Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Introduction

Western Economic Diversification Canada needs to demonstrate measurable results for its spending and investments. To do so, the department collects performance or results information for the projects it funds, through grants and contributions. The project performance data collected is also used to demonstrate achievement of overall departmental results.

This audit focused on the results information at the individual project level.  Another audit planned for later in 2011-12 will focus on the departmental performance information. The results of the current audit will be integrated into the planning of the audit of departmental performance information, as project results should provide the basis for reporting on the performance of the department as a whole.

Audit Objective

The objective of this engagement was to determine how well the department has designed and implemented controls over:

  • the selection, collection and validation of project performance information; and
  • the use of performance information for decision-making and results reporting.

In assessing the quality of project performance information, the audit assessed the controls to ensure the relevancy, reliability and timeliness of the information.

Key Risks

Management designs controls to manage risks. The audit examined the processes and controls management has designed to mitigate the following key risks to ensure the controls were in place and were effective:

  • performance indicators selected do not properly link to results and outcomes;
  • too many performance indicators are selected;
  • errors and delays in project performance data collected and recorded; and
  • limited or inconsistent use of project performance information in decision making.

Audit Scope

The audit examined the project performance information processes and systems currently in place, and used in the most recent complete fiscal year (2010-11).

The audit looked at all direct grants and contribution programs as the project data processes may vary from program to program. The audit did not look at overall departmental performance information, as noted earlier.

Acknowledgements

The auditors would like to thank management and staff of headquarters and the regions for the timely cooperation and assistance provided to the audit team throughout the engagement.