Audit of Additions to Reserve Process - Follow-up Report Status Update as of December 31, 2013

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of December 31, 2013

Lands and Economic Development, Regional Operations

Audit of Additions to Reserve Process
Approval Date: 04-26-2013
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Regional Operations (RO) should formalize and update regional governance practices and work with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development (LED) to develop a practice to share leading practices, establish common ATR processing steps and milestones, and report on the ATR process at a national level. Governance structures have been implemented for all ATR streamlining efforts and include the formalization of process, documents and templates. Governance structures have been developed with clearly outlined roles and responsibilities for land submissions that cover HQ, Regions, Corporate Secretariat, Regional Support Centres, CFO, LED and RO. Training for regional offices on ATR streamlining was completed on December 1, 2012. Regular reporting and monitoring occur through monthly calls with all LED directors and managers and the NATS system is used as a means for reporting on ATR submissions. Training and guidelines will be provided to all regions during 2013-14 for the roll out of the new ATR policy.

Regional Service Centres will share best practices. Regional LED Directors will be asked by RDGs (through EPMs and other tools) to provide regular updates on reporting and monitoring on ATRs, especially major program changes.

RO and LED will seek feedback from regions that are in the midst of implementing lands streamlining changes.
June 2013
(ATR Policy)
March 2014
(regional training on new ATR policy)
2. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should continue updating the Lands Manual to better identify procedural steps. Revisions to Chapter 10 of the Land management manual are currently underway. This will include consultation with RDGs. Sept 2013 Status: Request to Close

As of 30/09/2013:

Recommendations to revise the additions to reserve (ATR) policy (Chapter 10 of the Land Management Manual) were finalized in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) through the Joint Working Group. A revision of the ATR policy was completed and approved by the Deputy Minister and the Minister for posting online for the public comment period, which ended Oct. 31/13. Ongoing review or maintenance of the policy and any further revisions will be undertaken as part of regular operational business.

RDG’s were consulted in April of 2013 as part of Strategic Policy Committee and are briefed regularly as part of the LED Directors meetings.

AES: Implemented. Recommend to be Closed.
3. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should review performance measures for continued relevance to allow for more useful performance reporting across all Regions and support Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Regional Operations in establishing clear priorities for processing ATRs, including identifying possible risks to the achievement of those priorities. Performance measures will be reviewed by LED and RO to ensure relevance. A process for establishing clear priorities will be addressed in the new ATR policy. As required, LED officials will continue to work with RO Senior Management to identify obstacles, solutions and priorities. March 2014  
4. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should work with the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Regional Operations to clarify the role of the Department of Justice, communicate the national service standard expectations to regional staff, and develop practices to increase the efficiency of DOJ’s participation in the ATR process DOJ will comply with existing service standards to ensure that they are being implemented and that any impediments are identified and dealt with in a timely manner. If service standards are not being met on a broad basis, LED, PSD, DOJ and RO will discuss and clearly identify the time delays and examine solutions and make recommendations as required. To ensure national consistency, LED and RO in consultation with DOJ, will develop a checklist that clarifies the role of DOJ and identifies specific issues that may require legal review. Sept 2013 Status: Completed - Request to Close

As of 31/12/2013:

DOJ has worked in partnership with AANDC regions to effectively meet service requirements related to ATR. No impediments have been noted, although regular meetings have been established to monitor on an ongoing basis.

While DOJ had initially contemplated developing a checklist to clarify their role, they have determined that national precedents or templates would serve as a more effective tool to increase DOJ efficiency, clarify their role and identify issues requiring legal review. As part of the Legal Advisory Efficiencies project, DOJ has developed a number of precedents in areas where DOJ plays a role within the ATR process, including precedents for the Initiating Band Council Resolution; Order-in-Council/ Ministerial Order; DOJ Approval letter; Amending Order; and, Utility Agreements. These national precedents are now being used by AANDC.

AES: Implemented. Recommendation to be closed.
5. The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Regional Operations should work with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development to review alignment of staffing level requirements and capacity to the volume of activity and priorities. ADM LED and DG’s as needed to work with SADM RO and RDGs to identify opportunities for improved resource alignment March 2014  
6. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should clarify user needs and revise the National ATR Tracking System (NATS) application to provide ATR file management support based on clearly defined processing milestones, data fields, and reporting requirements. The Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Economic Development should also delay First Nation’s access to NATS until the issues surrounding data completeness and accuracy are addressed. The need for additional enhancements will be examined. RO and LED will assess the timing and feasibility of opening NATS to First Nations. ADM LED will seek ongoing SADM RO input on NATS enhancements. Sept 2013 Status: Completed - Request to Close

As of 31/12/2013:

More than 100 system enhancements were analysed and 30 priority enhancements were identified. Also a business analyst examined requirements to develop NATS file management capacity.

Given the data completeness and accuracy concerns identified in the audit, select NATS data fields were confirmed accurate in June-July 2013 and public view functionality is under development.

This work was completed with the ongoing collaboration of regional Lands Directors and officers.

As part of the Lands Directorate’s ongoing work to enhance AANDC land administration and additions to reserve activities, an analysis of all lands systems is underway. This work will include NATS and where appropriate further NATS enhancements will be pursued. This work will be done in collaboration with regional Lands officers.

AES: Implemented. Recommendation to be Closed.

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