EVALUATION REPORT

EVALUATION OF COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

PROJECT NUMBER 6B171
MARCH 4, 2016


EVALUATION DIRECTORATE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER SECTOR
FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Evaluation Directorate would like to thank all individuals who provided input to the evaluation of the Compliance and Enforcement Program. In particular, the Directorate acknowledges the time and effort of key informants and survey recipients who shared their insights, knowledge and opinions. The Evaluation Directorate also acknowledges the time and effort given by program management, staff and partners during site visits to three DFO regions: Newfoundland and Labrador Region, Quebec Region as well as the Pacific Region.

ACRONYMS

ADM
Assistant Deputy Minister
AAROM
Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program
AFS
Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy
C&E
Compliance and Enforcement
C&P
Conservation and Protection
CCG
Canadian Coast Guard
DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
DVS
Departmental Violation System
FEATS
Fishery Officer Enforcement Activity Tracking System
IFMP
Integrated Fisheries Management Plans
IUU
Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported
MCS
Monitoring, Control and Surveillance
NAFO
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
NFIS
National Fisheries Intelligence Service
PAA
Program Alignment Architecture
PM Strategy
Performance Measurement Strategy
PPSC
Prosecution Service of Canada
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
SLA
Service Level Agreement
SSC
Shared Services Canada

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Introduction

The evaluation of the Compliance and Enforcement Program (C&E) was conducted by DFO’s Evaluation Directorate and covers a five-year period from April 2010 to March 2015. The evaluation addressed the issues of relevance and performance, in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada’s 2009 Policy on Evaluation.

Within DFO the Conservation and Protection (C&P) Directorate, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management Sector directly encompasses and fulfills the needs of the Compliance and Enforcement Program. The evaluation addressed the information needs of C&P senior management by examining proposed operational improvements intended to support organizational changes of the program and increase efficiencies (e.g. new ticketing regime, access to real time data).

Program Profile

The C&E program ensures the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat, and oceans. Various enablers support the delivery of the program. The Department of Justice of Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, DFO’s IM/IT and Shared Services Canada as well as the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) all play a vital support role to the program. Additionally, the program collaborates with a variety of domestic and international partners. These include partners within DFO’s Ecosystems and Fisheries Management Sector, other federal departments, other levels of government, industry, First Nations communities, recreational fishing groups, and others. Internationally, program staff participate in or indirectly contribute to more than a dozen Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (e.g. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission).

The program is delivered through a regulatory management and enforcement approach, and uses a number of tools to achieve its goals, including promoting compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures through education and shared stewardship; monitoring, control, and surveillance activities; and, the management of major cases and special investigations.

Evaluation Methodology

Program performance was measured against intended results articulated in the program logic model. Triangulation was used as a means to corroborate findings. The evaluation utilized existing administrative and financial data, and where required supplemented with additional data sources (i.e. document review; key informant interviews with staff, partners and stakeholders; staff survey; and, site visits). The evaluation questions were determined on the basis of the Treasury Board’s 2009 Policy on Evaluation. Further, the evaluation, followed-up on findings from the 2010 evaluation and its recommendations.

Evaluation Findings

The evaluation concludes that the program remains relevant in its role to conserve the sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources, and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat and oceans. Six federal acts are the main legislation establishing federal jurisdiction and define the core roles for C&E. The evaluation confirmed that C&E results are strongly linked with DFO’s strategic outcomes and are aligned with Government of Canada priorities.

Overall, evidence demonstrates that the program has been successful in making sure users of Canadian fisheries and oceans have access to relevant information relating to the protection of fisheries resources. The program ensures that users understand their obligation and comply with legislation, regulations and other managing frameworks that govern Canadian waterways, ecosystems and fisheries. Those who do not comply are held accountable for their actions through a variety of enforcement actions which contribute to the program’s high compliance rate. The evaluation also found some evidence that C&E is contributing towards the protection of waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources from unlawful exploitation.

In order to attain greater efficiencies, the program needs to better document its claims for improved efficiencies in several key areas, such as expanding ticketing regime and access to real time data. There is evidence that C&E and its enablers have made some initial progress towards these initiatives. In spite of this, very little documented evidence was available to the evaluators in order to substantiate how the proposed activities would lead to efficiencies or even possibly contribute to the effectiveness of C&E.

The evaluation also noted gaps are potentially emerging in some of the program’s on-water enforcement and surveillance activities. For example, the program is realizing fewer patrol days and fewer at-sea inspections than planned for in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. The evaluators were not able to fully determine the cause or the potential implications to the program. This is because more data, covering a broader number of years, taking into account both CCG and program performance information, would be required to better assess if the shortfalls in the enforcement and surveillance activities are impacting the program. The data that is available indicates that CCG large vessels in Atlantic Canada were at 77% availability in 2013-14 and that the number of patrol days and at-sea inspections in the NAFO Regulatory Area had decreased by 50% between 2011 and 2015. Key informants noted a partial explanation for this downward trend was due to Budget 2012 and its associated Strategic and Operating Review. Other explanations included there being a number of CCG vessels that were on vessel life extension, refit or maintenance with no alternative platforms available.

The CCG performance data is critical in order to then integrate that data with the program’s own mission completeness and trip reports. The regular integration of this on-water, performance data could systematically alert those concerned to where any potential services gaps may exist. Key informants noted that several meetings have already taken place between CCG and the program in order to resolve the lack of data.

Lastly, numerous best practices were identified during the evaluation including the use of Aboriginal and Contracted Fishery Guardians to complement the efforts of DFO Fishery Officers (i.e. especially as part of a compliance strategy to protect inland fish stocks).

Recommendations

The evaluation made four recommendations. Annex A presents the Management Action Plan  and identifies how C&E will address each of the recommendations.

Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the C&E program clearly quantify the expected efficiencies that would come from an expanded ticketing regime. If efficiencies are found to be significant, this information should be used to help garner the support of key enablers for this initiative. 

Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the C&E program quantify the projected efficiencies to the program with access to real time information (e.g. mobile office platform, streamlining of databases). If significant, the information should be used to help gain the support of key enablers for moving this initiative forward.

Recommendation 3: In collaboration with CCG, the C&E program shall re-establish its annual performance reporting needs relating to its use of CCG platforms (i.e. large & small vessels and helicopters). 

Recommendation 4: It is recommended that the C&E program conduct an analysis to determine if the use of Fishery Guardians could be expanded to additional regions.

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose of the Evaluation

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Compliance and Enforcement (C&E) Program conducted by the Evaluation Directorate within Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Within DFO, the Conservation and Protection (C&P) Directorate, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management Sector directly encompasses and fulfills the needs of the C&E Program as described in the 2015-2016 DFO Program Alignment Architecture (PAA).                                                  

In accordance with Treasury Board’s Policy on Evaluation, the main objective of the evaluation was to examine the relevance and performance of the C&E program, including an assessment of its effectiveness, efficiency and economy. Additionally, the evaluation was further refined to examine the proposed operational improvements intended to support organizational changes (e.g. new ticketing regime, access to real time data).

1.2 Evaluation Scope and Context

In 2010-11, an evaluation of the program was completed and its scope covered fiscal years 2005-06 to 2009-10. The current evaluation covered the 5-year period from April 2010 to March 2015 and included the National Capital Region, and all 6 DFO regions: Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritimes, Gulf, Quebec, Central and Arctic, and Pacific. The evaluation commenced in November 2014 and concluded in January 2016.

2.0 PROGRAM PROFILE

2.1 Program Context

Table 1 presents the financial and human resources for 2014-15.

