ARCHIVED - Audit of AANDC and Adjudication Secretariat Support to the Independent Assessment Process

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Date: November 2011
Project # 10-38

PDF Version (181 Kb, 27 Pages)

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

List of Acronyms

AES
Audit and Evaluation Services

AANDC
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

BPI
Business Process Improvement

CEP
Common Experience Payment

DoJ
Department of Justice

EDI
Electronic Document Interchange

EPM
Employee Performance Management

FTE
Full-Time Equivalent employees

GST/HST
Goods and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax

HR
Human Resource

IAP
Independent Assessment Process

IFMS
Integrated File Management System

IM/IT
Information Management/ Information Technology

IRSAS
Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat

IRSRC
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada

IRSSA
Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

NAC
National Administration Committee

NRA
National Research and Analysis Directorate, Data Management and Control Unit

NSP
Negotiated Settlement Payment

MAF
Management Accountability Framework

PAYE
Payables at Year-End

POI
Person of Interest

SAO Branch
Settlement Agreement Operations Branch

TB
Treasury Board

TBS
Treasury Board Secretariat

SADRE
Single Access to Dispute Resolution Enterprise

SLA
Service Level Agreement

 

 

Executive Summary

Background

The mandate of the Adjudication Secretariat is to implement and administer an Independent Assessment Process (IAP) under the direction of the Chief Adjudicator in an independent, objective and impartial manner. Within AANDC, the Settlement Agreement Operations Branch (SAO Branch) is responsible for representing Canada at hearings, negotiating settlements without a hearing, researching and paying the settlements.

The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process that resolves claims of abuse suffered at Indian Residential Schools. Former students of residential schools who experienced sexual or serious physical abuse may be eligible for compensation through the IAP. The IAP is one element of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), which is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and is expected to bring a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

The IAP is supported jointly by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS or Secretariat) and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

Objective and Scope

The audit objective is to provide assurance over the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the management controls of both AANDC and the Secretariat in meeting their obligations to support the IAP.

The scope of the audit includes the responsibilities of the SAO Branch and the Secretariat to support the IAP and the Chief Adjudicator.

The scope did not include those aspects of the independent alternative dispute resolution processes within the IAP that are administered under the direction of the Chief Adjudicator, an appointee of the Oversight Committee (formed of representatives of the parties to the IRSSA). In addition, it did not include any assessment of decisions made by the independent adjudicators.

Conclusion

Generally, management practices were found to be adequate, efficient and effective at meeting obligations to support the IAP. However, without major concerns some areas for improvement were identified as follows:

Secretariat AANDC-SAO Branch
  • employee performance management;
  • information sharing (Claimant Documentation);
  • risk management;
  • timely settlement payment
  • human resource staffing actions; and
  • HR staffing actions; and
  • procurement.
  • procurement
 

The audit also identified opportunities where Headquarters corporate functions could better support the Secretariat and SAO Branch in the areas of human resources recruitment and hiring, and procurement.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that the Executive Director of the Secretariat:

  1. Identify and implement a more consistent approach across the Secretariat of the reporting of strategic objectives, key activities, related risks and mitigation to improve the clarity of communication, and efficiencies in reporting and monitoring;

  2. Ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance;

  3. Ensure document retention for staffing actions is maintained and available for audit purposes in keeping with expected information management policies;

  4. Ensure that the practices of authorizing payments under the Financial Administration Act are consistently applied to all acquisitions and expenditures, including section 32 and pre-audit approval. Pre-audit approval can be improved by using a stamp on invoices, to help ensure the section is completed; and

  5. Ensure calculation of goods and services tax/ harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) is performed accurately.

    It is recommended that the Director General of the SAO Branch:

  6. Consider the SharePoint information sharing initiative as a means for the SAO Branch to realize efficient and effective use of resources in support of the IAP. If the initiative is pursued, management should ensure there are adequate training resources and system support for the SharePoint software;

  7. Ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance; and

  8. Implement a process to identify and escalate decisions that have exceeded the target completion date by a significant amount of time, to help ensure their completion.
 

