Officer). MI does testing and releases results on websites. Health Boards do communications and publicity for consumers and general public.

France

Industry pays for batch testing only. All monitoring of shellfish and water is government funded, either via Ifremer directly or via transfer payments to local communities.

Microbiological (REMI) and biotoxin (REPHY) monitoring are entirely controlled by Ifremer.

REMI also implements the management plan for cultivated shellfish (requires it to monitor and classify growing areas)

Ifremer also participates in the development and maintenance of local initiatives, including experimental monitoring.

The national observation of marine quality is financed by the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, however is managed by Ifremer.

Exporting Requirements

New Zealand

New Zealand meets the exporting requirements of 60 countries.

New Zealand is a signatory to an MOU with the USFDA under the NSSP

Under the MOU between NZ-MAF and USA-FDA, the Ministry of Health (through crown health enterprises) is responsible for the sanitary survey, classification and monitoring of shellfish growing areas from which shellfish is harvested. It is also responsible for ensuring all shellfish sold in New Zealand comply with the requirements of the Food Act 1981 and the Food Regulations 1984, such that shellfish are grown and harvested in accordance with the NSSP or its equivalent, i.e. IAIS 005.1 Note physical delivery of these tasks is delegated to other groups (SQADC)

Ireland

EU countries do not have trade arrangements with the US under the NSSP

New EU directives which relate to shellfish are as follows:

  • Regulation 852/2004 which lays down the general hygiene requirements for all food business operators;
  • Regulation 853/2004 which lays down additional specific requirements for food businesses dealing with foods of animal origin, including live bivalve molluscs and fishery products;
  • Regulation 854/2004 lays down the official controls for foods of animal origin.

France

EU countries do not have trade arrangements with the US under the NSSP

New EU directives which relate to shellfish are as follows:

  • Regulation 852/2004 which lays down the general hygiene requirements for all food business operators;
  • Regulation 853/2004 which lays down additional specific requirements for food businesses dealing with foods of animal origin, including live bivalve molluscs and fishery products;
  • Regulation 854/2004 lays down the official controls for foods of animal origin.

Appendix C - Evaluation Preliminary Observations: Suggestions for Alternative Ways to Deliver Services

  • Greater coordination/integration with provinces - particularly around aquaculture/harvest bed rehabilitation to ensure greater safety.
  • More First Nations agreements to provide them more responsibility over program delivery on their lands.
  • More industry cost sharing (recoverable licence fees, extra fee on recreational licences, etc.) but absence of earmarking is a disincentive.
  • More volunteer/stakeholder monitoring of closed areas to reduce the need for frequent patrols.
  • Facilitating more personal responsibility for safe consumption through enhanced public outreach ('check before you eat').
  • Implementing targeted program activities in areas currently without a CSSP (e.g., providing a mini-CSSP in a few key areas that have high Recreational/FN harvesting; monitoring only aquaculture sites as opposed to entire harvest areas).
  • Instituting a requirement for all products to pass through federally registered plants, to ensure that shellfish are not sold (roadside sales, restaurants, etc.) without any assurance of shellfish safety.
  • An R & D stream (e.g., to identify new risks (viruses, vibrios) and technologies (gillet test).
  • Consider adopting quicker biotoxin testing techniques.
  • Be more responsive to industry needs for timely decisions.
  • More decision-making authority to RISCs to respond to regional needs.
  • Allow classification of an area on meat analysis only where area is more than 40' deep.

CSSP Evaluation Report: Management Response and Action Plan

Overall, the conclusions and recommendations noted in the evaluation report are consistent with prior internal assessments, and reinforce the fact that the CSSP is facing pressures which require a fundamental review of program basis and direction.

Recommendation Response Implementation Strategy Target Date/ Lead

Stratos Report Recommendation #1

The CSSP ADMs Committee should establish a stronger governance framework for the program that consists of:

  • A strengthened role for the ADM Steering Committee that includes clear CFIA leadership, that makes recommendations on resource allocations, approves documented annual CSSP work plans, clarifies policy direction (including scope and reach), oversees implementation, and holds partners accountable for performance;
  • A CSSP Secretariat that includes dedicated CSSP staff and is established within CFIA. The Secretariat should support the ADM Steering Committee, coordinate program audits, identify research needs, coordinate RISCs and NISC, produce annual CSSP work plans and performance reports, develop and maintain operating standards and guidelines, and manage a stakeholder advisory board. (Secretariat staff would not have responsibilities related to internal agency or departmental coordination and activities, they would be dedicated to horizontal program coordination and support);
  • A Stakeholder Advisory Board that engages provinces and key stakeholders, and reports regularly to the ADM Steering Committee.

(High Priority - within 6 months)

The CSSP partners agree with this recommendation.

An enhanced governance framework, including the three components identified, will be developed.

Context:

Relevant enhancements in this areas have recently been undertaken:

  1. The roles and procedures for the national and regional interdepartmental committees has been clarified and enhanced
  2. Interdepartmental agreement has been reached on a strategy for establishing a federal/provincial governance structure for fish and seafood.

The official governance of the CSSP is defined in the interdepartmental MOU (section 5). The current governance involves regular meetings of an interdepartmental Directors General Steering Committee, as well as National and Regional interdepartmental committees responsible for policy development and maintenance. Interdepartmental meetings of ADMs take place as required. As three organizations with significantly different mandates administer the program, there are ongoing challenges due to the complexities of joint governance.

Phase 1:

A consultant specializing in the this area will be engaged to develop:

  1. Terms of reference for a CSSP Secretariat, including mandate, resources, staffing, lines of authority, and duration;
  2. The establishment of an enhanced overall CSSP governance framework (including stakeholder advisory board).

