Archived - Budget 2012 and the CFIA

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The CFIA continues to strengthen Canada's food safety system and protect Canadian families. Budget 2012 identified funding of $51M over two years for key food safety initiatives. Funding for two of the CFIA's sunsetting programs, one that dealt with Listeriosis and and another regarding increasing the frequency of food inspections in meat processing plants, was extended as part of Budget 2012 and will be added to the Agency's budget later in the year, subject to Treasury Board and Parliamentary approval.

Like all federal departments and agencies, the CFIA was asked to review its activities and processes to see where savings could be found and to contribute to the government's overall Economic Action Plan. The CFIA's savings come to $56M over three years. None of these savings affect the food safety investments mentioned above.

The CFIA's budget savings are in five general categories:

Administrative Efficiencies

The CFIA has identified a number of opportunities to reduce costs associated with management, administration and other internal functions. In some cases, the CFIA has found better ways of operating. In other areas, work is being reduced or eliminated. This reduction of internal costs represents approximately 50 per cent of all the Agency's reduction initiatives as a result of Budget 2012. These changes have no impact on food safety or other services provided to the public.

Front-line inspection staff are not being reduced under these initiatives.

The CFIA is reducing its executive workforce by approximately 12 per cent. In addition, the CFIA is standardizing executive and management support organizations to eliminate duplication and inconsistencies in the way activities are carried out.

The Agency is also streamlining administrative support for the Agency's recently adopted internal governance structure. Some of these functions were eliminated and some functions were streamlined to make them more efficient.

Processes and services associated with a range of internal activities including human resources, accounting operations, audit and evaluation and communications are being streamlined.

The Agency is also reducing expenditures associated with professional service contracts.

Shared Services between CFIA and AAFC

CFIA and AAFC have reviewed their internal operations to find areas where sharing support services between the two organizations would result in efficiencies without affecting service to Canadians or stakeholders.

Among the new shared services are facilities management, IM-IT, security, parliamentary affairs, ministerial correspondence and some human resources activities. The vast majority of these shared services are at National Headquarters in Ottawa, where CFIA and AAFC also share physical space.

Program Changes to Improve Services, Facilitate Trade and Enhance Consumer Choice

The Government of Canada continues to reduce red tape and support businesses interacting with the CFIA by streamlining processes, simplifying regulatory requirements and providing single window access to specialized expertise. CFIA is also transferring non-food safety activities to other fully qualified organizations and consolidating both physical space and administrative expertise to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, consistency and quality of service delivery.

For instance, CFIA is transferring to qualified third parties its inspection activities for quality and efficacy for both seed potato tubers and seed crops, while continuing to ensure the safety of these commodities. In addition, CFIA will no longer be responsible for the quality of fertilizer, but again, will maintain the responsibility for fertilizer safety. The CFIA is also transferring responsibility for washing vehicles before they leave Newfoundland on the ferry to ensure they do not have contaminated soil on them. CFIA continues to ensure no vehicle leaves Newfoundland with potentially contaminated soil.

Regulatory requirements for food packaging that are not related to food safety are being eliminated as are those for standardized container sizes.

The CFIA is also consolidating some of its office space to achieve efficiencies and save costs.

Implementing Agreed Upon Changes with Provinces

The CFIA has provided meat inspection services in provincially registered establishments in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan for a number of years on a limited cost recovery basis.

Since these activities are not part of our legislated responsibilities, as already announced in August 2011, CFIA is transferring provincial meat inspection activities back to the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This allows the CFIA to reposition its resources more appropriately on its mandated role in federally registered establishments.

This change does not affect food safety. The only difference is that inspections will be conducted by provincial authorities. Inspectors who perform these activities will be given guaranteed reasonable job offers. There is no reduction in federal inspection capacity as a result of this initiative.

It is also important to note that this does not change any of the regulatory requirements. All meat produced in Canada - either in federally or provincially inspected plants - must meet the safety requirements of the Food and Drugs Act.

More Effective Response to Animal Diseases and Plant Pests

The CFIA is Canada's foremost science-based regulator and science informs all of our program decisions. By making adjustments to some of the CFIA's animal disease and plant pest programs, the Agency reflects the most current scientific knowledge. Consultations with provinces and industry will be key in the success of these program changes.

In the case of plant pests, CFIA is adjusting its approach to the management of four pests, based on current science, to better protect Canada's plant resources. For the Asian Long-horned Beetle and isolated occurrences of Sudden Oak Death, CFIA continues to strive for eradication. For Emerald Ash Borer and Brown Spruce Long-horned Beetle, eradication is no longer possible and the goal is to shift to a management strategy. This approach will be guided by science-based decision making and any decisions will be made in collaboration with other levels of government and industry stakeholders.

By making these adjustments, the Agency is in a better position to redirect resources quickly to respond to any new or emerging plant health issues, such as a new plant pest.

Similarly, the CFIA is adjusting its programs that deal with four federally reportable animal diseases in Canada: rabies, Chronic Wasting Disease, anaplasmosis and anthrax.

In several cases, the diseases are entrenched both in Canada and the United States and eradication is simply not viable. The CFIA is moving to management strategies again in consultation with provinces and industry. In some instances, tools already exist to prevent these diseases. The CFIA will focus on prevention and control.

CFIA's Savings Overview

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