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Internal Audit

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									Internal Audit 


                               




                               
   Audit of the Management of the 
          Returning Officers 
                               
                               
                               
                               
                                  August 2009 
                               
                               
Table of Contents


Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... 3
1.     Introduction........................................................................................................................... 5
     1.1      Background ..................................................................................................................... 5
     1.2      Objectives ....................................................................................................................... 5
     1.3      Scope............................................................................................................................... 5
     1.4      Methodology ................................................................................................................... 6
2.     Statement of Assurance ........................................................................................................ 7
3.     Overall Assessment ............................................................................................................... 8
     3.1      Audit Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 8
     3.2      Scorecard: Current Project Status ................................................................................... 9
4.     Observations and Recommendations................................................................................ 11
     4.1      Compliance ................................................................................................................... 11
     4.2      Effective in Meeting Elections Canada Requirements ................................................. 11
     4.3      Carried-out in a cost-effective manner ......................................................................... 15
     4.4      Adequate Monitoring .................................................................................................... 16
5.     Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 19
Appendix A – Audit Methodology............................................................................................. 20




2                                                                                                                             Elections Canada
Executive Summary

The Chief Electoral Officer appoints, on the basis of merit, returning officers to conduct electoral
events in the 308 electoral districts in Canada, for a 10 year period. Each returning officer
administers the electoral process in a federal electoral district and ensures that it is handled fairly
and impartially.

Elections Canada assists and provides extensive support to returning officers in maintaining their
readiness for an election call. Returning officers draw on a training program, a large number of
operational manuals, and planning tools to ensure that they are ready for an election.

This audit was identified in the risk-based audit plan as one of the earlier engagements that
should be conducted and closely monitored as a result of the exposure that the returning officers
have in the electoral process. With the recent back-to-back minority governments, this has
become increasingly important.

The audit provides assurance to senior management that the processes, practices and procedures
to manage returning officers are compliant with the Canada Elections Act, effective in meeting
Elections Canada requirements, carried out in a cost-effective manner, and adequately
monitored.

The audit assessed the overall management processes at headquarters and among the field liaison
officers for the recruitment, training, administration, support and evaluation of returning officers.
The scope of the audit covered the most recent period for which data is available for each
activity and focused primarily on activities between electoral events, while recognizing that there
is often overlap with activities conducted during a general election.

The audit was conducted from November 2008 to February 2009.

In general, the audit showed that Elections Canada’s processes, practices and procedures used to
manage returning officers are sound. Appropriate controls are in place to identify, assess and
mitigate program risks associated with the management of returning officers.

Activities at headquarters to manage returning officers are compliant with the Canada Elections
Act and other legislation, in particular pertaining to their recruitment and budgeting processes. In
general, they effectively meet Elections Canada requirements in assisting the returning officers
to conduct successful events while being carried out in a cost-effective manner. Through
extensive monitoring, issues and risks are identified and communicated to the appropriate groups
in a timely manner. The key findings and recommendations cover the professionalization of
returning officers, the continuous learning program for returning officers, and the budget control
required under the current approach in the Tariff of Fees.




Internal Audit                                                                                       3
The full implementation of the professionalization of the returning officer as defined in the
Elections Canada Strategic Plan 2008-2013 has yet to be implemented. It is important to
continue to develop and implement practices that will ensure that the Strategic Plan initiative to
professionalize the role of the returning officer is achieved. This would include defining what
constitutes professionalizing the role of the returning officer, developing an action plan to
implement the initiative and monitoring its progress.

The recruitment process for returning officers has been successfully implemented. Although
initial training is provided for them, there is a recognized need for a continuous training program
for returning officers.

Finally, a formal budget is in place that is used to manage and allocate resources to returning
officers. The current approach provides detailed control of the budget of returning officers. This
approach is required under the Tariff of Fees. Elections Canada, in consultation with its
financial, legal and operation sectors, should review and assess the present Tariff of Fees to
determine which areas require amending in order to fully accomplish the strategic initiative to
professionalize the role of the returning officer, and carry out activities in a cost-effective
manner.