This table provides the 2014-2015 financial and human resource details for the Compliance and Enforcement Program.  The table has two rows. The first row is the 2014-15 Financial Resources and lists the planned spending, financial authorities available for use, actual amount spent, difference between planned and actual spending as well as the amount transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard.  The second row is the 2014-15 Human Resources for the program and lists the planned, actual and difference. Read across the row to learn the relevant information by fiscal year in scope of the evaluation.

2014-15 financial resources
2014-15 Financial Resources ($ millions)
  Planned Authorities Available for Use Actual Difference Direct Transfer to CCG
Total 101.4 107.3 106.0 1.3 30.6
human resources FTE's
2014-15 Human Resources (FTEs)
  Planned Actual Difference
Total 724.6 680.3 44.3
Source: Departmental Performance Report 2014-15 and EFM Finance

The C&E program ensures the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat, and oceans. The program is delivered through a regulatory management and enforcement approach, and uses a number of tools to achieve its goals, including promoting compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures through education and shared stewardship; monitoring, control, and surveillance activities; and the management of major cases and special investigations.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the only federal organization with the specific and specialized authorities (conferred on C&P Fishery Officers) to utilize a broad spectrum of effective incentives and deterrents to promote, assist, and compel compliance with Canada’s fisheries and oceans regulatory frameworks. C&E meets domestic and international commitments to address illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing; for protecting habitat and species at risk, contributing to sustainable aquatic ecosystems, supporting legitimate economic activities, and protecting domestic and global consumers from illegally harvested fish and seafood products; and plays a significant role in supporting global marine security and anti-terrorism efforts.

The program includes the National Fisheries Intelligence Service (see section 2.1.1); Enforcement Operations (see section 2.1.2); and, Program and Operational Readiness (see section 2.1.3). The National Fisheries Intelligence Service and Program and Operational Readiness sub-programs support the carrying out of enforcement operations.

2.1.1 National Fisheries Intelligence Service

The National Fisheries Intelligence Service (NFIS) collects and analyzes information from all data sources working closely with other enforcement and partner agencies, and produces intelligence reports to facilitate knowledgeable and informed decision-making. As well, compliance assurance audits of individuals and companies designated as observers under the Fisheries Act and of exports certificates issued under DFO’s Catch Certificate Program, as carried out by NFIS, can provide valuable insights of principles and practices of third party co-deliverers and of regulated entities throughout the seafood value chain of custody. As the program evolves to an "intelligence-led organization", accurate intelligence will help to control, reduce and possibly mitigate threats and risks, which is essential to the success of the program. The establishment of an intelligence model as a core business practice will allow the program to move beyond crisis response and strategically focus its efforts on the areas of greatest risk and threat to the resource.

2.1.2 Enforcement Operations

Enforcement Operations employs a variety of compliance and enforcement tools to detect and deter illegal activities. The program uses land, water and air-based surveillance along with modern technology such as vessel monitoring systems, video monitoring and satellite surveillance to detect illegal activities. Education and Shared Stewardship promotes compliance, through education, promotional campaigns, and engagement of partners and stakeholders. Educational activities raise awareness and understanding which results in a more informed public and encourages resource users to comply with regulatory requirements. Fisheries monitoring, surveillance and audit activities provide an oversight function to determine participants’ compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures.

Major Cases and Special Investigations focus on solving high-risk, complex compliance issues that pose significant threat to the sustainability of Canada’s aquatic resources and cannot be addressed through education or, regular monitoring, and control and surveillance activities. The program is supported by third-party services (guardian, at-sea observer and dockside monitoring programs), and partnerships and joint operations with police and other enforcement agencies. The public can also assist by reporting violations through “Observe, Record, Report”, Report-A-Poacher and national Crime Stoppers programs.

To deter illegal activities, enforcement interventions may include warnings, seizures, arrests, directions, orders, diversions, tickets, charges and prosecutions. This program meets domestic and international commitments to address illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and to protect habitat and species at risk. Thereby it contributes to sustainable aquatic ecosystems, supports legitimate economic activities, and protects consumers from illegally harvested fisheries products.

2.1.3 Program Operational Readiness

Program and Operational Readiness develops and supports a skilled, equipped, well-informed, safe and effective workforce. Strategic planning, integrated risk assessments, periodic reviews and audits are carried out to identify operational priorities and to ensure the right balance of tools and approaches are used to achieve the program objectives. Acquisition and management of equipment, vehicles, and vessels is necessary to ensure a well-equipped and effective workforce.

Program and Operational Readiness ensures a well-trained workforce through the Fishery Officer Career Progression Program (FOCPP) and the coordination of specialized enforcement and intelligence training throughout the C&P Directorate including annual recertification requirements of Fishery Officers as needed. It also ensures rigorous management of data as well as information collection and analysis through the development and maintenance of Information Management Systems notably the Departmental Violation System (DVS). Finally, systems, such as the Fishery Officer Enforcement Activity Tracking System (FEATS), are used for collecting and analyzing information that support strategic planning, priority setting and performance management of the program activities overall.

2.2 Partners/Stakeholders (Domestic and International) and Enablers

2.2.1 Domestic

Other DFO program areas that the program directly supports from a compliance and enforcement perspective include: Integrated Resource Management, Aquaculture Management, Fisheries Protection, Integrated Oceans Management, Species at Risk, Aquatic Invasive Species, Marine Security – Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), and Search and Rescue – CCG.

Program staff also support the activities of a variety of other federal departments, other levels of government, industry, First Nations communities, recreational fishing groups, and others.  They do this to enhance compliance, improve and expand on lines of communication, education and awareness, and foster community involvement. To ensure peaceful and orderly fisheries the program also works closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as well as various domestic and international partners including industry. It makes a significant contribution, with the CCG, to the protection of Canadian sovereignty and assists the Department of National Defence with identifying potential marine security threats. It also plays a key administrative role, along with Ecosystems and Fisheries Management, Environment Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program to help ensure that the public is protected from contaminated fisheries products.

In most DFO regions, Provincial and Territorial fisheries, natural resource, and wildlife enforcement officers, have been designated as Fishery Officers under the Fisheries Act. Similarly, Fishery Officers are designated as enforcement officers and granted associated powers as provided in the provincial and territorial legislation. Additionally, the program has entered into agreements to provide support and in some cases authorities under agreements with provincial and territorial governments such as with Yukon Placer, the BC Oil and Gas Commission as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Nunavut.Footnote 1

Under certain treaty settlements and land claims agreements, for example the Nisga’a, Inuvialuit and Nunavut Agreements, DFO provides Fishery Officer capacity to help ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act and regulations.

The management of Canadian fisheries requires an integrated approach to monitoring, control and surveillance that involves the deployment of fishery officers to air, sea and land patrols; observer coverage on fishing vessels; dockside monitoring; and remote electronic monitoring. Third-party services provided through the guardian, at-sea observer and dockside monitoring programs, as well as partnerships and joint operations with police and a number of other enforcement agencies, make important contributions to this program. The general public assists by reporting violations through “Observe, Record, Report” programs.


2.2.2 International

The program undertakes an active role internationally in championing the advancement of flag State Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) regimes/initiatives and contributing to the global fight against IUU fishing activity in the Atlantic, Pacific and in the Arctic oceans primarily through its active offshore surveillance presence which dates back to the late 1800s.

Internationally, program staff participates in or indirectly contribute to more than a dozen Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. Given their importance to Canada, the program is particularly active in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and the Standing Committee on International Control (STACTIC); and on the West and North coasts, program staff work closely with other North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) partners through both the Enforcement and the Technical Compliance Committees as well as the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Staff also participate in a number of other international organizations/initiatives/treaties mandated to manage and protect marine recourses. These include Interpol, various United Nations (UN) resolutions, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiatives (e.g. Port State Measures), the International MCS Network and the North Pacific and North Atlantic Coast Guard Forums.

