MOU

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ALGONQUIN FORESTRY AUTHORITY, AS REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIR

March 2015

1.  Purpose

a.  The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to:

  1. Set out the accountability relationships between the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Chair of the Algonquin Forestry Authority on behalf of the agency;
  2. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Minister, the Chair, the Deputy Minister, the General Manager of the Authority and the Board of Directors;
  3. Set out the expectations for the operational, administrative, financial, staffing, auditing and reporting arrangements between the Algonquin Forestry Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry;

b.  This MOU should be read together with the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act.  This MOU does not affect, modify or limit the powers of the agency as set out in the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act, or interfere with the responsibilities of any of its parties as established by law.  In case of a conflict between this MOU and any act or regulation, the act or regulation prevails.

c.  The Agency and the Ministry agree to avoid duplication of services wherever possible.

d.  The purpose of this MOU is to clarify and amplify the relevant roles and operating relationships consistent with the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act.

2.  Preamble

 WHEREAS the Algonquin Forestry Authority, herein referred to as the Authority, has been established under the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act;

And WHEREAS the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, herein referred to as the Minister, is responsible for the administration of the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act;

And WHEREAS the affairs of the Authority are under the management and control of the Board of Directors of the Authority and its Chair who are responsible to and subject to the direction and control of the Minister;

And WHEREAS the Authority has been established to harvest Crown timber and produce logs therefrom, and to sort, sell, supply and deliver logs;

And WHEREAS the Authority has also been established to perform, undertake and carry out such forestry, land management and other programs and projects as the Minister may authorize and to advise the Minister on forestry and land management programs and projects of general advantage to Ontario;

And WHEREAS the Minister and the Authority may enter into, from time to time, other agreements consistent with the objects of the Authority;

Now THEREFORE, the Minister and the Authority’s Board of Directors, as represented by the Chair, agree to enter into this Memorandum of Understanding to record their respective roles and responsibilities as follows:

3. Definitions

In this MOU:

a.  “Act” means Algonquin Forestry Authority Act that governs the agency;

b.  “Agency” means the Algonquin Forestry Authority;

c.  “AAD” means the Management Board of Cabinet Agencies and Appointments Directive;

d.  “Appointee” means a director or other member appointed to the agency by the Minister or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but does not mean an individual employed/appointed by the agency as staff;

e.  “Board” means the board of directors of the Algonquin Forestry Authority;

f.  “Chair” means the chair of the Algonquin Forestry Authority;

g.  “G.M.” means the General Manager of the Agency;

h.  “Constituting instrument” means the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act that established the agency;

I.  “CFSA” means the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, S.O. 1994, Chapter 25;

j.  “Deputy Minister” means the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry;

k.  “MBC” means Management Board of Cabinet;

l.  “Minister” means Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry;

m.  “Ministry” means the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

n.  “PSOA” means the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 35, Sched. A;

o.  “TB” means Treasury Board;

p.  A statute, regulation, directive or policy named in this mOU includes any amendments made to them.

4.  Authority’s Legal Authority and Mandate

a.  The legal authority of the Authority is set out in the Act;

  • The Authority is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Ontario and is a Crown agency for the purposes of the Crown Agency Act.  R.S.O 1990, c. A. 17, s. 3 (3).
  • The Authority has all the capacity and powers of a natural person, including the capacity to exercise its powers beyond the boundaries of Ontario to the extent to which the laws in force where the powers are sought to be exercised permit, and may accept extra-provincial powers and rights.  R.S.O. 1990, c. A. 17, s. 10 (1).
  • The Authority is without share capital.  R.S.O. 1990, c. A.17, s. 3 (1)
  • The Corporations Act does not apply to the Authority.  R.S.O. 1990, c. A. 17, s. 3 (4).

b.  The mandate of the Authority is to ensure the long-term health of Algonquin Park forests while producing a sustainable supply of forest products for the forest industry of the region in accordance with the CFSA.

5.  Crown Agent Status

a.  The Authority is a Crown Agency within the meaning of the Crown Agency Act.

6.  Agency Classification

a.  The Authority is classified as an Operational Enterprise under the AAD.