4                                                                                    Elections Canada
1. Introduction

1.1 Background
The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer is an independent, non-partisan agency set up by
Parliament. Its mandate includes being prepared at all times to conduct a federal general election,
by-election or referendum. Under the new legislation, the responsibility for appointing and
dismissing Returning Officers now rests with the Chief Electoral Officer rather than the
Governor in Council. This amendment received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006 and came
into force February 10, 2007.

To support this mandate, the Chief Electoral Officer appoints, on the basis of merit, returning
officers to conduct electoral events in the 308 electoral districts in Canada, for a 10 year period.
Each returning officer administers the electoral process in a federal electoral district and ensures
that it is handled fairly and impartially. Due to election readiness priorities, all 308 returning
officers were trained and in place by April 2007.

Elections Canada assists and provides extensive support to returning officers in maintaining their
readiness for an election call. Returning officers draw on a training program, a large number of
operational manuals, and planning tools to ensure that they are ready for an election.

This audit was identified in the risk-based audit plan as one of the earlier engagements that
should be conducted and closely monitored as a result of the exposure that the returning officers
have in the electoral process. With the recent back-to-back minority governments, this has
become increasingly important.

1.2 Objectives
The audit will provide assurance to senior management that the processes, practices and
procedures to manage the returning officer are:
•   compliant with the Canada Elections Act and other legislative and policy requirements;
•   effective in meeting Elections Canada requirements;
•   carried out in a cost-effective manner; and
•   adequately monitored.

1.3 Scope
The audit assessed the overall management processes at headquarters and among the field liaison
officers for the recruitment, training, administration, support and evaluation of returning officers.
The scope of the audit covered the most recent period for which data is available for each
activity, focusing primarily on activities between electoral events while recognizing that there is
often an overlap with activities conducted during a general election.




Internal Audit                                                                                     5
The audit of the returning officer was approved in the 2008-09 Risk-Based Audit Plan and took
place during the period November 2008 to February 2009.

1.4 Methodology
The audit was conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS)
and the requirements set out in the Treasury Board’s policy on Internal Audit. The key tasks
associated with the audit included reviewing Elections Canada documentation and interviewing
Elections Canada staff and a representative from both the returning and field liaison officer
groups. The audit team followed the approved audit criteria developed during the planning phase
of the audit, which can be found in Appendix A.




6                                                                                Elections Canada
2. Statement of Assurance

In my opinion as Chief Audit Executive, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been
conducted and evidence gathered to support the accuracy of the opinion provided and contained
in this report. The opinion is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time,
against pre-established audit criteria that were agreed with management. The audit opinion is
only applicable to the entity examined, as described in the audit scope section of the report.




Internal Audit                                                                                     7
3. Overall Assessment

3.1 Audit Conclusion
The report presents the results of an internal audit of the management of returning officers by
Elections Canada. The purpose of the audit is to provide assurance that the processes, practices
and procedures to manage returning officers are compliant, effective, cost-effective and
monitored.

In general, the audit shows that Elections Canada’s processes, practices and procedures for
managing returning officers are sound. The management of returning officers is compliant with
the Canada Elections Act and other legislative and policy requirements. Appropriate controls are
in place to identify, assess and mitigate program risks associated with the returning officer. In
general, activities to manage returning officers are adequately monitored to ensure that they are
effective and efficient. Moreover, processes exist to improve the management of returning
officers. For example, post-mortems are held after every general election and feedback from
those is addressed and incorporated in future processes.

The professionalization of returning officers, as defined in the Elections Canada Strategic Plan
2008-2013, has not been fully implemented. The recommendations are based on the need to
continue to develop and implement practices that will ensure that this Strategic Plan initiative is
achieved. This would include defining what constitutes professionalizing the role of the returning
officer, developing an action plan to implement the initiative, and monitoring its progress.

The recruitment process for returning officers has been successfully implemented. Although
initial training is provided, there is a recognized need for a continuous training program for
returning officers.

The authority to recruit returning officers is vested in the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.
However, budgeting and financial administration is vested in the Tariff of Fees, which puts
constraints on how the activities and budgets of returning officers can be managed.

The constraints imposed by the present Tariff of Fees may inhibit the ability of Elections Canada
to implement new approaches to managing returning officers. In implementing the
professionalization of returning officers, Elections Canada will have to review the present Tariff
of Fees, in consultation with its financial, legal and operational sectors, and determine whether
the Tariff of Fees requires amendment.




