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The assurance engagement of the Processes to Promote and Make Documentary Heritage Available (initially named Interpretive Public Programs) was included in the Risk Based Audit Plan upon a decision made by the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in June 17, 2010.
As set out in section 7 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act ("LAC Act"), the objects (or mandate) of Library and Archives Canada includes the acquisition and preservation of the documentary heritage, to make that heritage known to Canadians and to anyone with an interest in Canada and to facilitate access to it, and to be the permanent repository of publications of the Government of Canada and of government and ministerial records that are of historical or archival value.
The Resource Discovery Sector (RDS) is responsible for most of the activities to promote and make documentary heritage available, such as the LAC website, reference and reproduction services, exhibitions as well as some of the partnering activities related to exhibitions and services. The Office of Stakeholder Relations and the Society and Governance Branch, which report to the Acquisitions Sector, are respectively responsible for developing collaborative arrangements with similar heritage institutions or organizations and for the development of strategies with other federal government departments to improve access to Government of Canada records and publications.
For 2011-2012, the RDS budget included 220 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) and an operational budget of $23.4 million1.
The LAC collection is composed essentially of holdings in two distinct media: analogue and digital. The 2009-2010 Departmental Performance Report provides an overview of the size and diversity of the analogue holdings collection, which includes but is not limited to the following:
The size of the digital holdings collection is estimated at two billion megabytes of digital content. This includes about 15 million images, and approximately 0.3% of the entire collection can be viewed online2.
Accessibility to the LAC collection is also governed by the application of other legislation such as the Access to Information Act, the Copyright Act, the Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Acts, the User Fee Act and the Official Languages Act.
To remain relevant in a rapidly changing information environment, LAC is rethinking the way it does business. As a response to this challenge, LAC has embarked on a modernization exercise to develop a policy-driven and evidence-based global strategy. Twelve modernization innovation initiatives (MIIs) will guide this exercise. All twelve MIIs will affect directly or indirectly the processes to make documentary heritage available, as acquisition and preservation strategies described in the MIIs will influence accessibility strategies and activities. However, the following six initiatives will have a major impact on the accessibility of documentary heritage:
The objective was to assess the relevance and effectiveness of governance, risk management and internal controls to promote and make documentary heritage available to achieve departmental strategic priorities, including those related to the modernization of LAC and its commitment toward citizen-focused services.
The following criteria were based on the Core Management Controls and the risk assessment conducted during the planning phase:
The field work was carried out from December 2010 to October 2011 (except for the summer period, during which no work was performed). It covered all activities that support public access to Canadian documentary heritage, under the RDS, during the testing period of April 1, 2009 to November 30, 2010. Available documentation, until the end of the fieldwork, was considered when warranted. ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy), Copyright, Description and Contextualization of Documents (PAA 2.3.1), access to Government of Canada records and publication activities, and the interface with other organizational units involved in partnering activities were scoped out.
This assurance engagement provides a lower (moderate) level of assurance than an audit. The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) Policy on Internal Audit was used as a reference document during the conduct of this engagement.
Specifically, the field work included a variety of moderate assurance procedures. These included but were not limited to the following:
1 2011-2012 LAC's Report on Plans and Priorities
2 2009-2010 LAC Departmental Performance Report