Report on the Audit of Managing Demand

6. Audit Scope

The audit focused on Justice’s managing demand activities conducted in fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16. Specifically, it focused on two lines of inquiry: 1) the MDI deliverables; and 2) how Justice is positioned to continue managing demand beyond the MDI.

The first line of inquiry focused on the following deliverables for the MDI:

  • establishing addenda with partner departments to identify low risk, low priority work not requiring legal advisory support; and
  • developing a common inventory of tools to help screen, triage, redirect and resolve requests for legal services.

We also assessed progress in achieving the planned reductions in FTE positions and related A base savings as part of the MDI, but did not assess whether the MDI’s planned savings for NVA and cost avoidance have been achieved. The process for assessing these latter savings is under development by the Department’s Business Analytics team.

The audit’s second line of inquiry focused on Justice’s efforts to sustain and support managing demand in the longer term. This includes ongoing, whole-of-government efforts to contain the cost of legal services by reducing the volume of partner department requests for legal services. Specifically, the audit included activities up to the point where Justice accepts legal work requested by partner departments. It did not, however, include management decisions on assigning work or on efforts to perform the work more efficiently.

Finally, the audit only considered efforts to manage demand within advisory services. Although these concepts apply to the legislative and litigation lines of business, most of Justice’s efforts to date have focused on managing demand within advisory services.

7. Audit Approach

We carried out our mandate in accordance with Treasury Board’s Policy on Internal Audit and the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada. The audit employed various techniques including a risk assessment of the audit entity, stakeholder interviews, as well as reviews and analysis of documentation and information.

In the planning and conduct phases of the audit, we conducted interviews with the MDI co-leads and team members, staff from Justice’s Change Management Office, and staff from Management and CFO Sector. We reviewed key governmental and departmental strategy documents associated with the Legal Services Review; departmental documentation such as business analytics reports, information on past and present initiatives; communications on the Department’s recent reorganization; and documents in support of the implementation and oversight of the MDI, including reporting to oversight bodies. We analyzed all addenda for 2015-16 signed with partner departments, as well as the 2016-17 addenda that were available at the time of the audit.

We held interviews with select DLSU heads during the planning and conduct phases of the audit. For a judgmental sample of DLSUs, we obtained and reviewed documents evidencing their efforts to manage demand and analyzed their reporting on tools and strategies in place to manage demand.

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