August 17 , 2017

OIC Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) meeting

August 17, 2017
9:00 am to 1:30 pm
Office of the Information Commissioner

Meeting Chair: Dyane Adam

Secretary to the Committee: Richard Rizok

Members: Dyane Adam, Chair; David Rattray, External Member; and Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner.
Regular attendees: Layla Michaud, Chief Financial Officer/Director General, Corporate Services, and Acting Assistant Commissioner; and Richard Rizok, Senior Financial Services Officer.

Invitees: Riowen Abgrall, Principal, Office of the Auditor General; Patricia Garand, A/Director, Financial Services, Christian Picard, Director, Strategic Case Management Team; Allison Knight, Senior Director; Nadine Gendron, Counsel; Chantal Laberge, Manager, Financial Services.

Record of Decisions

Meeting summary

Information shared by Legal, Finance, and Investigations.

Risk-based audit and evaluation plan, Departmental Results Framework, Office of the Auditor General (OAG) Audit, Financial Statements discussed.

Welcome and opening remarks

The Chair welcomed all attendees and no additions were made to the agenda.

Minutes and action items from the May 18, 2017 meeting

The members approved the minutes from the May 18, 2017 meeting with one small correction wording regarding Phoenix and the OAG audit. They will be published on the OIC website.

No questions or comments with regards to pending action items.

Review the forward calendar

The forward calendar for 2018 was presented with no objections. It will be reviewed again at the January meeting.

Action Item: Secretary to research the date of the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) Symposium and share with the external members

2016–17 Financial Statements – Presented by C. Laberge

The Manager of Financial Services:

  • thanked the OAG for its professionalism during the year-end audit of the OIC;
  • presented the final 2016–17 Financial Statements and highlighted variances in accounts payable, accrued salaries and accounts receivable; 
  • presented the lapsed funds from 2016–17 and the re-profile request for 2017–18.

OAG Annual Audit Report – Presented by R. Abgrall

The OAG Principal presented a clean audit without qualification for the OIC’s 2016–17 financial statements and discussed the methodology of extrapolating sampling errors with relation to compensation and the Phoenix pay system.

The External Member asked about the threshold for materiality.

The OAG Principal stated the level of materiality was set at $195,000 and the extrapolated Phoenix error was well below ($30,000).

OAG Principal also discussed adjusted and unadjusted errors amounts that the OAG is required to report.

The Acting Assistant Commissioner thanked the Finance Team and OAG for their hard work with a special emphasis on the controls over Phoenix pay irregularities.

The External Member asked for explanation regarding the increase in professional services costs in 2016–17 in comparison to 2015–16.

The Manager of Financial Services explained that this was due to the additional funding received from the Treasury Board Management Reserve Fund to hire temporary investigators in order to decrease the number of complaints in inventory.

External Member Proposed that the Chair accept the audit report by the OAG. The Chair accepted.

2017–18 Budget – Presented by C. Laberge

The Manager of Financial Services presented the budget for 2017–18 including different scenarios based on the potential of receiving reprofiled funds from 2016–17 and risk mitigating strategies if the additional funding is not received.

The Commissioner, Chair and External Member find the risk mitigating strategy to be acceptable.

Action Item: Secretary to research the budget approval processes by other AECs.

In Camera Session

An In Camera discussion continued with the Commissioner, the Chair and the External Member.

The Financial Statements were approved and signed by the Commissioner and CFO.

The Secretary was confirmed as the Chief Audit Executive for the OIC.

Report on investigations – Presented by L. Michaud

Acting Assistant Commissioner discussed the number of complaints received thus far in 2017–18 (800+), number of complaints closed (623) and forecasted complaints closed by the end of August (665).

The Commissioner and Acting Assistant Commissioner discussed the strategy to keep investigators motivated despite the increasing number of complaints in inventory.

Departmental Results Framework (DRF)– Presented by R. Rizok

The Secretary discussed the draft DRF and indicators to be submitted to Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

The Commissioner and Chair had concerns about the proposed indicators and approval was delayed until another meeting could be scheduled in the following week.

Action Item: Secretary to email External Member and Chair for an additional input on results indicators.

Parliamentary activities – Presented by N. Gendron

Counsel discussed several bills with access to information implications.

A briefing on the proposed changes to the Access to Information Act (Bill C-58) was presented and discussed.

Values and ethics – Presented by A. Knight

Senior Director and Co-Champion of Values and Ethics presented positive results of the Public Service Employee Survey.

Risk-based Audit and Evaluation Plan (RBAEP)– Presented by R. Rizok

The Secretary presented a draft copy of the RBAEP to the Committee. 

The Commissioner made recommendations to make changes to the plan and resubmit it to the committee for approval.

Additional items

The following actions items from the agenda were not addressed due to time constraints:

  • review of the Information Management Audit will be done independently by the External Member and comments will be shared with the Secretary;
  • the Departmental Results Report (RPP) will be sent to the external members after it has been reviewed internally by the Acting Assistant Commissioner and the Commissioner.

In-camera session

In-camera discussion continued with the Commissioner, the Chair and the External Member.

Next meeting

The next meeting will be held on November 2, 2017.

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