Evaluation of the CFIA's Food Safety Program Modernization - Part 1
Final Report

5.0 Conclusions

This evaluation found individual projects under the FSMI were well designed to meet established program needs and objectives. Despite some delays, the performance of the FSMI is upheld by the evidence that individual projects are on track to be completed with only minor setbacks.

These projects represent the beginning of long-term change activities at the Agency; therefore, ongoing efforts will be required to fully realize their intended benefits on CFIA programs, including the FSP. Without this, the effectiveness of these investments could be undermined.

Perhaps more importantly, there is a lack of a performance measurement approach for FSMI projects and their impacts on the FSP, as well as broader Agency programming. This could pose challenges in establishing the effectiveness of FSMI investments and, therefore, justifying future investments in Agency change initiatives.

5.1 Recommendations

Recommendation 1:

The Agency should establish an internal and external communication process to share ongoing information about the FSMI projects and their benefits to those involved.

Recommendation 2:

The Agency should develop and implement a performance measurement strategy to track how FSMI projects are affecting the Food Safety Program. The strategy should include:

  • Indicators directly linked to overall Food Safety Program outcomes
  • Indicators to measure the effects of FSMI investments on program efficiency

Relevance: Need, Alignment with Government Priorities, and Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

Overall, the evaluation found the FSMI to be relevant and necessary for modernizing the FSP. Furthermore, FSMI projects are in line with the recommendations from the Weatherhill report, federal priorities, and the Government of Canada's Blueprint 2020 vision. The evaluation found all FSMI projects were well designed to meet established program needs and objectives.

These projects represent the beginning of long-term change activities at the Agency; therefore, ongoing efforts will be required to fully realize their intended benefits on CFIA programs. Without this, there is a risk the effectiveness of the initiative's investments will be undermined. Ensuring appropriate levels of effort rests in part on maintaining CFIA staff and external stakeholder buy-in for change.

The following recommendation is meant to establish a culture of change and support Agency program improvements.

Recommendation 1:

The Agency should establish and monitor an internal and external communication process to share ongoing information about the FSMI projects and their benefits to those involved.

Performance: Achievement of Outcomes, and Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

Despite some implementation delays, FSMI performance is supported by the fact individual projects are on track to be completed with minor setbacks.

Of particular concern, the evaluation demonstrates there is a lack of an established and effective means of measuring the influence of FSMI projects and their impacts on the FSP, as well as broader Agency programming. Without an established and effective means for measurement, there is a challenge in establishing the effectiveness of FSMI investments and, therefore, justifying future investments in Agency change initiatives.

The following recommendation is meant to establish the basis for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of change initiatives affecting the FSP.

Recommendation 2:

The Agency should develop and implement a performance measurement strategy to track how FSMI projects are affecting the Food Safety Program. The strategy should include:

  • Indicators directly linked to overall Food Safety Program outcomes
  • Indicators to measure the effects of FSMI investments on program efficiency
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