 

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

The mandate of the Adjudication Secretariat is to implement and administer the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) under the direction of the Chief Adjudicator in an independent, objective and impartial manner. Within AANDC, the Settlement Agreement Operations (SAO) Branch is responsible for representing Canada at hearings, negotiating settlements without a hearing, researching and paying the settlements.

The IAP is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process that resolves claims of abuse suffered at Indian Residential Schools. Former students of residential schools who experienced sexual or serious physical abuse may be eligible for compensation through the IAP. The IAP is one element of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), which is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and is expected to bring a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

The IAP is supported jointly by the Secretariat and AANDC. Key functional activities within the IAP include: applications intake review and admission; case management; hearings management; coordination of medical and psychological assessments; and providing financial and medical support as required in accordance with the decision rendered. The adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the processes and practices by the Secretariat and SAO Branch to support the IAP are of direct relevance to their combined ability to achieve expected objectives. Cases are expected to be processed in an adequate, efficient and effective manner, supported by documented processes, and processed in accordance with the decisions rendered.

This audit was conducted with a focus on assessing the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the management practices relevant to IAP's key functional activities listed above. Specifically, the audit assessed the extent to which they provide reasonable assurance that processed settlements are consistent with the IAP's objectives.

 

 

2. Audit Objective and Scope

The audit objective is to provide assurance over the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the management controls of both AANDC and the Secretariat in meeting their obligations to support the IAP.

The scope of the audit includes the responsibilities of the SAO Branch and the Secretariat to support the IAP and the Chief Adjudicator. Within AANDC, the SAO Branch is responsible for representing Canada at hearings, negotiating settlements without a hearing, researching and paying the settlements.

The scope included consideration of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) and Core Management Control elements that help ensure effective governance, risk management, stewardship, and accountability related to support to the IAP.

Not included in the scope were those aspects of the independent alternative dispute resolution processes within the IAP that are administered under the direction of the Chief Adjudicator, and appointee of the Oversight Committee formed of representatives of the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). In addition, it did not include any assessment of decisions made by the independent adjudicators.

 

 

3. Approach and Methodology

The audit of the SAO Branch and Secretariat support to the IAP was planned and conducted to be in accordance with the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada as set out in the Treasury Board (TB) Policy on Internal Audit and with the Institute of Internal Auditors' International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

Sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support the audit conclusion provided and contained in this report.

The principal audit techniques used included:

The approach used to address the audit objectives included the development of audit criteria against which observations, assessments and conclusions were drawn for both the Secretariat and the SAO Branch. The audit objectives and criteria developed for this audit covered processes in areas of Governance, Risk Management, Claimant Documentation, Scheduling Hearings and Back Office Support are included in Appendix A.

 

 

4. Conclusion

Generally, management practices were found to be adequate, efficient and effective at meeting obligations to support the IAP. However, the following areas for improvement were identified:

Secretariat AANDC-SAO Branch
  • employee performance management;
  • information sharing (Claimant Documentation);
  • risk management;
  • timely settlement payment
  • human resource staffing actions; and
  • HR staffing actions; and
  • procurement.
  • procurement
 

 

5. Observations and Recommendations

5.1 Governance

Secretariat

Overall the audit found governance and key operational processes in place to support the efficient and effective delivery of required services to the IAP.

Strategic and Operational Planning

The Secretariat has a strategic plan for the period 2011 through 2014. The Secretariat uses the strategic and operational planning process to help identify future actions, roles and responsibilities and future resource requirements. The audit found that the strategic objectives inform the operational (business) plans for the directorates for the Secretariat.

Interviews with management, a review of supporting documentation and a judgemental sample of Employee Performance Management (EPM) forms, demonstrated alignment between the strategic objectives, directorate operational objectives and individual staff goals.

Financial Planning

There are operational plans for each Directorate within the Secretariat. Directorate operating budgets are informed by the strategic objectives and operational plans. Directors and managers with budget responsibility and authority review the actual spending against their budget on a monthly basis and document detailed variance explanations in the Quarterly Report.

