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Evaluation of the Services to Marine Transportation Sub-activity
The following recommendations are based on the findings and conclusions of the evaluation. The evaluation recommendations are directed to the ADM, MSC, in view of the ADM’s responsibility for the overall management of SMT activities.
During the conduct of this evaluation, the evaluation team was able to rely on a variety of performance data from the SMT SA’s initial draft 2010-11 PMF to develop a preliminary assessment of various aspects of the SMT SA’s performance. Working with this, the evaluation team developed a set of outputs and outcomes in order to support a preliminary assessment of performance. As noted in the report, there was some concern expressed by SMT management at the onset of the evaluation that the outputs and outcomes used for the evaluation may not be adequately aligned with SMT services and activities, and that management may not be able to collect the required data. It is notable that the program was able to produce data across these outputs and outcomes, and this does represent a significant step toward ongoing performance reporting. Additionally, it is clear that the SA recognizes the importance of formalized performance measurement, through ongoing development of the SMT SA’s PMF. However, several gaps in performance reporting still remain, including a more thoroughly validated set of performance indicators across expected outputs and outcomes, and a reporting strategy that integrates these data sources into a common reporting tool. It is therefore recommended that the ADM MSC, using the evidence presented in this report as a baseline for performance reporting, continue to develop the PMF, including a logic model, expected program outputs and outcomes, and a strategy to collect and report on this information. Attention should be given to the performance reporting requirements of organizations such as the CCG.
The services provided by SMT are mandated by a range of obligations set out in both international and domestic acts and agreements. Furthermore, these acts and agreements link SMT to a variety of federal and international collaborating organizations, and have clearly formalized several key areas of SMT service provision (such as the deployment of ice specialists onboard CCG ships). Although obligations clearly establish the need for SMT to provide maritime weather and ice services, there are nevertheless potential risks to SMT if there are changes in the level or type of service provided, or in the financial and human resource commitments by key collaborating departments. During this evaluation, there was particular concern expressed regarding clarifying the relationship with DFO/CCG in areas such as the maintenance and servicing of buoys, and the provision of storm surge warnings in various regions. It is therefore recommended that the ADM MSC develop a strategy to identify and address risks posed to the SMT SA due to any areas of uncertainty in its relationships with collaborating departments. As a starting point, this strategy should include an approach to formalize the relationship with DFO/CCG regarding servicing weather buoys and providing storm surge warnings.
It was frequently noted that the SMT SA must use an increasingly wide range of communications technologies to disseminate meteorological information across all potential users, and that program management is limited in the number of media that can be reduced or removed, as it may pose safety risks to end-users that rely on these specific forms of media. Given the growth in available potential methods of dissemination in relation to current resources, it is therefore recommended that the ADM MSC establish a strategy to manage the evolution of dissemination strategies for marine weather and ice information, and to examine the consequences of reducing or removing current dissemination mechanisms. This strategy should be based, to the extent possible, on the documented needs of SMT’s maritime clients and should include cost estimates for each proposed new approach. A process should be established to ensure that the strategy is reviewed and revised on a regular basis.
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