Independent Office of the City Auditor
City Council has established an Independent Office of the City Auditor to provide assurance and consulting services that add value and improve the City’s operations.
Appointed by City Council, the City Auditor provides for the independence of audit activity and ensures that audit results receive adequate consideration. The City Auditor reports to and is accountable to City Council through the Standing Policy Committee on Finance.
The City’s Internal Audit Charter, Policy C02-032 sets the purpose, authority, and responsibility of the Independent Office of the City Auditor.
The Office has authority to audit all aspects of the City’s operations, including governance processes, departments, programs, business processes, systems, activities, policies, procedures, etc.
The mission of the Independent Office of the City Auditor is to enhance and protect the value of the City of Saskatoon by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight to City Council and the Administration.
What is Internal Auditing? What is the Audit Process?
Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.
The Independent Office of the City Auditor helps the organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.
Audit projects at the City of Saskatoon follow a set process - the activities within each are detailed below: Planning, Execution, Reporting, Follow-up
• Once the annual Audit Plan is approved by the City Council, the City Auditor commences the audit by notifying the client about the audit and preliminary objectives.
• The audit team conducts a high-level risk assessment of the area/activity under scope. This includes a review of key documents, management interviews, industry research and standards etc.
• A Terms of Reference for the audit is prepared and discussed with the Administration.
• The Terms of Reference is then presented to and approved by the Standing Policy Committee on Finance.
The auditor reviews and evaluates the processes and controls against the criteria established and this includes:
• identifying information
• performing analytical procedures
• testing controls
• analyzing data
• gathering audit evidence
• reviewing results
• assessing the significance of findings
The City Auditor meets with the client regularly to discuss the findings arising from the audit work performed.
• An audit report is prepared which includes the results of the audit, findings and recommendations.
• The audit report is discussed with the client and management responses and action plans are requested.
• The audit report is then presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Finance for discussion and information.
• The Independent Office of the City Auditor obtains regular status updates from the Administration on the implementation status of past audit recommendations.
• Follow-up audits are conducted to assess the effectiveness of the recommendations implemented.
• The Independent Office of the City Auditor provides periodic reporting to the Standing Policy Committee on Finance on the status update and follow-up activities.
City of Saskatoon: Key Audit Services
The Independent Office of the City Auditor provides the following key audit services:
- Internal Controls Audit: assesses whether the processes and controls are designed effectively and operating as intended to mitigate the risks
- Value for Money Audit: assesses whether a department, service or program is operating efficiently, effectively and economically
- Information Technology Audit: evaluates the information technology infrastructure, applications, data use and management, policies, procedures and operational processes against recognized standards or established policies.
- Advisory Services: assist in the development or enhancement of processes and strategies. These services include providing advice on risks and controls and efficiency and effectiveness of operations through participation on various committees or ad hoc basis, conducting workshops or seminars and providing facilitation services.
- Governance Review: assesses the organization’s tone, operating structure, oversight responsibilities, culture, commitment to core values, code of conduct and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
- Investigation: evaluates the allegation of wrongdoing on the part of a City employee based on the complaints received through the Whistleblower Hotline.
- Special Projects: are audits or reviews which are not part of the original audit plan and are undertaken by the Independent Office of the City Auditor based on special requests made by the Administration or City Council.
The Independent Office of the City Auditor prepares an annual report that provides a summary of activities undertaken, an analysis of trends that can be drawn from the audits and other activities and a summary of achievements.
Internal Whistleblower Program
The City has an internal Whistleblower Program in place whereby any City employee can report a concern around a suspected wrongdoing through the Whistleblower Hotline. Any suspected wrongdoing is then investigated by the Independent Office of the City Auditor following the City's Whistleblower Protection Policy C04-028.
To further enhance the Whistleblower Program and to bring it in line with the best practice, a Whistleblower Program Roadmap has been developed.