Fiscal year 2019-20

Table of contents

 

1. Introduction

This document provides summary information on the measures taken by Parks Canada Agency (PCA) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR), including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.

Detailed information on PCA’s authority, mandate and programs can be found in the attached Departmental Results Report and Departmental Plan.

2. Parks Canada's system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR)

PCA recognizes the importance of setting the tone from the top to help ensure that staff at all levels understand their roles in maintaining effective systems of ICFR and is well equipped to exercise these responsibilities effectively. PCA’s focus is to ensure that risks are well managed through a responsive and risk-based control environment that enables continuous improvement and innovation.

2.1 Internal control management

PCA has a well-established governance and accountability structure to support departmental assessment efforts and oversight of its system of internal control. An internal control framework, approved by the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Vice-President Finance, is in place and includes:

  • Organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management, including roles and responsibilities which span from senior managers across to PCA employees in their areas of responsibility for control management;
  • Internal control structure and management approach, which depicts the overall approach for internal control identification, documentation and evaluation;
  • Parks Canada has a Values and Ethics Code, and an Ombudsman whose mission is to promote and intervene in favour of an organizational culture based on the fundamental values of the Agency. The Ombudsman is also the Senior Integrity Officer for internal disclosure and wrongdoing;
  • Ongoing communication and training on statutory requirements, policies and procedures for sound financial management and control; and
  • Monitoring and regular updates on internal control management, as well as the provision of related assessment results and action plans to the CEO and senior management and the Audit Committee (AC).

The AC provides advice to the CEO on the adequacy and functioning of PCA’s risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes.

2.2 Service arrangements relevant to the financial statements

PCA relies on other organizations for the processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements as follows:

Common arrangements:
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada centrally administers the payments of salaries through its payroll system, the procurement of goods and services and the provision of accommodation.
  • The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) provides the Agency with contributions covering the employer’s share of employees’ medical and dental insurance premiums.
  • TBS provides the Agency with information used to calculate various accruals and allowances, such as the accrued severance liability.
  • The Department of Justice provides legal services to PCA.
  • Shared Services Canada (SSC) provides information technology (IT) infrastructure services to PCA in the areas of acquisition and provision of hardware and software, data centre and network services. The scope and responsibilities are addressed in the interdepartmental arrangement between SSC and PCA.
Specific arrangement:
  • PCA’s financial system related functional services are shared with Canadian Heritage. The services are administered through an MOU whereby PCA shared equally the expenses (including maintenance, training, user support, etc.) as well as the responsibilities and risks in relation to the financial system. The financial system’s IT related services are provided by Agriculture Canada to both Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage through a separate MOU.
  • Parks Campground Reservation System (PCRS) is PCA’s on-line campground reservation system and auxiliary revenue system. PCRS has been developed and contracted by a service provider (CAMIS) based on the business rules and requirements established by PCA.

3. Parks Canada's assessment results during fiscal year 2019-20

3.1 New or significantly amended key controls

There were no other new or significantly amended key controls in existing processes which required a reassessment in the current fiscal year.

3.2 On-going monitoring of key controls

The following table summarizes the status of the ongoing monitoring activities according to the previous fiscal year’s rotational on-going monitoring plan.

Progress during fiscal year 2019-20
Element in previous year’s action plan Status
IT general controls Some aspects were completed as planned and others were postponed due to a shortage of resources.
Operating expenditures Completed as planned. No Corrective measures identified.
Revenue management Completed as planned. Corrective measures identified and being addressed.
Pay administration Completed as planned. Corrective measures identified and being addressed.
Contracting Completed as planned. Corrective measures identified and currently being addressed.
Investment planning and monitoring Postponed to 2020-2021 due to shortage of resources.

3.3 COVID-19 considerations

While the global COVID-19 pandemic had impacts on many business process, it did not change the key controls for ICFR.

The 2019-2020 year-end close process remained the same and have been followed as planned. PCA used flexibility by accepting electronic approvals from delegated managers and ensuring prompt payment of invoices to our suppliers as recommended by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. The key controls over the financial statement and public account processes were unaffected and worked as designed.

In fiscal 2020-2021 PCA will review changes and risks associated with COVID-19 to ensure that key controls are in place and any changes to controls are tested to ensure there are no impacts on the validity, accuracy and completeness of PCA’s Financial Statements.

4. Parks Canada's action plan

4.1 Status and action plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent years

The Agency’s rotational ongoing monitoring plan over the next three years, based on an environmental scan, is shown in the following table:

Key control areas Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Fiscal Year 2022-2023
Entity level controls X
IT general controls X X X
Business processes
Operating expenditures X X
Procurement X
Payroll X X X
Revenue management X X
Investment planning X X
Budgeting and forecasting X
Financial close and reporting X