Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting 2013-14 (unaudited)

1. Introduction

This document provides summary information on the measures taken by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.

Detailed information on OCOL's authority, mandate and program activities can be found in the 2013–14 Departmental Performance Report and the 2014–15 Report on Plans and Priorities.

2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting

2.1 Internal control management

OCOL has a well-established governance and accountability structure to support organizational assessment efforts and oversight of its system of internal control. An organizational internal control management framework, approved by the Commissioner, is in place and includes:

  • Organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management, including roles and responsibilities of senior managers in their areas of responsibility for control management;
  • Values and ethics;
  • Ongoing communication and training on statutory requirements, and policies and procedures for sound financial management and control; and
  • Monitoring of and regular updates on internal control management, as well as the provision of related assessment results and action plans to the Commissioner and organizational senior management and, as applicable, the OCOL’s Audit and Evaluation Committee (AEC).

The AEC provides advice to the Commissioner on the adequacy and functioning of the OCOL's risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes.

2.2 Service arrangements relevant to financial statements

OCOL relies on other organizations for the processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements as follows.

Common Arrangement

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada centrally administers the payments of salaries and the procurement of goods and services in accordance with OCOL’s Delegation of Authority, and provides accommodation services.

Specific Arrangements

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada provides OCOL with a financial system platform—the Common Departmental Financial System (CDFS)—to capture and report all financial transactions; and
  • Public Works and Government Services Canada provides OCOL with an employee pay administration service to capture all pay transactions.

3. Organizational assessment results during fiscal year 2013-14

During 2013-14, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages completed design and operating effectiveness testing in various key control areas. A new ongoing monitoring plan was developed.

3.1 Design effectiveness testing of key controls

In 2013-14, OCOL completed design effectiveness testing of controls and administration of pay, procurement and supplier payments as a key business process. Remediation of key control deficiencies is substantially advanced in this control area.

As a result of design effectiveness testing, OCOL identified the following required remediation:

  • Redefine the filing process by incorporating the new electronic filing system, which is better adapted to organizational needs; and
  • Improve the account verification process prior to payment of pay transactions (section 33 of the Financial Administration Act), based on a sampling methodology.

3.2 Operating effectiveness testing of key controls

In 2013-14, OCOL completed operating effectiveness testing of its procurement and supplier payment general controls. Required remediation has been completed for contracts.

As a result of the operating effectiveness testing, OCOL identified the following required remediation:

  • Improve certain contract forms and templates to make them more consistent and to make record-keeping more efficient.

4. Organizational action plan

4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2013-14

During 2013-14, OCOL continued to make significant progress in assessing and improving its key controls. The following table summarizes the organization’s progress based on the plans identified in the previous fiscal year’s annex.

Progress During Fiscal Year 2013-14

Element in previous year’s action plan Status
Design and operating effectiveness testing Design effectiveness completed, and remediation of design deficiencies advanced. However, certain tests deferred until 2015-16 because of other management priorities.
Operating effectiveness testing of key controls Operating effectiveness testing and remediation advanced. However, certain tests deferred until 2015-16 because of other management priorities.
Ongoing monitoring plan The plan has been developed and describes various measures, including the establishment of rotational assessments.

4.2 Status and action plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent years

Key control areas Design effectiveness testing and remediation Operational effectiveness testing and remediation Ongoing monitoring rotation
Procurement and supplier payment 2013-14 2013-14 2015-16
Salaries / pay administration 2013-14 2014-15 2016-17
Delegation of financial signing authorities for disbursements (signature cards) 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Asset and inventory management 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Hospitality and events 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Travel expenses 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Travel by non-public servant 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Business travel credit cards 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Manage acquisition cards 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
IT general controls under organizational management 2014-15 2014-15 2016-17
Budgeting and financial resource management and monitoring 2015-16 2015-16 2017-18
Financial close and reporting 2015-16 2015-16 2017-18
Interdepartmental settlements 2015-16 2015-16 2017-18
Accountable advances (petty cash) 2015-16 2015-16 2017-18