November 7, 2019

Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) Meeting

November 7, 2019
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Room 1A036

Meeting Chair: Graham Fraser
Committee Secretary: Manon Durand

Graham Fraser, Chair
Caroline Maynard, Information Commissioner
David Rattray, external member

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

Riowen Abgrall, Principal, Office of the Auditor General
Natalie Bartlett, Manager, Communications and Linguistic Services

Record of Decisions

Meeting summary

  • Approved the minutes and action items from the meeting of August 15, 2019
  • Approved the calendar of activities for 2020
  • Discussed the Audit and Evaluation Committee Charter
  • Discussed the results of the mid-year budget review
  • Discussed the progress of the strategic planning project
  • Heard presentations from the Office of the Auditor General, Corporate Services, Investigations, Legal Services, Public Affairs

Call to order and opening remarks

The Chair welcomed all attendees.

Minutes and action items from the meeting of August 15, 2019

The members approved the meeting minutes from the meeting held on August 15, 2019.

Ongoing follow-up actions were discussed; no changes were requested.

Action item: Posting of the minutes of the August 15, 2019, meeting on the Office of the Information Commissioner’s website

2020 Calendar of Activities – Presented by G.Fraser

The 2020 Calendar of Activities was discussed and approved.

Action item: No action required

Audit and Evaluation Committee Charter –  presented by G. Fraser

The Audit and Evaluation Committee Charter was discussed. Some changes were requested.

Action item: Propose a new draft of the Charter at the next committee meeting in January.

Mid-year budget review – presented by S. Campbell

Stephen Campbell presented the results of the 2019–2020 mid-year budget review.

Members reviewed and discussed the information presented.

Action item: No action required

Strategic Planning update – presented by F. Labine

The Deputy Commissioner presented a summary of the main steps already taken in the strategic planning exercise. These were the review of the mission, vision and values, expected behaviours and the identification of the main pillars. Information on next steps to be completed was presented and discussed. The Deputy Commissioner highlighted the collaborative approach that was prioritized throughout the process and confirmed that it was well-received by everyone.

Action item: Share the strategic plan with members for information when it is completed

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

The Principal, Office of the Auditor General, informed members that the planning phase of the 2019–2020 audit had begun and that no major changes were expected. He also informed members that following the audit of the Public Accounts of Canada, a sample of employees had been chosen to be audited. This included an OIC employee. The audit of this employee file would be carried out at the same time as the annual audit.

Action item: No action required

Update – Corporate Services – Presented by F. Labine

The Deputy Commissioner presented the various files underway in Corporate Services. These included the strategic planning, the ¾ year budget review exercise scheduled for February 2020, the 2018–2019 Departmental Results Report, the multi-year information technology plan, budget requests for 2020–2021 and the reassessment and review of the corporate organizational structure.

Action item: No action required

Update – Investigations – Presented by L. Michaud

The Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Governance, presented the latest statistics on the investigation files. The Investigations group’s priorities were presented, as well as the strategies implemented to meet them. Emphasis was placed on what they could control, that is, performance, agility to work and improvement of processes. The number of new complaints received and human resources’ ability to meet their need were the main challenges identified by Investigations.

The Deputy Commissioner also mentioned a problem they had been trying to address and solve, namely that 48% of new administrative complaints came from the same person.

Members reviewed and discussed the information presented.

Action: No action required

Update – Legal Services – Presented by G. Grondin

The Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs, updated the committee on a recent decision involving the OIC: Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2019 FC 1279. In this case, the Court ordered the RCMP to release 468 serial numbers of a specific type of firearms. The Federal Court dismissed the RCMP’s argument that these serial numbers are “personal information” as per section 19(1) of the Access to Information Act.

Action item: No action required

Update – Public Affairs – Presented by N. Bartlett

The Manager, Communications and Linguistic Services, presented an update on policy and parliamentary affairs, various outreach activities and the various conferences and presentations the OIC had attended.

Specifically, Right to Know Week and the federal–provincial/territorial meeting that had taken place in September, the OIC’s participation in the Canadian Bar Association Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium in October, the speech and presentation on Bill C-58 at the Canadian Access and Privacy Association Conference in November, and the upcoming participation in a round table on transparency and access to senior leaders at the COGEL in Chicago in December. A proposed approach to reach out to new parliamentarians was also presented.

Furthermore, the Communications team was working on developing a database of decisions that would be published on the OIC’s website (summary of 6.1 decisions, systemic investigations, notable investigations appearing in our annual reports and, eventually, summaries of final reports published on CanLII). The OIC’s internal website redesign project was still underway, as well as ongoing collaboration with various groups within the organization for new tools and templates, as well as guides and other information documents for institutions.

Action item: No action required

In camera session

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

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for January 30, 2020, by teleconference.

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