National Energy Board – 2017–18 Departmental Plan

Key risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

Key risks

Key risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results
Risks Risk response strategy Link to the department’s Core Responsibilities Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities

Incident involving NEB-regulated infrastructure

Incident involving NEB-regulated infrastructure resulting in a serious injury, fatality or significant environmental damage.

  • Completion of Compliance Verification Activities, including inspections and audits, according to risk-informed Compliance Verification Plan and incident trend information.
  • NEB audits plans are risk-informed and verify that audited companies have effective management systems
  • Emergency response process utilization with trained staff ready to respond to emergency incidents
  • Review of Emergency Management Manuals

Risk Tolerance: Mitigate

Develop and implement specific risk mitigation and action plan; assign resources to minimize risk; monitor implementation.

Measurement: Assigned risk ownership and quarterly risk monitoring and reporting to gauge the effectiveness of risk responses.

  • Safety and Environment Oversight
  • Linked to Government-wide commitment to protect the environment and keep all Canadians safe.

Strengthening stakeholder relationships

Ineffective strategies or actions to strengthen diverse stakeholder relationships (with Indigenous Peoples, landowners, regional interests, industry, Canadians).

  • Develop and implement Engagement Strategy and associated programs.

Risk Tolerance: Mitigate

Develop and implement specific risk mitigation and action plan; assign resources to minimize risk; monitor implementation.

Measurement: Assigned risk ownership and quarterly risk monitoring and reporting to gauge the effectiveness of risk responses.

  • Engagement
  • Linked to Government-wide commitment to strengthen relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and seek public input as it relates to environmental impacts and major resource development projects.

Incomplete data and information

Incomplete data and information due to differing and/or outdated business systems, business rules and processes, which could result in a compromised ability to conduct analysis, deliver on regulatory initiatives, or provide accurate information to the public.

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive Data Management Framework
  • Designate a Data Management Committee and associated roles and responsibilities
  • Create project plans for data management system enhancements
  • Develop a road map for identifying, drafting and prioritizing various information systems projects
  • Automate and simplify business processes.

Risk Tolerance: Mitigate

Develop and implement specific risk mitigation and action plan; assign resources to minimize risk; monitor implementation.

Measurement: Assigned risk ownership and quarterly risk monitoring and reporting to gauge the effectiveness of risk responses.

  • Safety and Environment Oversight
  • Energy Information
  • Linked to Government-wide commitment to open and transparent government.

Disclosure of sensitive information

Accidental or intentional disclosure of sensitive information that could impact financial markets, pose a breach of the Government of Canada Policy on Government Security, or lead to a loss of public trust.

  • Physical security controls (e.g., access controls, locks, barriers, safes)
  • Implementation of IT security controls (e.g., firewalls, passwords) and adherence to Shared Services Canada guidelines
  • Training on aspects of information security provided to staff.
  • Ongoing training, guidelines, manuals and testing of staff.
  • IT security improvements based on audit of IT security.

Risk Tolerance: Mitigate

Develop and implement specific risk mitigation and action plan; assign resources to minimize risk; monitor implementation.

Measurement: Assigned risk ownership and quarterly risk monitoring and reporting to gauge the effectiveness of risk responses.

  • Energy Information
n/a

Harm to a member of the public, NEB staff or a Board Member

An action, conduct, threat or gesture that could cause harm to a member of the public, NEB staff, or a Board Member (for instance, in conducting lifecycle activities, during a hearing, or other engagement activity).

  • Hearing security policy and procedures in place.
  • Increase the use of the NEB Hearing Room
  • Increase the use of technology in lieu of in-person hearings
  • Consult with national, regional and local lead security agencies to assist in security risk assessment and applying safeguards

Risk Tolerance: Mitigate

Develop and implement specific risk mitigation and action plan; assign resources to minimize risk; monitor implementation.

Measurement: Assigned risk ownership and quarterly risk monitoring and reporting to gauge the effectiveness of risk responses.

  • Energy Adjudication
  • Safety and Environment Oversight
  • Linked to Government-wide commitment to keep all Canadians safe.

Risk Analysis

Risk-based compliance verification planning

As a key element of proactive incident prevention, the NEB compiles information on regulated company performance for the purposes of establishing trends, and for assessing the amount of oversight required in the future. The results of compliance verification activities are used along with other inputs, such as incident data, to inform the NEB’s compliance plan for the coming year.

The safety of Canadians and protection of the environment are key considerations in NEB operations. To reduce safety risks, a proactive approach to incident prevention is critical. That is why all available actions are taken by the NEB to protect the environment and the public with an emphasis on learning from past incidents and reducing future incidents. This is aided by a focus on data collection and analysis, while making information about pipeline safety performance available to Canadians. Compiling information on company performance helps the NEB to establish trends and assess the appropriate level of oversight needed. The NEB will use trend information to direct its resources towards improving performance of companies through management systems and ultimately the performance of the industry.

NEB processes are increasingly seen as an avenue to voice concerns over the future of energy in Canada. There is a risk that increased public interest of the type that escalates to disruption or threats may result in harm to members of the public, NEB staff, or a Board Member. The NEB will always provide an opportunity for Canadians to be heard, and conducting NEB business in a secure manner is paramount to ensuring safety to individuals and the right to be heard with respect.

Increased public interest in energy information has been a primary determinant of the NEB’s ramped up efforts to efficiently supply accessible and transparent data. Enhancing current systems and processes, while streamlining data and information management practices, will reduce the risk of incomplete data and information. Relatedly, it is important to protect the data and information the NEB manages. Accidental or intentional disclosure of sensitive information has the potential to impact financial markets, pose a breach of the Government of Canada Policy on Government Security, or lead to a loss of public trust. Physical and information technology security controls and improvements, coupled with ongoing employee training on proper information management practices, will help to mitigate this risk.

Seeking to strengthen relations with Indigenous Peoples as well as landowners, regional representatives, industry, and Canadians is aligned with a broader Government-wide commitment, and, for the NEB is critical to seeking public input on major resource developments and potential environmental impacts. Any dialogue on energy infrastructure, safety and environmental protection must recognize the unique needs of all NEB stakeholder relationships. Implementing a public engagement strategy that includes a plan for meeting the distinct engagement needs of differing groups, combined with a regional NEB presence, will facilitate relationship-building now and into the future. Engagement with our stakeholders incorporates both educating about energy information, regulatory processes and the NEB’s role as a lifecycle regulator, and also incorporating stakeholder concerns into our own understanding of their views.

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