January 13, 2005
Mr. Fraser Reilly-King
153 Chapel Street, Suite 104
Ottawa ON KIN 1H5
Re: Compliance program file number 22364-1-2003
Dear Mr. Reilly King:
It was a pleasure to meet with you for lunch on December 2, 2004. I must thank you for the document you gave me at that time, a six page paper entitled: Comments submitted to EDC re lessons learned around the Cernavoda 2 complaint. The time taken to create such a thorough assessment is appreciated.
It is my intention to refer to your comments in the 2004 annual report to EDC's board of directors about the compliance program. These annual reports are made public in the springtime.
Moreover, the seven best practice standards to which you referred in your document will be used as supplementary material to the research already conducted as part of the review of EDC's compliance program for effectiveness and accessibility.
Pursuant to Section 12 of the Terms of Reference Respecting the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Export Development Canada and Section8 of the Resolutions respecting the Establishment of a Compliance Officer (CO) position for EDC, the Audit Committee assists the Board in overseeing the activities of the CO. Specifically, the Audit Committee is directed by the Board to:
a) receive the reports of the CO and bring to the Board's attention such summary information or other particulars of the CO's reports as the Committee shall think fit;
b) set and periodically review performance standards and procedures for resolving complaints to ensure that the office of the CO remains accessible and effective;
c) advise the Board of the activities it has taken with respect to the office of the C0, including oversight of activities of the CO.
In satisfying item b), a review of the compliance program was conducted in 2004. As comparators, twenty-seven institutions were used representing five international financial institutions and international development banks, five Canadian government agencies, one export credit agency, six Canadian banks, and ten Canadian companies. Similar to what you noted in your research, it was found that the following key elements of the Ombudsman roles and ethics programs have an impact on their effectiveness and accessibility: reporting structure; function/scope; and users and triggers. These elements are discussed in relation to the comparators in the analysis report.
A draft of the final comparative analysis report was given to the EDC executive management team in the fall of 2004. Currently, discussions with this group are underway regarding how EDC compares to the institutions named in this review The analysis you provided will now form part of these discussions.
Thank you again for sharing your comments and experiences regarding EDC's compliance program.
Alison C. Lawford LL.B., LL.M. Compliance Officer