The November 2004 Report of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) outlined the need to improve the quality of the internal audit function across the Government of Canada (GoC). The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) subsequently established that a clear strategic direction must be implemented for all government departments and the internal audit community.
Budget 2004 stressed the rigour required to oversee government spending by re-establishing the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG), and by highlighting the need to “bolster the internal audit function on a government-wide basis based on sound risk analysis of all departmental activities”. The Budget also announced the GoC’s commitment to further strengthen the activity and capacity of the evaluation function.
Budget 2004 also confirms the Government’s plan to examine and focus government spending through the Expenditure Review Committee as part of its efforts to renew and rejuvenate government and to invest in high quality government management. In the October 2004 Speech from the Throne, the Government committed to review all expenditures, reallocating where appropriate.
The Comptroller General (CG) is revising the Internal Audit Policy with the objective of creating an effective internal audit function across the federal public service. The priorities of the CG are to clearly define roles, responsibilities, and profiles for Chief Audit Executives; conduct a diagnostic of the internal audit function, with reference to professional standards; and monitor the performance of the internal audit function.
The Treasury Board (TB) Evaluation Policy also requires departments to evaluate policies and initiatives in addition to programs and to employ a more structured and disciplined approach to measuring performance of programs.
Environment Canada (EC) has been working at developing a new approach to address sustainability challenges through a framework for competitiveness and environmental sustainability. This Competitiveness and Environmental Sustainability Framework (CESF) will provide direction and a coherent agenda within which to position environmental issues and the work of EC. To make the new framework a reality, EC has started transforming the way it works through a new governance structure that is clearly focused on results.
These changes significantly affect the work of Audit and Evaluation (A&E) such as changed programs (e.g., CEPA), new programs (e.g., SARA), meeting the needs of horizontal initiatives, and the TB Expenditure Review. This means that the universe of audits and evaluations has greatly expanded.
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