Internal audit

Internal audit 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 results of internal audits help to identify emerging issues and make recommendations for the improvement of performance.

Internal Audit Sector

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. 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.

The Internal Audit Sector has the following areas of responsibility: policy and professional practices; internal audit community development and engagement; and audit operations.

Policy and Communities

The Policy and Professional Practices unit focuses on the timely provision of advice and guidance and oversight to the audit community. This includes:

  • championing the value of the internal audit function;
  • monitoring and assessing policy implementation and compliance;
  • providing oversight, challenging support, and sharing of best practices with departmental internal audit groups; and
  • developing policy, professional advice, and technology enablers, including data analytics.

The Internal Audit Communities unit provides a full range of initiatives to support internal audit capacity development and engagement. This includes:

  • recruiting and supporting departmental audit committees;
  • strengthening the professional human resources capacity of the internal audit community across the public service through capacity building and community development initiatives; and
  • promoting community engagement through a variety of events and the exchange of best practices.

Audit Operations

As the operational arm of the Internal Audit Sector, the Audit Operations team performs internal audit work across government focussed on providing a range of independent internal audit services which are designed to add value and improve operations within large departments and small departments, including Regional Development Agencies.

The Audit Operations unit leads internal audit engagements that address horizontal, sectoral or thematic risks or issues in large and small departments or any other internal audit engagements that have been identified by the Comptroller General of Canada or the Secretary of the Treasury Board. The team is also responsible for leading internal audit engagements focused on departments that do not have an internal audit function.

Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit

The Government of Canada’s oversight 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 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 and to further professionalize the internal audit function. The Policy provides a government-wide approach to the planning and implementation of internal audit activities in an effort to:

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

The Treasury Board’s Directive on Internal Audit supports the objectives of the Policy on Internal Audit by setting out the responsibilities for chief audit executives related to internal audit and providing the mandatory attributes of the composition and the operations of departmental audit committees and details on requirements for their operations. The Directive also outlines the mandatory procedures for internal auditing in the Government of Canada, which include the public reporting requirements related to the performance results for the internal audit function. Refer to “Why publish key compliance attributes of internal audit?” for more information.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Contact us

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

90 Elgin Street,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R5

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