November 3, 2021

Minutes of the Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC) Meeting

November 3, 2021
09:30am to 12:00pm
Microsoft Teams Meeting


Graham Fraser, 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:

Layla Michaud, Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Governance

Gino Grondin, Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs  


Riowen Abgrall, Principal, Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Stephen Campbell, A/Director, Finance, Procurement, Administration and Security and Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO)

Zachary Alaoui, Senior Director of Investigations

Allison Knight, Senior Director of Investigations

James Ellard, Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Marie-Josée Montreuil, Director, Special Projects and Senior Counsel

Phil Carr, Principal, Samson and Associates (Program Evaluator)

Meeting Summary

Approval of Record of Decisions and action items from the August 19, 2021 meeting.

Approval of the 2020 and 2021 Forward Calendar.

Approval of the AEC Charter.

Presentation of the AEC Annual Committee Report.

Presentation of the CAE Annual Report.

Presentation of findings and management action plan – Investigations, Phase I, the Registry

Sectorial Updates including Parliamentary Affairs and Communication directorate.

OAG Update.

Mid‐Year Budget Review Update.

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Chair and the Commissioner welcomed everyone to the meeting.  The Chair noted and congratulated the office on the response to Covid-19 pandemic and challenges related to Phoenix pay system. The Chair reflected on the upcoming year that will bring more changes in the way we work as the OIC (and GoC overall) move to hybrid work arrangements. The Commissioner praised the staff for resilience and agility demonstrated in this period.

2. Minutes and Action Items from the August 19, 2021 Meeting.

The members approved the minutes of the August 19, 2021 meeting.

The action items were reviewed and approved.

Action item:

  • Publication of the minutes of the August 19, 2021 meeting on the OIC website
  • AEC member requested the DCFO to ensure to send them the CHRC financial system attestation letter.

3. Evaluation of Investigations, Phase I Registry  – Presented by P. Carr (Samson Associates) and Z. Alaoui

Mr. Carr noted that, overall, the Registry is working well and its relevance is evident (require a formal registry function). Upon explaining the methodology of evaluation, Mr. Carr noted that the primary constraint to progress seems to be the Registry’s technology tools. Other findings identified useful opportunities; however, they do not suggest systemic risks or weaknesses. External stakeholders expressed little to no criticism (most score OIC between 8 or 9), just a few suggestions how to do things better in sense of efficiency and effectiveness. OIC in their management response will also focus on the reporting aspect of Intrac and for him this will be very useful and worth looking into it.

External Member, Mr. Grondines congratulated the OIC on results and enquired about technology tool improvements to be done. Mr. Alaoui explained about efficiencies that due to the volume of files even a five minutes could turn into a 0.5 FTEs increase. Therefore, reviewing OIC processes could bring substantial resource reduction and efficiency gain.

Also based on the second financial question, the CFO (CAE) explained that the migration to a new case management relationship module (CMRM) was one of the three component from the overall budget request (included in the mid-year financial deck presentation).

Mrs. Knight (responsible for the Registry) reiterated that the conversion to a new CMRM in addition to the efficiency and effectiveness objectives that OIC program team is working well on building relationships; increase employee satisfaction, personal growth, automation, integrated into our program delivery will also enhance our credibility and reputation – leader in timely answering complaints.

Action item:

  • Publish the report on the OIC web site.
  • Publish OIC Management Action Plan and a new standing item on AEC forward agenda.

4. Forward Calendar  – Presented by F. Labine

The changes in dates and new items comprised in the Forward Calendar was discussed and approved.

External member enquired about staffing evaluation and CAE pointed section F which includes PSC cyclical staffing evaluation that will be presented at a future meeting will compensate from the residual item that was included in the RBAEP.  

Action item: No action required.

5. AEC Annual Report and AEC Charter – Presented by G. Fraser

The Audit and Evaluation Committee Annual Report was presented for approval and discussion.

The annual review and update of the Audit and Evaluation Committee Charter was also approved. The Chair, brought that the responsibility section could be enhance in a future version. Minor edits were also noted such as say beyond its controls in the forward section of the annual report.

Action items:  

  • Publication of the AEC Annual Report on the Office of the Information Commissioner's website.
  • Publication of the AEC Charter on the Office of the Information Commissioner's website.

6. CAE Update and Annual Report – Presented by F. Labine

The CAE provided an update and presented her Annual Chief Audit Executive Report for information and discussion.

Action item:

  • Publication of the CAE Annual Report on the Office of the Information Commissioner's website.

7. OAG Update – Presented by R. Abgrall

The OAG had no significant items to present for information or discussion.

Action item:

  • No Action Required.

8. Financial Update: Mid‐Year Review – Presented by F. Labine

The CFO presented the results of the 2021‐2022 mid‐year budget review exercise which included the impact on Corporate Services and Program Operations, the financial strategy, and decisions made. Members reviewed and discussed the information presented. External member also ask if the inflation and cost increase had a negative impact on OIC. The CFO answered that this was mainly experienced when buying equipments.

Action item:

  • No action required.

9. Corporate Services Update – Presented by F. Labine

The Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services provided an overview of the main activities for the next quarter including updates from her various sectors related to Human Resources, IM/IT, Finance, Procurement, Security, Administration, Strategic Planning, Governance, Policy, and Audit & Evaluation.

The members reviewed and discussed the information presented.

Action item:

  • No action required.

10. Investigations Update – Presented by L. Michaud

The Deputy Commissioner provided an update on the team’s results on the priorities for 2021–22 up to date such as the closure of investigation files, the management of inventory, the implementation of legislative amendments, the optimization of operations, and current statistics of complaints registered and closed.  External member enquired about the cause of the backlog dating back to 2013/14 and Deputy Commissioner explained nature of historic files and limitations caused by legislation that was in place at that time. The members reviewed and discussed the information provided.

Action item:

  • No action required

11. Legal Services Update – Presented by G. Grondin

The Deputy Commissioner, Legal Services and Public Affairs provided an overview of the Legal Service activities and staffing updates noting that team has been stable for a while and that collaborating with other sectors is good.

With Mr. Grondin’s presentation, external member now understand better the role of legal service in the program area.

The members reviewed and discussed the information provided.

Action item:

  • No action required

12. Parliamentary Activities and Communication Update – Presented by J. Ellard

The Director noted that updates that are normally provided at AEC (an update on activities such as the Commissioner’s engagements, internal Communications, tabled reports, translation services, and ATIP) are included in the meeting package and provided the update on strategic vision of the directorate which was recently discussed by his team.

The members reviewed and discussed the information provided.

Action item:

  • No action required

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 was originally scheduled for February 2, 2022.

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