Audit of the Account Verification Process

Project Number 6B213
Audit Report
June 24, 2011

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary

Since 1998, a number of audits and management reviews have concluded that Fisheries and Oceans Canada's internal controls related to its account verification process needed to be strengthened. Affected by budget cutbacks in recent years, the Chief Financial Officer Sector was at a point where it had difficulty sustaining core finance accountabilities and activities, let alone dealing with new legislative and policy requirements. In June 2009, the Chief Financial Officer Sector requested and received some additional resources.

To strengthen the account verification process, the Chief Financial Officer developed an internal control remediation plan, which included developing national standardized account verification quality assurance and sampling processes and procedures. The account verification project began in April 2008 with a new account verification quality assurance and sampling process being rolled out nationally in October 2009.

The account verification process was assessed as high risk and an audit of the account verification process was included in the Internal Audit Directorate's Risk-based Audit Plan for 2010-11.

The audit focused on the new risk-based account verification process within the Department to determine if management controls are in place, functioning effectively and complying with relevant central agency and departmental policies and directives. The effectiveness and consistency in the application of the new departmental Quality Assurance and Sampling Plan within the National Capital, Pacific and Maritimes regions were examined for the period April 1, 2010 to October 31, 2010 by selecting a sample of transactions to determine if they complied with the sampling plan.

We recognize the very extensive work undertaken by the Chief Financial Officer Sector, more specifically as it relates to the new account verification process. The implementation of the risk-based approach is a work in progress that will require adjustments to attain maturity and effectiveness over time.

The following provides our observations based on the evidence collected and analysis performed. They are presented under four main issue areas.

Design of Quality Assurance Sampling Plan: The Policy on Verification and Payment of Accounts and the Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance and Sampling were developed and provide tools for the Department to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of the account verification process. The departmental policy and directive are still in draft status but are already in use. The directive contains the main elements of a sampling plan; however, the sampling approach could be improved to ensure conclusions drawn can be statistically supported and to increase efficiency.

Training and Procedures: The audit found that training was informally conducted and that there are insufficient documented procedures to support the account verification review process. Some of the elements to perform the account verification review are insufficiently defined and are subject to interpretation. As a result, the consistency and quality of reviews would benefit from improvement.

Compliance with the Departmental Policy and Directive: Although payment verification review is taking place and generally carried out in a timely manner and in accordance with the departmental policy and directive, there are instances where this is not respected, to the detriment of overall account verification process effectiveness and efficiency.

Monitoring and Reporting: The reporting and monitoring aspects of the new account verification process have yet to be fully implemented, mainly due to system issues and the lack of resources to carry it out as intended.

Generally, the audit has shown that a management control framework is in place for the implementation of the new risk-based account verification process. However, some areas need further refinement to ensure effective internal controls and compliance with the legislative and policy framework. Procedures and training to support the account verification review need to be strengthened, and the monitoring and reporting function need to be fully implemented to ensure management has appropriate information to address issues and to recommend or take appropriate remedial action. While the Quality Assurance and Sampling Plan is generally sound, the sampling approach could be improved to ensure conclusions drawn can be statistically supported and to increase process efficiency.

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Background

Since 1998, a number of audits and management reviews have concluded that Fisheries and Oceans Canada's internal controls related to its account verification process needed to be strengthened. Affected by budget cutbacks over the years, the Chief Financial Officer Sector was at a point where it had difficulty sustaining core finance accountabilities and activities, let alone dealing with new legislative and policy requirements. In June 2009, the Chief Financial Officer Sector requested and received some additional resources.

To strengthen the account verification process, the Chief Financial Officer developed an internal control remediation plan, which included developing national standardized account verification quality assurance and sampling processes and procedures. The account verification project began in April 2008, with a new account verification quality assurance and sampling process being rolled out nationally in October 2009.

2.1 Background on the Activity

Departmental account verification processes must be designed and operated in a way that maintains probity while taking into consideration the varying degrees of risk associated with each payment. Treasury Board Secretariat's new Directive on Account Verification states that the spending of public money requires that integrity, accountability and transparency be maintained to a high standard. It also states that financial officers with payment authority pursuant to Section 33 of the Financial Administration Act must provide assurance of the adequacy of the Section 34 account verification, and be in a position to state that the process is in place and is being properly and conscientiously followed.

