FSRA is enhancing its internal and external communications function to support its regulatory and cultural transformation.
FSRA plays a vital function in regulating Ontario’s non-securities financial services and pension sectors. Management and employees will continue to focus on the Board approved priorities, objectives and strategic direction. This will be consistent with FSRA’s mandate and directions from the Minister, made in accordance with the legislative framework. Pursuant to the requirements of the Agencies and Appointments Directive, this represents the response to the Minister’s letter setting out expectations for FY 2021-22.
FSRA is committed to working closely with MOF to achieve the desired outcomes within the regulated sectors and to nurture a high-performing organization that will deliver on ambitious plans. Pursuant to the FSRA Act, FSRA’s mandate includes:
- fostering strong, sustainable, competitive and innovative financial services sectors;
- promoting stability and high standards of business conduct; and
- protecting the rights and interests of consumers, credit unions depositors and pension plan beneficiaries.
FSRA is dedicated to act in the best interest of the people of Ontario by finding more effective and efficient ways of delivering regulatory services to reduce regulatory burden and providing value for money. In every action, decision and expenditure, FSRA considers the interests of the taxpayer and the people of Ontario. This includes:
- competitiveness, sustainability and expenditure management;
- transparency and accountability;
- risk management;
- workforce management;
- data collection; and
- digital delivery and customer service.
We have, and will continue, to contribute to cross-sectoral burden reduction goals, improving regulatory efficiency and effectiveness across sectors, and supporting government reform initiatives for Ontario’s financial services and pension sectors. FSRA will continue to focus on delivering the above priorities to foster strong, sustainable, competitive and innovative non-securities financial services and pension sectors.
FSRA is continuing to strengthen its core IT capabilities as it reviews and transforms its regulatory and supervisory processes to be a more effective and efficient regulator. This builds on the foundation FSRA established in 2019, including: a secure and stable data centre; efficient and effective back-office systems; a combined IT workforce made up of previous regulatory agencies’ staff; a cybersecurity roadmap; and a core regulatory digital transformation blueprint.
The goal is to establish cost-effective, modern, secure and flexible technology platforms to support these renewed processes. This will allow FSRA to be more responsive and more adaptable to changing regulatory needs.
Modernizing FSRA’s IT systems is important for several key reasons:
- Reducing reliance on outdated legacy systems that are no longer supported and cannot be updated, thus reducing technology and operational risks and improving cybersecurity.
- Streamlining and automating processes, which will reduce manual processing, lower operating costs and improve turnaround times for regulatory processes such as licence issuance. These modern systems, with workflow capabilities and business rules engines, are expected to enable reduced processing times from weeks to real-time.
- Providing better access to information and transparency on status and outcomes of requests. This will happen for both regulated entities and consumers via digital channels and through the service centre.
- Reducing the time and effort required to file, retrieve and analyze information.
- Reducing error rates and rework by employing effective data management practices and automating validation processes.
Modernizing core regulatory processes and systems work has begun with the development of a digital transformation blueprint. It aligns processes, data, technology and stakeholder interactions with FSRA’s business vision and priorities.
As FSRA progresses on this roadmap, the initial focus is on procuring and onboarding key applications and technology platforms, aligning the IT operation model, and building foundational technology and data components. Achieving fully digital, integrated and flexible technology and processes will be a multi-year and multi- million-dollar journey. In the first quarter of FY2021-22, FSRA will consult with stakeholders and sectors on key decisions and priorities as it looks to increase regulatory efficiency and effectiveness and reduce regulatory burden.
FSRA is implementing a cybersecurity program consistent with the approved cybersecurity roadmap. This program leverages a recent third-party cybersecurity assessment and industry best practices in prioritizing initiatives that minimize FSRA’s cybersecurity risks. FSRA’s approach is aligned with National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, a leading cybersecurity risk management framework.