7.  Guiding Principles

The parties agree to the following principles:

b.  The Minister acknowledges that the agency exercises powers and performs duties in accordance with its mandate;

c.  The Minister acknowledges that the Authority plays a meaningful role in the development of the policies and programs of the government, as well as in the implementation of those policies and delivery of programs;

d.  The Board acknowledges that they are accountable to the Minister, through the Chair, for governance and oversight of the Authority;

e.  As an agency of the government, the Authority conducts itself according to the management principles of the Government of Ontario.  These principles include ethical behaviour; prudent; efficient and lawful use of public resources; fairness, high quality service to the public; and openness and transparency to the extent allowed under law;

f.  For operational enterprise agencies that have already been established and have an MOU in place, any subsequent MOU must be submitted to the Secretary, Management Board of Cabinet, for review approval.  If any material changes are prosed in the subsequent MOU, TB/MBC or other Cabinet approval will also be required.

8.  Accountability Relationships

8.1  Minister

The Minister is accountable:

a.  To the Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly for reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the Authority;

b.  For attesting, reporting and responding to the TB/MBC Cabinet on the Authority’s performance and compliance with government’s applicable directives and operational policies;

c.  To the Cabinet for the performance of the Authority and its compliance with the government’s operational policies and broad policy directions;

d.  For receiving and ensuring that the Authority’s annual report is made available to the public after tabling it in the Legislative Assembly.

8.2  Chair

The Chair is accountable:

a.  To the Minister for the performance of the Authority in fulfilling its statutory mandate, and for carrying out the roes and responsibilities assigned to the Chair by the Act, this MOU, and applicable TB/MBC, Public Service Commission, and Ministry of Finance directives;

b.  For reporting to the Minister, as requested, on the Authority’s activities;

c.  For ensuring timely communications with the Minister regarding any issue that affects, or can reasonably be expected to affect, the Minister’s responsibilities for the Authority.

8.3  Board of Directors

a.  The Board is accountable to the Minister, through the Chair, for the oversight and governance of the Authority, setting goals, objectives and strategic direction for the Authority within its mandate, and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to it by the Act, applicable TB/MBC, Public Service Commission, and Ministry of Finance directives, and this MOU.

8.4  Deputy Minister

a.  The Deputy Minister is accountable to the Secretary of the Cabinet and to the Minister for the performance of the Ministry in providing administrative and organizational support to the Authority and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned by the Minister, applicable TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives, and this MOU.

8.5.  General Manager (G.M.)

a.  The G.M. is accountable to the Board, through the Chair, for the day-to-day management of the Authority’s operations and staff.  The G.M. works under the direction of the Chair to implement policy and operational decisions.  The G.M. reports the Authority’s performance results to the Board, though the Chair.

9.  Roles and Responsibilities

9.1  Minister

The Minister is accountable to the Cabinet and to the Legislative Assembly for:

a.  The responsibility for the Act in respect of the Authority;

b.  Reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the Authority;

c.  Attesting, reporting and responding to TB/MBC on the Authority’s performance, compliance with applicable TB/MBC directives, the government’s operational policies and policy directions;

d.  Where required, recommending to TB/MBC, any change to the Authority’s mandate or dissolution of the Authority;

e.  Recommending to TB/MBC the powers to be given to, or revoked from, the Authority when a change to the mandate of the Authority is being proposed;

f.  Determining at any time the need for a review or audit of the Authority, and recommending to TB/MBC any changes to the governance or administration of the Authority resulting from any such review or audit;

g.  When appropriate or necessary, taking action or directing that corrective action be taken with respect to the Authority’s administration or operations;

h.  Receiving the Authority’s annual report and ensuring that the annual report is made available to the public after tabling it in the Legislative Assembly;

I.  Informing the Chair and Board of the government’s priorities and broad policy directins for the Authority, including the development and delivery of new forest management, park and other natural resource management programs;

j.  Consulting, as appropriate, with the Chair (and others) on significant new directions or when the government is considering regulatory or legislative changes for the Authority, or changes to the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan or changes to relevant government policy;

k.  Providing general policy advice where deemed appropriate and indicating provincial constraints which the Authority is expected to observe;

l.  Recommending to TB/MBC, as necessary, all formal documents relating to changes in the Authority’s mandate;

m.  Monitoring the Authority’s activities to ensure that its mandate is fulfilled and is in compliance with government policies;

n.  Informing the Chair of the Authority of the forest resource allocations from Algonquin Park for designated companies, established by the Minister;

o.  Reviewing and approving the Authority’s annual business plan;

p.  Recommending to TB/MBC any provincial funding to be allocated to the Authority;

q.  Directing the Chair to undertake reviews of the Authority on a periodic basis, and making recommendations to TB/MBC as may be required after such reviews are completed;

r.  Meeting with the Chair of the Board of Directors on an annual basis;

s.  Developing the Authority’s MOU with the Chair and signing it into effect after it has been signed by the Chair and recommending to TB/MBCV the approval of the MOU before it is signed by the parties;

t.  Reviewing and approving the Authority’s staffing and compensation strategy for employees and officers, including any amendments, as submitted by the Chair;

u.  Reviewing the advice or recommendation of the Chair on candidates for appointment or re-appointment to the board.

