NEB Time Limits and Service Standards

Time Limits

On 6 July 2012, the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act) was amended to include time limits for the processing of applications made under sections 52, 58 and 58.16. Under the NEB Act, the Chair of the National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) must set this time limit. The time limit must be no longer than 15 months after the day on which an applicant has, in the Board’s opinion, provided a complete application. The Board must complete its assessment and make its recommendation or decision within this time limit. On 6 July 2012, the Chair determined the time limits for the processing of applications filed under section 52, 58, and 58.16 of the NEB Act. These can be found in the document Letter – Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act – Establishment of time limits for section 52, 58, and 58.16 applications [Filing A42827]. Although other types of applications may not be subject to these time limits, the NEB will continue to work efficiently in the processing of all applications.

Service Standards

In today's business environment, service standards have become an essential tool for building effective client-focused service within organizations. For this reason, the NEB sets service standards so that our performance can be measured and reported on.

Service standards performance is published annually in the NEB's Departmental Results Report (DPR) and Annual Report.

The NEB reviewed a number of its processes and established standards for service delivery so clients know what to expect. These service standards identify specific delivery targets or timelines for key services. Service standards are subject to periodic review.

The NEB recently reviewed the service standards associated with processing applications and has made adjustments to the methodology for reporting its service standards performance effective 1 April 2017. These adjustments were made in order to provide more consistency and additional clarity for all stakeholders. No changes have been made to the specific target date for each application type. All service standards will now be aligned to measure performance against a threshold of 80 percent of application decisions and recommendations meeting the specific target dates. In addition, we have clarified that the service standard for section 58 application decisions is measured from the date the Board deems the application to be complete. This aligns with the measurement of service standards for time limits.

Applications

Export/import applications

The NEB is responsible for reviewing applications and authorizing the export of oil and natural gas liquids, the import and export of natural gas, and export of electricity.

The service standard for both natural gas import orders as well as short-term export orders for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids is 80 per cent of decisions are made within two working days.Footnote 1

Electricity export applications are divided into one of three categories based on:

  • their level of complexity.
  • the estimated number and type of information requests which may be generated; and
  • the level of third-party interest.

The service standard for all electricity export applications is 80 per cent of all decisions will be released by target date (see table below). Within 10 days following the completion of the Notice of Application/ Directions on Procedure (NOA/DOP) period, applicants will be notified of the category assigned and the estimated date for release of a decision.

The following service standard targets have been adopted for electricity export applications:

Service Standard Targets for Electricity Export Applications
Category Complexity of Issues Service Standard Target
A Minor 40 calendar days
B Moderate 90 calendar days
C Major No service standard

The trigger date for cycle time tracking is the day following the successful completion of the NOA/DOP period. Applicant time-outs will be tracked and those days deducted from the Board's cycle times. Time-outs are periods of time during which the Board has limited or no control over the processing of the application. For example, if an applicant has been asked to provide additional information, a time-out is the period of time between the target response date set by the Board and the date on which the applicant provide its response.

Hearing applications

For applications subject to a hearing, the Board’s service standard is that 80 per cent of its Reasons for Decisions or Recommendations are completed within 12 weeks following the close of record of a public hearing. The NEB will implement a two week timeout during the holidays in December for this service standard.

Non-hearing applications (Section 58)

Time limits will apply to all non-hearing section 58 applications. Subject to any necessary modifications allowed under the NEB Act, time limits will not be exceeded.

Non-hearing section 58 applications are classified into one of three Categories based on:

  • their level of complexity;
  • the estimated number and type of information requests which may be generated; and
  • the probability of third-party interest.

The service standard for all non-hearing applications is 80 per cent of all decisions will be released by target date (see table below). The calculation of the service standard begins on the day the Board determines the application is complete. Once a section 58 application has been determined to be complete, a letter will be sent to the applicant setting out the Category as well as the start and end dates of the service standards. The NEB remains committed to processing applications in accordance with its service standards.

The service standard target for non-hearing section 58 applications are:

Service Standard Targets for Section 58 applications
Category Complexity of Issues Service Standard Target Maximum Time Limit
A Minor 40 calendar daysTable Note a 130 days
B Moderate 90 calendar daysTable Note a 210 days
C Major 120 calendar daysTable Note a 300 days

Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) applications

Under COGOA, the NEB regulates the drilling of wells and geological and geophysical work in frontier areas. The service standard is 80 per cent of decisions are made by the target date. The target date for an application to drill (or alter the condition of) a well is within 21 calendar days of receiving a complete application. For geological and geophysical applications, the target date is 30 calendar days.

Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA) applications

Under the CPRA, the NEB regulates Significant Discovery and Commercial Discovery Applications on frontier lands. For making decisions, the service standard is 80 per cent of decisions will be made in 90 days from the day that all information is available to complete the evaluation process.

Participant Funding

The Participant Funding Program (PFP) provides funding to facilitate public participation in certain project hearings and environmental assessments of designated projects. The service standard is 80 percent of funding decisions are provided within 30 days of a complete application or application deadline.

Land Matter Complaints

The NEB expects regulated companies to attempt to resolve complaints related to land matters from landowners or other parties before the complaint reaches the Board for resolution. However, this is not always possible.

The NEB will inform those who submit a complaint within 10 calendar days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

The service standard for land matter complaints is 80% of complaints are resolved or closed by the target date as outlined in the table below. This service standard does not include timeouts, such as when parties to the complaint attempt to resolve the complaint outside the NEB process or where the Board has limited or no control over the steps taken by the parties to resolve the complaint. A complaint is considered resolved or closed if the parties advise that the issues are resolved and the complaint is withdrawn, the NEB has issued a decision that resolves the complaint, or the information required to process the complaint is incomplete for greater than 90 days.

Category Definition Target Date
Level 1 Complaint which requires urgent action(s) to minimize or eliminate immediate threats to the environment, safety, and/or facility integrity (i.e., protection of human health, livestock, heritage resources, economic sustainability, crossings) Within 21 calendar days of received date
Level 2 Complaint which does not pose an immediate threat and can be addressed through facilitation or adjudication Within 180 calendar days of received date

Audits

The NEB is committed to conducting management systems audits in support of its mandate with respect to safety, security, environmental protection and economic efficiency. The NEB conducts two types of audits, including an Onshore Pipeline/Processing Plant audit and a financial audit. The following service standards have been adopted for these audits:

Onshore Pipeline Regulation (OPR) and Processing Plan Regulation (PPR) audit

The Board commits to ensuring that 80 per cent of draft OPR/PPR audit reports will be sent to the audited company within twelve weeks of field work completion. Eighty per cent of the final audit reports will be sent to the audited company within twelve weeks of receiving the audited company's comments on the draft report.

Financial audit

The Board commits to ensuring that 80 per cent of draft financial audit reports will be sent to the audited company within eight weeks of field work completion. Eighty per cent of the final financial audit reports will be sent to the audited company within three weeks of receiving the audited company's comments on the draft report.

Requests to the NEB Library

The NEB Library receives hundreds of requests for publications or other information every year. The standard for responding to requests from the Library is 90% of requests are responded to within one working day.

How can I get more information about the NEB and its activities?

You can get more information through a series of information publications the NEB produces.

To contact the publications coordinator:

The Publications Office
National Energy Board
Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 0A8
E-mail: publications@neb-one.gc.ca
Telephone: 403-299-3561
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803
TTY (teletype): 1-800-632-1663

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