Operational Procedure: Conducting a meeting with the regulated party
On this page
- 1. Purpose
- 2. Authorities
- 3. Reference documents
- 4. Definitions
- 5. Acronyms
- 6. Operational Procedure
- 7. Appendices
The purpose of this document is to provide Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection staff with a standardized procedure for conducting a meeting with the regulated party (MwtRP) as an administrative response to non-compliance.
This document is intended to be used in conjunction with CFIA guidance documents as referenced in Section 3.0.
The procedure outlined below should be used when inspection staff have determined a MwtRP is an appropriate response to a non-compliance observed, as per the Standard Regulatory Response Process.
The MwtRP may not apply to all CFIA programs and inspectors should refer to program-related enforcement strategy or procedures.
A MwtRP is an administrative enforcement action established under policy that is not enabled by legislation enforced by the CFIA.
3. Reference documents
- Standard Regulatory Response Process
- Compliance and Enforcement Operational Policy
- Standard Inspection Process
- Operational guideline – Agricultural Inputs Enforcement Guidelines (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 3621130)
- Operational guideline: Food regulatory response guidelines
- Operational guideline – Animal and Plant Health Enforcement Guidelines (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 3622264)
- Fertilizer Control & Enforcement Guidelines (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 1526075)
- DSDP SOP Managing a Non-Compliance Record (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 9906406)
Unless specified below, definitions are located in either the:
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Meeting with the Regulated Party
- Digital Service Delivery Platform
6. Operational Procedure
CFIA inspection staff should follow this procedure when they have made the decision to conduct a MwtRP as referenced in the Standard Regulatory Response Process and commodity specific guidance.
The MwtRP is an administrative action used to respond to a contravention of legislation. The MwtRP is an opportunity for the regulated party and CFIA to review and discuss existing non-compliance. The MwtRP is also intended to open dialogue and provide a forum for a discussion on the prevention of non-compliance. The MwtRP forms part of the internal administratively collected information gathered by the CFIA regarding compliance history. As per the Standard Regulatory Response Process, this information is documented to support enforcement actions if they are required in the future.
A MwtRP may be appropriate in instances where:
- there is a concern that the regulated party is not committed to addressing non-compliance or meeting their regulatory responsibilities
- previous enforcement actions (for example, letter of non-compliance) have not been effective
The MwtRP is a distinct procedural administrative action that is different than the legislated meetings that are conducted:
- as part of another regulatory response action, such as a legally required opportunity for the regulated party to be heard prior to losing privileges
- before lost privileges, such as permissions, are reinstated
- as part of the regulated party's right to be heard (appeals)
6.1 Preparing and sending a meeting invitation
The inspection manager initiates a MwtRP using the MwtRP invitation letter template in Appendix 1.
Send the original MwtRP invitation letter, signed by the Inspection Manager who made the decision, to the regulated party by registered mail, courier or hand deliver in person. If digitally signed, send the letter by email.
Follow up with the regulated party by telephone or in person, if it was delivered by registered mail or email, to ensure they received the notice and understand it.
Note: The MwtRP is an administrative action established under policy that is not enabled by legislation enforced by the CFIA. As such, a regulated party cannot be compelled to attend such a meeting. If the regulated party declines the meeting invitation, the inspector should document the regulated party's decision and consult the Standard Regulatory Response Process for further actions that could be taken.
6.2 Documenting the delivery of the MwtRP letter
The letter delivery process and associated interaction with the regulated party must be documented in inspector notes. The notes, along with a copy (photocopy, scanned or digitally signed copy) of the MwtRP letter should be kept on file for future reference. If the MwtRP letter was sent by registered mail or courier, a copy of the delivery notice should be included in the file. A best practice is to file a copy of the original signed correspondence with the following information recorded on the back of it:
- time and date
- method and destination of letter delivery
- inspector(s) initials
- name of regulated party or company representative receiving the letter
- pertinent information that can be cross referenced to the inspector's notes
If the letter was digitally signed and sent by email, copies of the email and signed letter should be saved in RDIMS.
6.3 Conducting the meeting
The MwtRP is considered more formal than the regular / occasional discussions between inspection staff and regulated parties. Topics to be covered at the meeting include (where applicable):
- the section(s) of the Act(s) or Regulation(s) pertaining to the non-compliance
- a summary of the facts and a short description of the non-compliance
- the fact that the regulated party must take actions to correct the non-compliance and prevent future non-compliance
- the next steps of enforcement escalation that may be taken by the CFIA, if non-compliance continues or is repeated (See the Standard Regulatory Response Process)
- the date(s) by which effective corrective actions or measures must be in place to avoid enforcement escalation
- interim measures to be implemented to deal with any risk until compliance is restored
The CFIA is represented at the MwtRP by the inspection manager and/or supervisor as well as the inspector(s) who conducted the inspection(s) leading up to the meeting. CFIA staff should have copies of pertinent inspection reports on hand in the event they may be required to clarify the agency's position.
6.4 Tracking the MwtRP process
Digital Service Delivery Platform (DSDP) users:
Enter the details of the enforcement action in the DSDP. To do this, refer to Standard Inspection Process section A.5.5.2 Capture regulatory response actions and DSDP Standard operating procedure Managing a Non-Compliance Record (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 9906406). In the Non-compliance Response Details tab add a new Regulatory Response and select the Regulatory Response Type: Meet with Regulated Party. The enforcement details are being entered after the decision to meet with the regulated party has been made, therefore select the Response Status: Issued. At a minimum, add a copy of the Meeting with the regulated party invitation letter to the Documents sub-grid within the new regulatory response record.
For inspection programs that have yet to be incorporated into DSDP:
Enter the details of the enforcement action using established recording procedures.
Logging this information is required to document a regulated party's compliance history and ensure that non-compliance is documented as part of the compliance and enforcement continuum.
Appendix 1 – Forms and Templates
- Template letter – Meeting with the Regulated Party (accessible only on the Government of Canada network – RDIMS 16074875)
For general inquiries related to this Operational Guidance Document, please follow established communication channels, including submitting an electronic Request for Action Form (e-RAF) (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).
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