I have another life in this world up here in the agricultural field. We have CVS, compliance verification system, which is very similar to SMS. It simply looks at other things that usually aren't living, actually, but that's for another day. They are inspectors also, so there's a dual capacity. I get what you're saying.
I think we are all in agreement here. I think even my colleagues across the way acknowledge the fact that the Auditor General's report has highlighted some things. The Auditor General has clearly said he appreciates the work that your department has done, but he's indicated a number of times in his testimony today—and I think it's apparent in his report—that up until now it was slow. Things are moving far too slowly.
Let me indicate why I think it's so important, what that means when you're slow. The SMS is supposed to be an audit procedure to show that the inspectors—even though they're dual purpose individuals, it might be the same person, clearly not auditing themselves obviously—are auditing an inspection regime to make sure that the inspections were carried out correctly, and that the things that were meant to be done were meant to be done. That's why audit it.
Let me take you to paragraph 7.40 on page 21 of the auditor's report, which talks about planning and methodology. Let me read it to you:
The Department has a methodology for planning its oversight activities of federal railways. However, we found that Transport Canada’s methodology does not require the use of uniform risk and performance indicators to help staff identify areas of railway operations that might be more likely not to comply with the regulatory safety framework.
That's a big gap. Because even though you're saying, and Mr. Lévesque said earlier, that we clearly are getting the inspections done, we're being slow to get to the SMS, we only did 26%, we acknowledge that as a department, and you're taking corrective actions to get more done, the reality is, when it isn't being audited appropriately, the methodology was such, and that's still in the fixing stages as well according to your action plan, it had the potential— and I use the word carefully, the potential because I'm not suggesting it's carelessness—for safety risks because of the methodology being used. Is that a fair assessment of what paragraph 7.40 is telling me? And I'll ask Mr. Lévesque first, and then I'll ask Mr. Ferguson after to look at 7.40 as well.