Audit of Contracting and Procurement

Summary

The objective of this audit was to assess whether SCC's risk management, control, and governance processes that relate to the contracting and procurement function were adequate and functioning appropriately. The audit was conducted by independent auditors from Hallux Consulting Inc. between January and February 2007.

The audit found that management has taken positive action over the period examined to address known risk areas and to strengthen controls with respect to contracting: the level of knowledge of contracting requirements across the SCC has been enhanced and many of the steps in the procurement process were standardized. Roles and responsibilities for contracting were found to be well defined and understood. Management receives regular, accurate and reliable information on contracting activities.

Nonetheless, opportunities exist to improve the SCC's contracting processes. Twenty-eight per cent of the procurements for services in the audit sample were not compliant with the applicable policy framework. Auditors made recommendations for changes to the Court's procedures so that:

  • risks associated with the Court's procurement and contracting activities are regularly assessed;
  • access is facilitated and competition encouraged in line with government procurement and contracting policy;
  • procedures are further standardized and formalized, and processes streamlined;
  • a better audit trail of the actions taken and the approvals obtained is provided;
  • the knowledge of federal government contracting requirements remains current at the Court through periodic professional development and frequent consultation/liaison with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC); and
  • contracting authorities are delegated only to those individuals with in-depth knowledge of applicable government contracting rules and regulations.