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Canada 2010 ENG

1. At the request of the Auditor General of Canada, an international peer review team reviewed the Quality Management System (QMS) that the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) uses to manage its audit and assurance practice. The objective of the peer review was to provide an independent opinion on whether the OAG’s QMS was suitably designed and operating effectively to provide reasonable assurance that the work of the OAG complied with relevant legislative authorities and professional standards.
2. The period under review covered audit and assurance engagements reported during September 2008 to October 2009. The review criteria were based on relevant legislative authorities and Canadian assurance and auditing standards. The peer review team was led by the Australian National Audit Office and also included representatives from the supreme audit institutions of the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
3. The peer review team found that, for the period under review, the QMS for performance audit, special examination and annual audit was suitably designed to provide reasonable assurance that the work of the OAG complied with relevant legislative authorities and professional standards. Also, the QMS was operating effectively for the performance audit and special examination practices. For the annual audit practice, the QMS was generally operating effectively, but there were implementation issues in relation to the following areas that need attention:
• The completeness of the risk assessment procedures informing the nature and extent of
further audit procedures; and
• The sufficiency of audit documentation recording the results of the audit work
4. This report sets out the peer review team’s observations about the design and operation of the QMS as it applied to the OAG’s performance audit, special examination and annual audit practice. The report includes two recommendations to improve the completeness of the risk assessment procedures and the sufficiency of audit documentation. The OAG agreed to these recommendations.
5. Suggestions for the OAG to consider as it continues to improve its audit practices have also been included. In addition, the report describes good practices adopted by the OAG that will be of interest to other audit offices. These practices include the OAG’s approach to managing its relationship with Parliament, its effort to disseminate a clear and consistent message in its performance audit reports and its support for collaborative audits.