Special Examination—Canadian Museum for Human Rights—Canadian Museum for Human Rights releases audit report

Special Examination—Canadian Museum for Human RightsCanadian Museum for Human Rights releases audit report

Ottawa, 16 March 2018—Today, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights made public the results of an audit conducted over the last year by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Under the Financial Administration Act, federal Crown corporations are subject to such audits by the Auditor General at least every 10 years.

The audit found a significant deficiency in the way the Corporation’s strategic direction was set. Though the Corporation submitted its corporate plans to the Minister of Canadian Heritage for the past four years, none were approved by the government. Without an updated government-approved corporate plan, the Corporation was challenged to plan for the long term.

The audit found a second significant deficiency in the appointment by the government of members to the Corporation’s Board of Trustees. By the end of 2017, only 4 of the Board’s 11 trustees would have unexpired terms. The Corporation does not control the process to appoint Board trustees.

The audit also noted weaknesses in risk management. It found that the Corporation had documented the top risks it faced and identified mitigation responses, but that some of these responses were vague and lacked timelines. For example, the descriptions of mitigation responses to cybersecurity risks were too general to communicate their extent or when they were to take place. Until the Corporation strengthens its practices to monitor actions to mitigate risks, it cannot be sure that potential threats to its operations, assets, and reputation are being handled appropriately.

As far as museum operations, the audit found that the Corporation had good practices for delivering visitor programs and monitoring operations. However, it did not plan exhibits and programs far enough in advance, or consider the human resources necessary to carry out projects. Additionally, the audit found weaknesses in how the Corporation’s systems and practices for developing exhibits ensured that the content was balanced and accurate. Rigorous systems and practices to ensure balance and accuracy of the museum’s exhibits reduce the likelihood of introducing errors and bias.

The audit report will be included in the Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to Parliament in Spring 2018. It is available on the link to a portable document format (PDF) fileCrown Corporation’s website.

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