9.2  Chair

The Chair is responsible for:

a.  Chairing the Board meetings consistent with the procedures of public institutions and provide leadership to the Board and the G.M. of the authority, particularly with respect to the translation of government policy objectives into operational plans and activities;

b.  Ensuring the implementation of actions that support the goals, objectives, strategic direction and long-term vision for the Authority and communicating that vision to stakeholders;

c.  Ensuring that the Authority is operated in a business-like manner by ensuring client satisfaction, cost effectiveness and long-term financial viability;

d.  Leading the Authority in the pursuit of appropriate business ventures consistent with its mandate;

e.  Seeking strategic policy direction for the Authority from the Minister;

f.  Keeping the Minister informed about major operational changes ad recommended by the Board of Directors within 30 days and bring recommendations to the Minister on program and policy decisions;

g.  Ensuring timely communications with the Minister/Ministry regarding any issues or events that may concern, or can reasonably be expected to concern the Minister/Ministry in the exercise of his/her responsibilities relating to the Authority and communicating any contentious issues within 24 hours to the Minister/Ministry;

h.  Consulting with the Minister in advance regarding any activity which may have an impact on the government and ministry’s policies, directives or procedures, or on the Authority’s mandate, powers or responsibilities as wet out in the Authority’s constituting instrument;

I.  Monitoring the performance of the Authority;

j.  Reporting to the Minister as requested on the Authority’s activities within agreed upon timelines;

k.  Annually, sending a letter to the Minister confirming AFA’s compliance with legislation, directives, accounting and financial policies;

l.  Ensuring that the Authority operates within its approved budget allocation in fulfilling its mandate;

m.  Developing the Authority’s MOU with the Minister and signing it on behalf of the board;

n.  Reviewing and approving the Authority’s business plan, interim in-year summary report, budget, annual report and financial reports, and submitting them to the Minister as per Section 10; in accordance with the time lines specified in the applicable TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives, and this MOU;

o.  Providing both the Minister and the Minister of Finance with a copy of every audit report, a copy of the Authority’s response to each report, and any recommendations in the report;

p.  Advising the Minister annually on any outstanding audit recommendations;

q.  Ensuring that members are informed of their responsibilities under the PSOA with regard to the rules of ethical conduct (Part IV of the PSOA), including the political activity rules (Park V of the PSOA);

r.  Making sure that appropriate management systems are in place (financial, information technology, human resource) for the effective administration of the Authority;

s.  Making sure that an appropriate framework is in place for Authority staff and appointees to receive adequate orientation and training;

t.  Making sure that Authority staff and appointees are aware of and comply with the applicable TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives;

u.  Making sure a process for responding to and resolving complaints from the public and Authority clients/customers is in place;

v.  Carrying out effective public communications and relations for the Authority as its chief spokesperson;

w.  Cooperating with any review or audit of the Authority directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

x.  Fulfilling the role of ethics executive for public servants who are government appointees to the Authority, promoting ethical conduct and ensuring that all members of the Authority are familiar with the ethical requirements of the PSOA, and the regulations and the directives made under the PSOA, including in respect of conflict of interest, political activity and the protected disclosure of wrongdoing;

y.  Signing the MOU for the Authority as authorized by the Board;

z.  Keeping the Minister informed of upcoming appointment vacancies and provide recommendations for appointments or re-appointments;

aa.  Reviewing and approving claims for per diems and expenses of board members;

bb.  Facilitating communications between the Board of Directors and the Minister and meeting the Minister on an annual basis.

