Why publish key compliance attributes of internal audit?

The objective of the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit is to ensure that the oversight of public resources throughout the federal public administration is informed by a professional and objective internal audit function that is independent of departmental management.

Heads of organizations are responsible ensuring that internal audit in the department is carried out in accordance with the Institute of Internal Auditors International Professional Practices Framework unless the framework is in conflict with the Treasury Board Policy or its related directive; if there is a conflict, the policy or directive will prevail.

Departments with internal audit functions are required to publish key attributes of compliance as per section A. of the Treasury Board Directive on Internal Audit. It is important that the public is aware that heads of government organizations are receiving assurance and that activities are managed in a way that demonstrates responsible stewardship.

These attributes have been selected because they demonstrate to an external audience that, at a minimum, the fundamental elements necessary for oversight are in place, are operating as intended and are achieving results. The key attributes of compliance with the policy and standards are:

  • internal auditors that are trained to effectively perform the work;
  • audit work that is performed in conformance with the international standards for the profession
  • audit work that is performed according to a systematically developed risk-based audit plan, which has been approved by the head of the organization, and that results in management actions being taken in response to report recommendations; and
  • audit work that is perceived by stakeholders as adding value in the pursuit of organizational objectives.

Publishing departmental key compliance attributes provides pertinent information to Canadians and parliamentarians regarding the professionalism, performance and impact of the internal audit function in departments. These are not performance measures and no targets are attached. Under the Policy, the Comptroller General has the authority to amend these attributes, should there be changes in the internal audit environment and/or due to the evolving maturity of the internal audit function.

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