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Departmental Audit Committee

Introduction

The Veterans Affairs Canada Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) was established in 2008. The Departmental Audit Committee is an independent committee comprised of three external members who work with the Deputy Minister, providing advice and recommendations; to ensure that an internal audit capacity exists that meets the needs of the Department.

What is a Departmental Audit Committee?

Most federal departments and agencies are required to establish an independent departmental audit committee under the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit. These committees are required to have a majority of external members who have been recruited from outside of the federal public administration.

Appointed DAC members are seasoned professionals with high-level business management skills and experience who provide objective advice and recommendations to the Deputy Minister on core areas of departmental management, control and accountability.

About Departmental Audit Committees

Departmental audit committees are essential to the Government of Canada’s efforts to ensure the stewardship and accountability of public funds.

All deputy ministers of large departments (all departments other than those designated as small departments and agencies) are responsible for establishing an independent departmental audit committee for their department. These committees provide deputy ministers with advice and review of their department’s spending control and accountability processes to assist in reducing risks and improving the department’s performance.

Mandate

Each departmental audit committee is responsible for establishing a charter that outlines the committee’s responsibilities and assists in the planning and performance of its work. This document is also used when monitoring and reviewing work performed by VAC management to obtain reasonable assurances about the fundamental activities of the Department.

The DAC, under the leadership of the Chair and in consultation with the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is also required to prepare an annual planning calendar to ensure that all areas of responsibility are reviewed.

The following elements of work are to be addressed and used as a basis for its annual planning:

  1. Values and ethics
  2. Risk management
  3. Management control framework
  4. Internal audit function
  5. Office of the Auditor General and central agencies
  6. Follow-up on management action plans
  7. Financial statements and public accounts reporting
  8. Risk and accountability reporting

Each DAC must also prepare an annual report to assess the department’s internal control and internal audit systems, as well as to document any concerns.

Operations of the Departmental Audit Committee

The role, responsibilities, and operations of each departmental audit committee are to be documented in a terms of reference or charter that is approved by the Deputy Minister. This document is reviewed periodically by the Deputy Minister in consultation with other DAC members.

The DAC Chair will prepare, and present to other members, an annual plan to ensure that the ongoing responsibilities of the committee are scheduled and fully addressed.

The DAC meets at least four times a year and plans their meetings one year in advance so that departmental management and auditors can prepare the information and reports required to support the committee’s work.

Members of the Departmental Audit Committee

References

Biographies

Betty-Anne Pratt, Departmental Audit Committee Chair

Departmental Audit Committee - Betty-Anne Pratt, Member

Betty-Anne Pratt is a Chartered Accountant who served 10 years as Provincial Comptroller with the Province of Manitoba. She was responsible for the development of financial management and accounting policies for government, the Central Finance function including payroll, accounts payable, the preparation and production of Public Accounts, and had oversight over the Internal Audit function. Throughout her career, Ms. Pratt played a key role in promoting and facilitating strong comptrollership practices across government through the provision of advice and support to the broader financial community.

Ms. Pratt has almost 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, holding various finance positions at Canada Post Corporation, including controller for Western Canada Real Estate, and was controller for a national property management company.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Honors from the University of Manitoba and received her chartered professional accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.

Lyn Tait, Departmental Audit Committee Member

Departmental Audit Committee - Lyn Tait, Member

Lyn has had a 25-year career in public administration in British Columbia and Alberta. She served as Deputy Minister in several portfolios: British Columbia Ministry of Small Business and Tourism; British Columbia Intergovernmental Secretariat; and the Alberta Department of Career Development and Employment. She has a strong public policy and strategic planning background, and extensive experience dealing with diverse stakeholder groups on sensitive and high profile issues. Her public service career covered a wide range of assignments ranging from provincial negotiator for intergovernmental transfers to advanced education/labour market program planning and administration.

Since leaving the public sector in 2002, Lyn has been engaged in consulting on a number of public policy projects mainly focussed on post-secondary education. She chaired the 2004 cross-Canada consultations for the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the 2005 Development Conference on Work and Learning for the Canadian Council on Learning. She provided consulting services to both the BC Campus 2020 exercise and the New Brunswick Post Secondary Educational Review. She has served as a consultant to the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada in their organizational review; the OECD on issues related to regional development; and has completed strategic planning and policy projects for various government departments and private foundations.

Originally from Newfoundland, with an undergraduate degree from Acadia University and a graduate degree from the University of Alberta, Lyn is an enthusiastic sailor and hiker with a keen interest in the Arts.

Hans Jung, Departmental Audit Committee Member

Departmental Audit Committee - Hans Jung, Member

Commodore Jung completed his medical degree in 1984 at the University of Toronto. He received his Master of Arts in Leadership from the Royal Roads University in 2005. Commodore Jung retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after 31 years of service as Surgeon General and Commander of Canadian Forces Health Service Group. In his semi-retired role, he runs a Veterans Medical Clinic providing direct health care to retired CAF members and RCMP in Ottawa.

Among the achievements, he is very proud to be the "father" of Physician Assistants in Canada having been the lead in introducing this profession to Canada based on the military Physician Assistant profession in the Canadian Armed Forces. Under his leadership, his team was instrumental in the development and implementation of a comprehensive mental health program, reduction in stigma in the military and the development of a network of rehabilitation program for combat amputees through partnership with civilian centers of expertise in rehabilitation. Under his tenure, the CAF healthcare system was the first pan Canadian primary and ambulatory care system to be accredited by Accreditation Canada, encompassing over 42 different clinical sites across Canada. He was also the executive champion that delivered a fully operational bilingual electronic health information system with a PACS to the CF that is connected across Canada and overseas including at sea on board Canadian war ships, a first in Canada. He was also the conceptual developer of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Healthcare Research, a consortium engaging over 40 Canadian universities.

Commodore Jung, being of Korean heritage, was the first and only Canadian of visible minority group to become the Surgeon General and a general/flag officer in the Canadian Forces history.

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