Statistics Canada is committed to working with the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Community of Federal Regulators to improve its interpretation policy services and tools and will continue to liaise with clients and stakeholders on regulatory requirements.
For the collection of information under the Corporations Returns Act, Statistics Canada proactively identifies and contacts businesses which should be adhering to the regulation. The Agency sends a letter of invitation which includes links to guidance materials, Q and As, etc. Respondents are asked to complete and return forms, and to contact the Agency if clarification or assistance is required. The Agency gathers feedback through the comment sections on the paper and electronic questionnaires (EQ) as well as through direct requests for information received by phone, e-mail and regular mail. Statistics Canada uses this feedback to improve its documentation and processes on an ongoing basis.
For the collection period which began in January 2015, the Agency received feedback which was used to improve the way information is collected under the Corporations Returns Act. In particular, the following items related to the Agency's interpretation practices/materials were identified:
- a new user guide specifically for EQ
- additional question-level help for EQ
- additional FAQs responding to specific questions on the scope of the regulation.
Statistics Canada has implemented the following items:
- a new user guide specifically for EQ. The use of EQ allows Statistics Canada to pre-fill a significant portion of the questionnaire. This reduces respondent burden and it also requires that respondents are provided with more focused guidance when completing EQ. The new user guide incorporates this more focused guidance and will provide considerable assistance to Statistics Canada's EQ respondents.
- additional question-level help for EQ. Statistics Canada is providing respondents with additional background on the questions asked in order to facilitate the completion of electronic questionnaires. This new resource is in keeping with Statistics Canada's long-standing commitment to maintaining positive respondent relations. Question-level help is found on Schedule I - Ownership Corporations Returns Act.
- It was determined not necessary to develop additional FAQs. This decision was taken in light of the positive feedback received following the success of Statistics Canada's conversion to the EQ format. All FAQs relating to information collection under the Corporations Returns Act are available on the Corporations Returns Act - Frequently Asked Questions.
To measure the effectiveness of these changes, Statistics Canada will systematically monitor feedback through the channels noted above to ensure issues specific to the improvement items decrease in number.
Metrics for evaluating implementation:
- Decrease in the number of inquiries related to the use of EQ
- Decrease in the number of inquiries related to the scope of the regulation.
For more information
- The Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management
- The Red Tape Reduction Action Plan
- The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council