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Executive Summary

Approval of a disability pension or award application requires the establishment of a relationship between the claimed disability or injury and service. Service and health records (SHR) that are held at the Department of National Defence (DND), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), or at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are the primary means to establish this relationship.

The digitization of SHRs was implemented to improve internal processes and expedite service to Veterans seeking disability benefits.

The objective of the audit was to assess the management control framework, determine compliance with applicable policies and processes, and assess turnaround times and identify opportunities to improve efficiency. The scope of the audit included requests for digitized service health records between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.

The audit team noted that the implementation of the digitization of SHRs decreased the time it takes to receive service and health records, which supports the Department’s transformation agenda of expedited service to VAC recipients. Additionally, digitized SHRs are accessible electronically by multiple authorized users at one time, which is required when a Veteran has applied for disability benefits for more than one condition.The audit also found that Privacy Impact Assessment did not reflect the processes in place since 2013 for receiving digitized versions of service and health records and that memoranda of understanding related to the digitization of SHRs should be revised to adhere to the Guideline on Service Agreements. Relevant Departmental business processes were also out of date.

This audit engagement was planned and conducted to be in accordance with the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada. Overall, the audit team determined the results to be “generally acceptable”.

Chief Audit Executive’s Signature

Sheri Ostridge
Chief Audit Executive

Date: 2017-03-07

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