Furthermore, the Directive adds that when exercising payment authority, financial officers are responsible to ensure that "all high risk transactions are subjected to full review of the transaction and a sample of medium and low risk transactions are selected based on a sample selection methodology and are subject to a review of the most important aspects of each selected transaction."

The Department recently developed the Policy on Verification and Payment of Accounts (hereafter referred to as the departmental policy) and the associated Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance and Sampling (hereafter referred to as the departmental directive). Together they provide a framework for achieving effective account verification. The purpose of the departmental policy is to ensure that payments of transactions are verified efficiently, ensuring that all significant gaps in performance or compliance are addressed. The departmental directive provides details of the sampling model used for selecting transactions to assess the account verification process for the Department's multiple payment streams.

The objectives of the Quality Assurance Sampling Plan as defined within the departmental directive are "to standardize the Department's quality assurance process pursuant to Section 33 of the Financial Administration Act and to achieve efficiency and cost effectiveness through implementing a risk-based payment review process."

The sampling plan is divided into three areas of review and approval:

  • A base review is to be performed on every payment that is manually entered into the financial system (account payables module) regardless of type or amount. A "base criteria checklist" contains some basic financial controls to be verified.
  • A gating review is to be performed on all high-risk transactions prior to payment. For high-risk transactions that cannot be reviewed prior to payment, such as interdepartmental settlements and government acquisition card payments, a full post-payment review will be performed. The sampling plan contains a risk matrix that identifies the risks inherent to various payment types (such as travel, hospitality, training, payables at year-end, and grants and contributions) and identifies the dollar limit threshold established within the Department for high-risk transactions. These transactions are selected based on automated controls in the financial system. A "gating and post-payment checklist" is to be used and requires the review of all important aspects of these transactions.
  • A post-payment review is to be performed on all other transactions (low and medium risk). The selection of these transactions is based on a flat-rate random sampling method for the time being. A "gating and post-payment checklist" is to be used and requires the review of all important aspects of these transactions.

Roles and Responsibilities

The departmental policy states that, as the departmental Accounting Officer, "the Deputy Minister is accountable on a department-wide basis for establishing a sound financial management governance structure that fosters prudent stewardship of public resources in the delivery of the mandate of Fisheries and Oceans Canada."

The departmental policy also states that the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for "providing assurances to the Deputy Minister on the effectiveness of account verification across the Department including the provision of any reviews or assessments as well as regular error reporting and timely action to address issues that arise." More specifically, the Chief Financial Officer is responsible on a department-wide basis for:

  • Providing leadership and functional direction for account verification including approval of and amendments to this policy; and
  • Ensuring that robust risk-based account verification procedures are in place, in compliance with the Financial Administration Act.

2.2 Objective and Scope

The objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the Department's management control framework for the implementation of the new risk-based account verification process is in place and is adequate to ensure effective internal controls, compliance with legislation, regulations and policies, and accurate financial information.

The audit focused on the new risk-based account verification process within the Department to determine if management controls are in place, function effectively, and comply with relevant central agency and departmental policies and directives.

The effectiveness and consistency in the application of the Quality Assurance and Sampling Plan within the National Capital, Pacific and Maritimes regions was examined for the period of April 1, 2010 to October 31, 2010 by selecting a sample of transactions to determine if they complied with the departmental directive. The sample covered Vote 1 Operating and Maintenance expenditures, Vote 5 Capital expenditures and Vote 10 Grants and Contribution expenditures, including payables at year-end settlements set up in March 2010.

The audit was not intended to provide an independent assessment of the Department's level of compliance with Section 34 of the Financial Administration Act.

The audit scope did not include:

  • Business and internal controls within financial systems;
  • Business internal controls related to the production of financial statements;
  • Pay and related benefit payments.

2.3 Methodology

The audit team carried out its mandate in accordance with Treasury Board's Policy on Internal Audit and the Internal Audit Standards for the Government of Canada. The approach included the following activities:

  • Review of the Department's new Policy on Verification and Payment of Accounts and the Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance and Sampling;
  • Review of applicable legislation, policies, directives and other information related to account verification;
  • Interviews with relevant management and staff at Headquarters and in the National Capital, Pacific and Maritimes regions;
  • Observation of the processes used for account verification quality assurance and sampling;
  • Review of a judgmental sample of 168 payments for detailed audit examination; and
  • Review of information from other federal departments to learn about their account verification process.

