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Risk Management for Canada and Canadians:
Report of the ADM Working Group on Risk Management



One of the ongoing challenges facing the Public Service is to continually improve the way we do business, for the benefit of Canadians, in an increasingly complex and ever-changing environment. Unpredictability exists whenever and wherever decisions are made, whether of an administrative, operational, regulatory, scientific or policy nature. An effective risk management approach is an important tool to respond to this ongoing challenge.

Risk management involves Canadians in many different ways. Indeed, success in managing risk should result in improvements in the quality of government services and the effectiveness of public policy, for Canadians. It should also support a dialogue between Canadians and the Public Service on the nature of risk and how we can best operate in an environment of uncertainty and limited resources.

For these reasons, risk management merits a strong policy research and development capacity within the Government of Canada. As a horizontal policy issue, Departments and Agencies must work together to establish a community of interest, to identify a common language and, broadly-speaking, to share approaches to common challenges.

In producing this paper, the Assistant Deputy Minister Working Group on Risk Management has made an important step in stimulating horizontal policy work around the question of how decisions are taken, and risks managed, in the Government of Canada. This work complements noteworthy efforts that are underway within Departments and Agencies.

Our challenge is to use this report as a platform for further horizontal work to support ongoing efforts within Departments and Agencies to modernize and to increase the transparency of decision-making for the benefit of Canada and Canadians.

 Mel Cappe
Clerk of the Privy Council

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