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Archived - Audit of Real Property

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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

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 2009 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.


In 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an internal audit of real property. This audit notes that as of March 31, 2010, the CFIA had land valued at $3.3 million, and buildings with a net book value of $81.2 million disclosed in the audited financial statements. The scope of this audit included the management of the 10 laboratories and 15 quarantine and inspection stations listed in the Treasury Board (TB) Directory of Federal Real Property.

The objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the CFIA, as a custodian of Agency owned and operated facilities, is in compliance with the TB Policy on Management of Real Property. The audit opinion found opportunities for improvement and the report proposed five recommendations.

The CFIA continually improves its programs and protocols, and management's commitment to addressing recommendations made by internal audits like this one is a critical part of that continual improvement. Some of the issues identified in this audit have already been addressed, and the CFIA is working on the additional actions needed to address the remaining issues.

Key Findings

Need for clear oversight for the management of the CFIA's real property portfolio: As of March 2012, the Agency consolidated authorities and responsibilities for real property under the Corporate Management Branch portfolio to ensure compliance with all applicable legislation, policies, directives and standards.

Need for the CFIA to complete, approve and communicate a Real Property Management Framework (RPMF) that complies with the TB Policy on Management of Real Property: A new RPMF that reflects the Agency's updated governance structure for the management of real property is being developed in accordance with TB policies (target: September 2012).

Need for the CFIA's Assets and Security Management Directorate and its Science and Operations branches to work together to develop and implement a risk management framework and processes for real property: A risk management framework and associated processes are being developed as part of the new RPMF (target: September 2012).

Need for a long-term investment plan that ensures that the CFIA has a life-cycle management process that complies with the TB Policy on Management of Real Property: The CFIA is working toward realigning resources under a single national service delivery model. Appropriate planning structures that integrate life-cycle management principles are being developed as part of the new RPMF (target: September 2012).

Need for an integrated information management (IM) system in place that meets applicable TB policy requirements, implemented across all custodial assets: IM requirements related to CFIA financial information and asset performance, functionality and utilization are being identified as the new RPMF is developed. Existing systems continue to be used to manage real property asset and lease tombstone information (target: September 2012).

Complete report:

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