- Why is Internal Audit important for the City?
- Internal Audit is an integral part of the City’s corporate governance structure. It is one of several components that guide and promote accountability and transparency in City policies and procedures. Other areas of governance include the Audit Committee, Lobbyist and Gift Registries, and oversight of the Integrity Commissioner and Ontario Ombudsman.
- What is the role of Internal Audit?
- Internal Audit’s mandate is to facilitate continuous improvement in City policies and procedures. Working in partnership with the organization, Internal Audit plays a pivotal role in identifying risks and makes recommendations to mitigate them. Effective corporate governance helps reduce risks in organizational practices.
- Who oversees the City’s Internal Audit division?
- The Internal Audit division reports to the Chief Administrative Officer. Audit reports prepared by the Internal Audit division are presented to Audit Committee.
- How do you determine what audits are conducted?
- Internal Audit develops a risk-based work plan to add value and improve the operations of the City. Risks can be around finances, people and culture, operations and technology – to name a few. Internal Audit keeps the Audit Committee apprised of its work plan.
- Are audit findings shared publicly?
- Audit reports are presented at Audit Committee meetings, held every quarter. These meetings are open to the public. Depending on the nature of the audit, some audit reports could be considered in closed session i.e. not open to the public.
- What is the need for a closed session?
- The Municipal Act, 2001 allows for Council and Committees to meet in a closed session format (i.e. in-camera) for specific and limited matters set out in the legislation. This could include matters relating to land acquisition or disposition, litigation or potential litigation, information identifying an individual etc. Internal Audit, in consultation with the City’s Legal team, identifies reports that need to go in closed session.
- How do you ensure that audit report recommendations are followed?
- In the audit report, Internal Audit assigns priority levels, ratings, and specific timelines for implementing recommendations. Follow up audits are conducted where required and reported back to the Audit Committee.
- What are the audit ratings?
- Audit ratings identify the efficiency of key controls in place:
Effective (where only minor enhancement required)
Enhancement Required (few key control weaknesses; corrective action and oversight needed)
Significant Improvement Required (numerous key control weaknesses with significant financial impact)
Immediate Action Required (inadequate or lack of key controls, confirmed fraud, accelerated action timeline)
- What actions are taken if audit recommendations are not followed?
- Internal Audit maintains regular contact with City management to follow up on timely execution of recommended actions. An update report is presented to the Audit Committee and if required, the Audit Committee can escalate the matter to Council.
It is in the interest of management to work in partnership with Internal Audit and follow recommendations to maintain efficient processes and minimize potential risks.
- What are the benefits of an in-house Internal Audit function?
- For the size and structure of an organization such as the City of Brampton, the in-house audit model brings immense value by way of the skills set and knowledge base of the team and is better placed to understand the risks based on the City’s strategic direction.