3.0 Observations and Recommendations

3.1 Statement of Assurance

In our opinion, the auditors have examined sufficient, relevant evidence and obtained sufficient information and explanations to provide a high level of assurance on the reported opinion or conclusions.

3.2 Observations and Recommendations

This section provides observations and recommendations based on the evidence collected and analysis performed, through which we have identified the following issues: the design of the quality assurance sampling plan, training and procedures, compliance with the departmental policy and directive, and monitoring and reporting.

We recognize the very extensive work undertaken by the Chief Financial Officer Sector, more specifically as it relates to the new account verification process. The implementation of the risk-based approach is a work in progress that will require adjustments to attain maturity and greater effectiveness over time.

The audit team acknowledges the rapidly evolving framework of the accounting operations and the progress and effort made to implement the new risk-based process. We also recognize the challenges management faced during implementation. The new process has placed a strain on resources as some regions needed additional resources to accommodate the process. Additional resources were requested but not all were granted.

3.2.1 Design of the Quality Assurance Sampling Plan

The departmental policy and directive were developed to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of the account verification process. They are still in draft status but are already in use. The directive contains the main elements of a sampling plan; however, the sampling approach could be improved to ensure conclusions drawn can be statistically supported and to increase efficiency.

In 2009, with the help of an accounting firm and involvement of a working group of regional representatives, the Chief Financial Officer Sector developed the departmental policy and directive. The departmental policy describes the accountability, roles and responsibilities related to account verification in the Department. The departmental directive describes departmental procedures, practices and key controls related to account verification. The audit team found that the key controls designed in the Account Verification Sampling Plan are clear and aligned with central agency and departmental financial policies and directives.

Although the departmental policy and directive have both been in use since October 2009, they are still in a draft status. They were circulated to regional directors of Finance and Administration in October 2010 for final review; however, at the time of writing this report, they were still not approved. This creates a risk that the departmental policy and directive may not be followed as required. The sampling plan should be approved and documented by Senior Management to make its implementation official. Then, based on the results of monitoring and reporting, the sampling plan should be reviewed and updated as needed.

The departmental directive contains a risk analysis associated with various transaction streams and outlines the main elements of a sampling plan such as sampling populations, transaction streams, sampling review period and sampling approach.

At the time the sampling plan was prepared, the Department did not have a departmental error reporting structure and did not possess historical error records; therefore, an attribute sampling technique could not be applied. As recommended by a recognized accounting firm, the Department is currently using a flat-rate random sampling method to select a predetermined percentage of transactions for post-payment review. While the Department will be in a position to migrate to a sampling methodology once sufficient historical error records are collected, the sample size currently prescribed in the departmental directive is not statistically based and does not allow drawing of conclusions.

The new account verification process has placed a strain on resources in the regions. Some regions needed additional resources to accommodate the sampling process. Other regions had to reorganize their Accounting Services unit to allow for proper segregation of duties, and one region started their government acquisition card review later in the process (September 2010) due to a high volume of government acquisition card transactions and limited resources.

The departmental directive does not establish materiality thresholds for the selection of transactions for post-payment review. For example, based on a list of all transactions from period 1 to 7 of fiscal year 2010-11, the audit team found that 75% of all invoices in the three regions audited were under $1,000 and accounted for only 3% of the total value of these invoices. Furthermore, 83% of the transactions randomly selected by Accounting and Financial Policy for post-payment review were under $1,000 and accounted for only 6% of their total value. For cost effectiveness purposes, some other government departments are using such a threshold for low-risk transactions.

Recommendations:

1. The Chief Financial Officer should approve and promulgate the Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance Sampling and the Departmental Policy on Verification and Payment of Accounts.

2. The Chief Financial Officer should use a statistical sampling method in order to be able to draw conclusions that are reliable and statistically supported.

3. The Chief Financial Officer should introduce notions of materiality in the selection of transactions for post-payment review.

3.2.2 Training and Procedures

The audit found that training was informally conducted and that there are insufficient documented procedures to support the account verification review process. Some of the elements to perform the account verification review are insufficiently defined and are subject to interpretation. As a result, the consistency and quality of reviews would benefit from improvement.