Bilaterally, the program is most engaged with the United States through organizations such as:  the United States Coast Guard; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (in particular NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service); Department of Commerce and the Department of State. Other bilateral engagements include co-operation with Greenland Home Rule and France on enforcement issues and enforcement aspects of the Procès-Verbal.

2.2.3 Enablers

The program works with various enablers to deliver its program. The Department of Justice Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), DFO’s IM/IT and Shared Services Canada (SSC) as well as CCG all play vital support roles. DOJ provides legal advice as well as being responsible for making amendments to legislation with regards to the Contraventions Act (other regulatory amendments to the Fisheries Act are made within DFO and follow the standard Government of Canada regulatory approval process). PPSC is responsible for prosecuting criminal offences under federal jurisdiction.

As for DFO’s IM/IT and SSC, their roles are to support the technological needs of the program as it moves towards an intelligence-based organization with a focus on more efficient technologies. The program is dependent upon SSC for the provision of some Fishery Officer technological equipment and the requisite physical and technological infrastructure to operate blackberries, tablets, etc. which are needed for having access to real-time information whereas the role of DFO IM/IT is to  support the updates to existing databases and systems as well as the development of new applications.

Lastly, CCG is not only a partner but key enabler. It provides the platforms (i.e. large and small vessels and helicopters) necessary for the program to carry out enforcement and surveillance activities in Canadian waters. CCG also makes it possible for the program to have an enhanced presence at sea in the regulatory areas of NAFO to help stop illegal fishing by foreign fleets. There is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which outlines the CCG services required by the program.

2.3 Logic Model and Performance Measurement

The logic model that guided the evaluation is attached as Annex B. It provides an overview of the logical linkages between inputs, activities, outputs and various levels of outcome.

The C&P Directorate developed a performance measurement strategy (PM Strategy) for the program. The purpose is to document the measures and indicators as well as the data collection process to support ongoing evaluation of program efficiency and effectiveness.

3.0 EVALUATION METHODOLOGY

3.1 Evaluation Approach and Design

As part of the planning phase, the DFO evaluation team reviewed key program documents and held preliminary discussions with key program personnel. This led the team to design an approach whereby program performance was measured against intended results articulated in the program logic model. The evaluation also addressed the information needs of senior program management by examining proposed operational improvements intended to support organizational changes and further increase efficiencies.

Triangulation was used as a means to corroborate findings. The evaluation questions were determined on the basis of the Treasury Board’s Policy on Evaluation (2009).  The evaluation assessed the extent to which the program achieved its immediate and intermediate outcomes as outlined in the logic model. A full evaluation was completed in 2010Footnote 2; therefore, this evaluation also assessed the extent to which the program achieved its long-term outcomes.  Further, the evaluation, followed-up on findings from the 2010 evaluation and its recommendations.


3.2 Data Sources

The evaluation utilized existing administrative and financial data, and where required supplemented with additional data sources. The details of the sources used are described more fully below:

  • Financial data was provided by the Financial Management Advisors situated within the Ecosystems Fisheries Management Sector.
  • Administrative data was sourced from either DVS or FEATS, program documents and other departmental publications.
  • Documents reviewed included various materials from the C&P Directorate, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including previous evaluation and audits, and other federal government and external sources.
  • Key informant interviews were held with forty-five respondents: 35 staff, 4 partners and 6 stakeholders. These included interviews with the Directors General, Directors, and chiefs or senior managers in each region including National Headquarters. The majority of headquarter interviews were conducted in person, with regional personnel interviewed by phone or during site visits. 
  • An online survey of all program staff was conducted. The survey had a response rate of 55.6%, with 400 out of the possible 720 people responding.
  • The evaluation team visited the Quebec Region, Newfoundland and Labrador Region as well as the Pacific Region between May and July 2015. In addition a member of the evaluation team observed the May 2015 face-to-face meeting of the C&P National Executive Committee held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. These visits contributed greatly to an understanding of the perceptions, opinions and experiences of individuals who have significant experience with the program.

Annex C defines the terms that have been used to report the proportion or frequency of responses in place of numerical data.

3.3 Methodological Limitations and Mitigation Strategies

Although the evaluation encountered some challenges and limitations, these were mitigated, as much as possible, through the use of multiple lines of evidence and triangulation of data. This approach was taken in order to demonstrate reliability and validity of the findings and to ensure that conclusions and recommendations are based on objective and documented evidence.  Details on limitations and mitigations strategies can be found in Annex D.

4.0 FINDINGS

4.1 Relevance

Continued need for the program and Alignment with Government and Federal Roles and Responsibilities


Key Finding: There is clear evidence of a continued need for the program in order to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat, and oceans. Numerous acts establish federal jurisdiction and define the core roles as the regulatory program responsible for the management of the public fishery resource. Overall, the program is aligned with the departmental strategic outcome of “Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems”.


The program promotes and maintains compliance with legislation, regulations and management measures implemented to achieve the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources, and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat and oceans.  Six Acts, including the Fisheries Act, the Constitution Act, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, the Oceans Act, the Species at Risk Act and the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, are the main legislation which establish federal jurisdiction and define the core roles for DFO, through C&P, as the regulatory agency responsible for the management of the public fishery resources, enabling sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the protection of oceans, habitat and aquatic species at risk.

Non-compliance with these rules and legislation threatens the conservation of fish stocks and can lead to a downturn in the fishery, and can cause economic hardship for fish harvesters.  This can, in turn, have a significant impact on the Canadian economy. Without the program’s intervention, a lack of compliance could wipe out fisheries, the livelihoods of Canadian fish harvesters, and threaten the viability of coastal and rural communities. Program documents estimate that for every $1 expended on monitoring, control and surveillance activities secures $63 in revenue-generating potential of the fishery sector.Footnote 3

The document review and staff interviewees confirmed that the program’s results are strongly linked with DFO’s strategic outcome of “Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems”, noting that the program also makes significant contributions to the two other departmental strategic outcomes: 1) “Economically Prosperous Maritimes Sectors and Fisheries” and 2) “Safe and Secure Waters”. 

Evidence also demonstrates that the program plays a key role in supporting other federal partners (such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the RCMP, the Department of National Defence, Canada Borders and Services Agency, Parks Canada, Environment Canada, etc.) in the delivery of programs aimed at: 1) protecting and safeguarding the public from contaminated seafood products and transnational marine security and anti-terrorism threats; 2) ensuring peaceful and orderly fisheries, and 3) protecting Canadian sovereignty.

Finally, relevance and continued need is also demonstrated through the program’s contribution to international initiatives and organizations. For example, Fishery Officers participate in enforcement activities in the NAFO Regulatory Area and on the high seas of the North Pacific Ocean. In addition, direct and indirect participation in key enforcement committees allows Canada to promote international fisheries and compliance, meet its international obligations and contribute to combatting threats to shared global fisheries and oceans resources.


4.2 Effectiveness

Achievement of Immediate and Intermediate Outcomes

Key Finding: Evidence demonstrates that there is a high compliance rate. The program is achieving this because users of Canadian fisheries and oceans have access to relevant information relating to the protection of fisheries resources and understand their obligations.  Users that do not comply with legislation, regulations and other managing frameworks are held accountable for their actions.


Compliance

Over the last five years, there was an average compliance rate of 92%Footnote 4, meaning there were no violations detected in almost all checks performed by Fishery Officers (either checks of vessels, persons, or sites).  Table 2 provides an overview of the annual compliance rates.


