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Archived - Audit of Enforcement and Investigation Services (EIS)

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) internal audit function provides the President, senior officials and agency managers with an independent capability to perform audits of the resources, systems, processes, structures and operational tasks of the CFIA. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assessing and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

The internal audit function is accountable to the CFIA's Audit Committee, of which the President is a member. All internal audit findings and recommendations must be reported to the Audit Committee, and all audits must be carried out in accordance with federal policy and legislative requirements, including the 2012 Policy on Internal Audit and the 2006 Federal Accountability Act.

CFIA internal audit projects are selected based on highest significance during an annual agency planning process, which are then reflected in the Agency's Audit Plan for review by Audit Committee and approval of the President.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an internal audit of its Enforcement and Investigation Services (EIS). The audit's scope includes EIS operational practices and a sample of the 3,188 EIS files initiated between April 2006 and August 2009 across the CFIA's four Areas.

The objective of the audit was to provide assurance that EIS files, activities and supporting functions are undertaken consistently and in compliance with the Enforcement and Compliance Policy (1999).

The audit reports that with minor exceptions, EIS case files that were examined comply with CFIA enforcement and compliance policy. The audit also identifies opportunities for the Agency to improve and streamline its activities.

Key Findings

The CFIA continually improves its programs and protocols. Management's commitment to addressing recommendations made by internal audits like this one is a critical part of that continual improvement.


The audit recommends that a current compliance and enforcement policy and supporting strategic direction for EIS be completed and approved. It recommends that a governance structure be included that clearly prescribes authorities, roles and responsibilities and reporting mechanisms to support the fair and consistent application of enforcement and investigation activities across the Agency.

The CFIA is addressing this recommendation.


The audit recommends that standard operating procedures that govern the application of enforcement measures including enforcement escalation be developed.

The CFIA is addressing this recommendation through various initiatives (target completion date: September 2012).

Risk Management

The audit recommends that a risk-based process should be formalized, implemented and monitored to ensure that higher-risk EIS files are given priority, case-loads are manageable and fair and consistent enforcement and investigation activities are supported across the Agency.

The CFIA is addressing this recommendation (target completion date: December 2012).

Complete report:

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