ARCHIVED - Audit of the Growing Forward Program Initiatives Development Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

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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 Chief Audit Executive is accountable to CFIA's President, who is a member of CFIA's Audit Committee. All internal audit findings and recommendations are 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. The plan is subject to change to reflect emerging issues; changes are also reviewed and approved.

Overview

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an internal audit of the Growing Forward Program Initiatives Development Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), covering fiscal year 2010-2011.

The Growing Forward Program Initiatives Development MOU is an agreement between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for delivery of CFIA's initiatives under the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI). The MOU covers the period April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2013, and includes $20.9 million in funding.

The objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the Agency is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Growing Forward Program Initiatives Development MOU between AAFC and the CFIA.

Key Findings

The audit finds that administrative, financial and reporting controls are generally in place. The audit also noted two opportunities for improvement.

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 recommends that the CFIA develop a comprehensive performance measurement and evaluation strategy, in accordance with clause 11.1 of the MOU. The CFIA is already addressing these issues by:

  • developing an integrated and comprehensive performance measurement and evaluation strategy;
  • completing the performance measurement and evaluation for the on-farm food safety program; and
  • initiating work on the traceability component of the MOU.

The audit also recommends that the CFIA comply with clauses 9.3.1 and 9.3.2 of the MOU, which involves providing reports to AAFC by specific deadlines. The CFIA has provided all the required reports to AAFC, but identified challenges associated with meeting the deadlines established in the MOU.

To resolve this issue, the CFIA and AAFC are renegotiating the dates on which these reports are to be delivered.

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