Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
Policy on Timelines for Submission and Publication of Documents

1.  Policy Title

Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) policy on timelines for submission and publication of documents.

2.  Effective Date

This policy is effective February 16, 2012.

3.  Policy Objective

The intent of this policy is to ensure proper preparation and efficient delivery of products from CSAS processes.

4.  Policy Statement

Timelines for Requests for Advice:
Requests for advice forms should be received by CSAS by December 31 of each year.

Posting of Annual Schedule:
Posting of the annual schedule occurs in April of each year.

Schedule Updates:
During the year requests for new or emergent issues need to be identified as soon as possible and meetings should be posted on the CSAS website a minimum of 2 months prior to the meeting.

Terms of Reference:
Terms of reference (TORs) should be submitted to CSAS for posting a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the meeting.

Science Advisory Reports:
Science Advisory Reports (SARs) should be submitted to CSAS as soon as possible and at the latest within 8 weeks of the end of the meeting.

Science Response Reports:
Science Response Reports (SRRs) should be submitted to CSAS as soon as possible and at the latest within 8 weeks of the end of the meeting.

Proceedings:
Proceedings should be submitted to CSAS as soon as possible and at the latest within 4 months of the end of the meeting.

Research Documents:
Research Documents should be submitted to CSAS as soon as possible and at the latest within 4 months of the end of the meeting.

All above mentioned documents must be finalized, properly formatted, translated and approved before being submitted to CSAS for posting on the internet site.

SARs and SRRs should be posted as soon as possible and within 10 working days of reception of the final document by CSAS.

Research Documents and Proceedings should be posted as soon as possible and within 3 weeks of reception of the final document by CSAS.

5.  Context

Some of the challenges of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) peer review process are the early identification of issues to be addressed and the timely delivery of science advisory products.

Sufficient time is required for all requests for advice to be reviewed, assessed, prioritized based on risks, and compiled so that the Departmental Senior Management Committee (Strategic Outcome Committee – Sustainable Ecosystems) can review and approve the schedule prior to the start of the new fiscal year and scientists and managers can develop work plans and necessary resource allocations.

Requests for advice received during the fiscal year create significant additional workload and work planning issues and also have a bearing on the type of analyses that can be conducted, which can, in turn, affect the quality of advice.

Posting of meetings on the web prior to the meeting date helps meet the requirements for transparency and openness and requires that sufficient information is available in support of the meeting. Typically this includes the name of the meeting, lead region, contact names, date, location, terms of reference and expected publications.

Products from science peer review processes need to be published in a timely manner. Delays in producing Science Advisory Reports, Science Response Reports, Proceedings and Research Documents can result in delayed management decisions and create the impression that advice is either being withheld, massaged or otherwise influenced. These delays can, in turn, undermine the credibility of the science peer review process.

6.  Application and authority

Questions on the policy may be addressed by mail or e-mail to:

Director, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat
Oceans and Science Sector
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON,
Canada  K1A 0E6

E-mail: CSAS-SCCS@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Fax: 613-990-2471