Response to Parliamentary committees and external audits - 2017–18 Departmental Results Report - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Twenty-Eighth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, entitled: Public Accounts of Canada 2016

The committee reviewed the Auditor General of Canada’s observations as part of his annual audit report on the Public Accounts of Canada. The committee provided 2 recommendations:

  • that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provide the committee with the planned date on which it will publicly report on its project to update the methodology used to determine discount rates and explain how it will consider industry practices
  • that the Department of National Defence provide the committee with an annual report outlining the department’s progress in implementing its action plan to properly record and value its inventory

In its response, the government agreed with both recommendations. The government committed to publicly share the results of the methodology update on or before the tabling of the Public Accounts of Canada 2018. The government also agreed to provide the committee with an annual report on the Department of National Defence’s Inventory Management Action Plan but proposed to provide it within 60 days of the end of the fiscal year as opposed to within 30 days, which the committee had requested.

Ninth Report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled: Strengthening the Protection of the Public Interest within the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act

The committee reviewed the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and made 15 recommendations to improve the act, and its administration and operation.

In its response, the government agreed that improvements are required to the disclosure and protection regime under the act. The government will move forward to implement improvements to the administration and operation of the internal disclosure process and the protection from acts of reprisal against public servants. It will provide greater guidance on the internal disclosure process, will increase awareness activities and training, and will enhance reporting on the internal disclosure process and acts of founded wrongdoing.

Response to audits conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (including audits conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

2017 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada
Report 1—Managing the Risk of Fraud

The audit examined whether the selected organizations had mechanisms in place to appropriately manage the risk of fraud. Specifically, the audit focused on whether these organizations had:

  • governance processes to direct, evaluate and monitor fraud risks
  • an assessment approach to identify fraud risks and mitigating actions
  • selected controls (policies, procedures, processes and activities) to address specific fraud risks
  • activities to investigate and manage allegations of fraud

The audit also examined whether the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provided support to federal organizations to manage their risks, including fraud risks, and monitored the implementation of its relevant policies and directives.

The Secretariat received 1 recommendation. The Secretariat’s response can be found in the list of recommendations in the report.

2017 Fall Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada
Report 1—Phoenix Pay Problems

This audit examined whether Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), working with selected departments and agencies, including the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, resolved pay problems in a sustainable way to ensure that federal government employees would receive their correct pay, on time. This included examining:

  • how PSPC identified pay problems and analyzed the nature and extent of those problems
  • whether selected departments and agencies fulfilled their responsibilities to send timely pay information to PSPC and to review pay before it was issued
  • whether PSPC provided departments and agencies with the information they needed to understand the nature and extent of their employees’ pay problems and to try to resolve them
  • what costs PSPC and departments and agencies were incurring to resolve Phoenix pay problems and what future costs were being planned for the longer-term solutions.

The Secretariat received 2 recommendations. The Secretariat’s responses to the recommendations can be found in the list of recommendations in the report.

2017 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the Parliament of Canada
Report 4—Departmental Progress in Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies

This audit focused on whether selected departments and agencies adequately:

  • applied the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals
  • reported on the extent and results of their strategic environmental assessment practices
  • met their commitments to strengthen these practices

This audit also focused on whether the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat had mechanisms in place to support departments and agencies in applying the Cabinet directive to proposals submitted to Cabinet, including the Treasury Board. It also looked at whether these central agencies confirmed that departments and agencies fully considered the Cabinet directive when developing such proposals.

The Secretariat received 1 recommendation. The Secretariat’s response to the recommendation can be found in the list of recommendations in the report.

2017 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the Parliament of Canada
Report 2—Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

This audit focused on the extent to which federal organizations had made progress in adapting to climate change. The audit examined federal leadership efforts and whether departments and agencies implemented the Federal Adaptation Policy Framework. The framework states that all federal departments and agencies must take action and consider climate change impacts in their programs, policies and operations. The audit examined progress by determining whether 19 departments and agencies identified and assessed climate change risks and took measures to adapt to climate change in their areas of responsibility.

The Secretariat received 1 recommendation. The Secretariat’s response to the recommendation can be found in the list of recommendations in the report.

Response to audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

There were no audits in 2017–18 requiring a response.

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