26 Sep 2017
11:00 - 11:50
Auditing Oversight in Public Sector OrganizationsWe live in an age of intense and continuously heightened vigilance regarding the activities of public sector organizations. The pressures, risks and challenges facing the public sector are both growing and evolving and the machinery of accountability has grown increasingly elaborate at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. For accountability to work properly, all parties to the accountability relationship–departments, crown corporations and public authorities, external and internal auditors, and oversight bodies–play important and interdependent roles. Working together, they are the foundation for an accountable, transparent, well-governed and high-performing public sector. Oversight is a critical governance function performed by boards of directors, committees, councils, and other bodies. Oversight refers to the actions taken to review and monitor public sector organizations and their policies, plans, programs, and projects, to ensure that they:
- are achieving expected results;
- represent good value for money; and
- are in compliance with applicable policies, laws, regulations, and ethical standards.
- delegating the delivery of programs and services to newly created agencies, boards or authorities; or
- outsourcing the delivery of programs, services or capital projects to private sector partners, through public-private partnerships or other types of contractual agreements.
- identify the causes of breakdowns in oversight (audits of oversight are often conducted after a significant failure, crisis, or scandal);
- highlight weaknesses and inefficiencies in oversight regimes (thus helping auditees to prevent breakdowns in oversight);
- point to best practices;
- make recommendations for improvements; and
- help departments, agencies, boards and authorities to improve their oversight performance and avoid repeating past mistakes.