9.3  Board of Directors

The Board is responsible for:

a.  Setting the goals, objectives, and strategic directions for the Authority within its mandate as defined by the Act, government policies as appropriate and this MOU;

b.  Directing the affairs of the Authority and setting overall priorities so as to fulfill its mandate;

c.  Directing the development of, and approving the Authority’s business plans for submission to the Minister within the timelines agreed upon with the Ministry or this MOU;

d.  Directing the preparation of, and approving the Authority’s annual reports for submission to the Minister for tabling in the Legislative Assembly within the timelines established by the Act or the AAD;

e.  Making decisions consistent with the business plan approved for the Authority and ensuring that the Authority operates within its allocations;

f.  Ensuring that the Authority manages its affairs in compliance with applicable TB/MBC directives;

g.  Ensuring that the Authority uses public funds prudently and only for the business of the Authority based on the principle of value for money, and in compliance with applicable legislation and TB/MBC directives;

h.  Ensuring that Authority funds are used with integrity, honesty, fairness and effective controllership;

I.  Establishing such board committees or oversight mechanisms as may be required to advise the Board on effective management, governance or accountability procedures for the Authority;

j.  Approving the MOU for the Authority in a timely manner and authorizing the Chair to sign it on behalf of the Authority;

k.  Approving the Authority’s reports and review that may be requested by the Minister from time to time for submission to the Minister within agreed upon timelines;

l.  Directing the development of an appropriate risk management framework and a risk management plan and arranging for risk-based reviews and audits of the Authority as needed;

m.  Establishing performance measures, targets and management systems for monitoring and assessing the Authority’s performance;

n.  Directing corrective action on the functioning or operations of the Authroity, if needed;

o.  Cooperating with and sharing any relevant information on any risk-based or periodic review directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

p.  Consulting, as appropriate, with stakeholders on the Authority’s goals, objectives and strategic directions, and procedures;

q.  Providing advice to the government, through the Minister, or issues within or affecting the Authority’s mandate and operations;

r.  Participating in training to ensure knowledge of the Authority’s mandate and operations;

s.  Advising the Minister 30 days in advance of proposals for significant changes to Authority policy and keeping the Minister fully informed on controversial matters pertaining to Authority operations;

t.  Ensuring the Authority carries out forest management activities in Algonquin Park in accordance with the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan, the Algonquin Park Forestry Agreement and the approved Forest Management Plan.

9.4  Deputy Minister

The Deputy Minister is responsible for:

c.  Advising and assisting the Minister regarding the Minister’s responsibilities for the Authority;

d.  Advising the Minister on the requirements of the AAD, the Government Appointees Directive and other directives that apply to the Authority;

e.  Recommending to the Minister, as may be necessary, the evaluation or review, including a risk-based review, of the Authority or any of its programs, or changes to the management framework or operations of the Authority;

f.  Facilitating regular briefings and consultations between the Chair and Minister, and between Ministry staff and Authority staff;

g.  Attesting to TB/MBC, to the Authority compliance with the mandatory accountability requirements set out in the AAD;

h.  Ensuring that the Ministry and the Authority have the capacity and systems in place for on-going risk-based management, including appropriate oversight of the Authority;

I.  Ensuring that the Authority has an appropriate risk management framework and a risk management plan in place for managing risks that the Authority may encounter in meeting its program or service delivery objectives;

j.  Undertaking timely risk-based reviews of the Authority, its management or operations, as may be directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

k.  Establishing a framework for reviewing and assessing the Authority’s business plans and other reports;

l.  Supporting the Minister in reviewing the performance targets, measures and results of the Authority;

m.  Advising the minister on documents submitted by the Authority to the Minister for review or approval, or both;

n.  Submitting to the Minister, as part of the annual planning process, a risk assessment and management plan for each risk category;

o.  Undertaking reviews of the Authority as directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

p.  Cooperating with any review of the Authority as directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

q.  Monitoring the Authority on behalf of the Minister while respecting the Authority’s authority, identifying needs for corrective action where warranted, and recommending to the Minister ways of resolving any issues that might arise from time to time;

r.  Negotiating a draft MOU with the Chair as directed by the Minister;

s.  Consulting with the Authority’s G.M. or Chair, as needed, on matters of mutual importance including services provided by the Ministry and compliance with TB/MBC directives and Ministry policies;

t.  Meeting with the Chair as needed or as directed by the Minister;

u.  Arranging for administrative, financial and other support to the Authority as specified in this MOU;

v.  Informing the Chair, in writing, of new government directives and any exceptions to or exemptions in whole or in part from TB/MBC directives or Ministry administrative policies;

w.  When required, submitting a report to the secretaries of TB/MBC on the wind-down of the Authority, disposition of any assets, completion of any outstanding responsibilities by the Authority, and the termination of any appointments.

