Audit of the Growing Forward 2 Assurance Systems Stream Technical Expertise Initiatives Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

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

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) and CFIA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets out the framework to facilitate the cooperation between AAFC and CFIA for delivery of the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Assurance Systems Stream Technical Expertise Initiatives. The MOU serves as the basis for the transfer of AAFC funding to CFIA, and sets out the provisions of the participants' cooperation for CFIA, in collaboration with AAFC, to deliver the Technical Expertise Initiatives.

The objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the CFIA is in compliance with the GF2 Assurance Systems Stream Technical Expertise Initiatives MOU between AAFC and CFIA. The scope of the audit covered only the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Key Audit Findings

Controls were in place to ensure that amounts reported for non-salary expenditures, employee benefit plans, corporate overhead and accommodations were incurred for the intended purpose of Technical Expertise initiatives.

The audit was not able to conclude on the reasonableness of reported salary expenditure amounts being spent on Technical Expertise initiatives, as the Agency does not have a time recording system.

The MOU was deficient in addressing requirements for CFIA to enable budget transfers between cost categories, and to claim accommodation costs.

Subsequent amendments to the MOU were approved to enable the budget transfers for the Traceability and Biosecurity initiatives, but not the Food Safety Recognition Program (FSRP) initiative. There were variances between budgeted and actual costs for the cost categories for all initiatives in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Complete Report

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