Table 2. C&P Compliance Rate

This table provides the Compliance Rate.  The Compliance Rate represents the percentage of checks of vessels, persons or sites where no violations are detected. The table has one row.    There are six columns.  The first defines compliance rate.  Read across the remaining five columns to learn the compliance rate from fiscal year 2010-11 to fiscal year 2014-15.

compliance rates 2010-15
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Compliance Rate (percentage of checks of vessels, persons or sites where no violations are detected) 91.1% 90.6% 89.6% 90.7% 95.9%
Source: C&P FEATS database

The evaluation found that the following factors play a key role in the high compliance rate:

  • Access to relevant information
  • Understanding of obligations
  • Holding users accountable for their actions

Access to Relevant Information
The program works closely with its partners and users of Canadian fisheries in order to promote compliance through education and shared stewardship. Over the period covered by the evaluation, Fishery Officers spent on average 12%Footnote 5 of their time dedicated to outreach activities. Activities included educational programs, information booths at trade shows, etc.  In addition, Fishery Officers spent approximately 4,200 hoursFootnote 6 annually on consultative and enforcement advisory processes, such as providing input into the development of Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMP).

To ensure ease of access to relevant information, the program posts signage in public areas, shares material online and through social media. This information includes a list of Acts and Regulations, regional public notices regarding emergency closures of contaminated sites, shellfish harvest area openings/closures, fishery openings/closuresFootnote 7, etc.

Overall, the majority of key informants and survey respondents agreed that the program has been successful in making relevant information available to users of Canadian fisheries and other regulated entities. Interviews with key informants illustrated how Fishery Officers maintain ongoing relationships with stakeholders through regular meetings, visits and inspections of sites, facilities, restaurants, wholesalers, grocery chains and local development projects. For example, program representatives attend annual pre- and post-season reviews organized by Fishery Associations. At these meetings, program staff provides information on rules and regulations for upcoming fishing seasons or provides an overview of enforcement activities that took place during past fishing seasons.  Interviews and site visits also highlighted the large number of informal interactions that take place between Fishery Officers and all parties involved in the fishery during day-to-day operations on the wharf, during patrols or in the community.

Understanding of Obligations
The program’s high level of compliance demonstrates that users of Canadians fisheries and oceans understand their obligations relating to the protection of Canada’s fisheries resources.    On average, 25%Footnote 8 of all occurrences listed during the evaluation period were reported by the public, through “Observe, Record, Report” and Poaching Alert programs, such as 1-800 numbers, national Crime Stoppers, etc.  This demonstrates that users recognize violations and understand that incidents must be reported to authorities.

Holding users accountable for their actions
Over the last five years the C&P Directorate has reported an average prosecution rate of 98%Footnote 9, meaning that almost all cases ended in a successful prosecution outcomes (e.g., Court convictions/deemed convicted (tickets), absolute discharges, conditional discharges, stayed convictions subject to compliance by the offender, out-of-court settlements including withdrawals and plea bargains, pre-court diversions/diversions including Restorative Justice referrals, Inspector’s Directions for immediate mitigation/corrective measures to be taken by a proponent/voluntarily, tickets uncontested, etc.).

The program also undertakes a number of enforcement actions against offenders, such as seizures of equipment, catch or gear, requesting licensing sanctions (including temporary or lifetime suspensions), etc. Although the volume of enforcement interventions has diminished over the evaluation period, the rate of enforcement action taken against offenders has remained consistent. A number of factors could possibly account for the reduction in total number of enforcement interventions, such as the recent shift to an intelligence model that allows for analysis of fisheries management and compliance practices in order to move beyond crisis response and strategically focus on the areas of greatest risk to ensure maximum program effectiveness.  Figure 1 demonstrates the consistency in the rate of enforcement actions taken over the evaluation period.  The percentages for each individual year add up to 100%.


Key informants provided several examples demonstrating how the program ensures that non-compliant users are held accountable. Effective presence of officers in the field and on water was mentioned as being an important deterrent, along with use of air surveillance, timely investigative responses and analysis of surveillance data. Overall, these actions taken by the program are meant to ensure that processes such as management measures, licensing conditions and quotas are respected.

Despite program data and examples provided by key informants, in an on-line survey of program staff, 69.4% of survey respondents were of the opinion that the program is somewhat ensuring that non-compliant users are held accountable for their actions. This suggests further room for improvement and may reflect the staff’s perception that non-compliant users are just getting wiser and better at covering their tracks and concealing their illegal/poaching activities. However, in the same survey, 70.9% of survey respondents were of the opinion that the program is achieving compliance.

Achievement of Ultimate Outcome


Key Finding:  Some evidence demonstrates that the program is contributing towards protecting waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources from unlawful exploitation and interference.


Protection from Unlawful Exploitation or Interference
Overall, some evidence demonstrates that the program’s work and efforts on making information available to users and ensuring compliance has contributed towards the protection of waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources from unlawful exploitation or interference.  The program currently tracks enforcement measures for 298 species. During the 5-year evaluation period, violations were detected in approximately 50%Footnote 10 of species subject to enforcement by the program and actions were taken in order to protect these species from unlawful exploitation or interference. 

In general, 69.5% of survey respondents felt that the program is somewhat protecting waterways, ecosystems and fisheries from unlawful exploitation or interference. The evaluation also found that other DFO programs in the Fisheries Management Sector, such as the Fisheries Protection Program, Integrated Resource Management, etc., also contribute to the achievement of this expected result through the establishment of policies, regulations, licensing conditions, stock monitoring, etc. The principle of shared stewardship also extends to DFO’s regulated entities, industry participants and throughout the seafood value chain up to the consumer (e.g., oceans to plate, pier to fork initiatives, etc.).

Collaboration between program staff and internal DFO partners is crucial to ensuring the achievement of expected results. The 2010 Evaluation of the Conservation and Protection ProgramFootnote 11 also highlighted the need for collaboration with Resource Management (now Integrated Fisheries Management). As a follow-up to the 2010 evaluation, the program established an action plan and committed to improving communication with Resource Management and to continue providing input into the development of Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs). In the current evaluation, key informants provided examples on how better integration and communication between the program and Resource Management has led to improvements in protecting fisheries stocks. For instance, in the Quebec region, partnerships with Resource Management helped in adapting the size of fishing nets used for the turbot fishery which led to a reduction in catch of juvenile stocks.


4.3 Assessment of Resource Utilization


Key Finding: Evaluation evidence demonstrates that the program can continue, with the support from enablers, to optimize its resources through the expansion of the ticketing regime, access to real-time information and complementing the efforts of C&P Fishery Officers with the use of Aboriginal and Contracted Fishery Guardians.

More readily available and integrated data on the support that CCG provides to the C&P Directorate’s core on-water activities would enable the program to strategically plan and allocate resources.


Financial Information
Table 3 provides an overview of the program’s financial resources. During the period being evaluated, the actual spending was in-line with planned spending (within 2%). Transfers to CCG are for access to its fleet of vessels and helicopters and have ranged from $21.4 million in 2011-12 to $35.2 million in 2013-14.

Table 3. C&P Budgetary Financial Resources and Transfers to CCG

This table provides details on the budgetary financial resources and transfers to the Canadian Coast Guard from fiscal year 2010-11 to fiscal year 2014-15. There are five rows, one for each fiscal year. There are five columns.  Read across each column to learn the planned spending, authorities available for use, actual spending, variance from authorities available for use as well as transfers to the Canadian Coast Guard.

c&p bugetary resources in millions of dollars
C&P Budgetary Financial Resources ($ million)*  
  Planned Spending Authorities Available for Use Actual Spending Variance from Authorities Available for Use CCG Transfer**
2010-11 108.2 113.2 111.2 2.0 24.3
2011-12 109.9 114.2 116.3 -2.1 21.4
2012-13 108.4 108.8 107.7 1.1 35.2
2013-14 105.4 112.8 110.7 2.1 30.5
2014-15 101.4 107.3 106.0 1.3 30.6
Source: *DFO DPR
**EFM Finance; represents the amounts transferred annually directly to CCG for fleet services


Optimization analysis: Operational Efficiency
The evaluation reviewed the degree to which the inputs provided by a range of enablers have supported the program. For the purpose of this evaluation demonstrating the efficiency and economy of the program includes an assessment of the timeliness and the degree to which the services provided by enablers have been procured or otherwise made available to support the work that they do.