9.5  General Manager

The General Manager is responsible for:

a.  Managing the day-to-day operations of the Authority in accordance with the mandate of the Authority, TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives, accepted business and financial practices, and this MOU;

b.  Advising the Chair on the requirements of and compliance with the AAD as well as other TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives and policies and Authority policies;

c.  Applying policies and procedures so that public funds are used with integrity and honesty;

d.  Providing leadership and management to Authority staff, including financial resources management;

e.  Establishing and applying a financial management framework for the Authority in accordance with applicable Minister of Finance controllership directives, policies and guidelines;

f.  Translating the goals, objectives and strategic directions of the  Board into operational plans and activities in accordance with the Authority’s approved business plan;

g.  Ensuring that the Authority has the oversight capacity and an effective oversight framework in place for monitoring its management and operations;

h.  Keeping the Board, through the Chair, informed with respect to implementation of policy and the operations of the Authority;

I.  Establishing systems to ensure that the Authority operates within its approved business plan;

j.  Ensuring that the Authority has an appropriate risk management framework and risk management plan in place as directed by the Board/Chair;

k.  Supporting the Chair and Board in meeting their responsibilities;

l.  Carrying out in-year monitoring of the Authority’s performance and reporting on results to the Board through the Chair;

m.  Keeping the Ministry and the Chair advised on issues or events that may concern the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Chair in the exercise of their responsibilities;

n.  Seeking support and advice from the Ministry, as appropriate, on Authority management issues;

o.  Establishing a system for the retention of Authority documents and for making such documents publicly available when appropriate, for complying with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Archives and Recordkeeping Act where applicable;

p.  Undertaking timely risk-based reviews of the Authority’s management and operations;

q.  Consulting with the Deputy Minister as needed, on matters of mutual  importance, including services provided by the Ministry, and on TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives and Ministry policies;

r.  Cooperating with a periodic review directed by the Minister or TB/MBC;

s.  Fulfilling the role of ethics executive for public servants, other than government appointees, who work in the Authority;

t.  Promoting ethical conduct and ensuring that all members of the Authority are familiar with the ethical requirements of the PSOA and the regulations and directives made under the Act, including in respect of conflict of interest, political activity, and the protected disclosure of wrongdoing;

u.  Keeping the Board, through the Chair, informed about operational matters;

v.  Preparing annual reports and business plans for the Authority as directed by the Board;

w.  Preparing financial reports for approval by the Board;

x.  Preparing, for approval by the Board, a performance review system for staff and implementing the system;

y.  Ensuring adequate training and orientation of members of the Authority’s Board of Directors with respect to their roles and responsibilities;

z.  Ensuring that the Deputy Minister and the program lead, receive a copy of the approved Board minutes within 30 days;

aa.  Maintaining effective communication with the Deputy Minister and the program lead of the Ministry on matters which may require action by the Minister;

bb.  Meeting with the program lead as required, to discuss emerging issues.

10.  Reporting Requirements

10.1  Business Plan

a.  The Authority shall provide a draft copy of the business plan to the program lead for review in February, including a completed risk assessment template.  By May, the Authority shall submit a final business plan prepared in accordance with the requirements in the AAD to the Minister or his/her designate for approval.

b.  The Chair will ensure that the Minister is provided annually with the Authority’s business plan covering a minimum of three years from the current fiscal year that includes a financial budget and a risk management plan, for approval within the timelines established by the Minister for this purpose.

c.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority’s annual business plan meets the requirements of the AAD.

d.  The Chair will ensure that the business plan includes a risk assessment and risk management plan to assist the Ministry in developing its risk assessment and risk management plan information in accordance with the requirement of the AAD.

e.  The Minister will review the Authority’s annual business plan and will promptly advise the Chair whether or not he/she concurs with the directions proposed by the Authority.  The Minister may advise the Chair where and in what manner the Authority’s plans vary from government or ministry policy or priorities as may be required, and the Authority will revise its plan accordingly.

f.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority’s business plan includes a system of performance measures and reporting on the achievement of the objectives set out in the business plan.  The system must include performance goals, how they will be achieved, and target results and time frames.

g.  In addition, TB/MBC may require the Minister to submit the Authority’s business plan to TB/MBC for review at any time.

h.  AFA is required to make the business plan available to the public on its website within 30 days of Minister approval of the plan.

