Framework for Implementing and Maintaining the Arrangement between the CFIA and the USDA for the Recognition of Foreign Animal Disease Control and Eradication Zones
Appendix 6: Proposed Terms of Reference - Working Group

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Overview

The United States and Canada entered into an Arrangement between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture for the Recognition of Foreign Animal Disease Control and Eradication Zones (hereafter Arrangement) in October 2012 (see Appendix 1). In support of the Arrangement, a Framework for Implementing and Maintaining the Arrangement between the CFIA and the USDA for the Recognition of Foreign Animal Disease Control and Eradication Zones (hereafter Framework) was jointly developed by a bilateral working group. The Framework describes a governance structure that consists of a Steering Committee and a Working Group that is designed to keep the Arrangement and underlying evaluations current over time.

Purpose and Scope

A Working Group will have primary responsibility for reaching out to other stakeholders to cooperatively develop the means and mindset to effectively implement the Arrangement during an HCFAD outbreak. The Working Group will be responsible for keeping the document supporting the Arrangement current, including this Framework, the evaluations, and the Arrangement itself.

Membership

The Working Group is composed of individuals from CFIA and APHIS who have appropriate and complementary professional, technical, or specialist skills. This includes, but is not limited to, subject matter experts in regionalization, emergency preparedness and response, import/export, and other disciplines as required. The Steering Committee will appoint a Co-chair from each Agency.

Responsibilities

The Working Group is collectively responsible for:

  • Regularly updating the evaluations that support the Arrangement, assessing the impact of any changes in veterinary infrastructure or emergency management procedures on zoning capability, and recommending amendments to the Arrangement to the Steering Committee as appropriate;
  • Periodically reviewing this Framework and recommending amendments to the Framework to the Steering Committee as appropriate;
  • Identifying projects to build knowledge of and trust in the Arrangement among stakeholders and facilitate zoning recognition during an HCFAD outbreak; and
  • Establishing mechanisms to engage APHIS and CFIA with other Federal, State, Provincial, Tribal, and non-governmental stakeholders on an ongoing basis as regards implementation of the Arrangement.

The Working Group Co-chairs have the authority and responsibility to:

  • Recommend potential Working Group members to the Steering Committee;
  • Prepare and maintain a work plan for each project;
  • Appoint ad-hoc groups to work on projects as appropriate;
  • Promote stakeholder awareness of and involvement in projects;
  • Deliver projects according to plan;
  • Document the activities, milestones, and deliverables;
  • Manage project resources;
  • Produce the project deliverables for approval by the Steering Committee; and
  • Prepare update reports on projects, Working Group meetings, and other activities as requested by the Steering Committee.

Additionally, the Working Group Co-chairs will ensure that the Working Group meets at least annually to review the Arrangement and this Framework. The Co-chairs will communicate to the Steering Committee any resulting recommendations for amendments to either document.

The co-chairs will ensure that the evaluations supporting the Arrangement are reviewed at least annually and updated as appropriate. Each co-chair will immediately inform the other co-chair of any changes to federal-level veterinary infrastructure or emergency management procedures of which s/he becomes aware that could substantially impact zoning capability or the ability to implement the Arrangement (e.g., veterinary services reorganization or new response plans). The co-chairs will together determine whether to convene a meeting of the Working Group to further discuss and assess the impact of the changes.

Each co-chair will provide a summary of other changes to federal-level veterinary infrastructure or emergency management procedures (e.g., annual variation in staff or budget) to the other co-chair one month prior to the annual meeting of the Working Group.

The co-chairs will ensure that the Working Group meets at least annually to review existing projects and identify new projects to foster knowledge of and trust in the Arrangement.

Administration

The Working Group will meet at least annually but the Co-chairs may call additional meeting to fulfill the responsibilities of the Group. The Working Group Co-chairs will provide support for Working Group conference call/meeting arrangements, developing agendas and minutes for these meetings, and managing information pertaining to Working Group functions.

Guidance

  • The bilateral Steering Committee will oversee the work of the Working Group.
  • In Canada, guidance will be provided by the Animal Health Business Line Committee, particularly the animal health executive directors in Science, Programs and Operations.
  • In the United States, guidance will be provided by the VS Leaders Working Group, particularly pertinent directors from the National Import Export Services and the Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Services.

Reporting

  • Working Group Co-chairs to report to APHIS and CFIA Co-chairs on the Steering Committee.

Communications

  • The Working Group will meet at the call of the Co-chairs, but at least once annually.
  • Discussions and decisions will be recorded and the record made available to all Working Group members.
  • The Working Group Co-chairs will communicate formal recommendations to the Steering Committee Co-chairs and others as appropriate.
  • Working Group communications with other entities will be reviewed by the Working Group Co-chairs and approved by the other members as necessary.

Governance

  • Decision-making in the Working Group will be by consensus.
  • Tasks will be shared among the Working Group members.

Relationships

  • Maintain linkages with other Regulatory Cooperation Council/Beyond the Border initiatives to ensure consistency with other animal health initiatives.
  • Develop and maintain engagement with other Federal, State, Provincial, Tribal, and non-governmental stakeholders through a variety of forums.

Amendments

  • Amendments to this document may be made by consensus of the Working Group members.
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