Septembre 20, 2023

Minutes of the Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) Meeting

September 20, 2023

09:30AM to 12:00PM

In-person Meeting


Janine Sherman, External member – Chair

André Grondines, External member

Caroline Maynard, Information Commissioner

Secretary to the Committee:

Bojana Terzic, Team Lead -Strategic Planning, Policy and Program Evaluation and Audit

Regular attendees:

France Labine, Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services, Strategic Planning and Transformation Services, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Audit Executive (CAE)

Senior Management Committee:

Rachel Laurin for Layla Michaud, Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Governance

James Ellard for Gino Grondin, Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs 


Catherine Lapalme, Principal, Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Sébastien Lafond, Director, Finance, Procurement, Administration and Security and Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO)

Meeting Summary

Approval of Agenda and Record of Decisions and action items from the June 7, 2023 meeting.

Approval of the updates to the forward calendar.

Presentation and approval of the OIC Financial Statements.

Presentation of OAG Report on the Annual Audit Report (RAC) and Management Representation Letter

Presentation of the OIC RBAEP and Risk Management Framework

Presentation of OIC Departmental Results Report (DRR) and Management Results Framework (Key Performance Indicators)

Presentation of the highlights of upcoming corporate initiatives and activities.

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Chair and the Commissioner welcomed everyone to the meeting.

The Commissioner provided an update on government’s response status (ETHI report and request for meeting with various stakeholders and indicated that the OIC is still waiting for the final report, observing that the ATI does not seem to be a priority in the new mandate letters. The Commissioner provided details on meetings and upcoming meetings with the heads of departments and agencies. 

2. Forward Calendar Approval

Forward Calendar was approved secretarially.

3. Minutes and Action Items from the February 8, 2023 Meeting.

The members approved the minutes of the February 8, 2023 meeting with a minor correction.

The action items were reviewed and approved.

Action item:

  • Publication of the minutes of the February 8, 2023 meeting on the OIC website.

4. MAP Follow-up– Presented by F. Labine

Two MAPs have been proposed for closure as all the outstanding items have been completed.

  • Phase 1 – OIC Program Evaluation (Registry)
  • Phase II – OIC Program Evaluation (Investigations)
  • Human Resource – PSC Staffing File and Monitoring Exercise (development of guidelines/tools for assessing the security level/language profile required for a position is still in progress and remains active)
  • The Evaluation of Internal Controls over salaries and employee benefits (mainly the implementation of a new electronic leave management system through Phoenix or MyGCR remains active).

Action item:

  • Publication of the final updates for the first two MAP.

5. Financial Statements – Presented by S. Lafond

Senior Director, Finance presented 2022-23 Year-End Financial Statements and Annexes highlighting that due to the size and mandate of the OIC 85% of expenditures is salary related. 

Status of overpayment (salary ~40 files) has been presented as well as the action plan. It will be addressed in collaboration with PSPC.

Highlights of Annexes to FS were provided. Senior Director explained the role of CHRC in financial management of the OIC and explained processes that are done by the CHRC as well as controls in place. CHRC provides to OIC (and the Audit Committee) the level of assurance relating to key controls. OIC staff has been completing additional verifications mainly in the salary (overpayment) component and the results of this monitoring was shared with the members.

The Chair enquired about the software expenditure contained in the FS and Senior Director provided an explanation on how the development in the case management system (called Intrac) that was previously reported under work in progress has now been capitalized (turn into production) during the reporting period.

Action item:

  • No action required.

6. OAG Financial Statement Audit Report and Management Action Plan

Principal OAG, provided highlights of the FS Audit Report and MAP explaining risk approach and management. She provided observations about Phoenix related risk management as well as testing and control for salary expenditures and introduced the activities that will be planned for the next year. Overall the audit went very well and they will be issuing an unmodified opinion.

7. DRR presentation and DRF update – Presented by B. Terzic

Team Lead presented the highlights of the DRR that was already presented secretarially and explained that the DRF will be updated in the upcoming months to better reflect the work of the OIC in a way that is meaningful to Canadians and Parliamentarians and best reflects the achievements and efficiency of the OIC.

External Member enquired about the intersection of indicators, such as financial, complaints influx and productivity level (complaints resolved) and suggested that it could be presented in 3-4 years horizon for the planning purposes.

The Commissioner agreed with the observation and explained how this approach will be used in the upcoming Budget Ask and explained how they are already used in the Annual Report.

Action item:

  • DRF Updates to be shared with the Chair and External Member once they are in final draft.

8. RBAEP and Risk Management Framework presentation

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Audit Executive (CAE) presented the OIC RBAEP and RM Framework secretarially and reflected on the upcoming proposed Audit Activities.

The Chair asked about the timing of the IT audits and the CFO provided the explanations about the interactions between various elements in the audit plan.

9. CAE Presentation

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Audit Executive (CAE) provided the update on Audit

Action item:

  • CAE is to initiate the AEC self-assessment in the new year

10. Corporate Services

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Audit Executive (CAE) provided an update on recent sectoral activities including the HR activities in support of the program.

11. Investigations Update

A/Deputy Commissioner provided updates on the upcoming changes in the sector aiming to stabilize the management team and prepare for arrival of newly hired investigators.

Sectoral plan is aligned with the OIC Strategic Plan, and supported by guiding principles that have been in place for a number of years. The guiding principles have been recently updated to reflect the newly established operational ability to track the files throughout the process and in that way fully understand the efficiency at every step of the process.

In addition, she reflected on recent publications that are helping the institutions and complainants understand decisions and better position themselves.

She then provided an overview of the inventory, its composition and evolution, and management strategies to reduce the inventory to the maximum possible.

She provided an update on Evaluation of the Investigations program and introduced the upcoming Consultations with the Complainants that will be done by an arm’s length external service provider to ensure the objectivity of results.

The Chair enquired about the types of complaint that the OIC receives. The Commissioner provided explanations and insights on what constitutes a complaint that can be brought up to the OIC, as well as recent trends such as the IRCC that essentially highlight the missing elements in the infrastructure, for example portals where information is readily available.

12. Legal Services Update

No update.

The Commissioner used the opportunity to provide some details about the order making powers and forecasted shift into the environment where the LS will have to represent the OIC in the Court more frequently.

13. Public Affairs Update

Senior Director provided an update on recent events, namely ETHI committee work and final report, stressing the items related to the independent funding mechanism.

He highlighted the upcoming events such as RTK week, CAPA, the Philippines Conference, Investigators’ Conference etc. and spoke of ATI coverage in media that has been increased lately.

Finally, he provided few highlights on work of Communications, Translation and ATIP unit.

The Chair enquired about the ATIP Express and Web Content Management System, and Senior Director provided the explanations.

In Camera Session

A brief in camera discussion was held with the Commissioner, the Chair and the two external members.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for November 23, 2023.

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