10.2  Annual Reports

a.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority’s annual report is submitted to the Minister for tabling in the Legislative Assembly.  The Chair will submit the annual report to the Minister within 90 days of the Authority’s fiscal year-end.  The fiscal year commences on April 1 in each year and ends on March 31 of the following year.

b.  The Annual Report will be prepared in accordance with requirements outlined in the AAD.

c.  In addition, the annual report must be posted on a provincial agency or government website within 30 days of tabling in the Legislature.

10.3  Other Reports

The Chair is responsible for:

a.  Ensuring that the Authority provides a copy of an interim in-year summary report every November 15th to the Minister outlining:

  1. financial performance to date;
  2. product volume performance to date;
  3. significant variances to date from plan and explanation of the variances; and
  4. year-end projections and forecasts.

b.  Ensuring that the reports and documents set out in Appendix (1) to this MOU are submitted for review and approval to the Minister in accordance with the prescribed time lines;

c.  At the request of the Minister or Deputy Minister, supplying specific data and other information that may be required from time to time for the purpose of Ministry administration;

The following must be submitted to the Office of the Provincial Controller for the preparation of the province’s Public Accounts, within the timelines established each year;

  • draft or audited financial statements; and,
  • all relevant consolidation adjustments.

A copy of the signed MOU must be made available to the public on a government or provincial agency website within 30 days of the Minister’s signature.

Expense information for appointees and senior executives must be posted on a government or provincial agency website as per the AAD.

11.  Communications

The parties to this MOU recognize that the timely exchange of information on the operations and administration of the Authority is essential for the Minister to meet his/her responsibilities for reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the Authority.  The parties also recognize that it is essential for the Chair to be kept informed of the government initiatives and broad policy directions that may affect the Authority’s mandate and functions.

The parties, therefore, agree as follows:

a.  The Chair will keep the Minister advised, in a timely manner, of all planned events and issues that concern or can be reasonably expected to concern the Minister in the exercise of his/her responsibilities;

b.  The Minister will consult with the Chair, as appropriate, on broad government policy initiatives or legislation being considered by the government that may impact on the Authority’s mandate or functions;

c.  The Minister and the Chair will consult with each other on public communications strategies and publications.  They will keep each other informed of the results of stakeholder and other public consultations and discussions;

d.  The Minister and the Chair will meet at least annually, or as requested by either party, to discuss issues relating to the fulfillment of the Authority’s mandate, management and operations;

e.  The Deputy Minister and the G.M./Chair will meet at least annually to discuss issues relating to the efficient operation of the Authority and the provision of services by the Ministry to the Authority;

f.  The Authority and Ministry may develop a Public Communications Protocol and include as a schedule to this.

12.  Operating Relationships

a.  The program lead shall coordinate resolution of issues involving the Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and will facilitate the review of all documents requiring approval by the Deputy or Minister.

b.  Day-to-day operational issues involving the Authority and the Ministry will be coordinated through the Ontario Parks office in Algonquin Park.

c.  The Authority will participate in the planning of canoe routes, recreational trails and single use reserves.

d.  The Minister agrees that no addition to or withdrawal from the Recreation Utilization Zone, as defined within the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan, will be considered without prior consultation with the Authority.

e.  The Authority will retain responsibility for media inquiries relating to AFA decisions/operations.

13.  Administrative Arrangements

13.1  Applicable Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and Ministry of Finance Directives

a.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority operates in accordance with all applicable TB/MBC, Public Service Commission, and Ministry of Finance directives, as well as applicable Ministry financial and administrative policies and procedures.  Appendix 2 to this MOU provides a list of applicable directives and policies.

b.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the legal, financial and other interests of the government in intellectual property are protected in any contract that the Authority may enter into with a third party that involves the creation of intellectual property.

c.  The Ministry’s program lead will meet with the G.M. on a regular basis to discuss performance and administrative requirements of the corporation.

13.2  Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

a.  The Chair is the institution head for the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

13.3  Records Management

a.  The Chair is responsible for ensuring that a system is in place for the creation, collection, maintenance, and disposal of records.

b.  The Board through the Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority complies with the TB/MBC Management of Recorded Information Directive.

c.  The Board through the Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Authority complies with the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 34, Schedule A.