8                                                                                   Elections Canada
3.2 Scorecard: Current Project Status
The following scorecard presents the overall result of the audit for each criterion. The rating
presents the current level of improvement based on the status at the time of the audit, with a
high-level comment on what was observed during the audit.

                                                   Scorecard
                 Criteria                 Rating                             Explanation
          Refer to Appendix A
Compliance
Requirements of the Canada Elections                Operational processes and procedures, such as the RO
Act, other legislation and policies are             recruitment and budgeting processes, incorporate the new
met.                                                legislative changes to the Canada Elections Act.
Effective in meeting Elections
Canada requirements
Governance structure is established.                The internal governance structure is comprised of four
                                                    committees, each having a clear mandate. Organization charts
                                                    and statements of work are clear and communicated.
Strategic directions are clearly                    Senior management’s mandates are aligned and clearly
defined, communicated and aligned                   articulated in the current five-year strategic plan.
with EC's strategic plan.
The business operating plan and                     Professionalization of the returning officers is addressed in the
human resources plan are appropriate                Strategic Plan; however, no operational plans are in place to
and linked.                                         professionalize the role of the returning officer.
Risk management processes are                       An Operations management program identifies, addresses and
established and documented.                         mitigates risks.
Program organization, policies and                  Organizational roles and responsibilities with respect to the
procedures are appropriate.                         administration and support of the RO are established and
                                                    clearly articulated in the RO Manual.
Appropriate activities for the                      Recruitments, incorporating the abilities and experience
recruitment of returning officers are               requirements of the RO position as part of the selection
established.                                        criteria, are timely and supported by sound analysis, including
                                                    reference and background checks.
Training and development activities                 The initial training is well established; however, there is no
for returning officers are established.             continuous learning program in place to support ROs between
                                                    events.
Carried out in a cost-effective
manner
A formal budget process is in place.                 The RO Manual and preliminary notification of budget
                                                    amounts provides a formal process to manage and allocate
                                                    resources; however, the Tariff of Fees demands a detailed
                                                    level of budget control that is not conducive to enhancing the
                                                    autonomy of the returning officer.
A process exists to analyze, review                 The budget process is regularly reviewed and evaluated by its
and improve the cost-effectiveness of               users after each event to identify improvements. New IM/IT
the program.                                        strategies also assist in the cost-effectiveness of gathering and
                                                    updating voter information.




Internal Audit                                                                                                      9
              Criteria                Rating                           Explanation
         Refer to Appendix A
Adequate monitoring
Program activities are adequately              Management continuously monitors the activities of ROs and
monitored by management.                       associated potential risks and identified issues. Processes are
                                               in place for reporting completed tasks.
Performance evaluation of returning            The task-driven performance evaluation process utilizes a
officers has been established.                 yes/no format. It does not provide a more substantive analysis
                                               that evaluates the required competencies of the RO.
Issues and risks identified are                Suggestions and complaints are reviewed, discussed and acted
communicated to the appropriate                upon.
groups in a timely manner.




10                                                                                           Elections Canada
4. Observations and Recommendations

The details of each observation, conclusion and recommendation resulting from our audit
procedures for each objective are outlined below.

4.1 Compliance
The recent recruitment of returning officers by Elections Canada was authorized under the
enactment of the Canada Elections Act as amended by the Federal Accountability Act and has
resulted in the improvement of services provided to the electoral districts. Changing the
appointment of the returning officer from a political appointment to a competitive selection
process based on predetermined selection criteria and competencies has resulted in a service with
fewer problems than experienced in the past.

4.2 Effective in Meeting Elections Canada Requirements

Professionalize the role of the returning officer

While the initiative to professionalize the role of the returning officer is articulated in Elections
Canada’s Strategic Plan, it has not yet been carried forward into operational plans. Operational
plans do not identify and define the various components of the initiative (i.e. recruitment,
autonomy, performance evaluation and continuous training) and describe the tasks, roles and
responsibilities of the operational groups that must work together to make the concept an
operational reality.

