ARCHIVED - Audit of the Project Management of the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP)

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Audit

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) internal audit function provides the President, senior officials and agency managers with an independent capability to perform audits of the resources, systems, processes, structures and operational tasks of the CFIA. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assessing and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

The internal audit function is accountable to the CFIA's Audit Committee, of which the President is a member. All internal audit findings and recommendations must be reported to the Audit Committee, and all audits must be carried out in accordance with federal policy and legislative requirements, including the 2012 Policy on Internal Audit and the 2006 Federal Accountability Act.

CFIA internal audit projects are selected based on highest significance during an annual agency planning process, which are then reflected in the Agency's Audit Plan for review by Audit Committee and approval of the President.

Overview

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an internal audit of the project management of the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP), covering years 2008-2011. The FSAP is a five-year (2008-2013) project for the CFIA. It is a major component of the Government of Canada's broader Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan (FCSAP).

Initiatives under the FSAP aim to

  • enhance oversight of imported and domestic food products;
  • allow the CFIA to respond more quickly and effectively to food safety threats; and
  • identify potential risks sooner and with more precision.

The objective of the audit was to assess the project management framework used in the design and implementation of the FSAP against the accepted standards.

Key Findings

The CFIA continually improves its programs and protocols. Management's commitment to addressing recommendations made by internal audits like this one is a critical part of that continual improvement.

The audit finds that there is a clearly defined and active governance structure in place to provide overall direction, decision making and resource commitment to the FSAP project.

The audit finds that while the FSAP integrated project plan is still undergoing refinements, a formal project management methodology is in place.

The audit finds that significant progress has been made in the development of a rigorous risk management approach, but opportunity for enhancement remains. The audit recommends that the CFIA should ensure that a detailed transition plan is developed, documented and implemented.

In response, the CFIA is developing a detailed transition plan, including:

  • Detailed financial allocations by branch and activity for $54.9 million annually of ongoing funding (beginning in 2013-14);
  • Clear and measurable outcomes for each activity identified in the program design;
  • A detailed list of outstanding activities at implementation with clear accountability and timelines for delivery; and
  • A detailed list of outstanding risks and issues at implementation with clear accountability for delivery.

When completed, the transition plan will be submitted to project governance committees and distributed to the Agency's Enterprise Project Management Office and project stakeholders (target date: December 31, 2012).

Complete report:

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