Procurement

Support from the department for procurement services has not been timely. One example highlighted was establishing contracts for adjudicators. Instead of issuing contracts, the department procurement function originally prepared supply arrangements which were not required.

The audit found that due to the fixed time frame of the IAP, timeliness issues arose due to the complexity of procurement processes. Significant attention and effort was required to ensure services were procured for system design and implementation. This was the case for the Electronic Document Interchange (EDI) and Integrated File Management System (IFMS) information management systems.

Human Resource Planning

There is a process for human resource planning which results in a Strategic Human Resources Plan. This plan sets out the organizational goals and the resulting HR priorities. Details of the plan include an HR action plan and staffing plan for 2011-2014.

HR services support is provided by AANDC, which makes it difficult for the Secretariat to hire in a timely manner. Interviewees consistently noted how challenging it is for the Secretariat to hire staff in a time frame that would be shorter than that experienced by the Department. This process can take from 12 to 18 months to complete, which is the standard timeframe across government. This time frame is too long for the Secretariat to effectively and efficiently support the IAP process, which has a fixed time frame within which to complete the assessment. Interviewees acknowledged that the HR hiring process likely cannot be changed hence the use of term, contract, secondments and deployments to help address the HR needs.

Performance Measurement

There are two key requirements included in Section 6 of the Settlement Agreement that act as main performance measures for the Secretariat. These are:

  1. IAP claimants will be offered a hearing within 9 months of their claim being admitted into the IAP; and

  2. The rate of claims submitted annually would be 2,500 or less.

The Secretariat monitors the length of time for a hearing to be offered as well as the number of claims submitted annually. In fact, the rate of claims submitted is higher than originally expected, and has reached more than 5,100 per year on average.

The audit noted examples of weekly and monthly reports that include information on volumes:

A review of the reports revealed that the Secretariat is monitoring progress against their strategic and operational goals. For example, the IAP Dashboard reports the outcomes of activities against the first strategic objective "processing claims in a timely manner", and the Quarterly Report includes activities achieved against each of the strategic objectives.

Communication

The Secretariat contributes to weekly Settlement Agreement Operations Committee (Operations Committee) meetings as well as monthly meetings with the Oversight Committee. This implies collaboration with various stakeholders in the IAP (Crawford Class Action Services, SAO Branch, Chief Adjudicator, Churches, First Nation Representatives and Claimant Counsel) and is in direct support of the IAP process.
Recommendation :

There are no recommendations for this area.

SAO Branch

Overall the audit found governance and key operational processes in place to support the efficient and effective delivery of required services to the IAP.

The SAO Branch role and authority were established with the submission of a Memorandum to Cabinet in 2006/2007.

The audit noted that the SAO Branch considered a subsequent Memorandum to Cabinet, but elected to submit a TB submission, on the basis that the business and risks had not changed significantly from the initial Memorandum to Cabinet in 2006/2007. The SAO Branch is currently preparing a Memorandum to Cabinet submission for funding through 2017, which includes risks associated with the IAP.

The audit confirmed that the SAO Branch has established and chairs the Operations Committee, which meets weekly. The Branch also contributes to monthly meetings with the Oversight Committee, which, along with the other participating stakeholders, helps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the IAP process. The Oversight Committee has also formed a Technical Sub-Committee to which the SAO Branch contributes, to develop practical tools for stakeholders.

Recommendation:

There is no recommendation for this area.

5.2 Risk Management

In today's environment, the need for effective risk management to promote good governance and demonstrate accountability is important. There is an expectation that the Secretariat and the SAO Branch understand the key risks to achievement of their objectives and have appropriate mitigation plans in place. Having a documented approach to risk management enables management to better identify, articulate and understand the potential risks and related exposures given current controls and/or mitigation activities. Audit work in this area focused on risk management at the organization level and its application to operational decisions.

Secretariat

Overall, the audit found that there appears to be an adequate risk management process in place to support the achievement of the Secretariat's IAP support service requirements.