The initiative has been embraced and supported throughout the electoral process; however, what
professionalizing actually entails is neither clear nor understood. The audit team concludes this is
the result of the following:
•   There is not yet a definition of what the professionalization of returning officers means.
•   No action plan has been developed to professionalize the role of the returning officer as
    directed in the Strategic Plan;
•   The initiative has not yet been articulated in the performance management agreements of
    those responsible to implement it;
•   There is no evidence indicating that there are comprehensive discussions of the initiative at
    management and senior management meetings; and
•   Minority governments have unavoidably affected Elections Canada’s ability to focus on its
    longer-term direction.




Internal Audit                                                                                     11
The fact that a returning officer is an office-holder rather than an employee, combined with the
residency requirement for remaining in the position, and the difficulty in determining an annual
workload all contribute to make the position unique. This has resulted in different perceptions on
what the levels of autonomy, authority and responsibility should be, and how the position can be
managed.

Without a clear definition of what it means to professionalize the role of the returning officer and
without an implementation action plan, Elections Canada’s ability to focus on its longer-term
initiative is at risk of not being fully realized.

There is also a potential that can be explored, to establish the returning officer as the Elections
Canada representative in the electoral district, responsible for both the promotion of the electoral
process and the ongoing update of the electoral role.

Recommendation
   1. The definition of what constitutes “Professionalizing the role of the returning officer”
      should be clearly articulated and disseminated.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

A consultant has been hired to prepare a “Management Framework” document on
“Professionalizing the role of the Returning Officer”. One of the deliverables included in the
document is a clear definition of what constitutes “Professionalizing the role of the Returning
Officer”. That information will be used as a base for the preparation of a “Project Initiation
Document (PID)” and will be disseminated throughout the organisation and to field personnel.

September 2009.




12                                                                                   Elections Canada
Recommendation
   2. It is recommended that management develop a comprehensive action plan to further
      professionalize returning officers that identifies tasks, responsibilities, accountabilities
      and realistic timelines for implementation.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

A comprehensive action plan will be developed as part of the “Management Framework” and
will include tasks, responsibilities, accountabilities and a more refined timeline for
implementation.

March 2010.




Recommendation
   3. It is recommended that management monitor the progress of the initiative, along with its
      associated risks.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

This will be stated in great detail in the “Business Requirements Definition” phase. The business
requirements definition will include project control mechanisms that will be regularly monitored
by management.

March 2010.




Training

The initial training for newly appointed returning officers is well established, commencing with a
face-to-face introduction session with the field liaison officer and a six-day course held in
Ottawa, where the requirements of the position are reviewed. The training has been well received
by the incumbents appointed since the new selection process has been in place.




Internal Audit                                                                                  13
The retention of knowledge presents a challenge during the four-year period that occurs during
the normal general election cycle. An actual general election may be held soon before or long
after the initial training. Knowledge is currently maintained by yearly meetings with the field
liaison officer, other returning officers in the region and a representative from Elections Canada
headquarters. Material is circulated from headquarters to provide updates and the returning
officers receive compensation for the time required for its review.

Plans are underway for the establishment of a newsletter; however, it is unlikely that this alone
will meet the challenges of knowledge retention and contribute to the development of a sense of
community that is an essential element to professionalize the role of the returning officer.

The training program for new appointees is well established; however, it does not support a
continuous learning and development curriculum after the initial training. The development of a
learning curriculum that goes beyond initial training needs is dependent upon the returning
officer achieving a higher degree of autonomy and the implementation of a more comprehensive
performance evaluation process that includes the assessment of the returning officer’s
competencies.

While the returning officer training and development program is being reviewed, a review of
alternative training models should be undertaken. On-line training is becoming more prevalent in
the both the public and private sectors. It has cost advantages over the traditional classroom
approach with respect to travel and accommodation costs, especially for operations that cover
large geographical areas. A trainee can complete the on-line courses whenever convenient.

Recommendation
   4. Elections Canada should develop a returning officer training program that addresses a
      learning curriculum that goes beyond initial training needs.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

The Directorate will develop a new training curriculum that will cover the overall RO training. It
is expected that the business requirements phase of the professionalisation of the role of the
returning officer will include requirements specific to training such as: pre-training assignments,
classroom training, and post-training assignments, along with an on-going Web based tutorial
pilot project.

