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2.0 About The Audit

2.1 Audit Objectives

The objectives for the audit are:

  1. To determine if Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is in compliance with policies, regulations and procedures for the remission of overpayments.
  2. To identify opportunities to correct systemic issues generating overpayments. The audit criteria are presented in appendix B.

2.2 Scope

The scope was limited to remissions that were reported in the 2010/2011 Public Accounts. Process controls were reviewed, as well as the nature and origination of the overpayment errors. However, any potential overpayments that should have been recorded as a remission but not reported were not in the scope of this audit. Potential unreported remissions will be covered as part of the scope of a future audit of overpayments. Audit planning commenced in September 2011 with the analysis completed in January 2012.

2.3 Methodology

The audit was conducted in accordance with the Institute of Internal Auditors' (IIA) Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, as required under the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit. To achieve the audit objectives, the following methodologies were used:

  • Interviews with employees at VAC’s Head Office (HO) and Kirkland Lake Regional Financial Officer (RFO), to gather an understanding of the current remission process as well as to gather necessary data for the audit.
  • The auditors performed a walkthrough with staff at VAC HO to obtain an understanding of processing remissions. This walkthrough also enabled the audit team to assess efficiency and effectiveness of the remission process.
  • A non-statistical random sample of 67 remissions (50% of the population) was drawn from a total population of 134 remissions processed during fiscal year 2010/2011. The sample drawn enabled the audit team to assess if the remission was processed appropriately, what program the overpayment originated from, the cause of the overpayment and timeliness of processing.
  • Supporting documentation such as policies, procedures, directives and business processes were reviewed. The review helped to determine if staff had access to policies and procedures in order for remission transactions to get processed accurately, timely and according to policy.

2.4 Statement of assurance

In the professional judgment of the Chief Audit Executive, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to support, with a high level of assurance, the accuracy of the audit opinion provided in this report. This audit opinion is based on a comparison of the situation at the time of the audit and the pre-established audit criteria that were agreed on with management. The audit opinion is only applicable to the entity, process and system examined. The evidence was gathered in compliance with Treasury Board policy, directives, and standards on internal audit and the procedures used meet the professional standards of the Institute of Internal Auditors. The evidence has been gathered to be sufficient to provide senior management with a high level of assurance on the audit opinion.

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