The audit has found that employees have received training on the account verification process, but the training was not formalized. Regional members of the account verification working group acted as instructors to deliver one-on-one training sessions in each region. Training also consisted of informal team meetings to discuss trends or issues.

The checklists used to guide employees and to document errors have been revised several times by the account verification working group and have now been simplified. The Chief Financial Officer Sector provided each region with supporting account verification material and tools. In addition to the departmental directive which includes the checklists, supporting documentation and system reference guides were provided to staff with account verification responsibilities. These materials and tools were used for one-on-one training.

It was also determined that, in addition to the supporting material referred to above, regions visited had developed their own supplemental working tools including: a foreign travel worksheet, account verification process descriptions, a process flow chart, and a guide addressing the documentation requirements for the various contracting instruments. Although most regional finance staff interviewed believed that the level of training was adequate, two regions recognized that documented procedures related to the different payment streams would be a good training tool and would provide consistency in the account verification process. One region started developing its own training manual but due to lack of time, the training manual was not completed. Another region developed a reference binder providing tools for staff to ensure that there was consistency in completing the account verification review checklists.

The audit has found there was a lack of consistency in reviewing some payment streams including electronic payments, payables at year-end settlements, garnishments and capital payments. The audit team also noted that there was inconsistency in the review of some control elements included in the account verification checklists. Without adequate training and procedures, employees are not well positioned to perform their work consistently and may not identify errors resulting in incorrect payments.

The audit team reviewed a judgmental sample of 168 transactions from the three regions visited, covering the period of April 1, 2010 to October 31, 2010. The transactions selected reflected the three types of review: base review (57), gated review (58) and post-payment review (53). The audit team conducted its own account verification review of the selected transactions and compared its findings to those of regional finance units.

Some transactions reviewed by the audit team contained errors that should have been detected through regional review. For example, 39 out of 111 transactions for which gated and post-payment reviews were done contained errors found by the audit team that were not found by regional staff. Approximately 60% of the errors found by the audit team related to the lack of supporting documentation, in particular for electronic payment and payables at year-end settlement transactions. The lack of supporting documentation, such as purchase orders or contracts, did not allow for the verification of other control elements on the checklists including calculation of payments, the signing authority for expenditure initiation and compliance with contractual terms. Other errors led to non-compliance with central agency and departmental policies, directives and guidelines. Some errors related to non-compliance with the signing authority for spending, to the commitment of funds, coding errors and payment calculations.

Recommendations:

4. The Chief Financial Officer should establish, document and distribute procedures to clarify what staff should look for when verifying the control elements included in the checklists.

5. The Chief Financial Officer should develop a national training package and strategy to be used throughout the Department to provide consistency in the training on the account verification process and ensure it is implemented.

3.2.3 Compliance with the Departmental Policy and Directive

Although payment verification review is taking place and is generally carried out in a timely manner and in accordance with the departmental policy and directive, there are instances where this is not respected, to the detriment of overall account verification process effectiveness and efficiency.

Overall, payment verification review is being carried out. As established in the departmental directive, appropriate controls are in place to identify transactions to be reviewed in the regions. Post-payment sampling selections sent to the regions are representative of the sampling limits and are sent out on a timely basis. Regions are conducting their account verification reviews and are detecting errors. Errors are then communicated to line managers and corrected.

One region used a different threshold for the review of a specific payment stream. Although the departmental directive identified high-risk transactions with specific thresholds, one region considered all travel transactions as high risk and verified them all. This region is thus verifying more transactions than required by the departmental directive, which is not a cost-effective approach. It also does not respect the sampling methodology established by the Chief Financial Officer Sector, which should be consistently followed.

Based on our sample, base and gating reviews are carried out in a timely manner; however, post-payment reviews take an average of two months to complete. There are no controls or performance standards in place for post-payment review, such as the timeline for completing the review or timeline for reporting issues to management. There is a risk that the backlog of transactions postponed to the following months lead to mounting workload pressures and that the results of the review may not be included in quarterly reports prepared for management.

Our examination has revealed that 10 out of 53 post-payment transactions selected through sampling were in fact not reviewed. One region explained they identified the issue towards year-end and are currently correcting the situation. In another region, the post-payment review of an electronic payment was not reviewed due to a lack of guideline related to this payment stream. The audit team learned that one region started the review of its acquisition card transactions only last September due to workload issues at the time. The audit team also noted that the monitoring reports do not identify the number of transactions that should have been reviewed; therefore, management is not in a position to determine if all post-payment reviews are done.