September 2010




14                                                                                  Elections Canada
Recommendation
   5. Elections Canada should consider alternative training delivery models, such as on-line
      training.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

The Directorate will consider alternative training delivery models in the form of an on-going
Web based tutorial project as part of the new training curriculum..

September 2010




4.3 Carried-out in a cost-effective manner

Budgeting

The budget for an electoral district is prepared prior to an electoral event. The returning officer is
not required to prepare submissions for the budget, as the fees and allowances are provided in the
Tariff of Fees and the budget is set by headquarters based on the projected workload for the
electoral district.

Returning officers may request, with justification, additional funds from the Elections Canada
Support Network, with each requirement to be submitted separately. The field liaison officer will
advise headquarters on the validity of the requirement, to assist in the approval decision by
headquarters. E-mail authorization for the additional funding will be received by the returning
officer within a few hours of the request if headquarters approval is granted. The Tariff of Fees
directs returning officers to submit a claim with supporting documentation for all approved
expenditures during and between events.

The present budgetary control procedures mandated by the Tariff of Fees are anchored within the
former Elections Canada regime, when the returning officer was a political appointee. Under the
new regime, established by the Canada Elections Act as amended by the Federal Accountability
Act, the political appointment process was discontinued and Elections Canada was delegated the
authority to recruit returning officers through a competitive selection process based on
predetermined selection criteria and competencies. Elections Canada’s new recruitment
responsibility was the initial step towards professionalizing the role of the returning officer.




Internal Audit                                                                                      15
The next step, to provide greater autonomy, is limited under the current Tariff of Fees. The Tariff
of Fees is very restrictive in nature and does not provide Elections Canada the latitude and
flexibility in its budget and expenditure procedures to provide greater autonomy to the returning
officer. The approach that was established when returning officers were political appointees, if
carried forward and maintained in its present state, will not facilitate professionalization of the
role of the returning officer. Effectiveness and efficiency gains anticipated by Elections Canada
through the increased autonomy of returning officers may not be fully realized.

If the role of the returning officer is to be Elections Canada’ representative for both the ongoing
promotional activities of the electoral process and the updating of the electoral role, then an
annual budget would facilitate institutionalizing these activities. The assignment of budgetary
submission and reporting responsibilities would be a positive step forward in achieving the
strategic initiative to professionalize the role of the returning officer.

Recommendation
   6. Elections Canada, in consultation with its financial, legal and operation sections, should
      review and assess the present Tariff of Fees to determine what areas require amending in
      order to fully accomplish the strategic initiative to professionalize the role of the
      returning officer.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

A working group responsible for the review of the Tariff of Fees already exists and is looking at
areas that would have a significant impact in accomplishing the strategic initiative to
professionalize the role of the returning officer. One of the areas that is being looked into is a
monthly retainer. Further discussions are necessary – the Expenditure Restraint Act must be
considered in any amendment to the Tariff of Fees related to election officer fees. A presentation
highlighting proposals for amending the tariff will be made to EXCOM.

March 2011.




4.4 Adequate Monitoring

Performance evaluation

The returning officer’s performance evaluation process is based on the satisfactory or not
satisfactory achievement of performance indicators. At the conclusion of an election, the field
liaison officer completes the evaluation by assessing each performance indicator and forwards it
to headquarters. The headquarters functional authorities that have assigned tasks to the returning
officer during the period since the previous election include their input into the performance




16                                                                                  Elections Canada
evaluation and then forward it to the returning officer for comment and signature. Performance
information used to evaluate the returning officer’s performance is at the task level; it does not
go beyond this level to evaluate the achievement of the position’s competencies initially used to
recruit the returning officer.

All performance evaluations are reviewed by the Evaluation and Recruitment Section in
headquarters and if an unsatisfactory performance has the potential to be corrected, training will
be provided. If the collective conclusion at headquarters is that intervention will not resolve the
performance issue, the process to remove that individual from office will commence.

The current performance evaluation process needs improvement in the following areas:
•   The current performance indicators focus only on tasks and do not include competencies;
•   No performance agreements are prepared and signed by returning officers prior to the
    commencement of the performance period that articulate both the operational and
    competencies performance indicators that the returning officer will be assessed against; and
•   No process is in place to integrate performance assessment information acquired during and
    between events.

