A New Regulatory Framework for Federal Food Inspection: Discussion Document
Review Mechanism (Under the CFIA Act)

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A modern food safety and consumer protection system should balance stronger rules in legislation and regulations with opportunities for appeal and redress. The CFIA made a commitment to implement an internal review mechanism to address issues that are raised by regulated parties and others. A Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO) has been established already for regulated parties, stakeholders, and members of the public to register complaints related to quality of service, administrative errors and certain other types of decisions with which they disagree.

The SFCA, when fully in force, will amend the CFIA Act to permit the Minister to designate review officers who will conduct reviews of certain decisions made under the authority of an Act that the CFIA enforces and/or administers. Currently, there is no specific authority for a review officer to modify a decision made by an inspector or other CFIA official in the course of carrying out his or her responsibilities under legislation enforced by the Agency. The ability of a review officer to vary, cancel or confirm prescribed decisions will require regulations to be made setting out the parameters of the process before the authority may be exercised. Without this authority, the CAO's role in relation to complaints respecting decisions is limited to that of making recommendations.

Therefore as part of the proposed regulatory framework, a regulation would be made under the CFIA Act that will define the parameters of the decisions that are reviewable and a process for review. The intent is that the types of decisions that are reviewable would be similar for all statutes.

The proposed regulations would include:

  • Who can make a request for review of a decision,
  • The manner in which a review officer must conduct the review,
  • The manner in which a requester may make an application for review,
  • The time in which an application must be made, and
  • Which decisions are reviewable. Areas currently being considered under the SFCA are:
    • Suspension or cancellation of a licence
    • Restriction of movement of an item
    • Start or stop an activity or prohibiting or limiting access
    • Seizure and detention
    • Removal or destruction of unlawful imports.

Question 19: What additional decisions, if any, would you like to see as reviewable, and why?

Question 20: What would be an appropriate time-frame within which an application may be made?

An administrative policy would provide greater detail on the procedures and best practices with regards to how a review would be conducted.

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