Internal audit

Internal audit is a professional, independent appraisal function that provides feedback on government management practices and activities, at both the departmental/agency and horizontal levels. The function assists in promoting the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government operations and the transparency of decision making.

Internal audit provides deputy heads with assurance as to the design and operation of the governance, risk management, and control processes in their organizations. This assurance function is an important part of the government's efforts to provide value and accountability to Canadians for their tax dollars.

The focus of internal audit is on management systems, processes, and practices and on the integrity of financial and non-financial information.

The results of internal audits help to identify emerging issues and make recommendations for the improvement of performance. Objective assessments are provided in a number of areas, including: risk management; control and governance processes; and resource stewardship.

Internal Audit Sector

The Internal Audit Sector has the following areas of responsibility; policy and liaison; internal audit community development and guidance; and, the audit operations arm to perform assurance work across government.

The Internal Audit Sector of the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada is responsible for the Policy on Internal Audit and the health of the federal government internal audit community. The mandate of the Internal Audit Sector is to provide independent assurance on governance, risk management and control processes. In performing this role, we support the commitment of the Comptroller General to strengthen public sector stewardship, accountability, risk management and internal control across government.

Our mandate centers on leading audit community in the implementation of the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit and the associated Directives, Standards and Guidelines. The Policy strengthens and further professionalizes the internal audit function across government and is key component in supporting deputy heads in fulfilling their role as accounting officers.

Policy, Liaison and Community

The Policy and Liaison function focuses on the timely provision of advice and guidance and oversight to the audit community. This includes:

  • leading and championing the internal audit function;
  • monitoring and assessing policy implementation and compliance;
  • provide oversight and challenge support to departmental internal audit groups;  and
  • developing policy, professional advice, standards and technology enablers.

The Internal Audit Community function provides a full range of support to departmental audit committees and initiatives to support internal audit capacity development. This includes:

  • recruiting and supporting department audit committees;
  • strengthening the professional human resources capacity of the internal audit community across the public service through a range of capacity building and community development initiatives.

Operational role

The operational role of Internal Audit Sector provides a range of audit services to large and small departments and agencies.

This includes:

  • developing government-wide risk profiles for large and small departments;
  • planning and coordinating horizontal assurance engagements across large and small departments;
  • providing specific internal audit services to small departments and other selected departments and agencies; and
  • providing support to the Audit Committee for Small Departments and Agencies.

Vision and Mission

Our Vision is: To strengthen and support the government internal audit function by contributing to accountability and transparency, and by improving governance, risk management and control frameworks across the government of Canada.

Our Mission is: To promote accountability, stewardship, risk management, and best practices in government operations.

The Policy on internal audit

The Government of Canada's management regime is based on sound management practices, strong public service values and clear rules set out in legislation and Treasury Board policies.

The work by the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) to strengthen financial management and internal audit practices supports effective and coherent decision-making, program development and implementation across government.

The Treasury Board's Policy on Internal Audit is pivotal to the government's efforts to improve and modernize its management practices. The Policy provides a government-wide approach to the planning and implementation of internal audit activities. Implementation of the Policy will strengthen and further professionalize the internal audit function across the federal public service by doing the following:

  • reinforcing the independence and objectivity of the internal audit function;
  • increasing the qualifications of professional internal auditors in the public sector; and
  • providing a clear, integrated division of responsibilities between the Comptroller General and the heads of departments and agencies.

Please also consult the Directive on Internal Auditing on the Government of Canada and the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada.

Internal Audit tools and resources

Links for Internal Audit Regulatory and Professional Material

Professional Organizations

Contact us

Your questions and comments are important to us. To contact the Internal Audit Sector, please use one of the means listed below:

Phone: 613- 369-3094
Facsimile: 613- 369- 9418
90 Elgin Street,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R5

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