2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada—Interim Auditor General releases 2019 Spring Reports

2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of CanadaInterim Auditor General releases 2019 Spring Reports

Ottawa, 7 May 2019—In his 2019 Spring Reports tabled today in Parliament, the interim Auditor General of Canada, Sylvain Ricard, presents 5 performance audits of government programs and activities completed since last fall by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Copies of the previously released reports of the audits of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Canada Post Corporation, Marine Atlantic incorporatedInc. and the National Museum of Science and Technology were also included with this release.

The audit of the call centres found that half of 16 million callers could not speak to an agent at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or for Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security. Seven million callers were redirected to an automated system or to a website, or were disconnected. Another million callers hung up. The situation is unlikely to improve in the near future, given that a 5-year modernization project has resulted in upgrades to only 8 of the government’s 221 call centres.

The audit of asylum claims found that Canada’s refugee system has been unable to adjust to spikes in volume. Claims are not being processed within the two-month target set by the government, and backlogs and wait times are worse now than when the system was reformed in 2012.

The audit of e-commerce found that the Canadian sales tax system had not kept pace with the rapidly evolving digital marketplace, and that the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency had not done enough work to ensure that all sales taxes are collected and remitted to the government.

The audit focusing on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found that officers did not always have access to the hard-body armor and carbines they need to protect themselves and the public. The audit also showed that a lack of planning around the addition of the carbine to the RCMP’s inventory had impacted the maintenance of these semi-automatic rifles and the annual retraining of officers.

The audit of the mechanism the government has put in place to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for partisan advertising found that there was little documentation to show that reviews had been conducted with sufficient rigour to address the risk of partisanship.

The 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada and the Highlights of the reports are available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada Web site.

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