ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the Federal Assistance Program (FAP)

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Evaluation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Evaluation Directorate is responsible for evaluating the relevance and performance of Agency programs, policies and initiatives. This effort supports informed decision-making and enhances performance and accountability.

The Evaluation Directorate is accountable to the CFIA's Evaluation Committee, chaired by the President. All evaluations must be reported to the Evaluation Committee and must be conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on EvaluationFootnote 1. Evaluation projects are selected during an annual Agency planning process, and then reflected in the Agency's Evaluation Plan, which is approved by the Evaluation Committee.

The Federal Assistance Program (FAP) is currently the CFIA's sole contribution program and is used to fund projects and initiatives that advance the Agency's strategic outcome. The FAP is unique in that it is not a standard federally-funded contribution program; individual branches are required to use their operating budgets as the source of funds for each contribution.

Click on image for larger view
Diagram - CFIA's Strategic Outcome. Description follows.

Description for Diagram - CFIA's Strategic Outcome

The diagram describes how the Federal Assistance Program influences the CFIA's Strategic Outcome. From bottom to top the three rows are:

  • Federal Assistance Program
  • Project Level Immediate Outcomes
  • CFIA's Strategic Outcome

The 'Federal Assistance Program' row has an arrow pointing upwards to the 'Project Level Immediate Outcomes' row.

The 'Project Level Immediate Outcomes' row has a secondary row just beneath it with four small boxes. The four boxes are as follows:

  • Scientific/Technical Knowledge Advanced/Enhanced
  • Individual Knowledge and Skills Developed/Improved
  • International Collaborations Expanded/Strengthened
  • Organizations or Initiatives Established/Sustained

The 'Project Level Immediate Outcomes' row has an arrow pointing upwards to the 'CFIA's Strategic Outcome' row.

The 'CFIA's Strategic Outcome' row has a secondary row with one box just beneath it and the following text is written inside the box, "A safe and accessible food supply and plant resource base."

Overview

The FAP has annual maximum allowable expenditures of $4.5 million, though it averages about $1.5 million. Over the four-year period of the evaluation's scope (2011-15), the FAP contributed $5.9 million over 23 agreements, with the smallest agreement at $5,500 and the largest at $2 million. Data collection methods included:

  • Document review
  • Data review and cost analysis
  • Expert Interviews
  • Comparative review

Key Findings

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Diagram - Key Findings. Description follows.

Description for Diagram - Key Findings

The diagram describes the six key findings and the four recommendations.

In the center of the bottom half of the page is a large pale blue circle and the text inside is as follows:

Title is Recommendations

  1. The CFIA should increase awareness of the FAP across the Agency.
  2. The CFIA should develop and implement more standardized and detailed project and program performance monitoring and reporting
  3. The CFIA should scale project administrative requirements based on type and size
  4. The CFIA should develop guidelines for the funding of repeat FAP projects over multiple years

Surrounding the large blue recommendation circle are six smaller circles. Two are in pale blue, two are in a darker shade of blue and two are in a pale shade of green. Each of these circles describes a key finding. The six key findings are as follows:

  • Since the evaluation in 2010, significant measures and controls have been put in place and most are fully operationalized.
  • There is a strong need for the FAP as it is the only contribution program and provides CFIA flexibility to access expertise outside the CFIA.
  • The FAP is aligned with federal government and CFIA priorities.
  • Most of the expected immediate outcomes have been achieved. Reporting on performance across projects is uneven providing an opportunity to enhance objective monitoring with a more cohesive review process.
  • Currently, the FAP is efficiently and effectively managed. There is, however, room for improving the administrative burden.
  • While FAP projects are subject to strict and robust governance, there is no mechanism in place that guides repeat and multi-year funding.

Complete Report

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