Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Audit Strategies and Approach

Planning

Audit planning started in November 2010 and fieldwork was completed in June 2011. Departmental employees were engaged as necessary throughout the audit process to facilitate identification of key risks, audit criteria, control elements and audit strategies. The audit also looked to identify opportunities to assist the department’s implementation of the 2008 Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments and related directives.

Standards and Methodology

Government of Canada internal auditing standards were used for the audit. It was evidence-based and provides audit assurance that is fully supported. The audit examined evidence against criteria that was established based on the 2008 Policy on Transfer Payments and other federal government sources including: departmental monitoring and payments program and procedure guides, control framework process charts, management discussions, Financial Administration Act, and Audit Criteria related to the Management Accountability Framework: A Tool for Internal Auditors. The basis for the audit examination and expectations was communicated and agreed to by management in the terms of reference. The sources of evidence gathered and used included: risk analysis, interviews, regional visits, project file examination, confirmations as necessary, audit analysis, analytical reviews, and cause and effect assessment.

Sampling

Internal audit used corporate report centre information to identify 576 projects that we considered to be active or current between March 31, 2009 and December 31, 2010. These projects were ranked in the system by project officers in terms of risk as follows: 397 as low risk; 158 as moderate risk; 9 as high risk; and 12 projects were not ranked as their risk profile was assessed by network partners administering the projects on the department’s behalf. We used judgemental sampling to select 151 project files to provide sufficient coverage for all six programs audited in the four regions and risk. Our sample included 81 low, 65 moderate, and 5 unranked projects. We excluded the 9 high-risk projects from our sample as they were subject to recipient audits and/or other comprehensive reviews. We confirmed that these audits and reviews had been performed.

Audit Team

Donald MacDonald   Chief Audit Executive
John Hagan   Project Leader
Wilfredo Dimailig   Internal Auditor
Christine Kasianiuk   Internal Auditor