The Secretariat has documented risks at the organizational level and has risk mitigation plans. The Secretariat has documented risks associated with each of its strategic objectives included in the Strategic Plan. Each risk has an associated risk assessment, mitigation measure, monitoring and communication activity.

Consideration of risks and related mitigation controls was also noted in the following:

However, the audit noted an opportunity for the Secretariat to implement a more consistent approach to the reporting and monitoring of objectives, key activities, related risks and mitigation measures against the strategic objectives. Specifically, the audit noted that the IRSAS Risk Assessment 2011, Risk Management Framework (Admissions & Adjudication Management) and the Quarterly Report Q4 FY 2010-11 each report objectives, key activities, related risks and mitigation measures, however the objectives and activities differ between the three reports.

Recommendation :

It is recommended that the Executive Director of the Secretariat:

1. Identify and implement a more consistent approach across the Secretariat of the reporting of strategic objectives, key activities, related risks and mitigation to improve the clarity of communication, and efficiencies in reporting and monitoring.

SAO Branch

Overall, the audit found that there appears to be an adequate risk management process in place to support the achievement of the Branch's IAP service requirements.

The SAO Branch undertook an assessment of its risks related to its strategic objectives, developing a heat map and risk registry. The risk registry includes a detailed description of risks, consequences, mitigation measures, a risk rating, risk response, monitoring and communication elements. Although used as a framework for risk management and as a communication tool, much of the Branch's risk mitigation actions were identified and applied at a more operational level. In addition, the audit noted that the SAO Branch performed organizational-level risk-planning activities at the outset of the IAP, and considered risk mitigation strategies to address the identified risks.

The SAO Branch identifies, monitors and communicates risks; and the status of mitigation through weekly Operations Committee meetings, as well as monthly meetings with the Oversight Committee, including the Technical Sub-committee. The Oversight Committee addresses a combination of business-level and strategic-level risks, whereas the Operations Committee typically focuses on business-level risk. The audit also noted that the SAO Branch has undertaken risk identification and mitigation activities in addition to those reported to the Operations Committee. Risks and related mitigation controls were noted for strategic and operational level risks.

Recommendation :

The audit has no recommendation to make for this objective.

5.3 Claimant Documentation

The audit focused on a number of key functional activities. The following notes the audit criteria used to assess each key functional activity. Responsibility for each of the functional activities is noted below in parentheses.

Secretariat

Overall the audit found that there are a number of controls in place within the Secretariat to help ensure efficient and effective support for the identification and completion of claimant documentation. It was noted during interviews and review of statistical reporting, that there are a significant number of claims that have been admitted into the process and are on hold due to a lack of required documentation. Outstanding documentation can include required documentation from claimants, other federal government departments such as Correctional Services Canada, and medical practitioners. Although many of the reasons for the delays and outstanding claims are beyond the control of the Secretariat, the audit noted that the Secretariat continues to work to identify the root cause of cases on hold, and with the various stakeholders to reduce the number of claims on hold.

A number of controls that help ensure efficient and effective identification and completion of claimant documentation were noted during the audit such as the holding of regular meetings, quality assurance reviews and regular reporting. For a more comprehensive list see Appendix B.

Recommendation:

The audit has no recommendation to make for this objective.

SAO Branch

Overall the audit found that there are adequate controls in place by the SAO Branch to document, monitor and support the completion of Canada Document Disclosure and to monitor completion of claimant documentation for negotiated settlements.

The audit found that there are a number of controls in place within the SAO Branch to help ensure efficient and effective support for the completion of Canada Document Disclosure. The SAO Branch collaborates with the Secretariat and other stakeholders on a weekly and monthly basis to help ensure and explore opportunities to improve efficient and effective support for the completion of Canada Document Disclosure. Interviews and documentation review identified that there is timely, formal collaboration between the SAO Branch and Secretariat, at a strategic level through the monthly Oversight Committee, and at a functional level through the weekly Operations Committee, the weekly Technical Sub-Committee (of the Oversight Committee) and the bi-weekly SADRE call. It was also noted, through interviews and testing, that there is timely, informal dialogue between the SAO Branch and Secretariat to resolve operation-level and individual case-level issues.

