AAFC Remission Policy for Fees under the Service Fees Act

1. Effective date

  • 1.1 This policy takes effect on April 1, 2021.

2. Context

  • 2.1 This policy is established in accordance with the requirements set out in section 4.2.4 of the Treasury Board Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities (the Directive) and section 7 of the Service Fees Act (the Act).
  • 2.2 This policy establishes the framework on the roles and responsibilities and guiding principles to develop, maintain, and update fee-specific remission policies.

3. Application

  • 3.1 This policy applies to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) fees subject to sections 4 and 7 of the Act.
  • 3.2 This policy should be read in conjunction with sections 4.2.4 and 6.2 of the Directive.

4. Guiding principles

  • 4.1 While determining whether or not a remission should be made, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
    • 4.1.1 the proportion by which the service standard is met
    • 4.1.2 the impact on the fee-payer if the service standard was not met
    • 4.1.3 any circumstances beyond AAFC's control that may impact its ability to meet the service standard (for example, electricity outrage, flooding)
    • 4.1.4 any role that the fee-payer may play in the service standard not being met
  • 4.2 Remissions are issued when the service standards are not met as per the criteria of the fee-specific remission policy (Appendix 1).
  • 4.3 The portion of a fee to be remitted must be proportional to the degree that the service standard was not met.
  • 4.4 Remissions are granted to a fee‑payer in the form of a refund, a credit, a waiver, or any manner deemed appropriate by AAFC.
  • 4.5 Interest will not be paid for remissions as per section of the Directive.
  • 4.6 AAFC will initiate the remission payments in cases where a service standard is not met.
  • 4.7 Remissions are to be issued before July 1 of the following fiscal year in which the service standard was not met as per section 7 of the Act.

5. Eligibility

  • 5.1 A fee‑payer may be eligible to receive a remission pursuant to section 7 of the Act if the following conditions apply:
    • 5.1.1 When the service standard is not met
    • 5.1.2 The fee-payer does not play any role in the service standard not being met, such as submitting incomplete application or missing any required further information
    • 5.1.3 The service standard is not met not due to situations beyond AAFC's control, including:
      • unforeseen system disruptions and/or failures
      • natural disasters
      • emergency situations
      • unforeseen office closures
      • labour disruption
      • any other similar exceptional circumstances.

6. Criteria

AAFC has established criteria and methodologies to remit fees when a service standard is not met. Please refer to Appendix 1 for the fee-specific remission policy for details.

7. Roles and responsibilities

  • 7.1 AAFC's chief financial officer is responsible for:
    • 7.1.1 ensuring that the departmental remission policy is developed, implemented, and that AAFC is in compliance with it
    • 7.1.2 ensuring that correct actions are taken to address the non-compliance with the provisions of the departmental remission policy
    • 7.1.3 making the remissions policy and procedures available to the public
  • 7.2 Senior departmental managers (that is, assistant deputy ministers/branch heads) are responsible for:
    • 7.2.1 establishing service standards for the fees charged for services, including the use of a facility, in accordance with relevant Treasury Board policies and directives
    • 7.2.2 developing, implementing, and reviewing fee-specific remission policies
    • 7.2.3 establishing and implementing processes for tracking and monitoring the charging of fees, compliance with service standards, and remissions where applicable
    • 7.2.4 ensuring that service standards are meaningful and measurable
    • 7.2.5 ensuring that the determination of whether a service standard has been meet and whether the fee payer is eligible for the remission is made as per the requirements of fee-specific remission policies
    • 7.2.6 providing a mechanism for fee‑payers to provide comments about AAFC's fees and service standards
  • 7.3 Departmental program managers are responsible for:
    • 7.3.1 ensuring that corrective actions are taken to address non-compliance with fee‑specific remission policies, including remitting portions of fees

8. Enquiries

  • 8.1 Enquiries on the AAFC Remission Policy should be addressed to the financial policy mailbox at aafc.financialpolicy-politiquefinanciere.aac@agr.gc.ca.
  • 8.2 Information for fee‑specific inquiries, including inquiries on remission eligibility, criteria, and remission status can be found in Appendix 1.

9. References

Appendix 1: Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre's Industrial Program fees

1. Context

This remission policy articulates remission criteria specific to the Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Center's Industrial Program Fees and should be read in conjunction with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's remission policy.

2. Service standards

Access to pilot plant is provided to clients as per the agreement.

3. Eligibility/criteria

Unless otherwise stated, a partial discount may be applied in cases where AAFC has not met the service standard.

4. Ineligibility

A fee-payer is not entitled to a discount in cases where the cause of not meeting the service standard is any of the following:

  • fee-payer's role
    • the scheduled trial date is cancelled by the fee-payer
    • the fee payer does not use the pilot plant as per the contract
  • situations out of AAFC's control, for example, where
    • the equipment is broken or not available
    • there is a power outrage
    • Building is not accessible

Note that in situations where AAFC did not meet its service standards, the fee-payer must prove that the standard not being met results in a negative impact to the organization or association; Otherwise, no remission will be considered.

5. Amount of remission – rules and calculation methodology

In cases where a service standard is not met, the fee-payer may be entitled to a remission to compensate for a potential loss for the accessibility not being provided in the form of a new contract at a 10% discount.
For example, if the contract was for a 30-hour use of the pilot plant within a specific term, and the client only received 20 hours at the end of the contract term (the standard was not met), AAFC would offer a contract extension for the missing 10 hours at a 10% discounted rate.

6. Issuance of payment

Fee-payers who are entitled to fee remission are not required to apply for the remission; AAFC will initiate the process.