Report tabled and approved by the Audit Committee and the Evaluation Committee
Internal Audit and Evaluation planning is based on two universes of auditable and evaluable processes and programs in the Agency: a modified Management Accountability Framework (MAF) universe and the Agency's Program Activity Architecture (PAA).
The MAF universe consists of 8 major elements and 38 sub-elements (see Appendix 2, reduced from 60 sub-elements in 2007). This universe differs from the TBS MAF in several respects. The elements effectiveness of extra organizational contribution, quality and use of evaluation, and effectiveness of the internal audit function are not rated. Other elements such as quality of analysis in TB submissions, quality of reporting to Parliament, workplace is fair, enabling, healthy, safe, productive, principled, sustainable and adaptable, are modified in various ways to make them more applicable to the Agency's context. Client Focused Service has been integrated into the program activity Visitor Experience and is not treated as part of the MAF universe.
The Agency's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) consisted of the 5 program activities and 25 sub and sub sub-activities (i.e., see Appendix 2, increased from 14 elements in 2007).
Senior audit and evaluation staff and program managers in the Agency rated the elements within each universe. In 2007, ratings were obtained from a group of seven managers without operational responsibilities but with a broad overview of Agency organization and operations. In 2008, the pool of participants was expanded to include the management committee of the Strategy and Plans Directorate (i.e., similar but not identical to the pool of participants in 2007), the management committee of one field unit, and a few managers in other national office directorates (e.g., national historic sites, external relations and visitor experience). Participants were asked to rate only elements with which they were familiar. In total, 21 participants provided rating of at least some aspects of the MAF universe (i.e., range 6 to 20 for any one element) and 20 respondents provided ratings of at least some elements in the PAA universe (i.e., range 5 to 15 per element).
In 2008, managers were asked to rate each element on four questions: 1) was the framework for the element suitable, 2) consistently applied, 3) effective, 4) monitored and improved. Ratings were made on a four point scale ranging from 1-strongly disagree to 4-strongly agree. Scores where transformed to range from –2 to +2 where –2 would indicate all respondents strongly disagreed and +2 indicated all respondents strongly agreed. This differed from the procedure in 2007 where managers identified up to a third of the elements in each universe as high, medium or low audit or evaluation priorities based on considerations of 1) inherent risk, 2) previous concerns 3) high materiality, visibility or significance, and 4) lack of previous coverage. Scores from this method ranged from zero to 10 with higher scores indicating more oversight worthiness.
Participants were provided with an inventory of Parks Canada risk related issues identified from a review of Agency documents prior to providing their ratings to aid them in thinking about the risks. They met as a group and discussed the background material and the process. Each participant then individually rated each element. Follow-up meetings were held with some managers to discuss the results and make adjustments where these did not seem intuitively reasonable.
The ratings were then discussed with the Agency Audit and Evaluation Committees. Additional details on scoring of elements in the universes are presented in Appendix 3.
Table 2 summarizes the status of planned and unplanned internal audit projects begun in 2007-2008 but not approved by Audit and Evaluation Committee as of March 31, 2008. Table 3 shows the evaluation projects carried forward from 2007-2008.
In some cases, specific follow-up audits of particular business units are scheduled following the approval of the original audit and management responses. One follow-up audit is planned for 2008-2009.
The review carried out in 2007 of all the TB Submissions on file for the period April 2001 to March 2007 was updated in 2008 to identify additional internal audit and evaluation commitments. Areas where there are specific commitments include:
TB Internal Audit Policy provides for the Office of the Comptroller General to conduct horizontal audits of government activities. Internal audit groups are expected to provide support to these audits. For 2008-2009, the Office of the Comptroller General has identified a horizontal audit of Contracting Information Systems and Monitoring.
The draft TBS Evaluation Policy calls for the creation of a Government of Canada Evaluation Plan to be supported by evaluation activities within departments. The first plan is not expected until fall 2008 and therefore will not affect planning for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
The Offices of the Auditor General and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development have conducted or plan to conduct several audits that are of relevance to internal audit and evaluation planning in the Agency. Relevant recent chapters include:
Additional audits in 2008-2009 that include Parks Canada within their scope include:
The Office of the Auditor General also conducts review level assurance work each year on the fairness and reliability of the performance information in the Agency's Annual Performance Report and audits the accrual financial statements that appear in the report. The OIAE has taken this assurance work into account in planning its priorities.