13.4  Client/Customer Service

b.  The Chair will ensure that the Authority delivers its services at a quality standard that reflects the principles and requirements of the OPS Service Directive.

c.  The Authority shall maintain a formal process for responding to complaints about the quality of services received by clients/customers of the Authority consistent with the government’s service quality standards.

d.  The Authority’s annual business plan will include performance measures and targets for client/customer service and the Authority’s response to complaints.

13.5  Adminstrative Procedures and Policies

a.  The Board shall ensure the maintenance of financial and administrative procedures and controls for efficient and effective accounting and reporting of the operations of the Authority in accordance with its Act and agreements.

b.  The G.M. shall continue to develop and maintain administrative procedures consistent with the general management principles of Government while exercising entrepreneurial skills and maintaining operational flexibility.

c.  Administrative policies particular to the Authority shall be approved by the Board.

d.  Creation of new programs, major changes to existing programs, and any other initiatives that impact upon the total financial viability of the Authority, require prior approval of the Minister.

e.  The Authority shall maintain a customer/client service plan (including service standards) which will include a complaints process, performance measures and targets for customer service.

f.  The Authority shall monitor the performance and effectiveness of the Board and G.M.

g.  The Authority can develop information systems, including sales and data collection systems, required for their operations.

h.  The Authority is allowed to enter into Third Party Agreements to complete their operations.

14.  Financial Arrangements

14.1  Financial Records and Reports

a.  The Authority’s financial arrangements shall be in accordance with the requirements of the Act and all other applicable provincial and federal legislation.

b.  The Board shall cause books of accounts and records to be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and a financial management control and information system and associated management practices shall be maintained.

c.  The books, records, system, and management practices referred to above shall be kept and maintained in such a manner as will provide reasonable assurance that:

  1. the assets of the Authority are safeguarded and controlled;
  2. the transactions of the Authority are in accordance with the Act and any by-laws and policies of the Authority; and
  3. the financial, human and physical resources of the Authority are managed economically and efficiently and their operations are carried out effectively

d.  The G.M. is responsible for ensuring that the Provincial Auditor is furnished with any information that the Auditor requires regarding the Authority’s powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions and methods of business.

e.  The Provincial Auditor shall have free access to all books, accounts, financial records, electronic data processing records, reports, files and all other papers, things or property belonging to the Authority that the Auditor needs to perform his/her duties.

14.2  Other Financial Matters

a. The Authority will operate on a self-sustaining basis, relying on its retained income and generated revenues.

b.  The Authority will charge, collect and remit all applicable taxes on all required business transactions.

c.  The Minister may, subject to monies being appropriated by the Legislature of Ontario, contract with the Authority to accomplish the objectives of Algonquin Park’s public access road maintenance program.

d.  The minister may direct the Authority to take actions to meet non-economic, social, recreational or other objectives and where the Authority demonstrates that it has incurred significant costs, which reflect a fair commercial assessment of the situation, the Minister may reimburse the Authority in whole or in part for those costs, subject to TB/MBC approval, where appropriate.

e.  The Board shall determine the maximum expenditure that may be authorized by the G.M.

f.  The Board, through the Chair, shall contact the Minister to obtain the Minister of Finance’s approval before entering into any financial arrangements which could increase the Province’s direct, indirect or contingent liabilities.

g.  Notwithstanding Subsection 14.2 (a), in cases where the Authority wishes to obtain loan funds from the Minister, or the Minister wishes to provide a grant to the Authority, pursuant to Section 12 of the Act:

  1. The Board, as represented by the Chair, shall inform the Minister of any loan or grant requirements under Section 12;
  2. If the Minister supports the loan or grant application, the Minister will seek approvals of the Minister of Finance (as per Section 28 of the Financial Administration Act) and TB/MBC.

15.  Audit and Review Arrangements

15.1  Audits

a.  The Authority is subject to periodic review and value-for-money audit by the Auditor General of Ontario under the Auditor General Act or by the Ontario Internal Audit Division.

b.  The Ontario Internal Audit Division may also carry out an internal audit, if approved to do so by the Ministry’s Audit Committee or by the Corporate Audit Committee.

c.  Regardless of any annual external audit, the Minister may direct that the Authority be audited at any time.

d.  The Authority will promptly provide a copy of every report from an audit to the Minister and the Minister of Finance.  The Authority will also provide a copy of its response to the audit report and any recommendations therein.  The Authority will advise the Minister annually on any outstanding audit recommendations.

b.  The Chair may request an external audit of the financial transactions or management controls of the Authority at the Authority’s expense.

c.  The Chair and G.M. will appear before legislative committees on request of the Minister.

d.  The Provincial Auditor shall be the financial auditor in respect of the Authority and will prepare all audited financial statements pursuant to Sections 17 and 18 of the Act.

e.  The minister shall have an independent forest audit conducted in accordance with the regulations made under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act with respect to independent forest audits.

