The audit of the Manitoba Regional Operations was identified in Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) approved 2010-2013 Risk-Based Audit Plan. The audit objective was to provide reasonable assurance to the Deputy Minister that the Manitoba Region has sound governance, forecasting, and reporting processes to support effective decision making.
The audit covered the period from April 2009 through to March 2010. The audit focused on governance structures and strategic directions, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and performance reporting in the region. In addition, transaction processing and appropriate delegation of authorities were examined. The audit team interviewed key personnel in the region and examined relevant documents, reports, and files to support the conclusions reached.
The governance framework in the Manitoba Region adequately supported the region to deliver on its mandate. Manitoba Region was effective in involving managers and employees in setting goals, targets and strategies for the region. Regular workshops were held to discuss progress towards goals and strategies to meet objectives. The Senior Management Team and Regional Management Team in the region met regularly, and had appropriate terms of reference to outline their mandates. Records of decision were taken from meetings and were recorded. Adequate follow up on action items was noted.
A process was in place to allocate budget dollars in the region giving consideration to priorities. Spending in the region during the audit period was primarily in the final quarter of the fiscal year with 64% of grants and contribution spending occurring in the final quarter.
Regional practices and processes related to performance reporting were well established and formally documented. Progress towards targets is regularly monitored and reported to all levels of the organization through a quarterly report card. Although the report card did identify variances from targets, it did not include reasons for variances or planned actions to address the gaps. Documentation of reasons for variances from established targets or service standards and actions planned to address the gaps would enhance the process.
In my professional judgement as Chief Audit Executive, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support the conclusion that the Manitoba Region has sound governance, planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting processes in place, subject to the implementation of the recommendations in the report.
The assurance is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time, against pre-established audit criteria that were agreed upon with management. The assurance is applicable to the policies and processes examined. The evidence was gathered in accordance with Treasury Board policies, directives, and standards on internal audit for the Government of Canada. The evidence has been gathered to be sufficient to provide senior management with the proof of the conclusions derived from this audit.