As per centralized regional procedures, entry accounts payable clerks should not perform base reviews on batches that they have entered into the system; this should be done by finance clerks. The audit team found that roles and responsibilities are defined, but they need to be clarified between the entry accounts payable clerk and the finance clerk, which presents a risk of the account verification not being completed as the finance clerk is relying on the entry accounts payable clerk to perform the review. In addition, one region did not use a checklist to record errors for base review, and it was unclear whether the entry accounts payable clerk or the finance clerk was performing the review, or if the account verification process was completed at all.

Recommendations:

6. The Chief Financial Officer should, in consultation with the regional directors general and on behalf of the Deputy Minister as the Accounting Officer, reinforce compliance with the departmental policy and directive, including the sampling plan's established risk threshold.

7. The Chief Financial Officer should establish performance standards for conducting post-payment reviews and ensure that mechanisms are in place to ensure that all post-payment transactions selected are reviewed on a timely basis.

8. The Chief Financial Officer should ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly understood and carried out appropriately and that the checklist is used when errors are found.

3.2.4 Monitoring and Reporting

The reporting and monitoring aspects of the new account verification process have yet to be fully implemented mainly due to system issues and the lack of resources to carry it out as intended.

The Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on Account Verification refers to the importance of overseeing the implementation and monitoring of the account verification process, to bring to the Deputy Minister's attention any significant difficulties, gaps in performance or compliance issues, and to help develop corrective measures. Based on the departmental policy, the Chief Financial Officer must provide "assurances to the Deputy Minister on the effectiveness of account verification across the Department, including the provision of any reviews or assessments as well as regular error reporting and timely action to address issues that arise."

Roles and responsibilities for monitoring and reporting are defined in the departmental policy and directive. However, the roles are not carried out as intended because the tools necessary to generate the error reports for the Chief Financial Officer Sector and for departmental and regional management committees are not ready at this time.

The Chief Financial Officer Sector is involved in the development of the monitoring reports. However, due to various system issues such as a new software version of the reporting system introduced in September 2010, the reporting function was not available until November 2010. The Sector was able to create its first reports in November 2010 and these reports were circulated to the regions for validation. At the time of writing this report, the Sector was revising the monitoring reports. Interviews have indicated that due to resource constraints, the reporting and monitoring function did not progress as intended.

In the fall of 2010, the Chief Financial Officer Sector undertook an assessment of the implementation of the new account verification approach by visiting two regions. The assessment consisted of re-performing a review of 25 transactions per region. Some of the Sector's findings were similar to the audit team's findings.

The monitoring and reporting function is one of the essential mechanisms that provide assurance on the effectiveness of account verification across the Department and help ensure that appropriate and timely action is taken to address any issues. Without appropriate reporting, there is a risk that management may not be aware of error rates and trends to be able to take appropriate remedial action.

Recommendation:

9. The Chief Financial Officer should finalize and implement the monitoring and reporting approach, and ensure that the results are disseminated and used effectively to promote enhanced accountability and sound financial management.

4.0 Conclusion

The audit team acknowledges the rapidly evolving framework of the accounting operations and the progress and effort made to implement the new risk-based process. We also recognize the challenges management faced during implementation. The new process has placed a strain on resources as some regions needed additional resources to accommodate the process. Additional resources were requested but not all were granted.

Generally, the audit has shown that a management control framework is in place for the implementation of the new risk-based account verification process. However, some areas need further refinement to ensure effective internal controls and compliance with the legislative and policy framework. Procedures and training to support the account verification review need to be strengthened; and the monitoring and reporting function need to be fully implemented to ensure management has appropriate information to address issues and to recommend or take appropriate remedial action. While the Quality Assurance and Sampling Plan is generally sound, the sampling approach could be improved to ensure conclusions drawn can be statistically supported and to increase process efficiency. All regions are working to make the account verification process as efficient as possible. Regions are conducting their account verification and are detecting errors. Errors are being reported to responsibility centre managers and corrected when required.

The audit found that the new departmental policy and directive are being used; however, they need to be finalized and approved. Except as noted in this report, the audit team concludes that the departmental policy and directive are effective tools for the Department to ensure the adequacy of the account verification process.