The program receives support from a number of internal DFO and external enablers. These enablers include CCG, SSC and DOJ. Other enablers include DFO corporate functions such as IM/IT and Human Resources. The analysis assessed the degree to which these supports were adequate enough to then produce the targeted results.

4.3.1 CCG: A vital support

The CCG owns, manages and operates a variety of marine assets in order to fulfill its mandate and obligations as the sole operator of the Government of Canada’s civilian fleet. These assets are used to deliver a wide range of federal programs and services including the on-water services provided to the program. During the 5-year period covered by the evaluation the program transferred approximately $142 millionFootnote 12 to CCG to cover fixed and variable costs in order to access its fleet of vessels and helicopters. The availability of these inputs (i.e. CCG platforms) directly supports the program in carrying out its on-water enforcement and surveillance activities in Canadian and international waters.

The evaluation found evidence that a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between CCG and the Ecosystems & Fisheries Management Sector was in place for the 2009/10 to 2012/13 period; and was renewed for the 2013/14 period and beyond. Among other specific requirements, the SLA set out the reporting requirements to be fulfilled within six months following the end of each fiscal year. The evaluation did not find any evidence that the CCG produced the performance report other than the draft that was prepared for fiscal year 2013-14. Both CCG and the program are aware of this reporting shortfall and have met to discuss reporting options for the future. For the purpose of this optimization analysis the draft 2013-14 performance data was analyzed in conjunction with key informant interviews as well as data available from the program.

Timeliness and availability
Although analysis is limited to the 1-year in which the performance report was produced by CCG, the evaluation found evidence that the CCG is supporting the program in carrying out its on-water enforcement and surveillance activities. At a national level the 2013-14 draft annual performance report noted that the CCG delivered on 98% of planned ship operational days. This number represents a national average across CCG large and small vessels. At a regional level the CCG report confirmed that the number of days delivered to the program on an aggregate basis were within the CCG performance targets (i.e. plus or minus 10%, given operational and environmental fluidity).  However, when the data is examined at the vessel-level, it reveals that the ratio of planned to delivered days varies across CCG platforms (i.e. large or small vessels) and across CCG Regions (Western, Central and Arctic, Atlantic). See Table 6.


Quantity
The CCG performance report noted that when under-delivery occurs it can be attributed to a range of factors with environmental delays being the most prominent. Delays can also be attributed to program as well as those credited to CCG. Irrespective of the cause, when the number of days delivered is below the number of days planned it does have an impact on the program in terms of its ability to conduct its on-water enforcement and surveillance activities. 

Amongst all three CCG Regions, the implications of non-delivery of planned days were most visible in the availability of CCG large vessels in Atlantic Canada where in 2013-14, 77% of the CCG services for this platform were delivered as planned. Large vessels are utilized for mid-shore and offshore fisheries ocean patrols. For instance, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the region has responsibilities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and includes three international boundaries including the NAFO Regulatory Area, St. Pierre et Miquelon (France) and Greenland. The support (i.e. inputs) provided by the CCG platforms and its crew is critical to enabling the program to inspect, monitor and patrol vast areas of coastline and to stop illegal fishing by domestic and foreign fleets.

An analysis of program data identified that patrol days and at-sea inspections in the NAFO Regulatory Area have decreased by 50% between 2011 and 2015. Key informants noted a partial explanation for this downward trend was due to Budget 2012 and its associated Strategic and Operating Review. Other explanations offered by key informants included there being a number of CCG vessels that were on vessel life extension, refit or maintenance. However, without an integrated assessment of the program data in relation to CCG performance reporting of its large and small vessels covering a larger number of years, the evaluation is unable to determine if there is any direct association between the reductions in patrol days and at-sea inspections relative to the availability of the inputs (i.e. CCG platforms).

4.3.2 Ticketing

Another example of how the program can continue to optimize its resources is through the expansion of the ticketing regime. The interviews and the survey noted that the expansion of ticketing to a broader range of minor offences could potentially create efficiencies such as better use of Fishery Officer’s time (e.g., more time for patrols and inspections rather than time spent away from the field, drafting and processing Court briefs and depositions for prosecutions in dealing with relatively minor offences), reduction in legal costs associated with prosecuting offenders, etc.

Currently, the fisheries ticketing regime is based upon two federal legislative authorities: the Fisheries Act (section 79.7), which is under DFO’s responsibility and the Contraventions Act, which is under DOJ’s responsibility. The Fisheries Act allows the imposition of financial penalties as well as the confiscation of fish and fishing gear used in the commission of the offence, without the need of a court order. The British Columbia Sport Fishing RegulationsFootnote 14 and the Fisheries (General) Regulations use this regime. In contrast, the Contraventions Act is a regime of pure financial penalties. The Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations and the Ontario Fishery Regulations are currently based upon this regime.

Although the issuance of fines and penalties is currently supported by some of the regulations under the Fisheries Act and the Contraventions Act, the actual list itemizing the specific offences where tickets could be issued is small. An expansion of the list of minor offences would provide Fishery Officers with greater flexibility in issuing tickets for a broader range of minor violations.    

Key informants noted that, in order to create a balanced, national approach to the optimization of resources, the expansion of the ticketing regime would cover minor offences, for both commercial and recreational fishing activities for several regulations:

  • Fishery (General) Regulations (FGR)Footnote 15
  • Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations (ACFLR);
  • Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 (AFR);
  • Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993 (PFR);and
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations (NLFR).

Specifically, these regulations set out fishing quotas, closed areas/times, gear and fishing licence restrictions and other provisions necessary for the management and conservation of fishery resources. Currently, any minor violations for elements mentioned above would require that a Fishery Officer issue a warning or press charges and prepare the evidence on the infraction and move forward with prosecution in court. For commercial fisheries, all prosecution of violations require court appearances. Consequently, the absence of an expanded ticketing regime has implications as there are legal costs associated with prosecuting offenders for all types of violations regardless of severity which has an impact on the financial and human resources of the program.

Key informants have estimated the cost savings to approximately 10 hours per violation if Fishery Officers were allowed to issue tickets for relatively minor offences. The time saved would only be relevant if the ticket is not contested in court. The time-savings would be substantial for detachments where the field units are smaller with two or three Fishery Officers. For example, if ticketing was allowed in the Newfoundland and Labrador region, it is estimated (i.e. based on the infraction rate of the other Atlantic Provinces) that the program could save approximately 350 hours per year of Fisher Officers’ time. If this example is expanded to all of DFO’s regions, savings could go as high as 33,000 Fishery Officer hours (using an estimated historical annual average of approximately10,000 minor violations per year).

