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Audit of the Animal Pathogen Import Permit Process

Internal Audit

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting function designed to add value and improve the Agency's operations. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

Internal audit engagements are authorized as part of the CFIA's risk-based audit plan, which is updated at least annually for approval by the President. Internal audits are carried out in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit and the Institute of Internal Auditors' International Professional Practices Framework. Final internal audit reports are approved by the President on the recommendation of the CFIA audit committee.


The Health of Animals Act and its regulations grant the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) the legislative authority to control the import and use of animal pathogens in Canada.

CFIA is responsible for issuing animal pathogen import permits for indigenous terrestrial pathogens in animal products or by-products, aquatic animal pathogens, bee pathogens, emerging animal pathogens and foreign terrestrial animal pathogens.

The objective of the audit was to determine whether CFIA had adequate controls in place to manage the animal pathogen import permit process, including facility certification. The expected controls are defined by the audit criteria, for example: clear roles and responsibilities, availability of information for decision making, performance tracking etc. The audit covered the time period between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018.

Key Findings

The audit concluded that, overall, CFIA had adequate controls in place to manage animal pathogen import permit issuance and facility certification. However, there were opportunities for improvement in the monitoring of facilities' compliance with import permit conditions, the facility certification process, and the permit issuance process. The audit also concluded that CFIA collaborated effectively with the PHAC to regulate pathogen importation and perform joint facility certification inspections.

Complete Report

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