5.0 Management Action Plan

5. The Chief Financial Officer should develop a national training package and strategy to be used throughout the Department to provide consistency in the training on the account verification process and ensure it is implemented.

Recommendations

Management Action Plan

Status Report Update

Actions Completed

Actions Outstanding

Target Date

1. The Chief Financial Officer should approve and promulgate the Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance Sampling and the Departmental Policy on Verification and Payment of Accounts.

The Chief Financial Officer will approve the departmental Policy on Account Verification[1].

The Chief Financial Officer will approve the departmental Directive on Account Verification Quality Assurance and Sampling.

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will develop an appropriate communication plan directed at all stakeholders involved in the Account Verification process.

Policy and Directive in draft

Obtain Chief Financial Officer approval of Policy and Directive; Distribute the Policy and Directive

September 2011 for approval of Policy;

December 2011 for approval of Directive and communication plan

2. The Chief Financial Officer should use a statistical sampling method in order to be able to draw conclusions that are reliable and statistically supported.

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will engage a consulting firm with an expertise in account verification to review the current model and develop appropriate statistical methodology;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will contact Other Government Departments, e.g. Public Works and Government Services Canada, in search of best practices in statistical sampling;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will develop a standard sampling plan based on cost effectiveness, assessed risk and the state of internal controls;

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will implement the new sampling plan across the department.

   

December 2011

3. The Chief Financial Officer should introduce notions of materiality in the selection of transactions for post-payment review.

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will establish materiality thresholds in the selection of transactions for post-payment review and ensure these thresholds are adopted across the regions consistently.

   

December 2011

4. The Chief Financial Officer should establish, document and distribute procedures to clarify what staff should look for when verifying the control elements included in the checklists.

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will re-establish the departmental Account Verification Working Group;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will consult with regional financial officers via this working group to review the current checklists, documentation procedures and other supplemental working tools, in order to identify deficiencies and inconsistencies across the regions, and make necessary adjustments;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will develop national standards on supporting documentation required for the account verification process and ensure these standards are adopted across all the regions.

Account Verification Working Group re-established and started to address the Action Plan issues

 

December 2011

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will develop a national training strategy, design a national training package including standardized training manuals;

   

March 2012

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will implement the training across the Department.     March 2013

6. The Chief Financial Officer should, in consultation with the regional directors general and on behalf of the Deputy Minister as the Accounting Officer, reinforce compliance with the departmental policy and directive, including the sampling plan's established risk threshold.

The Chief Financial Officer will set expectations and reinforce requirements for Regional Directors General and Regional Directors of Finance to comply with the Policy and the Directive.

   

December 2011

7. The Chief Financial Officer should establish performance standards for conducting post-payment reviews and ensure that mechanisms are in place to ensure that all post-payment transactions selected are reviewed on a timely basis.

The Chief Financial Officer will set controls and performance standards for post-payment review including the timeline for completing the review and for reporting issues to management, and measures for ensuring completeness in reviewing all the transactions selected for post-payment review, and update the Directive accordingly.

   

December 2011

8. The Chief Financial Officer should ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly understood and carried out appropriately and that the checklist is used when errors are found.

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will provide national direction on Roles and Responsibilities in terms of data entry and data review in the Directive, and will include specific sections on Roles and Responsibilities and details pertaining to the use of the checklists in the national training package.

   

June 2012

9. The Chief Financial Officer should finalize and implement the monitoring and reporting approach, and ensure that the results are disseminated and used effectively to promote enhanced accountability and sound financial management.

The Director General, Financial and Materiel Management Operations will establish procedures and timelines for generating error reports and taking actions on the errors;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will create a national template of the error report and provide appropriate reporting tools to the regions to enable them to generate error reports;

The Director, Accounting and Financial Policy will establish procedures on briefing the error reports results to senior management;

A phased approach will be adopted: Phase 1 is to finalize and put in place the monitoring and reporting process across the regions by Q3 of FY2011-12; Phase 2 is to carry out on an ongoing basis the monitoring and reporting process.

   

December 2011 and ongoing



[1] The Fisheries and Oceans Canada Policy on Account Verification replaces the Policy on Account Verification and Requisitions for Payment dated April 1, 1997.

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