November 17, 2022

Minutes of the Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) Meeting

November 17, 2022
09:30am to 12:00pm
Microsoft Teams Meeting


Graham Fraser, External member - Chair
André Grondines, External member
Caroline Maynard, Information Commissioner

Secretary to the Committee:

Bojana Terzic, Team Lead -Strategic Planning, Policy and Program Evaluation and Audit

Regular attendees:

France Labine, Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services, Strategic Planning and Transformation Services, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Audit Executive (CAE)

Senior Management Committee:

Layla Michaud, Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Governance
Gino Grondin, Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs  


Catherine Lapalme, Principal, Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Ann Mousseau, Director, Human Resources
James Ellard, Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Sébastien Lafond, Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Meeting Summary

Approval of Record of Decisions and action items from the June 1, 2022 meeting has been done secretarially as September meeting was in secretarial format.

Approval of the 2023 Forward Calendar.

Update on status management action plans from the past audits and evaluations

Sectorial Updates including status of Evaluation, Investigations Phase II, Parliamentary Affairs and Communication directorate.

Mid‐Year (period 6) Budget Review Update.

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Chair and the Commissioner welcomed everyone to the meeting.  The Chair noted and congratulated the office on the recent work, mentioning the investigation reports published as well as the Commissioner’s appearances in front of ETHI Committee.

2. Minutes and Action Items from the June 1, 2022 Meeting.

The members acknowledged the approval of the minutes of the June 1, 2022 meeting which was conducted secretarially.

The action item was reviewed and approved.

Action item:

  • As September AEC meeting was conducted secretarially, there will be no publication of the minutes on the OIC website.

Action item:

Publish the minutes of November 17, 2022 meeting on public site.

3. Minutes and Action items from the Previous Meetings; AEC Forward Calendar – Presented by B. Terzic and F. Labine

Update of outstanding action items from previous management actions plans were provided by the Secretary to the Committee.

External member asked if there were any indications that some of the action items may not be delivered and CFO responded that this was not the case. External member also inquired whether Phoenix represented concern and if it created extra work for the human resources (OIC). CFO responded that the overpayments created a concern in spite of mitigation strategies and processes in place, stressing the importance of mental health management for the employees who are impacted as well as the HR professionals who are managing the workload.

The forward calendar was presented by the Secretary to the Committee who highlighted the planned dates for the 2023 AEC meetings. In addition, in her presentation, the Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services and Chief Audit Executive highlighted principal items and activities from the forward calendar that are scheduled for the upcoming period. Forward Calendar was discussed and approved.

4. Corporate Services Update( including CAE updates and DCFO updates)  – Presented by F. Labine and S. Lafond

The Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services provided an update on key files and overview of the main activities for the next quarter including updates from her various directorates related to Human Resources, IM/IT, Finance, Procurement, Security, Administration, Strategic Planning, Governance, Policy, and Audit & Evaluation Services.  

In scope of her presentation, CFO provided the status on development of the Integrated Risk Management Framework and in particular in relation to RBAEP. OIC will also be evaluating various options to migrate to cloud computing and authority to operate in a near future.

In her presentation, CFO advised committee of a recent budget request that was submitted as a part of Budget 2023 exercise.  External Member asked about source of pressure that made the OIC ask for the budget increase and the CFO responded that main drivers were volume of complaints and need to complete our innovation and transformation agenda (collaborative tools, cloud and IM/IT upgrades). It was noted that the volume of complaints is recurring issue and the Commissioner provided additional context, stressing that Canadians are asking for more information and also pointed poor IM practices as well as that many departments are overwhelmed by the volume of requests.

The Chair requested more detail on hybrid work status at the OIC and the Commissioner provided further information that reassure him.

The DCFO presented the results of the P6 2022-23 mid‐year budget review exercise which included the impact on Corporate Services and Program Operations, the financial strategy, and decisions made. Members reviewed and discussed the information presented.

Pertinence of financial statement audit by OAG was discussed. It was noted that there are no legal/policy requirements for small departments with this respect.  Added value was considered as well as the risk management, internal audit, and documenting OIC internal controls and decision if not relevant anymore.

Action item:

  • Document the existing controls in place as well as the rational on their pertinence and how they contribute to the OIC’s confidence in absence of audited financial statements. Make particular note of hybrid work considerations.

5. Investigations Update – Presented by L. Michaud

The Deputy Commissioner provided an update on the team’s results on the priorities for 2022–23 up to date such as the closure of investigation files, the management of inventory, the implementation of legislative amendments, the optimization of operations, and current statistics of complaints registered and closed.  

She also reflected on strategies that her team is applying.

Chair congratulated DC on continuous improvements that her team has making over the past years and reflected on publication efforts that contribute to overall transparency.

External member reflected on data related to investigations which speaks volumes and connected risk management practices to this volume.

DC shared practices and reflects.

Action item:

  • No action required

6. Legal Services Update – Presented by G. Grondin

The Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs provided an overview of the Legal Service activities and staffing updates noting that team has been under pressure caused by additional workload and turnover of staff.

The members reviewed and discussed the information provided.

Action item:

  • No action required

7. Parliamentary Activities and Communication Update – Presented by J. Ellard

The Senior Director provided highlights of Commissioner’s public engagements, internal and external communications, tabled reports, and appearances in front of ETHI which was supported by the Communications team.

Media relations highlights, included the importance of the pro-active media relationship

Chair requested more information on the upcoming CAPA conference and the Commissioner provided the information.

Increasing volume of ATIP requests has been discussed and strategies in place to respond to it explained.

The members reviewed and discussed the information provided.

Action item:

  • No action required

In Camera Session

A brief in camera discussion was held with the Commissioner, the Chair and the two external members.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2023.

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