Key informants noted that the hours saved by ticketing could be reallocated to other priorities within the program e.g. higher priority compliance risk areas, covert operations, etc. Between January 2015 and November 2015, there have been approximately 886 tickets issued by Fishery Officers which results in a conservative estimate of approximately 9,000 hours saved so far due to issuing tickets for relatively minor offences.Footnote 16 Another example is in the Gulf region where Fishery Officers used the ticketing regime for minor offences under the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations. In this example savings were conservatively estimated at approximately $20,000 for 60 tickets issued. These cost-savings are based on estimates per minor infraction at a cost of approximately $300 to $400 each to have a lawyer appear in court.Footnote 17

Expanding the ticketing regime to include other relatively minor offences and throughout all regions is a priority for the program. However, it requires the support of enablers. Part of the amendments will rely on Department of Justice Canada for the Contraventions Regulations as well as on DFO for the regulations under the Fisheries Act.


4.3.3 Access to Real-time Information

As with other potential efficiencies within the program, enablers such as DFO IM/IT and Shared Services Canada, have a role to play in the optimization of resources. The achievement of results as well as the health and safety of Fishery Officers is dependent on the support of these enablers. Close to 80% of interviewees and survey respondents mentioned that internet connectivity (or lack thereof) had influenced the achievement of results from a moderate to great extent. The site visits also revealed that access to real-time information is impacting the efficient achievement of results. The elements lacking include: internet connectivity, mobile office platform for use by Fishery Officers while out in the field, investments in streamlining of databases including DFO licensing and information systems. 

The lack of access to real-time information could impact the Health and Safety of Fishery Officers. For instance, due to the lack of access to real-time information, Fishery Officers may enter situations where their lives could be threatened. Having access to real-time information in the field would improve their assessment of risks prior to boarding a vessel or interacting with an individual suspected of being in the process of committing an illegal activity by allowing Fishery Officers, for example, to look up licences, current and historical catch data, hail-in and hail-out data, non-compliance (e.g., priors) and information gained from the Vessel Monitoring System.

Information collected through site visits, interviews and the survey all indicate that having access to real-time information would increase Fishery Officers’ productivity (e.g. more time out in the field managing priority risks, less time in the office performing administrative tasks, more effective deterrence measures being taken, etc.). What is lacking is a clear articulation and documentation of the efficiencies and cost-savings that could be gained through real-time information. The program has not been able to gain the support from enablers for an approved mobile technology platform to field test their assumptions and is still in ongoing negotiations with SSC and other co-deliverers. A clear articulation by the program of the efficiencies and cost-savings that could be gained may help garner the support of these key enablers.

4.4 Best Practices and Barriers


Key Finding: The program has undergone significant transformation over the period of the evaluation. Changes are being driven by the need to manage costs through increased efficiencies and the need to adapt to new technologies. The evaluation raised some best practices (e.g. performance measurement, use of community-based justice, use of fishery guardians and coverage), lessons learned as well as barriers to the program’s efficiency. These hurdles to furthering the optimization of resources include support of enablers and other challenges that have impacted the capacity of the program to move forward.


The program has undergone significant transformation in design and delivery (which includes governance) over the period of the evaluation. Changes are being driven by the need to manage costs through increased efficiencies and the need to adapt to new technologies. The C&P Directorate has consolidated some area offices as well as shifted the focus of its organisation to intelligence-led enforcement through the establishment of NFIS and the adoption of the zonal approach to NFIS’ governance and decision-making structure (i.e. East, West and Central Canada). The Directorate also moved to regional line reporting with the area offices reporting directly to the C&P Regional Director. In addition, they have put in place several committees within NHQ and in regions such as the Standing Committee on Performance. It is too early to tell what impact these changes are having on the performance of the program.

4.4.1 Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Some best practice and lessons learned were noted throughout the evaluation.

Performance Measurement
Evidence collected during the evaluation demonstrates that performance information is being collected and used to inform decision-making. As such, there is a strong performance measurement structure within the program which includes the use of databases (e.g. DVS and FEATS), regular updates and monitoring of the Performance Measurement Strategy as well as the implementation of the Standing Committee on Performance. There are some potential areas for improvement such as updating the databases, being able to develop new systems to collect the data required, having access to real-time data as well as improving the accuracy and consistency of the information inputted into the databases.

Use of community-based justice
Restorative Justice is mainly used by Fishery Officers in the Pacific region and was perceived by interviewees and survey respondents as well as observed during site visits as a best practice. Restorative Justice is a community based approach that can be used to help meet the needs of people faced with fisheries offences and conflict in an inclusive and meaningful way. Restorative Justice practices provide voluntary opportunities for those who have been harmed and those who have caused harm to be active participants in their journey for justice, accountability, and reparation.Footnote 18

Use of Fishery Guardians to complement activities
Contracted Fishery Guardians have been exclusively delivered in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region. The Guardians monitor the salmon fishery on inland waters during the summer angling period (approximately 20 weeks). This arrangement dates back to the 1930’s. The Fishery Guardian Program was implemented to supplement the efforts of Fishery Officers in protecting salmon and trout and remains the foundation of the Region’s inland enforcement activities. This was perceived by interviewees and observed during site visits as a best practice and could potentially be considered for application nationally in areas and fisheries mandated by DFO.

Similar to contracted Fishery Guardians, Aboriginal Fishery Guardians also supplement the work of Fishery Officers with the distinction being the Aboriginal Guardians Program is not a contracted service; rather, it is a component of the DFO Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS). AFS funds the salaries and activities of Aboriginal Guardians. The program is designed to monitor the Aboriginal fishery, record the catch, and ensure compliance with the communal licence. The Guardians may be involved in monitoring the landing stations and patrolling rivers for illegal activities. The Aboriginal Fishery Officer component of the Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management (AAROM) program also provide an avenue for further expansion of Aboriginal enforcement authorities similar to authorities conferred to DFO Fishery Officers subject to an approved command and control structure.

Coverage
Through site visits and key informant interviews, the evaluation found evidence that the program is currently using a variety of different approaches to ensure adequate coverage.  For example, some regions use a combination of variable work schedules (i.e. working 10 days in a row followed by 4 days of rest) and shift scheduling (i.e. working hours from 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) in order to ensure a consistent and constant presence of Fishery Officers in the field during peak fishery seasons. On the other hand, some regions or areas maintain a consistent work schedule from Mondays to Fridays with business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It was mentioned by some stakeholders that the lack of work scheduling in some regions or areas can lead to vulnerabilities in the fishing industries, where fishers become aware of patrol schedules and plan their landings at times when Fishery Officers are off duty. Some regions have mitigated these issues by implementing work schedules to better suit program needs during seasonal peaks to ensure a better coverage of fishing activities.

Lessons learned
Evaluation evidence suggests that Fishery Officers are often perceived as “the face of the Department” in communities across Canada. Interviewees mentioned that Fishery Officers are sometimes asked to respond to calls that are outside their scope of work of responsibilities. These situations occur because the Fishery Officers are often the only DFO representatives in the area. For instance, interviewees provided some examples where Fishery Officers have been asked to assist or guide fishers in the process required for purchasing a fishing license. Although this is beyond the scope of the program, Fishery Officers often help as they are sometimes the only DFO representative available to respond to questions.


4.4.2 Barriers to Program Efficiency

Evidence from key informant interviews, survey and site visits demonstrates that the program has been transforming its operations in order to be more efficient; however the program relies on enablers to complete the full transformation.

As outlined in section 4.3 there are three key areas where enabler support is required to gain program efficiencies:

  • DFO IM/IT and SSC enabler support is needed in order to advance the use of innovative technology to allow for improved data collection, access to real time data and support the move to a mobile office platform;
  • DOJ support is required to expand the ticketing regime; and
  • CCG support is required in order to get timely performance data with regards to its on-water services, including costs.

