May 16, 2019

Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) Meeting

May 16, 2019
9:00 to 11:45
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec

Room 201

Meeting Chair: Dyane Adam
Secretary Committee: Manon Durand


Members: Dyane Adam, Chair; Caroline Maynard, Information Commissioner; David Rattray, external member; Graham Fraser, external member. 

Regular attendees: France Labine, Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services, Strategic Planning and Transformation Services and Chief Financial Officer; Layla Michaud, Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Governance; Gino Grondin, Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs; Stephen Campbell, A/Chief Audit Executive.


Riowen Abgrall, Principal, Office of the Auditor General; Mathieu Farley, Samson; James Ellard, Director, Public Affairs.

Record of decisions

Meeting summary

Approve of meeting minutes and action items from the meeting of January 17, 2019.

Approve of the calendar of activities for 2019.

Discuss the Risk-based Audit and Evaluation Plan (RBAEP).

Discuss the 2018-19 audit report from procurement and contracts.

Hear presentations from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) update, finance, investigation, Legal Services, Parliamentary Affairs and Communications.

Welcome and opening remarks

The chair welcomed all attendees and gave a special welcome to new member Graham Fraser and to

France Labine, newly appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Corporate Service, Strategic Planning and Transformation Services, who is also the Chief Financial Officer.

Minutes and action items from the meeting of January 17, 2017

The members approved the meeting minutes from the meeting held on January 17, 2019.

A correction to the Audit Plan – Office of the Auditor General (OAG) section of the minutes was requested.

There were no comments or questions regarding the pending action items.

Action item: Publish the meeting minutes from the meeting of January 17, 2019, on the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada’s website.

Approval of 2019 calendar

The 2019 meeting calendar was discussed and approved.

A proposal for the 2020 calendar will be presented at the following meeting.

Action item: Prepare a 2020 calendar proposal.

Risk-based audit and evaluation plan (RBAEP) – Presented by S. Campbell

A schedule of planned audits as part of the RBAEP was discussed. Given the information received, it was understood that a new audit plan schedule would be proposed at the next meeting to account for the issues and reality of the OIC.

Action item: Prepare a proposal for a new audit plan schedule for the next committee

Update – Office of the Auditor General (OAG) – Presented by R. Abgrall

Riowen Abgrall informed the committee that the March interim audit had been completed and that everything had gone very well. OIC staff have cooperated fully. The next steps will be the annual audit, planned for next June, and the final report in August. Riowen also said that Sylvain Ricard had been appointed Acting Chief Audit Executive in March 2019, after Michael Ferguson passed away.

Action item: No action required

Update – Corporate services – Presented by F. Labine

France Labine presented the financial results for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the 2019-2020 budget allocation.

She informed the committee of her main projects and of key issues she wanted to address in the coming years, such as governance and the 5-year strategic plan.

Action item: No action required.

Audit 2018-19 procurement and contracts: Samson’s report – Mr. Farley

Mr. Farley presented a summary of his team’s mandate, the audit objectives, the methodology used, and the key recommendations in the report following the audit of the procurement and contract services.

An external member requested that amendments be made to the final report to make it easier to read and understand.

The committee discussed and accepted the report.

Action item: Receive the final corrected report and implement the audit report recommendations.

Update – Investigations – Presented by L. Michaud

The Deputy Commissioner, Investigation and Governance, presented complaint statistics. This year, the OIC has closed a record number of files.

She described how her team had been able to close a record number of files in 2018-2019 through a number of different initiatives implemented over the past year, including creating smaller teams, increasing collaboration with the Legal Services team, encouraging involvement from directors, accelerating decision-making, modifying procedures, emphasizing communication with complainants, and meetings between the Commissioner and departments.

She also described how the organizational culture had evolved within the OIC, resulting in improvements in several areas. New initiatives have been launched in 2019-2020, and the team had also been preparing to implement changes in the event of Bill C-58 passing in the coming year. Recruitment would also be an issue over the coming years, since a number of employees will be retiring.

Members reviewed and discussed the information presented.

Action item: No action required.

Update – Legal services– Presented by G. Grondin

The Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs presented an update on current OIC litigation files, and next steps.

He explained that in 2018-2019, the files had generally been processed by the internal Legal Services team instead of by external law firms, which has proved more efficient and has been much appreciated by everyone.

Action item: Inform the members when a court decision could affect the OIC’s accountability or integrity.

Update – Parliamentary activities and communications – Presented by J. Ellard

The Director of Public Affairs presented an update on policy and parliamentary affairs, various awareness activities, conferences and presentations—including the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2019, held from May 29 to 31. He also spoke about the large projects currently under way, including the website update, the new branding of the OIC and the intranet site update.

Action item: Forward committee members Top Stories by email.

In camera session

A brief in camera discussion continued with the Commissioner, the Chair and the external members.

Next meeting

The next meeting will be held on August 15, 2019.

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