The returning officer’s training needs and subsequent training plans are based only on the
achievement of performance indicators that are task-driven. A more robust and comprehensive
evaluation process would include both operational and competency performance indicators.

At the time of the audit, the performance appraisal process had not been completed for the 40th
general election. This was the first time the current process was used and it was not possible to
assess whether or not it constructively identified weaknesses and subsequent learning and
developmental opportunities. However, the audit team did conclude that the process did not
assess returning officers based on competency performance indicators.

Recommendation
   7. The performance evaluation process should include an evaluation of the required
      returning officer competencies, providing a more comprehensive process to identify
      learning and developmental opportunities.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

Key returning officer (RO) competencies are identified and listed in the Returning Officers
Selection Criteria. This document constitutes the cornerstone of the RO recruitment and
selection process and is available on Elections Canada’s website when an external appointment
process is launched (i.e.: a public competition).




Internal Audit                                                                                   17
We are presently reviewing and updating the performance indicators and measurement criteria at
the core of the performance evaluation program. During this review, we are considering and are
integrating these competencies in the scope of the new performance measurement tools.

Regarding the identification of learning and development opportunities, it should be noted that
all returning officers were given the opportunity to identify learning and development
opportunities at the moment of reviewing and signing their performance evaluation report card.
In this regard, the Field Readiness Directorate, Training Division will consider the feedback
received from the community of ROs and tailor the RO training program to improve their overall
competencies.

March 2010




Recommendation
   8. Returning officers’ performance agreements should be prepared and signed prior to the
      commencement of the performance period that articulates both the operational and
      competencies performance indicators that the returning officer will be assessed against.

Management Response
Responsible position: Director, Field Personnel Readiness;

We agree with the recommendation.

Even though there are no formal RO Performance agreements at this time, it should be noted that
returning officers do sign a declaration, at the time of appointment, confirming that they will
abide by the Code of Professional Conduct for Election Administration. The Code constitutes a
CEO instruction as per paragraph 16c) of the Canada Elections Act.

A more comprehensive evaluation process will be developed that will be made available to
returning officers upon nomination to provide them with the criteria against which they will be
evaluated between and during electoral events. The returning officer will be asked to review the
criteria and understand that they will be evaluated against them.

December 2009




18                                                                                Elections Canada
5. Conclusion

The returning officers are an essential and integral part of a fair and transparent electoral process.
Elections Canada management of returning officers has been modified in general to correctly
reflect the new approach under the federal Accountability Act. Management continues to invest
in the management of returning officers to ensure that proper training and development activities
support their needs, not only during electoral events but between events as well. To further
improve the management of returning officers, Elections Canada should:
•   Define the professionalization of returning officers and develop an action plan to implement
    the initiative;`
•   Create a continuous learning program for returning officers;
•   Review the Tariff of Fees and identify whether amendments are required.

With the new mandate to professionalize them, there is an opportunity to view returning officers
more as managers for their electoral districts.




Internal Audit                                                                                      19
Appendix A – Audit Methodology

The audit was carried out through interviews with management, staff and other stakeholders,
such as returning officers and field liaison officers, together with a review of pertinent
documentation and appropriate testing. The audit methodology addressed roles and
responsibilities for the management of returning officers, including processes, practices and
procedures followed to assess the audit objectives, namely, compliance with the Canada
Elections Act and other legislative and policy requirements; effectiveness of the RO management
program in meeting Elections Canada requirements; whether it is carried out in a cost-effective
manner; and whether it is adequately monitored.

Documentation review included relevant legislation, manuals, procedures, directives, financial
and non-financial reports, periodic reports to operational sector management and senior
management for decision-making, as well as all relevant documentation pertaining to the
management of returning officers.

The following criteria and sub-criteria have been developed to address each audit objective, and
were reviewed by management before the conduct of the fieldwork phase of the audit.