5.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Conclusions

Relevance
The evaluation concludes that the program remains relevant in its role to conserve the sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources, and the protection of species at risk, fish habitat and oceans. A role which the C&P Directorate fulfills within DFO. Six federal acts are the main legislation establishing federal jurisdiction and define the core roles for the program. The evaluation confirmed that program results are strongly linked with DFO’s strategic outcomes and are aligned with Government of Canada priorities including helping to ensure that the public is protected from contaminated fisheries products as well as assisting other federal departments in identifying potential marine security threats. Lastly, program activities enable Canada to: fulfill its role in promoting international fisheries and compliance; meet international obligations; and, contribute to combating threats to shared global fisheries and oceans resources.

Effectiveness
Overall, evidence demonstrates that the program has been successful in using an educational approach to ensure that users of Canadians fisheries and oceans have access to relevant information relating to the protection of fisheries resources. Through open access to information and effective presence of Fishery Officers on-water and in the field, the program ensures that users understand their obligations and comply with legislation, regulations and other managing frameworks that govern Canadian waterways, ecosystems and fisheries. Those that do not comply are held accountable for their actions through a variety of enforcement actions which contributed to the program’s high compliance rate.

The evaluation also found some evidence that the program is contributing towards the protection of waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources from unlawful exploitation. However, other DFO programs are also crucial in ensuring the achievement of this expected outcome. This supports the need for the program to maintain and continue improving its communication with other partnering programs.

Efficiency and Economy
There is evidence that the program is managing costs through its efforts to increase efficiencies. The consolidation of some C&P area offices as well as the transition to an intelligence-led enforcement organization are just two examples where gains have been achieved. In order to attain even greater efficiencies, the program will first need to better document its claims for improved efficiencies in several key areas, such as expanding ticketing regime and access to real time data. The opinions of respondents were invaluable to the evaluation and there is evidence that the program and its enablers have made some initial progress in advancing these initiatives. In spite of this, very little documented evidence was available to the evaluation in order to substantiate how the proposed activities would translate to efficiencies or even possibly contribute to the effectiveness of the program.

Lastly, the evaluation noted there are some potential gaps emerging in the program’s on-water enforcement and surveillance activities in Canadian and international waters but data is lacking to fully assess the implications. The evaluation also observed that a strong performance measurement structure exists within the program which includes the use of program specific databases as well as regular updates and monitoring of the PM Strategy. In addition, performance measurement is guided by a Standing Committee on Performance. Some potential areas for improvement are updating the databases to function in the context of real-time data as well as improving the accuracy and consistency of the information inputted into the databases so that management, performance and intelligence analysts gain timely access to relevant information for evidence-based decision-making.

Numerous best practices were identified during the evaluation. They range from alternatives to court for minor offences to strategies aimed at ensuring that there is adequate coverage of Canada’s fishery resources and fisheries habitat. The evaluation noted that Aboriginal and Contracted Fishery Guardians complemented the efforts of Fishery Officers and could potentially be considered for other regions, especially for recreational and inland fisheries.

5.2 Recommendations

The evaluation leads to four recommendations pointed at enhancing the efficiency of the program. The recommendations are intended to equip the program with quantifiable measures that could demonstrate how adjustments would result in improvements to the efficiency of the program. Annex A presents the Management Action Plan and identifies how C&E will address each of the recommendations.

The first three recommendations acknowledge that the program has already engaged key enablers on the supports required and that some progress has been made. Nevertheless, more documented evidence is needed in order to complete several of its program improvement initiatives. Ultimately, the support of internal and external enablers will be necessary for the program to fully implement its priorities. The information generated by the recommendations could be used by the program to negotiate higher priority access to the support of the enablers which in turn will allow the program to complete these initiatives and increase the efficiency of the program.

Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the C&E program clearly quantify the expected efficiencies that would come from an expanded ticketing regime. If efficiencies are found to be significant, this information should be used to help garner the support of key enablers for this initiative.

Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the C&E program quantify the projected efficiencies to the program with access to real time information (e.g. mobile office, streamlining of databases). If significant, the information should be used to help gain the support of key enablers for moving this initiative forward.

Recommendation 3: In collaboration with CCG, the C&E program shall re-establish its annual performance reporting needs relating to its use of CCG platforms (i.e. large & small vessels and helicopters).

The fourth recommendation is intended to support the program to gain additional efficiencies as it shifts to an intelligence-led organization with a focus on major cases and special investigations. More specifically, the program should determine the feasibility of complementing the compliance activities of DFO Fishery Officers by possibly enhancing the use of time limited Fishery Guardians in lower-risk areas such as inland fisheries. Considering that Aboriginal Fishery Guardians/Officers already exist in areas where DFO manages the fishery and are an established component of the DFO Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy and AAROM Programs, the focus of this recommendation is on the possibility of enhancing the use of time limited Contracted and Aboriginal Fishery Guardians to other DFO regions where such options are not currently in place.

Recommendation 4: It is recommended that the C&E program conduct an analysis to determine if the use of Fishery Guardians could be expanded to additional regions.

ANNEX A: MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN

Annex A provides details on the management action plan. The plan presents the strategies and actions that the program intends to implement in response to the recommendations. There are four recommendations in the evaluation.  Read across each row to learn the justification for each recommendation followed by a brief overview of the approach the program will take to address each recommendation. The remaining information includes a specific deadline for the program to complete each task along with status update on the actions taken and a list of outputs developed by the program in response to the recommendations (e.g. terms of reference, work plan, strategy proposal, policy changes, a report or other item).

recommendations and strategy
RECOMMENDATIONS

Rationale: There was no formal documentation developed by the program which clearly quantified how an expanded ticketing regime could possibly support results and, ultimately, provide justification for the expansion.

Expanding the ticketing regime to include a broader list of minor offences, where regulations already exist, is a priority for the program.  The program is also looking to expand the ticketing regime to a wider range of regulations. The amendments required for such an expansion include amendments to the regulations under the Contraventions Act and amendments to the regulations under the Fisheries Act.  Amendments to the Contraventions Act require the support of the Department of Justice Canada. Amendments to the Fisheries Act are largely the responsibility of DFO (i.e. with the consultations coordinated by Department of Justice Canada).

Enabler and program resources are limited and they deal with competing priorities. Expanding the ticketing region was deemed a priority by the program as part of a strategic planning exercise in 2012. Clearly quantifying the benefits should help gain the support of key enablers for the initiative.

Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the C&E program clearly quantify the expected efficiencies that would come from an expanded ticketing regime. If efficiencies are found to be significant, this information should be used to help garner the support of key enablers for this initiative.

STRATEGY
The Program will commission a study (research survey and field-based) to quantify expected efficiencies from an expanded ticketing regime.  The study will rely in part on the gathering of historical information and field-based research from program deliverers, co-deliverers and key enablers.
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS DUE DATE (BY END OF MONTH) STATUS UPDATE: COMPLETED / ON TARGET / REASON FOR CHANGE IN DUE DATE OUTPUT
The Director General of C&P will commission a study to examine the issue and report results to the C&P National Executive Committee to review and consider next steps in moving forward with this National Initiative and advancing this priority with key enablers March 31st, 2017 Study

Engagement Strategy
RECOMMENDATION

Rationale: There was no formal documentation produced by the program which clearly quantified how having access to real time information will improve the efficiency of the program. 

Enabler resources are limited. Since approximately 2002 access to real time information was deemed a priority by the program. It was subsequently put on hold due to costs but in 2012 the issue was re-visited as part of a strategic planning exercise and deemed a priority again. Clearly quantifying the benefits will help gain the support required from enablers to move the project forward.

Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the C&E program quantify the projected efficiencies to the program with access to real time information (e.g. mobile office, streamlining of databases). If significant, the information should be used to help gain the support of key enablers for moving this initiative forward.