The SAO Branch monitors the number of cases on hold, and is in the process of incorporating the metric into the new version of the new IAP Dashboard v2.0, tabled at the weekly Operations Committee meeting. The SAO Branch conducted a business process improvement (BPI) workshop, from which the resulting AANDC Proposal to Increase Efficiency and Capacity was reported. The report notes that processing capacity is frustrated by factors beyond the control of the SAO Branch and Secretariat. Despite this limitation, the SAO Branch has recommended several options to the Operations Committee to resolve the challenges, including improved communication and collaboration with the Secretariat.

The audit found that the SAO Branch has a management framework for Hearings Managers to help ensure consistency in managing and attending hearings. The SAO Branch also employs a sufficient number of adequate controls to assist in the efficient and effective completion of Canada Document Disclosure, such as a broad array of regular reporting, contribution to the weekly SADRE call, clear role and responsibility definition and defined processes. For additional information see Appendix B.

The audit found that the documentation required for negotiated settlement does not differ from cases for which there is a hearing and that a risk assessment is performed for each Negotiated Settlement Payment (NSP) in advance of negotiating the Settlement.

The audit noted a need for uniform information across the SAO Branch, and nationally consistent training. The audit considered, at a high-level the SharePoint web-based software currently being used by the DoJ in support of their IAP-dedicated staff. The SharePoint software would facilitate the sharing of knowledge within the SAO Branch and with the DoJ, improve access to documents and keep SAO Branch East and West regions consistent. SAO Branch has the opportunity to obtain access to DoJ's existing system through a licensing agreement.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Director General of the SAO Branch:

2. Consider the SharePoint information sharing initiative as a means for the SAO Branch to realize efficient and effective use of resources in support of the IAP. If the initiative is pursued, management should ensure there are adequate training resources and system support for the SharePoint software.

5.4 Scheduling Claimant Hearings

The audit considered the scheduling by the Secretariat for standard track hearings and coordination with the SAO Branch, as well as the scheduling by the SAO Branch of negotiated settlements.

Secretariat

Overall, the audit found that the controls put in place by the Secretariat to help ensure efficient and effective scheduling of claimant hearings are adequate. These include an effective hearing process, the creation of the role of a Manager Business Process Management and participation in the Operations Committee. For more information refer to Appendix B.

Recommendation:

The audit has no recommendation to make for this section.

SAO Branch

Overall the audit found that there appear to be adequate controls in place by the SAO Branch to coordinate hearings and negotiated settlements.

The SOA Branch and DoJ have established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Justice, which is renewed annually, setting out DoJ and AANDC unilateral and joint roles and responsibilities, deliverables, service standards, planning and reporting the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE) and their cost, the number of hearings DoJ will attend. The Draft 2009 Business Case indicates that the DoJ's role in the IAP process includes attending/participating in approximately 50% of all IAP hearings representing Canada as defendant.

There were a number of controls to help ensure efficient and effective support for the scheduling of hearings, were noted during the audit and include oversight committees, a milestones monitoring system and reporting of BPI workshop results to the Oversight Committee. For more information refer to Appendix B.

Recommendation:

The audit has no recommendation to make for this area.

5.5 Back Office Support

The audit considered whether there are adequate controls to help ensure efficient and effective back office support to the Chief Adjudicator, Secretariat and IAP process. Back office support comprises of financial management (budgeting and reporting), HR management, procurement and IM/IT support from the department (AANDC). The audit assessed this support through interviews with management from the Secretariat and SAO Branch. In addition, the audit tested a judgmental sample of transactions for the following processes:

Please note that that controls conducted in the administration of Claimant application intake review and admission fall primarily within the decision-making responsibilities of the adjudicator, and as such were considered out of scope for this audit.

Secretariat

The audit tested 15 staffing actions and 20 procurement transactions over the period January 1 through June 30, 2011. The audit included reviewing each transaction for appropriate authorization and the timeliness of the authorization.