Engaging an external advisor will provide a specialists perspective in a short time span.

  • Request for proposal
  • Project Start
  • The consultant's report will be completed
  • Report to senior management

Phase 2:

The secretariat will be formed and proceed in the coordination of actions necessary to address this, and all other recommendations, as appropriate.

Director, Fish, Seafood and Production Division CFIA

Oct 2007
Nov 2007
Dec 2007
Jan 2008


Lead: (as per outcome of above) Feb/ Mar 2008

Stratos Report Recommendation #2

The CSSP ADMs Committee should redefine the policy and scope, including vision and guidance framework, for the program, taking into consideration the following factors:

  • The increasing focus on food safety as a priority for the program;
  • The need to clarify the reach of the program, including the extent of coverage intended for different harvesters (commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal);
  • The need to address shortfalls in the awareness and outreach efforts needed for the public and shellfish consumers;
  • The need for stronger cooperation and coordination of effort with the provinces and industry;
  • The need for equitable coverage for a variety of commercial harvesters (wild and aquaculture);
  • The range of geographic coverage, diversity of users and species to be covered by the program;
  • The economic benefits and opportunities for growth that would benefit all Canadians.

(High Priority - within 6 months)

The CSSP partners agree with this recommendation.

A process for assessing options and reaching a final decision to clarify program scope and direction will be developed.

Continued activity in implementing incremental policy/procedural improvements for maintaining the program will be carried out by the national and regional interdepartmental shellfish committees.

Context:

The current CSSP objective/scope is very broad:

  • provide reasonable assurance that molluscan shellfish are safe for consumption as food by controlling the harvesting of all molluscs within the tidal waters of Canada.

While the scope of federal responsibility is broad, the scope of federal activity in CSSP delivery needs to be reconsidered. Currently it is not feasible for the federal government to deliver the CSSP as designed throughout the entire coast of Canada for all users.

The follow-up to this recommendation will be led/ facilitated by the secretariat.

Their objective will be to facilitate/oversee the development of a discussion paper outlining the full range of options/implications for the scope of the CSSP, as well as identify recommendations and a proposed work plan for moving forward

This work will build on the previous work under the CSSP redesign (the CSSP partners have defined proposed principles for a strengthened CSSP), the Stratos report, and the preliminary risk assessment under Stratos Recommendation 3.

Presentation to Senior Management

Eventually the Interdepartmental MOU will be revised to reflect the redefined scope and related roles and responsibilities.

Secretariat


Spring 2008 - Summer 2008
Fall 2008
Spring 2009

Stratos Report Recommendation #3

The proposed CSSP Secretariat should undertake a program wide risk assessment, develop a risk reduction strategy, and implement a plan to ensure the program activities and resources are directed to those areas of greatest risk.

(High Priority)

The CSSP partners agree with this recommendation

The outcome of this assessment is essential to informing decision-making for the issues associated with program scope, policy direction, work planning and budget management.

Phase 1:

A consultant specializing in this area will be engaged to complete an Integrated Risk Management profile of the CSSP.

The standard Treasury Board approach to the development of risk profiles will be adopted. This will include:

  • Interviews with senior managers in the three CSSP agencies and Health Canada
  • Regional workshops with CSSP staff to identify risk drivers, events and mitigation strategies
  • International bench marking, existing reports/analysis, Canadian and international standards, and up to date scientific developments
  • Involvement of a range of other interdepartmental experts and scientific expertise, including Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and academia.

The assessment is intended to identify the key/priority risks and to inform the review of the program scope (Stratos Report Recommendation #2). Engaging an external advisor will provide a specialization needed for the process in a short time span

Risk Assessment complete and report to senior management

Phase 2

Follow up by Secretariat to implement the risk reduction strategy


Secretariat to direct once in place (Spring 2008)
Fall 2008
Winter 2009

Stratos Report Recommendation #4

The proposed CSSP Secretariat should develop a horizontal Results-based Management and Accountability Framework for the program

(Medium Priority - Within 12 months)

The CSSP partners agree with this recommendation. A Results-based Management and Accountability Framework tailored for the CSSP will be developed.

The follow-up to this recommendation will be led/ facilitated by the Secretariat.

Their objective will be to develop a preliminary framework in consultation with the National Interdepartmental Shellfish Committee.

Report to ADMs

Secretariat
Spring 2008 ongoing
Winter 2009

Stratos Report Recommendation #5

The proposed CSSP Secretariat should undertake a research needs analysis and develop a strategy to address the ongoing science-based research needs for shellfish related issues (including new and emerging pathogens and marine biotoxins).

(Medium Priority)

The three partners agree with the need for a research needs analysis and CFIA has already initiated discussions on the development of a research strategy.

This action will be initiated by the Science Branch of CFIA. Further support will be provided by the Secretariat once established.

  • Their objective will be to prepare a project plan identifying a proposed process for development and implementation of a needs analysis and research strategy.
  • The process will include collaboration with experts in the three CSSP partners, and other key science experts (internal and external, national and international).
  • The outcome of the preliminary risk assessment will influence the direction of the strategy

Secretariat
Spring 2009

Stratos Report Recommendation #6

The proposed CSSP Secretariat should develop a tracking and reporting system for CSSP costs and performance.

(Medium Priority)

The CSSP partners agree with this recommendation. A tracking and reporting system for CSSP costs and performance will be developed.

The objective will be to prepare a project plan identifying a proposed process for development in implementation of a tracking and reporting system. This will be developed in consultation with the National Interdepartmental Shellfish Committee.

Secretariat
Fall 2008

Resource Requirements

Costs to be shared by 3 partners
Amount: to be validated by consultant report
Secretariat: Approx. $400,000/yr

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