Food Safety Program Modernization Evaluation – Part 1

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 Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee, chaired by the President. All evaluations must be reported to the Performance Measurement and 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 Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee.

Summary

The Food Safety Modernization Initiative (FSMI) is a series of seven projects designed to enhance the CFIA's Food Safety Program. It is a key component of the Agency's overall modernization activities. The initiative was allocated $139.8 million for fiscal years 2011-12 to 2015-16.

Diagram - Agency Modernization. Description follows.
Description for Diagram - Agency Modernization

The diagram at the top of the page demonstrates how the Food Safety Modernization Initiative influences the Food Safety Program, and Agency modernization overall. The diagram consists of two parts. Part 1 consists of a oval blue shape with three vertical layers of information. Part 2 consists of a table with two columns, four rows in the left column and eight rows in the right column.

Part 1

The top layer of the oval has the words Agency Modernization.

Below this, the middle layer, has three boxes organized horizontally. The following text is within the three boxes from left to right:

  • Food Safety Program, in a pale blue box
  • Animal Health Program, in a light red box
  • Plant Program, in a pale green box

The bottom layer has a grey oval with the letters FSMI. FSMI stands for Food Safety Modernization Initiative.

There is a solid line with an arrow going from the FSMI grey oval to the Food Safety Program pale blue box.

There is a dotted line with an arrow going from the FSMI grey oval to the Animal Health Program light red box.

There is a dotted line with an arrow going from the FSMI grey oval to the Plant Program pale green box.

Part 2

The top row on the left of the table is column one, and has the following text:

  • Element, in a grey box

The following three rows in column one have the following text from top to bottom:

  • Inspection System Modernization, in a pale blue box
  • Enhanced Science Capacity, in a medium blue box
  • Improved IM/IT, in a dark blue box

The top row on the right of the table is column two, and has the following text:

  • Projects/Sub-initiatives, in a grey box

The following seven rows in column two have the following text from top to bottom:

  • Improved Food Inspection model, in a pale blue box
  • Electronic Services Delivery Platform (ESDP), in a pale blue box
  • Recruitment and Training of Inspectors, in a pale blue box
  • Developing a Laboratory Network Strategy, in a medium blue box
  • Modernizing Equipment and Laboratories, in a medium blue box
  • Enhancing Laboratory Response Capacity, in a medium blue box
  • Increased efficiency through improved information management/Information technology (IM/IT), in a dark blue box

The projects/sub-initiatives "Improved Food Inspection model," "Electronic Services Delivery Platform (ESDP)," and "Recruitment and Training of Inspectors" in column two lines up with the element "Inspection System Modernization" in column one.

The projects/sub-initiatives "Developing a Laboratory Network Strategy," "Modernizing Equipment and Laboratories," and "Enhancing Laboratory Response Capacity" in column two lines up with the element "Enhanced Science Capacity" in column one.

The projects/sub-initiatives "Increased efficiency through improved information management/Information technology (IM/IT)" in column two lines up with the element "Improved IM/IT" in column one.

Evaluation Overview

This evaluation examines the initial $87.4 million allocated to the FSMI between fiscal years 2011-12 and 2014-15. Data collection methods included:

  • Literature and document review
  • Data review
  • Cost analysis
  • Expert interviews

Key Findings

Diagram - Key Findings. Description follows.
Description for Diagram - Key Findings

The diagram at the bottom of the page describes the six evaluation findings and two recommendations.

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

Recommendations

  1. The Agency should establish and monitor an internal and external communication process to share ongoing information about the FSMI projects and their benefits.
  2. The Agency should develop a performance measurement strategy to track how FSMI projects are affecting the Food Safety Program. The strategy should include:
    • Indicators directly linked to overall Food
      Safety Program outcomes
    • Indicators to measure the effects of FSMI
      investments on program efficiency

Surrounding the large blue recommendation circle are six smaller circles. Three are in varying shades of pale blue and three are in varying shades of pale purple. Each of these circles describes a key finding. The six key findings are as follows:

  • The FSMI supports government-wide and CFIA priorities
  • There is a demonstrated need for the FSMI to enhance the Food Safety Program
  • Despite some delays, project activities are producing their intended outputs
  • Most funding is projected to have been spent by the end of 2015-16. Remaining funding has been extended to fiscal year 2017-18
  • Communications and stakeholder buy-in are common challenges across all FSMI projects
  • There is a lack of performance measurement to track the initiative's effects on the Food Safety Program

Complete Report

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