Special Examination—Canada Council for the Arts—Canada Council for the Arts has the opportunity to apply lessons learned to continue improving its practices

Special Examination—Canada Council for the ArtsCanada Council for the Arts has the opportunity to apply lessons learned to continue improving its practices

Ottawa, 18 June 2018—The Canada Council for the Arts has made public the report of the special examination completed by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. The special examination covered selected systems and practices that were in place between 1 November 2016 and 31 October 2017. Under the Financial Administration Act, federal Crown corporations are subject to a special examination by the Auditor General at least every 10 years.

Overall, we found that Canada Council for the Arts did a good job of managing the Corporation while undergoing a significant transformation process and responding to associated challenges. The audit found areas requiring improvements in both corporate management and operational areas, but these did not affect the Corporation’s ability to deliver on its mandate.

For the management of grant programs, the audit examined legacy grant programs; the Corporation was transitioning to new programs and processes under a new funding model at the time of the audit. For those legacy programs, the audit found some weaknesses in recipient selection processes. For example, checklists to assess application criteria were not tailored to specific programs, and some employees involved with awarding grants had not declared their independence by completing required conflict of interest forms. In the future, as the Corporation rolls out its new grant programs and related processes, it will be important that these and other weaknesses are addressed.

On the corporate management side, the audit found that the Corporation needed to improve on risk mitigation. For example, the Corporation had identified that it needed to improve how it managed projects that develop new information technology tools. Though the Corporation had begun taking corrective actions, it needed to create a detailed plan to address this gap.

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A special examination examines the systems and practices of a Crown corporation that are key to providing it with reasonable assurance that its assets are safeguarded and controlled, its resources are managed economically and efficiently, and its operations are carried out effectively. Special examination reports are therefore a source of important information that parliamentarians can use to hold Crown corporations to account.

This special examination report will be included in the Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to be presented to Parliament in Fall 2018. It is available on the Crown Corporation’s website.

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