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Audits and Evaluations

Audit of Management of the Contribution Agreement with the Canadian Council of Archives

Prepared for
National Archives of Canada (NA)

Prepared by
Consulting and Audit Canada
Project No.: 330-1290

March 2003

Executive Summary

Consulting and Audit Canada was engaged to conduct an audit to determine whether the transfer payment program of the National Archives of Canada (NA) is adequately managed and administered in accordance with the TB Policy on Transfer Payments. The audit was carried out on behalf of the Audit and Evaluation Division, Strategic Management Office. The audit fieldwork was carried out between December 2002 and February 2003. Specifically, the audit included an assessment of the policies and procedures put in place at the NA and at the Canadian Council of Archives with the view to ensuring that Public Funds are prudently managed and used in compliance with the terms and conditions associated with the funds.

The NA is facing a renewal of the terms and conditions for its transfer payment programs by March 31, 2005, as required by the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments. This audit of the management and administration of grants and contribution programs highlights the challenges faced by the NA to ensure that its transfer payment program responds to the current TB policy requirements.

Based upon the audit, following are the key issues faced by the NA:

Corporate Governance

  • The NA's relationship with the CCA has evolved over 20 years. The relationship was formed in the early 1980s, when the NA played a particular role within the larger archival community. During this time, the NA has taken on duties incompatible with its responsibilities as a funding agency.
  • The TB authorities in the original submission are out of step with the current TB policy. This suggests a need to revisit both the NA's vision as it relates to the CCA and the TB authorities for the related contribution program.

Program Administration

  • A review of the program delivery framework revealed that the NA's historical relationship with the CCA has been focused on ensuring the flow of funds occurs on an annual basis, providing funding assistance to the national archival community and has not focused on key policy requirements regarding control of expenditures and program process.
  • Best managed transfer payment programs require synergy with operational considerations. Since its inception, the NA transfer payment program has been situated at the executive level. Alignment with an operational arm of the NA would benefit overall management of the program.

Overall Conclusion

A number of challenges are faced by the NA to ensure that its program meets the TB Policy requirements for renewal of its transfer payment program by March 31, 2005. The recommendations contained in this report are of strategic importance and require the attention of NA Senior Management to ensure follow-up and corrective action.

Management's Perspective

Management of the NA is accepting the issues presented in this report and we will address these, including our relationship with the archival community, as part of the transformation leading to the creation of the Library and Archives of Canada.

To obtain a copy of the complete audit report, please contact:

Marie-Josée Dionne-Hébert
Manager, Internal Audit
Library and Archives Canada
Floor: 8 - Room: 41, 550 de la Cité Blvd
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4
Telephone: 819-934-4308
Fax: 819-934-5888
Email: audit-verification@bac-lac.gc.ca