Archived - Guidelines on the Responsibilities of Chief Audit Executive

These guidelines are issued to assist deputy heads establish appropriate responsibilities for departmental chief audit executives.
Date modified: 2005-10-21

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1. Purpose

1.1 These guidelines are issued to assist deputy heads establish appropriate responsibilities for departmental chief audit executives.

2. Context

2.1 The Treasury Board has delegated authority to the Comptroller General to issue guidelines to support the Policy on Internal Audit.

3. Guidelines

3.1 The Chief Audit Executive should:

3.1.1 Establish appropriate policies and procedures to guide the internal audit function.

3.1.2 Establish risk-based audit plans to set out the priorities of the internal audit function, consistent with the organizational objectives.

3.1.3 Ensure that the internal plan of engagements is based on a risk assessment, done at least annually, and:

  • Considers the input of senior departmental management, the audit committee and Treasury Board Secretariat;
  • Includes internal audits identified by the Comptroller General as part of government-wide coverage, including:
  • Annual audits that address financial statement reporting and other fundamental controls; and
  • Selected government-wide sectoral, thematic or horizontal audits.
  • Is designed to support the provision of assurance services on all significant aspects of risk management, control and governance processes; and
  • Is designed to provide an annual holistic opinion on the effectiveness and adequacy of risk management, control, and governance processes.

3.1.4 Coordinate internal auditing activities and plans with other internal and external providers of assurance and consulting activities to ensure proper coverage and minimize duplication of effort.

3.1.5 Communicate plan of engagements and resource requirements for the internal audit function, including significant interim changes and the impact of resource limitations to the deputy head and the audit committee. This communication shall include the impact of resource limitations.

3.1.6 Ensure that internal audit resources are appropriate, sufficient and effectively deployed to achieve the approved plan.

3.1.7 Ensure the timely completion of internal auditing engagements.

3.1.8 Ensure that reports on internal auditing engagements are provided to the audit committee with a minimum of delay.

3.1.9 Ensure that internal auditors have appropriate professional qualifications and skills, and opportunities for sufficient training and development to maintain and develop their internal auditing competence and to obtain Certified Internal Auditor certification.

3.1.10 Develop and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program that covers all aspects of the internal audit function, and continuously monitor its effectiveness.

3.1.11 In collaboration with the audit committee and the Comptroller General, ensure that a practice inspection or other external review of the internal audit function is conducted at least every four years, by the Office of the Comptroller General or a qualified, independent reviewer, or external review team, and that the results of this external assessment are communicated to the deputy head, the audit committee and the Comptroller General.

3.1.12 Ensure that professional internal auditing standards are followed.

3.1.13 Report at least annually to the audit committee on the internal audit function's conformance with professional internal auditing standards.

3.1.14 After discussion with the deputy head, inform the Comptroller General without delay of any issue of risk, control or management practice that may be of significance to the government and/or require Treasury Board Secretariat's involvement.

4. Enquiries

Please send any questions about these guidelines to:

Office of the Assistant Comptroller General, Internal Audit
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
L'Esplanade Laurier
300 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R5

Fax: (613) 952-3698

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