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Results: 1 - 15 of 1210
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 15:48
Mr. Chair, I have a point of order. The orders of the day are with regard to the implementation of the recommendations in chapter 7 of the Auditor General's report. I understand that matters arising from, let's say, the TSB's report or other items that might be of interest are certainly of interest not only to that member but to other members of the committee. However, the officials are here today to speak on the recommendations and members should be seeing whether there was any progress made by Transport Canada on the recommendations in the Auditor General's report.
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:00
Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chair.
Welcome to the officials and also welcome to Mr. Dion today at committee.
We have you back to look at the implementation of the recommendations contained in chapter 7 of the 2013 fall report of the Auditor General of Canada. To refresh our memories, the period or the timeline that was under audit by the Office of the Auditor General if I'm correct was April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. That now represents a period over three years ago from where we are at right now today, so your ability to make progress or not against your action plan is important not just for the interest of the committee but obviously for public safety and the public at large.
We'll begin with recommendation 7.26. The Auditor General had recommended that:
Transport Canada should complete the implementation of the recommendations raised in the Railway Safety Act review and relevant recommendations of the rail safety review conducted by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities [and] integrate the changes into the regulatory framework for federal railways to comply with and for the Department to oversee.
Now going back to the period under the audit, there were 32 of 56 recommendations from the RSA review completed and 10 of 14 from the review by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, which were completed at that time. You've given us an update on that today. Your action plan was released subsequent to November 2013. In terms of your actions, as I understand them now, the coming into force of railway operating certificates and the ability to, as a compliance mechanism if necessary, remove their right to operate was in November of 2014. Am I correct on that timeline?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:02
I'm sorry. That's right. It was January 2015 for railway operating certificates. They were published in November and came into force in January.
The coming into force of the administrative monetary penalties regulations was in April 2015, correct?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:02
That's an additional compliance mechanism for violations.
The safety management system regulations came into force in April 2015. The transportation information regulations, the information you require federal railway companies to submit to Transport Canada for purposes of evaluating their safety, came into force in April 2015. As well, of course, in terms of the grade crossings regulations, I believe that was in November of 2014, and they're all complete as well—very good progress.
On recommendation 7.32, monitoring and mitigating safety issues, in terms of the annual risk-based plan to address and track long-standing safety issues, I think you indicated in your statement that it has been undertaken. That was in January of 2014. Is that correct, Ms. Kinney?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:03
Can you briefly tell us about the rail safety integrated gateway data system? That was implemented in July of 2014. How do oversight personnel at Transport Canada use that system and what are they tracking?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:05
So when inspection turns up a violation, it's logged in there, as well as what action was required of the railway to comply, what the railway company itself then did or didn't do, and also, if it didn't do something, what further enforcement action could be taken, for example. You literally track it from the inspection through to correction or the additional compliance to force a correction. All of those items are taken into account.
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:05
Very good.
On recommendation 7.42, which deals with risk-based planning for oversight activities, you've indicated already that you've reviewed your planning methodology and have identified the key performance indicators and approaches. That was in January 2014.
You've now finalized the industry performance data that's required. The transportation information regulations that we talked about are complete. You have a tracking system as well, and now the information is also being used to.... You're at the point now where you're compiling, based on the regulations—or you should be receiving information in the fall of this year, I believe, or you're at the stage of receiving information from federal railway companies—that additional information through the transportation information regulations. Is that correct?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:06
Okay. I presume additional analyses will be done of that information and incorporated into your systems, which will help you plan subsequent inspection activities and oversight activities. Is that correct?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:07
On recommendation 7.58 about the improved inspector tools and identification and following up on deficiencies, we've already talked about the new rail safety integrated gateway system that's allowing you to track from start to finish, until issues are resolved.
In terms of your new planning and oversight methodology, have you been able to now make consistent the types of information across all of the regions in regard to what information they have to consider in their risk-based planning activities? I think the Auditor General had suggested that it was uneven. Has that now been addressed by Transport Canada?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:07
So there is a comprehensive and common number of mandatory items that they must consider at one time?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:20
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I think I was at recommendation 7.58, but allow me to back up for just a moment to recommendation 7.42.
I had mentioned the transportation information regulations having come into force and that we were anticipating information from federal railway companies this fall to analyze next year. The commitment to the Auditor General was that by early 2016 the revised regulations would be introduced. That's a substantial step forward, to be at the stage of analysis in the same time period. That information obviously is critical to oversight activities.
Going back to recommendation 7.58 now, Transport Canada had agreed that by mid-2014 it would complete implementation of the rail safety integrated gateway system audit and inspection modules, including training for Transport Canada staff on documentation and communication of oversight activity findings and follow-up requirements.
That was completed in July 2014, so it's a commitment made and a commitment kept on that one.
You also committed that by spring 2014, Transport Canada would develop a follow-up procedure and provide all inspectors with training on the procedure to enhance the consistency of follow-up activity.
The training of inspectors on new follow-up procedures was completed in June 2014. Is that correct?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:22
Okay, so that's another commitment that has been made.
Moving to recommendation 7.70, it states:
Transport Canada should identify and develop a strategy to ensure that it has the needed number of inspectors with the necessary skills and competencies required to plan and conduct the oversight of federal railways, including oversight of safety management systems.
Transport Canada, in its response, committed to developing a human resource strategy. That was completed in June 2014. Is that correct?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:23
You committed to training, recruitment, and retention strategies that would be updated. When was that completed? I understand that was in June 2014 as well.
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:23
December 2014, okay.
You had also suggested that you would complete a skills and competency assessment by December of 2014. When was that completed?
View Jeff Watson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Jeff Watson Profile
2015-06-11 16:23
Okay, so I have them backwards, then. So I had a schedule on that one.
We've already heard that the number of oversight positions is significantly up in rail safety and dramatically in TDG in terms of oversight, and I think Canadians can be better assured that the human resource capacity and the resources to support those people are firmly in place to assure public safety.
You continue to hire, is that correct, with respect to inspections?
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