STRATEGY
The Program will commission a comprehensive study (research survey and field-based) to quantify projected efficiencies of providing field-based Fishery Officers with the ability to access real-time information (via key DFO/open source information sources) while out in the field.   The study will assess the benefits and risks of providing full networking operability and system accessibility to all field-based Fishery Officers.  This may include an as yet unidentified mobile office platform with connectivity and integrated system operability of existing DFO management and information systems, and identifying which of these are most relevant.  The study will rely in part on the gathering of historical information and field-based research from program deliverers, co-deliverers and enablers and will look at other models within (and perhaps externally to) the Public Service where regulatory, compliance and enforcement organizations are using technology and innovative approaches to leverage and generate efficiencies in program delivery.
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS DUE DATE (BY END OF MONTH) STATUS UPDATE: COMPLETED / ON TARGET / REASON FOR CHANGE IN DUE DATE OUTPUT
The Director General of C&P will commission a comprehensive study to examine the issue and report results to the C&P National Executive Committee to review and consider next steps in moving forward with this National Initiative and advancing this high-level priority with key enablers September 30st, 2016   Study

Engagement Strategy
RECOMMENDATION

Rationale: CCG is responsible for providing C&E with on-water support. C&E relies on CCG on-water support in order to manage, conserve and protect Canada's fishery resources and fisheries habitat. CCG has not consistently reported to the program on the services it provided. Without the CCG trend data, C&E cannot accurately determine where gaps may exist and what might be the implications. The CCG is supposed to provide a report on its service delivery performance, including costs, within 6 months of the end of the fiscal year. At which point the causes of deviations are to be reviewed by CCG and C&E so as to mitigate risk of reoccurrence and/or to adjust planned requirements as necessary. The evaluation found that CCG provided only one draft performance report from 2013-14. Both CCG and C&P are aware of this reporting shortfall and have met to discuss reporting options for the future.

Recommendation 3: In collaboration with CCG, the C&E program shall re-establish its annual performance reporting needs relating to its use of CCG Platforms (i.e. large & small vessels and helicopters).

STRATEGY
The Program will, in collaboration with CCG, updated its joint performance evaluation framework to be included and referenced in the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 CCG-EFM Service Level Agreement to be approved and endorsed by the parties prior to March 31st, 2017.
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS DUE DATE (BY END OF MONTH) STATUS UPDATE: COMPLETED / ON TARGET / REASON FOR CHANGE IN DUE DATE OUTPUT
The Director General of C&P will update the Joint Performance Evaluation Framework* to form part of the renewed Service Level Agreement between CCG and EFM for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20

Interim draft (December 15th, 2016)
(Final)

March 31, 2017
  Joint Performance Evaluation Framework
The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Ecosystems and Fisheries Management and the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard will establish a renewed Service Level Agreement between the Canadian Coast Guard and the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management Sector for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 to include the Joint Performance Evaluation Framework March 31, 2017   Signed Service Level Agreement
RECOMMENDATION

Rationale: Efficiencies exist when time-limited Fishery Guardians are utilized seasonally as part of the compliance strategy to protect inland fish stocks (e.g. Newfoundland and Labrador Region & Pacific).  This recommendation is intended to support the program as it shifts to an intelligence-led organization. Considering that Aboriginal Fishery Guardians/Officers already exist in areas where DFO manages the fishery and are an established component of the DFO Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy and AAROM Programs, the focus of this recommendation is on the possibility of enhancing the use of time-limited Contracted and Aboriginal Fishery Guardians to other DFO regions where such options are not currently in place.

Recommendation 4: It is recommended that the C&E program conduct an analysis to determine if the use of Fishery Guardians could be expanded to additional regions.

STRATEGY
The Program will, in cooperation with program co-deliverers and enablers, conduct an analysis of opportunities, risks and options in expanding the use/mandates of designated officers and guardians (as designated by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) to complement DFO-C&P on the ground compliance efforts and further exploit operational synergies in program delivery as appropriate.
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS DUE DATE (BY END OF MONTH) STATUS UPDATE: COMPLETED / ON TARGET / REASON FOR CHANGE IN DUE DATE OUTPUT
The Director General of C&P will perform an analysis of the opportunities, risks and options of expanding the use/mandates of designated officers and guardians in support of the Compliance and Enforcement program; the C&P National Executive Committee shall review and consider next steps in moving forward.

December 31st, 2016 (draft)

March 31st, 2017 (final)
 

Analytical Report

ANNEX B: PROGRAM LOGIC MODEL

The logic model shows the logical flow from the immediate outcomes of the program to its ultimate outcome. The chart shows the immediate outcomes, intermediate outcomes, and ultimate outcome, each connected by arrows. The immediate outcomes are “Users of Canadian fisheries and oceans have access to relevant information relating to the protection of Canada’s fisheries resources”, “Users of Canadian fisheries and oceans understand their obligations relating to the protection of Canada’s fisheries resources”, and “Those that do not comply with legislation, regulations and other managing frameworks that govern Canadian waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources are held accountable for their actions”. The intermediate outcomes are “Users of Canadian fisheries are compliant with legislation and regulations and management measures that govern Canadian waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources”. The ultimate outcome is “Waterways, ecosystems and fisheries resources are protected from unlawful exploitation or interference”.

program logic model

ANNEX C: PROPORTION TERMS FOR PERCENTAGE OF RESPONSES

All = 100%

Almost all = 90-99%

Most = 80-89%

(e.g. half, one-quarter etc…)  4 to 7% above = Over / more

(e.g. half, one-quarter etc…) 4 to 7% below = Less than / not quite

(e.g. half, one-quarter etc…) ± 4% = Around

(e.g. half, one-quarter etc…)  ± 2-3% = Close to or /about

0% = None

ANNEX D: METHODOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

Limitations

Financial and Administrative data: Potential challenges in obtaining all financial and administrative data.

Document Review: Documents are not necessarily produced for the explicit purpose of evaluation. This may mean that records are not consistently maintained, or some information that would be valuable to the evaluation may be missing (e.g., lack of annual reports).

Key Informant Interviews: Interviewees may have a stake in the program; Credible evidence of the impacts and success of the program cannot be gleaned only from opinions expressed; Not every interviewee will be able to speak knowledgeably to every evaluation question; and, due to the timing and duration of the 2015 Federal Election the number of interviews completed with
External Stakeholders was reduced.

Survey (Staff): Potential for a low response rate and those surveyed may have a stake in the program and may bring their own biased views.

Site visits: Limited number of regions were chosen as part of site visits and not geographically or numerically representative of the regional and/or national perspective, and, the primary weakness of this line of evidence is the inability to extrapolate the findings from the site visits more generally.

Mitigation Strategies

Financial and Administrative data: Mitigated through collaboration with program managers and staff, and generous timelines to respond to requests for documentation and data.

Document Review: Consider any results from the documentation review in triangulation with the evidence gathered through the other lines of evidence in this evaluation (i.e. key informant interviews and survey).

Key Informant Interviews: Balance any evidence from interviews with more “objective” data (e.g. document review); probe respondents for concrete, illustrative examples of impacts; develop guides specifically for the different groups allows for targeted questions that make the best use of the knowledge and experience of each interviewee; and, although it was an option to continue interviews with External Stakeholders subsequent to the 2015 Federal Election, such a decision would have directly jeopardized the timelines for the evaluation.  Consequently, data from the completed External Stakeholder interviews was analyzed and evidence did not point to any significant issues. Had specific problems been identified, the evaluation team would have adjusted its work plan.

Survey (Staff): Reminder emails and/or telephone follow-up will be utilized to maximize the response rate; same challenge noted for key informant interviews. Likewise the same approach to mitigating this challenge was implemented. 

Site visits: Given the unique situation of each region, observations will solely be used to provide descriptive data.