Summary of the evaluation of the Competition Bureau's advocacy function

January 2017

About the evaluation

  • The evaluation was intended to provide insight on potential changes that could improve program design and delivery, especially in the early (i.e., formative) years of the advocacy unit.
  • The evaluation period is from the unit's inception in January 2013 through September 2015.

What the evaluation found

Program description

  • The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency mandated to help the Canadian marketplace be more competitive and innovative for the benefit of businesses and consumers.
  • The Bureau uses both competition enforcement and competition promotion strategically and in complementary ways to support a competitive and innovative marketplace.
  • Competition advocacy involves intervening before regulatory tribunals, conducting market studies and providing general information and advice.
  • There is a need for competition advocacy to foster a competition-friendly regulatory environment and raise awareness of competition issues and their impact on citizens.
  • The unit aims to improve the competitiveness of the Canadian economy and foster innovation.  Work undertaken is consistent with federal roles and responsibilities, and complementary to advocacy work undertaken by consumer organizations.
  • Competition advocacy is common in other nations throughout the world. In Canada, it involves both regulatory interventions and acting as the neutral, federal voice on competition matters.
  • The unit contributes to improved awareness of consumers and businesses of their rights and obligations. The organization has leveraged both traditional and social media in its work.
  • The unit requires a more strategic approach to increasing awareness among legislators, policy makers and regulators of the competitive implications of their actions in order to be successful.
  • The unit's activities promote legislation, regulation and policies that reflect the benefits of competition domestically and internationally.  But, it is limited by the scope and scale of work undertaken.

Recommendations (as agreed upon by management)

  1. Review the advocacy unit's mandate and develop a long-term strategic plan with the capacity of the unit and medium-to-longer-term objectives in mind.
  2. Revise the program's logic and performance measurement strategy to better capture the requisites and results of advocacy work.

Complete version of the evaluation report