16.  Staffing and Appointments

16.1  Staffing

a. The Authority may employ officers and employees subject to Sections 5 and 6 of the Act.  Employees of the Authority are classified as public servants as defined under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2007.

16.2  Appointments

a.  The members of the Board of the Authority are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to Section 4 of the Act.

b.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate one of the members as Chair and at least one of the members as Vice-Chair to the Authority.

c.  Appointees to the Authority are or will be classified as public servants for a public body, as defined under ths PSOA.

17.  Liability Protection and Insurance

a.  The Authority shall maintain insurance that would be considered appropriate for a prudent business in similar circumstances to the Authority including comprehensive liability insurance and directors and officers liability insurance.

18.  Effective Date and Duration and Periodic Review of the MOU

18.1  Effective Date of MOU

a.  This MOU becomes effective on the date it is signed by the parties.

b.  This MOU will remain in effect for a period not exceeding five years, from the date of the Minister’s signature, where upon a new or updated agreement of the Minister and the Board, as represented by the Chair.

c.  If a new or updated MOU is not in place by the end of the above five-year period, this Memorandum will remain in force for no more than six additional months until a signed Memorandum is provided to the Secretary of Management Board of Cabinet.

d.  If a new minister or Chair takes office before this MOU expires, the Minister and Chair must affirm by letter that the MOU will continue in force without a review;  or alternatively, they may agree to revise it.  A copy of the letter of affirmation between the Minister and Chair must be provided to the Secretary, Management Board of Cabinet within six months of the new party or parties’ commencement.

e.  Without affecting the effective date of this MOU, either the Minister or Chair may initiate a review of this MOU by written request to the other.

f.  A full review of this MOU will be conducted prior to its expiry not more than five years following the date it came into effect, or immediately in the event of a significant change to the Authority’s mandate, powers or governance structure as a result of an amendment to the Act.

18.2  Reviews

a.  The Authority may be subject to a review at the discretion and direction of TB/MBC or the Minister.  The review may cover such matters relating to the Authority that are determined by the TB/MBC or the Minister, and may include the mandate, powers, governance structure and/or operations of the Authority.

b.  The minister will consult the Chair as appropriate during any such review.

c.  The Chair, Board and G.M. will cooperate in any review.

d.  The Authority shall provide the Minister with any report or information as the Minister may require from time to time, and within the timeframe requested.

19.  Signatures

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1:  Summary of Agency Reporting Requirements (Optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2:  List of Acts, Directives, Guidelines and Policies that apply to AFA

1.  The following Acts apply to the agency:

  • Financial Administration Act;
  • French Language Services Act;
  • Ministry of Treasury and Economics Act, and
  • Pay Equity Act.
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005;
  • Archives and Recordkeeping Act, 2006;
  • Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act;
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and
  • Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006

2.  The following TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives, guidelines, and policies apply to the agency:

  • Agencies and Appointments Directive
  • Accountability Directive
  • Advertising Content Directive
  • Delegation of Authority Key Directive
  • Enhancing Privacy:  Computer Matching of Personal Information
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Directive
  • Visual Identity Directive
  • Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
  • Procurement Directive – Specific sections pertaining to “Other included Entities”
  • Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive

3.  The Ministry will inform the agency of amendments or additions to directives, policies and guidelines that apply to the agency;  however the agency is responsible for complying with all directives, policies and guidelines to which it is subject.

Appendix 3:  Agency Accountability Matrix

MNRF Agency Accountability Matrix for Classified and Unclassified Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legend:

Program Areas:  Biodiversity and Renewable Energy Branch, Ontario Parks, Species at Risk Branch, Southern Region (Lead), Natural Heritage, Lands and Protected Spaces Branch, Mapping and Information Resources Branch, Science and Research Branch, Forest Tenur & Economics Branch, Forests Branch, and Integration Branch

CFCB:  Corporate Finance and Controllership Branch (Corporate Management & Information Division)

LSB:  Legal Services Branch

SPEB:  Strategic Policy and Economics Branch (Policy Division)

RACI Matrix:

R – Responsible

A – Accountable

C – Consulted

I – Informed