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Evaluation of the Services to Marine Transportation Sub-activity

Management Response

Recommendation 1

It is 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.

Attestation of Agreement/Disagreement with the Recommendation


The MSC agrees with the recommendation.


Management Action


The MSC already has a PMF in place for the SMT program (PAA sub-activity 2.2.2), and has been updating the program outputs and outcomes as well as strategies to collect and report on this information, for several years. Updates to the expected outcomes and outputs for the 2012-13 reporting cycle are awaiting EC management approval, and are being submitted to Treasury Board Secretariat in the summer of 2011.

As part of the development of a performance strategy for the METAREAs marine services (a new initiative that falls under the SMT program), a logic model and PMF were developed during 2010-11. Through this exercise for the METAREAs, there is transferable information that will be used in the development of a logic model for the SMT program. The MSC is committed to delivering on a logic model and updating its Performance Measurement Strategy by March 2013, after sufficient consultation with its clients and partners.

In the initial IISPA between the MSC’s Canadian Ice Service and the CCG, a logic model and performance measures were developed. Reporting on all of them became challenging for both, and thus, in the re-negotiated IISPA, the number and type of performance measures have been reduced and focused significantly, with the intention to refine them in the coming year.

Pre- and post-season meetings with the CCG and clients result in requests for new products, and reductions and/or changes in other products. These are usually captured in the minutes of these meetings and actioned by either party.


Timeline
Deliverable(s)
Responsible Party
March 2012
Logic model for SMT program finalized
DG, WEPS
March 2013
Updated PMF outputs, outcomes, and performance data collection and reporting strategy finalized
DG, Business Policy (or DG, WEPS)

Recommendation 2

It is 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.

Attestation of Agreement/Disagreement with the Recommendation


The MSC agrees with the recommendation.


Management Action


The MSC enjoys benefits and synergies from its collaborative arrangements, but also acknowledges the risk posed by uncertainties with respect to its relationships with some collaborating parties, including other government departments. This risk has been identified in the WES Risk Management Profile, although the risk statement does not specifically note the weather buoy and storm surge warning elements associated with the relationship with DFO/CCG. This dimension of the collaboration risk will be more fully reflected in the next update to the Risk Management Profile. The MSC’s Marine and Ice Program Management Board will be tasked with developing strategies to analyze and mitigate these risks, and to present a strategy to MSC senior management before the end of 2011-12.


Timeline
Deliverable(s)
Responsible Party
December 2011
Reflect collaboration risks of SMT program in the WES 2012-13 Risk Management Profile
DG, Business Policy
March 2012
Analysis and strategy document dealing with collaboration risks in the SMT presented to MSC management committee
DG, WEPS

Recommendation 3

It is 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.

Attestation of Agreement/Disagreement with the Recommendation


The MSC agrees with the recommendation.


Management Action


There is a risk, when in the business of information dissemination, of chasing the newest technologies (e.g., social networking) without fully understanding client needs and the effectiveness of the technologies in meeting these needs. The MSC’s dissemination strategies take into consideration a number of factors, including client needs, technological opportunities, synergies among service areas, partnering opportunities (e.g., with CCG Marine Radio) and fiscal realities. The needs of mariners have had a major influence on our dissemination systems--most notably the design of the Weatheradio network, which has a significant mariner audience. We recognize that the marine community has unique requirements (e.g., often not having access to cell phones and the Internet when at sea), hence some solutions for public weather information dissemination are inadequate for the marine and ice program.

Strategies for dissemination should be based on broader service strategies, and the MSC is in the process of documenting a new service strategy. Once approved, this strategy will provide guidance with respect to many service directions, including dissemination strategies. In the meantime, MSC dissemination experts continue to work with the telecommunications industry to stay abreast of the latest technological advances, while client relations personnel, including those serving the SMT program clients, interact with client organizations to ascertain how their information–access needs are changing. One example of an outcome resulting through these processes is the redesign and reconfiguration of the Weatheradio network in Atlantic Canada, which is currently under way. These changes will see more region-specific programming from each transmitter location, hence reducing the program cycle (the length of which has been a frequent complaint from mariners).

The MSC is working with our primary collaborator in the SMT program, DFO/CCG, to explore the possibility of adapting its automated voice technology used for Weatheradio to be used for the CCG’s marine broadcast system, in order to improve its efficiency. The MSC is also taking an active role in supporting E-navigation strategies that are being led by DFO/CCG, which will lead to new solutions for marine weather information access and display that are compatible with industry needs and expectations, domestically and internationally. These solutions will go beyond dissemination strategies, and will necessitate some reconsideration of the nature and formats of marine weather information entirely. To that end, the MSC is conducting a small project to convert marine forecasts into an xml format. Such a format opens the door to many innovative ways to disseminate the information, not only by the MSC but also by third parties.


Timeline
Deliverable(s)
Responsible Party
October 2011
New service agreement with a telecommunications company established in Atlantic Canada to enable the modernization of Atlantic Weatheradio network
DG, WEPS
July 2012
WES service strategy approved at ADM level
DG, WEPS
March 2013
Draft WES dissemination strategy tabled at DG leads table
DG, WEPS
2011-15
MSC contributes to DFO/CCG development of marine E-navigation initiative
DG, WEPS
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