On August 9, 2010 and September 29, 2011, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) signed two one-year contribution agreements with Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) to deliver activities under the Advocacy and Public Information Program. The total funding for the Agreements by year, including amendments, amounted to $240,000 in 2010-2011 and $251,000 in 2011-2012. This audit was selected as a joint audit with Health Canada and was conducted by Spearhead Management Canada Limited in the winter of 2013.
The audit examined compliance with the financial and non-financial Terms and Conditions of the agreements, the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial management framework supporting the program and the organization's capacity to deliver the programs and services set out in the agreements.
The auditor examined sufficient evidence to support his conclusions. The recipient complied with the Terms and Conditions of the agreements, with a few exceptions noted in the report. The recipient has a strong financial framework in place to administer the program, and the personnel assigned to the delivery are knowledgeable.
From a financial perspective, the auditor was able to determine that the recipient has substantially complied with the Terms and Conditions of the agreements and that most funds were used for their intended purposes. A recoverable amount of $11,611 in AANDC funding was identified for fiscal year 2010-11 due to ineligible expenditures.
The Native Counselling Services of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors comprised of seven members. The Board members are appointed for an indefinite term upon recommendation from other Board members and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Until 2012, the Board offered guidance on policies only, and left the operational management of the organization to the CEO. The Board now plays a more active operational role by assessing the results of audits of financial statements. This change was implemented to promote accountability at the Board level. The Board meets quarterly and minutes are kept of decisions taken by the Board.
NCSA's AANDC-funded program promotes the National Day of Healing and Resolution. The program is managed by the Campaign Manager who reports to the Director of Operations.
The Campaign Manager prepares the annual work plan describing the activities to be conducted and the expected results for the program. Budgets are attached to their work plans.
NCSA has implemented a manual covering administrative guidelines such as code of ethics, client services, data management, occupational therapy and safety, general terms and conditions of employment, finance, quality assurance and social services programs.
The budget is prepared by the Director of Finance and the Manager of Contracts and Budgets and includes budget lines that are matched to the budget incorporated into the Agreements. Budget monitoring is performed by the Director of Finance and the CEO on a quarterly basis and in February of each year to ensure that funds are not lapsed.
NCSA's chart of accounts reflects the various programs offered by NCSA and supports the preparation of financial reports. Through the examination of a sample of transactions, the auditor found that expenses were properly coded to the program and that reallocation of expenses at year-end was minimal.
NCSA does not keep track of funds available by program and may, at times, be using funds from other programs to cover the payment of expenses, not eligible under this kind of funding.
Bank reconciliations are completed monthly by the Accounts Receivable Clerk and approved by the Director of Finance.
Revenues were properly accounted for in the accounting system.
Financial records and supporting documentation are maintained by the Finance Department. The information necessary to support the sample of transactions audited was pulled out by NCSA staff and any request for additional information was quickly addressed.
Management Reporting System
The reports that are due under the Terms and Conditions of the agreements are submitted on time and contain the required information.
NCSA has secured the services of an external auditor to review the annual financial statements. No issues were noted.