Report on the Audit of the Delegation of Financial Authorities
February 2014

Executive Summary

Conclusion

1. The Department has an overall adequate framework for managing the delegation of financial authorities. There is a formal Departmental Delegated Financial Authorities Chart where authorities are delegated to positions aligned with the organizational structure. There are documented policies and procedures, as well as an effective process for Specimen Signature Card management and authentication of signatures.

2. However, improvements are required in the following areas, which present a medium risk to the Department: separating authorities delegated to functional positions; implementing a risk-based quality assurance and monitoring function; formalizing process for review of the delegation of authorities; enhancing the challenge function for the authorities delegated to individuals; and developing an in-house Departmental training program.

Background

3. This audit was identified in the departmental Three-Year Risk-based Audit Plan, 2012-2013 to 2014-2015 which was recommended by the Departmental Audit Committee and approved by the Deputy Minister in March 2012. The objectives were to: provide assurance that processes and instruments in place for the delegation of financial authorities in the Department comply with the requirements of applicable government legislation and policies; and, assess the effectiveness of controls supporting the ongoing management and exercise of financial authorities in the Department.

4. The audit team examined and assessed:

  • The Departmental Delegated Financial Authorities Chart, associated instruments, and tools as well as the process to issue and maintain Specimen Signature Cards;
  • Communication and training activities, as well as guidance documents for Responsibility Centre Managers and functional specialists;
  • A sample of expenditure transactions to determine their compliance with Departmental authorities; and
  • The process for quality assurance of the payment process and monitoring compliance.
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