What to Expect—An Auditee’s Guide to the Performance Audit Process

14—Glossary of terms

Adviser—An individual recognized as a leader in their field of expertise and selected by the audit to provide advice on the scope and significance of audit issues, lines of enquiry, identified risks, and audit scope, but not to make decisions. Advisers may be internal or external to the Office and are selected on the basis of their skills, expertise, relevant knowledge on a particular audit, and experience.

Audit plan summary—A document that provides information to entity management about the audit at the beginning of the examination phase. This document outlines the objectives, scope, approach, and criteria of the audit; the areas and other entities, if any, subject to audit; the team members (names and security clearance levels); and the time frames for the audit phases.

Audit team—A team of auditors responsible for conducting an audit, which may be a financial audit, a performance audit, or a special examination. The audit team reports to an audit principal and may be comprised of both Office of the Auditor General and contract staff.

Auditor—A member of an audit team responsible for conducting an audit. The auditor may be either an employee of the Office of the Auditor General or a consultant assigned to the audit team.

Audit principal—A principal within the Office of the Auditor General who has overall responsibility for conducting a performance audit that may involve one or more entities. The audit principal is responsible for managing the entire audit cycle and a team of performance auditors, and ensuring the quality of audit products produced by the team.

Deputy minister (DM) transmission chapter—A draft chapter that incorporates entity comments on the initial draft chapter (PX draft) and that has been reviewed by designated senior management of the Office of the Auditor General. Its purpose is to obtain comments from the deputy minister/head of the audited entity, entity responses to recommendations, and planned corrective actions, and to address any disagreements.

Entity—A federal department, agency, or other entity (for example, foundation) that is subject to an audit under the Auditor General Act.

Entity principal—An audit principal in the Office of the Auditor General who is designated to serve as the primary liaison person or point of contact between the Office and the entity. The entity principal is responsible for coordinating with other OAG teams on audits affecting the entities for which he/she is responsible.

Management letter—A formal letter from the Office of the Auditor General that identifies situations or information from the audit that are important enough to be brought to the attention of management but not necessarily to the attention of Parliament, or that fall outside the audit scope.

Numbered/controlled documents—Protected documents, such as the entity plan summary and draft report chapters, provided to entity officials or to other appropriate external parties during a performance audit. Recipients are required to ensure the confidentiality of these documents and to return them to the Office of the Auditor General no later than one week after tabling of the report.

Performance audit—An audit that examines the government’s activities or programs, against established criteria, to determine whether it is carrying them out with due regard to economy, efficiency, and environmental impact, and whether it has measures in place to determine how effective they are.

Principal’s (PX) draft chapter—An initial draft chapter provided to audited entities for review and comment prior to publication. Entity management’s views are obtained on the validity and completeness of audit observations, conclusions, and recommendations. Extracts of the PX draft are sent for confirmation and validation of facts to other federal entities that are not included in the scope of the audit and that are referred to (directly or indirectly) in the chapter, as well as to other third parties referred to in the chapter.