Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) mandated Science-Metrix to carry out the evaluation of the Explosives Safety and Security Branch (ESSB) of its Minerals and Metals Sector. This evaluation assessed the programs and major activities carried out, individually and in collaboration, by the Branch’s two component organizations, the Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) and the Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory (CERL), from fiscal years 2004-05 to 2008-09. This was the first evaluation of the ESSB.
This evaluation examined five issues related to relevance and performance. Four methods were used in this evaluation: (1) a review of external literature (international and national) and a comparative analysis of explosives regulatory and S&T systems in other countries; (2) interviews conducted with ESSB staff and with Canadian and international stakeholders; (3) case studies based on the study of 14 projects/activities across the five main activity areas of ESSB (which included additional interviews with ESSB staff as well as clients and partners); and (4) an extensive review of over 200 internal files and documents.
Multiple lines of evidence established that the ESSB has been successful in fulfilling its mandate and achieving its main objectives throughout the period encompassed by the evaluation. The overall effectiveness of ERD’s regulatory oversight and CERL’s S&T outputs was high: ERD successfully administered the Explosive Act & Regulations (EA&R) and developed and validated regulations and policies on the basis of CERL’s scientific input. CERL also made significant contributions to external clients and stakeholders through the transfer of knowledge, expert advice and technology. These activities ensured a strong and credible framework that improved public safety, strengthened national security and enhanced industry efficiency.
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