Deck 1: The National Energy Board’s Internal Transformation

Presentation to the Expert Panel Conducting the NEB Modernization Review

Josée Touchette, Chief Operating Officer

29 November 2016

1. Context

  • The NEB operates in a rapidly changing public context with increasing polarization on significant policy issues (e.g., energy and climate policy, Indigenous issues).
    • Public confidence in the pipeline lifecycle regulator is critical.
    • Recent changes made by Parliament, such as Pipeline Safety Act, attempted to address some of the issues but left other issues untouched.
  • More needs to be done to regain public trust.
    • NEB has embarked on an ambitious transformation agenda.
    • The Government’s NEB modernization initiative also provides an excellent opportunity to engage Canadians on NEB’s role and mandate and make positive change.
  • The NEB actively supports the Government’s modernization objectives.
    • The NEB is pleased to be supporting the Secretariat and will support the Panel any way we can.

2. Areas of Internal NEB Transformation

The NEB has embarked on an ambitious transformative agenda within the constraints of the existing legislative framework to make us better and more efficiently align resources to priorities. As a lifecycle regulator the NEB can be thought of as a “steward of the pipeline safety system”. Transformation is focused on the following areas:

  1. Improving internal governance and modernizing performance measurement and reporting to Canadians.
  2. Enhanced public engagement through:
    1. Increasing transparency in safety and emergency management.
    2. Increasing transparency in every phase of the lifecycle.
    3. Increasing engagement across Canada throughout every phase of the lifecycle.
    4. Providing new and innovative approaches to more meaningful opportunities for participation in hearing processes.
  3. Leveraging our existing energy information and advisory capacity to provide comprehensive, neutral energy information and data to Canadians.

2.1 Internal Governance

The NEB is instituting an improved internal governance structure and robust operating practices. This allows for transparent reporting of critical performance to Canadians and Parliament.

  • New NEB Results Framework will better enable Canadians to measure and assess the NEB’s performance in a comprehensive way.
    • It gives us the tools to look at ourselves in the mirror and assess whether we are good enough, and the actions we need to take to better meet the public’s needs and expectations.
  • Implementing a strong internal management system that is aligned with the NEB Results Framework (e.g., Management System Manual).
  • Reorganized to better align resources and structure with NEB and government priorities, and to implement the NEB Results Framework .
    • Includes new Transparency and Strategic Engagement Sector.

2.2 Safety and Emergency Management

Over the last two years, the NEB has undertaken transformation initiatives in the areas of safety and emergency management to be more transparent about our expectations of all our regulated companies.

  • Held a public consultation process on the availability of emergency response plans that resulted in companies providing Canadians access to emergency procedure manuals.
  • Improved data collection and analysis systems to learn from past incidents and regulate against future incidents.
  • Publicly released the Safety Culture Indicators, to build on the Safety Culture Framework.
  • Working with industry associations on issues such as safety management systems, safety culture initiatives, and audit work (e.g., Canadian Energy Pipeline Association).

2.3 Transparency

The NEB is enhancing transparency by making more information about pipeline safety and industry performance available to all Canadians, through every phase of the lifecycle of energy infrastructure.

  • Posted an interactive pipeline incident map online.
  • Posting field inspection reports online.
  • Posting condition-compliance information online.
  • Making enforcement actions public.
  • Introduced project-specific condition-compliance portals.
  • Modernizing our website and social media strategies to facilitate easier access to information.

2.4 Engagement

The NEB is continuing to increase engagement across Canada throughout the lifecycle of energy infrastructure to understand various perspectives and to inform Canadians about what the NEB does to promote safety and environmental protection.

  • Opened new regional offices in Vancouver and Montréal.
  • Enhanced and revitalized the Land Matters Group.
  • Established an agreement with the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal to share information and promote cooperation.
  • Developing a new Engagement Strategy and a new Indigenous Engagement Strategy.
  • Assuming a stronger leadership role in the stewardship of regional emergency management systems in certain parts of the country.
  • Increasing understanding of the NEB’s lifecycle role and our expectations of companies throughout the lifecycle of regulated infrastructure.
  • Allowing Canadians appropriate avenues of engagement with the NEB outside of hearings.

2.5 Meaningful Participation and Hearing Innovation

The NEB is adopting new and innovative approaches to provide more meaningful opportunities for public participation in NEB hearings.

  • Increased public input into NEB processes (e.g., broadcasting oral hearings, providing web-ex info sessions, and increasing our social media presence to share information).
  • Improved hearing communications (e.g., making information about hearing processes easier to locate on the NEB website).

The NEB is assisting with the implementation of the Government’s interim principles and is going beyond what was required.

  • Intend to use additional Board Members to enhance engagement inside the hearing process.
  • Provided technical input to ECCC’s upstream GHG assessments.

2.6 Energy Information

The NEB is providing leading edge comprehensive energy information and data with a view to foster a well-informed energy dialogue across the country.

  • Launched an innovative tool to clarify complex energy supply and demand information into easily understandable visualizations.
  • Engaging other governmental or public organizations to identify the gaps in information available to Canadians on energy which could be bridged by leveraging the NEB’s in-house expertise.

3. Conclusion

  • There is significant work taking place within the NEB to achieve internal transformation, within the constraints of the existing legislative framework.
    • The NEB is actively changing the way we assess and report on our performance through our Results Framework. This Framework allows us to better report to Parliament, and to all Canadians, regarding our public confidence role, and the results we are expected to deliver.
  • The NEB’s internal transformation is well aligned with the objectives of the modernization review, both of which are critical to regain public trust.
  • As we have done with previous legislative changes, the NEB will faithfully implement any future changes.
  • Improving public confidence will also require innovation in othe areas of the energy system (e.g., energy and climate policy, Indigenous rights).

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