                     Criteria                                          Sub-Criteria
                                            Compliance
 Requirements of the Canada Elections Act, other      Activities at headquarters to manage the returning
 legislation and policies are adhered.                officers are planned in compliance with legislative
                                                      and policy requirements.
                   Effective in meeting Elections Canada requirements
 A governance structure is established.               A clear and effective organization structure is
                                                      established and documented.
                                                      Authority, responsibility and accountability are
                                                      clear and communicated.
                                                      An effective program management governance
                                                      structure is established with a clear mandate that
                                                      includes roles with respect to governance, risk
                                                      management and controls.
 Strategic   directions   are clearly      defined,   The program has a clearly defined and
 communicated and aligned with            Elections   communicated strategic direction and objectives
 Canada's strategic plan.                             aligned with Elections Canada’s overall strategic
                                                      outcomes.
 The business operating plan and human                The program has in place operational plans and
 resources plan are appropriate and linked.           objectives aimed at achieving its strategic
                                                      direction.
                                                      Strategic human resources and business planning
                                                      are clearly aligned and consider current and future
                                                      needs of Elections Canada.
 Risk management processes are established and        The program has a documented approach to risk
 documented.                                          management.




20                                                                                        Elections Canada
                      Criteria                                           Sub-Criteria
                                                        The program identifies and assess risks that may
                                                        preclude the achievement of its objectives.

                                                        The program identifies and assesses the existing
                                                        controls that are in place to manage its risks and
                                                        formally respond to its risks.
                                                        Program management planning and resource
                                                        allocation discussions consider risk information.
 Program organization, policies and procedures          Processes established at headquarters to
 are appropriate.                                       administer and support the returning officers are
                                                        appropriate.
                                                        The program has resources to support research
                                                        and analysis.
                                                        The program has a formal and rigorous approach
                                                        to policy and program design.
                                                        External and internal environments are monitored
                                                        to obtain information that may signal a need to re-
                                                        evaluate the program's objectives, policies and/or
                                                        control environment.
 Appropriate activities to recruit returning officers   The program has a recruitment process that is
 are established.                                       appropriate and timely to deliver the mandate of
                                                        Elections Canada.
                                                        Elections Canada identifies its current and future
                                                        requirements for returning officers and analyzes
                                                        them against existing competencies and
                                                        capacities.
 Training and development activities for returning      The program has processes and practices to
 officers are established.                              ensure the Strategic Plan initiative to
                                                        professionalize the returning officer is properly
                                                        implemented.
                                                        The program provides returning officers with the
                                                        necessary training, tools, resources and
                                                        information to support the discharge of their
                                                        responsibilities.
                             Carried out in a cost-effective manner
 A formal budget process is in place.                   A formal process is in place to manage the budget
                                                        of the activities at headquarters relating to
                                                        returning officers.
                                                        A formal process is in place to allocate resources
                                                        to returning officers’ budgets.
 A process exists to analyze, review and improve        Cost-effectiveness is integrated in the business
 the management of the program.                         analysis and planning process.
                                                        A process exists to solicit comments relating to
                                                        improvements from management, returning
                                                        officers and field liaison officers.
                                                        The program leverages information technology as
                                                        a cost-effective tool to enhance services and
                                                        access for returning officers.




Internal Audit                                                                                            21
                    Criteria                                         Sub-Criteria
                                     Adequate monitoring
 Program activities are adequately monitored by     Management monitors actual performance against
 management.                                        planned results and adjusts course as needed.

                                                    Deviations from policies, procedures and codes of
                                                    conduct     are   documented       and     promptly
                                                    investigated and remedial action is taken.
 Performance evaluation of returning officers has   Performance measurement strategies are in place
 been established.                                  and are applied for all returning officer and field
                                                    liaison officer policies, programs and initiatives.

                                                    The program has in place a system for the
                                                    performance evaluation of returning officers.
                                                    Performance measures are reviewed on a
                                                    periodic basis and updated as required.
                                                    Responsibility for monitoring and updating
                                                    performance      measures      is    clear    and
                                                    communicated.
                                                    Suggestions and complaints are captured and
                                                    communicated to relevant internal parties.
 Issues and risks identified are communicated to    Formal communication processes exist and
 the appropriate groups in a timely manner.         support sharing of timely, relevant and reliable
                                                    information with returning officers, field liaison
                                                    officers and Elections Canada
                                                    Issues identified are communicated         to   the
                                                    appropriate groups in a timely manner.




22                                                                                      Elections Canada

								
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