Recommendations :

It is recommended that the Executive Director of the Secretariat:

3. Ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance.

4. Ensure document retention for staffing actions is maintained and available for audit purposes in keeping with expected information management policies.

5. Ensure that the practices of authorizing payments under the Financial Administration Act are consistently applied to all acquisitions and expenditures, including section 32 and pre-audit approval. Pre-audit approval can be improved by using a stamp on invoices, to help ensure the section is completed.

6. Ensure calculation of goods and services tax/ harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) is performed accurately.

SAO Branch

The audit tested 10 staffing actions, 5 procurement transactions and 25 settlement payments over the period January 1 through June 30, 2011. For settlement payments, 12 samples were selected from information provided by the Secretariat and 13 samples were selected from information provided by the SAO Branch. Care was taken during the course of the audit to ensure Claimant-specific information was not included in the audit documentation. Audit testing included the review of each transaction for appropriate authorization and the timeliness of the authorization.

Recommendations

It is recommended that the Director General of the SAO Branch:

7. Ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance.

8. Implement a process to identify and escalate decisions that have exceeded the target completion date by a significant amount of time, to help ensure their completion.

 

 

 

6. Management Action Plan

Recommendations Management Response/
Actions
Responsible
Manager (Title)
Planned
Implementation
Date
Secretariat Recommendations

It is recommended that the Executive Director of the Secretariat:

1. Identify and implement a more consistent approach across the Secretariat of the reporting of strategic objectives, key activities, related risks and mitigation to improve the clarity of communication, and efficiencies in reporting and monitoring.
The current practice used to manage risks at IRSAS is of a documented approach that:

  • identifies risks that may prevent IRSAS from achieving its objectives;

  • assesses existing controls for each identified risk as well as their likelihood and impacts;

  • develops the best course of action to respond to each risk and acting according to the strategy set out;

  • monitors and maintaining a risk registry linked to the IRSAS annual business plan;

  • reports quarterly (noting that consideration is given based on the audience e.g., ANNDC corporate level reporting, Treasury Board reporting, and to the Courts overseeing the implementation of the Settlement Agreement).

Risk and risk management training is  provided to the senior management on a regular basis (last session - in May, 2011)

Unit operational (business) plans include potential risks against their key activities.

Going forward, IRSAS will build on these existing practices and processes to further expand the implementation of risk management by:

  1. communicating the linkages between its strategic objectives, key activities, risk issues and risk strategies;

  2. consistent implementation across the IRSAS; and,

  3. developing a more robust reporting mechanism to monitor progress.
Executive Director of the Secretariat. October 2011
HR STAFFING ACTIONS

3. Should ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance.
IRSAS has informed all directors, managers and supervisors that acting requests have to be submitted with sufficient time to allow the processing of the acting start date. If acting is required due to an emergency, an explanation of the situation will be added to the HR file.

Corporate Services HR Coordination unit is monitoring the acting requests and will advise the Executive Committee if there are any issues with implementation.
Executive Director of the Secretariat September 2011
4. Should ensure document retention for staffing actions is maintained and available for audit purposes in keeping with expected information management policies. IRSAS is reviewing its HR action record keeping process and procedures. The process and procedures will be updated to ensure all staffing action documentation is properly filed and readily available. Executive Director of the Secretariat September 2011
PROCUREMENT

5. Should ensure that the practices of authorizing payments under the Financial Administration Act are consistently applied to all acquisitions and expenditures, including section 32 and pre-audit approval. Pre-audit approval can be improved by using a stamp on invoices, to help ensure the section is completed.
IRSAS launched four (4) Requests for Proposal (RFP) to acquire adjudication services.

Section 32 signature was not requested by HQ procurement confirming funds were available prior to the preparation of the contract. Management discovered the situation in the fall of 2010 while carrying out post audits. In response IRSAS prepared a note to file and submitted it to AANDC CFO's office.

IRSAS is preparing notes to be added to all the RFP files and will be preparing section 32 commitment approval confirming funds are available for these expenditures.

