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Fiscal year 2020-2021 - Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility including Internal Control over Financial Reporting - Unaudited

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting
  3. Departmental assessment results for the to fiscal year
  4. Departmental Action Plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years

Fiscal year -

1. Introduction

This document provides summary information on the measures taken by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.

Detailed information on the department's authority, mandate and core responsibilities can be found in the Departmental Plan for the to fiscal year and the Departmental Results Report for the to fiscal year.

2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting

In this section

2.1 Internal control management

The CSA has a well-established governance and accountability structure to support departmental assessment efforts and oversight of its system of internal control. A department internal control management framework, approved by the deputy head, is in place and comprises:

  • organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management, including the roles and responsibilities of senior departmental managers for control management in their areas of responsibility;
  • values and ethics;
  • ongoing communication and training on statutory requirements, and policies and procedures for sound financial management and control;
  • The monitoring and regular updates on internal control management, carried out through the communication of an annual internal control plan to the deputy head and senior departmental managers, and through the communication of evaluation results and action plans to the senior departmental managers that are responsible for the processes targeted by the tests as well as to the deputy head. Furthermore, the evaluation results and action plans are transmitted twice a year to the Departmental Audit Committee.

The Departmental Audit Committee provides advice to the deputy head on the adequacy and functioning of the department's risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes.

2.2 Service arrangements relevant to financial statements

The CSA relies on other organizations for processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements, as follow:

2.2.1 Common service arrangements

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) which administers the payment of salaries and the procurement of goods and services, and provides accommodation services;
  • Shared Services Canada which provides IT infrastructure services;
  • The Department of Justice, which provides legal services;
  • The Treasury Board Secretariat, which provides information on public service insurance and centrally administers payment of the employer's share of contributions toward statutory employee benefit plans.

Readers of this document may refer to the annexes to the Statement of Management Responsibility including Internal Control over Financial Reporting of the above-noted departments for a greater understanding of the systems of internal control over financial reporting related to these specific services.

2.2.2 Specific arrangements

  • The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food provides the CSA support services for the SAP financial system;
  • The Department of Transport Canada provides support services for the human resources management system at the CSA.

3. Departmental assessment results for the to fiscal year

In this section

The following table summarizes the status of the ongoing monitoring activities in accordance with previous fiscal year's rotational plan.

Progress during the to fiscal year
Key Control Areas Ongoing monitoring Progress Status
CONTROLS OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING
ENTITY LEVEL CONTROLS
Performance Appraisal Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted. No weaknesses were found.
Delegation Instrument and Assignment of Delegated Authority Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted. No weaknesses were found.
GENERAL IT CONTROLS
General IT Controls Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted. No weaknesses were found.
PROCESS LEVEL CONTROLS
Payroll Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted and weaknesses have been identified. Corrective measures have been implemented.
Operating Expenditures - Travel and Hospitality Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted and weaknesses have been identified. Corrective measures have been implemented.
Work in Progress - Capital Assets, Project investments Yes Ongoing monitoring testing was conducted and weaknesses have been identified. Corrective measures are still being developped.

In addition to conducting ongoing monitoring activities, we analyzed and submitted quarterly, to the Office of the Comptroller General, outstanding overpayments and underpayments resulting from the implementation of Phoenix. Furthermore, we have reported problem cases to the CSA Compensation team for their analysis and correction.

We also analyzed and prepared a management action plan to ensure that CSA implements the Office of the Auditor General recommendation on pay management, following their audit of the consolidated financial statements of the Government of Canada.

Also, due to the pandemic and its possible impact on the validity, accuracy and completeness of financial statements, we performed additional monitoring activities on the procurement to payment, management of grants and contributions processes as well as month / year end financial reporting procedures and financial reports. No significant control weaknesses that would affect the validity, accuracy and completeness of financial statements were observed during the additional verifications.

The key findings and significant adjustments required from the current fiscal year's assessment activities are summarized in subsections 3.1 and 3.2.

3.1 New or significantly amended key controls

In the current fiscal year, there were no significantly amended key controls in existing processes that required a reassessment.

3.2 Ongoing monitoring program

As part of its rotational ongoing monitoring plan, the department completed its reassessment of entity-level controls and the financial controls within the business processes such Performance Appraisal, Delegation Instrument and Assignment of Delegated Authority, Travel and Hospitality, Work in progress, payroll and general IT controls.

The key financial controls evaluated for the above-mentioned processes were found to be operating effectively to prevent any significant misstatement to the Financial Statements.

Although no significant control weaknesses were observed, the CSA identified erroneous transactions that led to the proposal of improvements in order to strengthen the control environment. Management action plans to address the recommendations were developed by the process owners. Corrective measures have already been implemented to rectify the situation or will be developed as follows:

Travel

  • Verify that the blanket travel authorities (BTAs) are complete, particularly with regard to the types of expenses authorized, and that they are properly stored.

Corrective measures have been implemented.

Work in progress – Capital Assets, Project investments

  • Make employees aware on the importance to accurately confirm the project closure costs and to coordinate the assets transfer in a timely manner.

Corrective measures are still being developed.

Payroll

  • Provide training session on the processing of compensation for part-time employees and implement adequate reviews in order to detect and correct errors in a timely manner .
  • Sensitize staffing managers with delegated authority on the need for timely approvals of acting assignments and on compliance with their delegated authority. These measures will decrease late payments to employees, reduce the risk of error and improve pay action processing time by compensation team.

Corrective measures have been implemented.

4. Departmental Action Plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years

CSA's rotational ongoing monitoring plan over the next fiscal years is shown in the following table. The ongoing monitoring plan is based on:

Rotational ongoing monitoring planTable note 1
Key Control Areas - - - and up
CONTROLS OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING
ENTITY LEVEL CONTROLS
Budgeting and Forecasting - Yes - -
Organizational Risk Management - Yes - -
Mandatory Training - - - Yes
Performance Appraisal - - - Yes
Delegation Instrument and Assignment of Delegated Authority - - - Yes
GENERAL IT CONTROLS
General IT Controls Yes Yes Yes Yes
PROCESS LEVEL CONTROLS
Payroll Table note 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Operating Expenditures - Travel and Hospitality - - Yes -
Operating Expenditures - Procurement to payment Yes - - -
Write-Off and Disposal - Yes - -
Work in Progress, Project investment - Capital Assets - - - Yes
Transfer Payments - Yes - -
Month / Year-End procedures and Financial Reports - - - Yes
CONTROLS OVER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Chief Financial Officer attestation - - Yes -
Planning and Budgeting Yes - - -
Costing - - Yes -
Investment planning - Yes - -

In addition to the rotational ongoing monitoring plan included in the internal control system, the CSA will follow up on corrective actions based on the findings listed in section 3.2 Ongoing monitoring program.

The CSA will also continue to analyze employee payroll problems related to the Phoenix system

Finally, working remotely due to the pandemic has had an impact on CSA's control environment. At this point in time, we believe that the level of risk is manageable, there has been no significant changes in the level of employees performing the usual tasks and the volume or complexity of transactions has remained the same. Testing in - will pay particular attention to process changes and the functioning of new or existing key controls.

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