Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Executive Summary

The audit of Project Performance Information was identified in the Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) approved 2011-2014 Risk-Based Audit Plan. 

The purpose of the audit was to determine how well the department has designed and implemented controls over the collection and use of project performance information. WD needs to demonstrate measurable results for its spending and investments. To do so, WD requires reliable data at the project level. The results and observation from this audit will be integrated with another audit engagement, on departmental performance information, that is scheduled for later in 2011-12.

The Project Performance Information audit examined the relevant processes and systems that were operational in the most recent complete fiscal year, 2010-11. 

Findings

Overall, the department has established a detailed framework of standards, procedures and controls for the determination, collection and use of project performance information.

Some of the challenges in the collection and use of project performance information for decision-making and reporting stem from structuring the measurement system around too many indicators, and widespread use of unique indicators. This makes the alignment of project results with departmental reporting difficult, and results in some data-collection efforts that may not be necessary.

The controls around the actual collection and recording of performance data in the project management system were operating effectively, with minor exceptions relating to progress reporting. For ensuring reliability of performance information on progress reports submitted by fund recipients, a high degree of reliance is placed on regional staff’s knowledge of their clients and projects, as well as their work experience and judgment.

The department has undertaken a number of initiatives to streamline its results measurement and reporting processes.

Statement of Assurance

In my professional judgement as Chief Audit Executive, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support the conclusion that the department has developed a detailed framework of standards, procedures and controls for the determination, collection and use of project performance information. The framework, however, should be streamlined and better integrated for ease of application and improved reporting.

The assurance is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time, against pre-established audit criteria that were agreed upon with management. The assurance is applicable to the policies, processes and controls examined. The evidence was gathered in accordance with Treasury Board policies, directives, and standards on internal audit for the Government of Canada. Sufficient evidence was gathered to provide senior management with the proof of the conclusions derived from this audit.

Donald MacDonald
Chief Audit Executive