IRSAS will prepare section 32 commitment approval for Crawford invoices as well.

IRSAS is awaiting the arrival of new pre-audit and section 34 approval stamps which will be distributed to employees required to carry out this work. IRSAS will inform employees of the recommendations of the audit and new procedures to follow through emails, reinforced by meeting discussions.

The Corporate Services Finance unit will monitor and advise the Executive Committee of the implementation use of the recommended changes.
Executive Director of the Secretariat. December 2011
6. Should also ensure its calculation of GST/HST is performed accurately IRSAS has implemented the use of the templates as per AADNC/CFO directive to calculate the GST and HST for public-service travel and non-public service travel.

IRSAS has implemented the GST/HST calculation template as per AANDC directives.

The Secretariat will initiate discussions with the CFO to discuss whether their calculation instructions need to be changed.
Executive Director of the Secretariat October 2011
SAO Branch Recommendations

It is recommended that the Director General of the SAO Branch:

2. Consider the SharePoint information sharing initiative should be considered as a means for the SAO Branch to realize efficiency and effective use of resources in support of the IAP. If this is pursued, management should ensure there are adequate training resources and system support for the SharePoint software.
A MOU with the Department of Justice (DoJ) has been drafted and will be signed before November 30, 2011. The MOU allows to 150 AANDC employees to access DoJ's SharePoint by March 31, 2012. Director General (DG) SAO Branch March 2012
7. Management should ensure staffing action authorizations are performed in advance. The SAO DG will remind on a regular basis to managers procedures to ensure proper authorizations are obtained.

A roadmap to that effect has been developed by the branch and Corporate HR to help managers to comply.

Training to each branch administrative staff should follow.
DG SAO Branch Every month

Roadmap circulated November 2011

Training : March 2012
8. Management should consider implementing a process to identify and escalate decisions that have exceeded the target completion date by a significant amount of time, to help ensure their timely completion. As part of the IAP dashboard, a weekly report is being produced, circulated and reviewed by the Indian Residential Schools Operations Committee. This report shows the number of files in AANDC's inventory that are between, 1 and 30 days, 31 to 50 days, 61 to 100 days and more than 100 days post decision.

AANDC has developed a weekly report that identifies IAP files where more than 50 days post decision. It also provides the reasons for the delay that are captured in SADRE. The files where the delay is within Canada's control will be addressed by the post resolution shared services managers and processed.

AANDC is also currently developing a report for the post resolution shared services managers which will indicate files where 35 days have elapsed between the Decision Received and RSP generated milestones. This will be a good indicator that a file is at risk of not meeting the 50 or 60 day targets.
DG SAO Branch December 2011
 

 

Appendix A - Audit Objectives and Criteria

Objective Audit Criteria Applicability
Secretariat SAO Branch
1 – Governance Governance
  Citizen Focused Service
  Stewardship (Financial Management including Settlement Payment Processing)
  People (HR Management)
  Results and Performance
2 – Risk Management Risk Management
3 – Claimant Documentation Identify Claimants -
  Admission Appeals -
  Documentation, Monitoring and Support
4 – Scheduling Hearings Standard Track and Negotiated Settlements
5 – Back Office Support Financial, HR, and Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) services provided by AANDC
 
 

 

Appendix B - Controls Reviewed

CLAIMANT DOCUMENTATION – SECRETARIAT

Controls to help ensure efficient and effective identification and completion of claimant documentation noted during the audit include:

CLAIMANT DOCUMENTATION – SAO BRANCH

The SAO Branch employs a sufficient number of adequate controls to assist in the efficient and effective completion of Canada Document Disclosure:

SCHEDULING CLAIMANT HEARINGS - SECRETARIAT

Overall, the audit found that the controls put in place by the Secretariat to help ensure efficient and effective scheduling of claimant hearings are adequate. These include:

SCHEDULING CLAIMANT HEARINGS – SAO BRANCH

Controls to help ensure efficient and effective support for the scheduling of hearings, noted during the audit include:

 
 
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