NEB Corrective Actions in response to Office of the Auditor General Audit – Tracking Table – Fall 2015 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Oversight of Federally Regulated Pipelines

2015 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

NEB Corrective Actions in response to Office of the Auditor General Audit
Recommendation Corrective Action Start Date Expected Completion Date Actual Completion Date Comments

The National Energy Board should systematically track compliance with pipeline approval conditions and adequately document this oversight work. This documentation should include for example, notifying companies on the status of achievement of the condition.

Review past pipeline approval conditions to ensure compliance information has been documented

Nov 2015

Sep 2016

In Progress

All conditions are assessed by the NEB. The NEB has reviewed the status of documentation for all project approval conditions from the past 15 years to identify areas where documentation in the electronic system requires updating. Documentation from condition files is in the process of being updated in the system.

Update business processes to ensure condition compliance status is documented for all new project approvals

Nov 2015

Apr 2016

COMPLETED
Dec 2015

Business processes have been revised to ensure condition status is recorded for all future projects. Revisions include work instructions that require tracking dates to be input by staff, and assignment of staff dedicated to condition tracking. As part of its system updates, the NEB will further automate and simplify these processes in future.

Determine methodology for communicating condition status

Dec 2015

Sep 2016

COMPLETED
Feb 2016

Status of all conditions for all projects approved since 2010 has been provided in an on-line chart as of 22 February 2016. These will be updated on a quarterly basis or as-needed.

Communicate condition status to companies in accordance with the new process

Nov 2015

Dec 2016

 COMPLETED
Feb 2016

Status of all conditions for all projects approved since 2010 are viewable on-line starting 22 February 2016. Status will be updated quarterly. Additional mechanisms for communicating condition status will be considered as part of a bigger project assessing information and data needs (see below).

The National Energy Board should systematically verify that companies implement corrective actions to non-compliance situations within the required timeline. This includes notifying companies when the corrective action is satisfactory. The Board should integrate this work with needed improvements into information management systems.

Review and update documentation related to past non-compliances

Nov 2015

Jul 2016

 In Progress

An assessment is underway to ensure documentation with respect to non-compliance follow-up is complete within the electronic system.

Update processes to ensure timelines are appropriately specified for corrective actions

Jun 2015

Apr 2016

COMPLETED
Aug 2015

Business processes and a new system have been developed to record timelines required for each corrective action resulting from field inspections. The NEB launched a trial version of a new electronic system for field inspectors to record all key steps in the inspection process, including a requirement to track timelines for corrective actions required of companies. Phase 1 of the project was successful and further enhancements to the system are in progress to improve ease of use and provide additional features.

Determine appropriate mechanism for notifying companies regarding status of corrective actions

Aug 2015

Sep 2016

 In Progress

The NEB's new system for tracking non-compliances is undergoing phase two development which will include a communication mechanism regarding the status of corrective actions.

Implement communication mechanism for status of corrective actions

Aug 2015

Sep 2016

 In Progress

Status of corrective actions will be communicated upon completion of phase two of the NEB's new system.

The National Energy Board should assess and address its information and data management needs. In doing so, the Board should ensure that its information and data management requirements are aligned with the needs of its critical business processes.

Complete development of new systems to enable data and information to be collected from NEB inspections

Aug 2015

Sep  2016

 In Progress

Field inspection reports are now posted on-line as a result of the NEB's newly developed electronic inspection report system. Phase two development of the system is underway to enable efficient collection of data from inspections.

Retain consultant to review NEB business processes and associated data management needs and recommend path forward

Dec 2015

June  2016

 In Progress

A consultant has been retained. A review of business processes and data requirements is in progress. The review is a foundational step for further improving the NEB’s data management systems. The results of the review will be used to inform project plans for specific data system improvements beyond the improvement initiatives already in progress.

Complete project plan for design and/or selection of tools that would enable efficient analysis of information from the NEB's compliance processes

May 2016

Dec 2016

 In Progress

The NEB will create detailed project plans for data management system enhancements based upon recommendations from the consultant who has been retained to recommend a path forward.

The National Energy Board should provide the public with enhanced access to information about company compliance with pipeline approval conditions. Specifically, the National Energy Board should ensure that its website incorporates a user-centered design that the public can access and use efficiently.

Make NEB's Regulatory Document Index public interface more user-friendly

Jan 2015

Dec 2016

 In Progress

The NEB has retained a business analyst and information technology developer to simplify public access to condition-related information. A proof-of-concept model is being developed for consideration in April 2016.

Update internal business processes to facilitate posting of condition status information on-line

Nov 2015

Apr 2016

 COMPLETED
Feb 2016

Business processes have been updated to ensure collection of information related to status of project conditions is captured in a way that will enable status reporting. Processes have been updated to enable reporting of condition status on-line. The status of all conditions from 2010 to present is now being posted on-line.

Update supporting IT systems to facilitate more efficient posting of condition status information on-line

Apr 2016

Dec 2016

 Not Started

Development of an electronic system to enable more efficient reporting of project condition status will be commenced in the new fiscal year. Enhancements to our current table of conditions will be included in this work.

Post condition status on-line

Nov 2016

Dec 2016

COMPLETED
Feb 2016

Condition status is being posted on-line as of 22 Feb 2016.

In preparation for its new responsibilities under the Pipeline Safety Act (coming into force by June 2016), the National Energy Board, in consultation with Natural Resources Canada, should consolidate the risks identified through its various risk assessment activities into an all hazards risk assessment to inform its emergency management plan.

Consolidate NEB's various risk assessment activities under its Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP)

Oct 2015

Jun 2016

 In Progress

The NEB has consolidated its risk assessment activities and has begun finalizing the report with other federal agencies.

Be prepared to implement the updated SEMP

Jan 2016

Jun 2016

 In Progress

The NEB will be prepared to implement an updated Strategic Emergency Management Plan in advance of the coming into force of the Pipeline Safety Act.

The National Energy Board should review its overall resource assessment and, in consultation with other relevant federal authorities where appropriate, should further explore avenues to address and resolve its challenges in the recruitment and retention of key staff.

Identify key/critical positions and prioritize staffing actions

Apr 2015

Apr 2016

COMPLETED
Aug 2015

A staffing plan was developed to initiate the staffing of key positions in the Operations Business Unit.

Conduct staffing processes for key positions

Aug 2015

Apr 2016

 In Progress

Staffing actions have been initiated and as of late February, 18 new staff have been hired in the safety and engineering disciplines at the NEB.

Assess long-term staff resource requirements in the engineering discipline of the safety and engineering job families

Jan 2016

Apr 2016

 In Progress

An assessment of long-term needs in the engineering job family is underway.

Enhance tracking of staffing results

Jan 2016

Apr 2016

 In Progress

Tracking of staffing results has been enhanced to enable accurate quarterly reporting on progress.

Formalize tracking of innovative solutions implemented for the attraction and retention of key staff.

Jan 2016

May 2016

In Progress

Tracking of implemented solutions has been formalized to enable reporting on progress.