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Internal Audit Charter

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1. Introduction

Elections Canada's Internal Audit Charter has been revised and updated as part of a regular review process and in response to the revised Treasury Board (TB) Policy Suite on Internal Audit, which became effective on July 1, 2009.

2. Effective Date

This Charter takes effect on June 25, 2010. It replaces the Internal Audit Charter of January 2009.

3. Mission, Responsibility and Scope of the Internal Audit Function

The mission of the internal audit function is to provide independent and objective assurance services designed to add value to and improve Elections Canada's operations. It helps the agency accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of:

Given the size, risk profile and resources of Elections Canada, it has been decided not to appoint a full-time Chief Audit Executive (CAE). Instead, the duties and responsibilities of the CAE have been assigned to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), with due provision for dealing with any conflicts that might arise.

The Chief Electoral Officer and senior management are responsible for ensuring that management controls are effective to promote achievement of goals and to mitigate risks. The internal audit function is an important means to assist the Chief Electoral Officer and senior management to discharge this responsibility.

Internal Audit will conduct selected examinations of activities that are judged to be higher risk or where the Chief Electoral Officer requires added assurance that controls are effective.

The scope of work of the internal audit function is to determine whether the agency's network of risk management, control and governance processes, as designed and represented by management, is adequate given the agency's size, risk and resources and whether these processes achieve their objectives.

When opportunities for improving management control, sound resource stewardship and the agency's image are identified during audits, they will be communicated to the appropriate level of management.

4. Legislative and Policy Authorities

The Charter has taken into account the requirements of sections 16.1 and 16.2 of the Financial Administration Act, which require the Chief Electoral Officer to ensure that the agency has internal audit capacity appropriate to its needs and to establish an audit committee in accordance with directives issued by the Treasury Board.

The Charter also ensures compliance with the TB Policy Suite on Internal Audit. Section 2.3 of the policy provides that deputy heads of agents of Parliament may authorize any departures from specific policy requirements that they deem appropriate in light of the governance arrangements, statutory mandate and risk profile of the organization. The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer complies with the principles of the TB Policy Suite on Internal Audit. However, the Chief Electoral Officer has authorized the following departures to preserve the independence of Elections Canada as an agent of Parliament:

5. Responsibility

The CAE and staff of the internal audit function are responsible for:

6. Authority

The CAE and staff of the internal audit function are authorized to:

7. Independence and Conflicts

To provide for the independence of the internal audit function, its personnel report to the CAE, who reports directly to the Chief Electoral Officer and has access to the Audit Committee in a manner outlined in the section on accountability. The CAE will include as part of his or her reports to the Audit Committee a regular report on audit activities.

The CAE's responsibilities have been assigned to the CFO, whose responsibilities include non-audit functions. The CAE understands the importance of the objectivity and independence of the internal audit function. The Risk-Based Audit Plan will include audits on activities under the Chief Financial Officer, Internal Audit and Administration. In addition, all audits can include a finance component and, possibly, a recommendation addressed to the CFO. To maintain the independence of the audit function in such cases, the Director, Internal Audit will include appropriate external quality assurance on all audits covering the sector. The Director shall also have appropriate access to the Chief Electoral Officer and Audit Committee members if needed.

8. Accountability

The CAE, in the discharge of his or her duties, shall be accountable to the Chief Electoral Officer and the Audit Committee to:

9. Standards of Audit Practice

The internal audit function will be guided by the TB Policy Suite on Internal Audit (revised July 2009) and by professional standards, including standards of the International Professional Practices Framework of the Institute of Internal Auditors.



Approved by the Chief Electoral Officer on September 29, 2010




1 Treasury Board of Canada, Policy on Internal Audit, July 2009, 5.4.4.

2 Treasury Board of Canada, Policy on Internal Audit, July 2009, 5.6.2.

3 Treasury Board of Canada, Policy on Internal Audit, July 2009, 5.6.6.

4 Treasury Board of Canada, Policy on Internal Audit, July 2009, 5.6.7.

5 Treasury Board of Canada, Policy on Internal Audit, July 2009, 5.8.2.

6 Treasury Board of Canada, Directive on Chief Audit Executives, Internal Audit Plans, and Support to the Comptroller General, Section 5.