2013-2014 Financial Statements

Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014, and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). These financial statements have been prepared by management using the Government's accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Management is responsible for the integrity and objectivity of the information in these financial statements. Some of the information in the financial statements is based on management's best estimates and judgment, and gives due consideration to materiality. To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management maintains a set of accounts that provides a centralized record of the IRB's financial transactions. Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in the IRB's Departmental Performance Report, is consistent with these financial statements.

Management is also responsible for maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded and that transactions are properly authorized and recorded in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and other applicable legislation, regulations, authorities and policies.

Management seeks to ensure the objectivity and integrity of data in its financial statements through careful selection, training, and development of qualified staff; through organizational arrangements that provide appropriate divisions of responsibility; through communication programs aimed at ensuring that regulations, policies, standards, and managerial authorities are understood throughout the IRB and through conducting an annual risk-based assessment of the effectiveness of the system of ICFR.

The system of ICFR is designed to mitigate risks to a reasonable level based on an ongoing process to identify key risks, to assess effectiveness of associated key controls, and to make any necessary adjustments.

A risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2014 was completed in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control and the results and action plans are summarized in the annex.

The Chairperson's Management Board (CMB) is the senior management body responsible for setting organizational priorities and objectives and providing overall direction to the IRB. The CMB oversees major initiatives that cut across the organization to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach.

The Chief Financial Officer is a full member of the CMB.

In accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat's Policy on Internal Audit, the IRB established a Departmental Audit Committee which includes external members. Its role is to provide the IRB's Chairperson with added assurance and advice on risk management, control and governance processes.

The financial statements of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada have not been audited.

Ken Sandhu,
Interim Chairperson
Doug Lloyd,
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
August 2014


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
As at March 31 (in thousands of dollars)
2014 2013
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4) 5,124 10,965
Vacation pay and compensatory leave 3,290 3,959
Employee future benefits (note 5) 6,039 9,518
Total liabilities 14,453 24,442
Financial assets
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 4,298 6,679
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) 980 5,289
Total gross financial assets 5,278 11,968
Financial assets held on behalf of Government
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) (121) (73)
Total financial assets held on behalf of Government (121) (73)
Total net financial assets 5,157 11,895
Departmental net debt 9,296 12,547
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses 57 188
Tangible capital assets (note 7) 15,042 18,784
Total non-financial assets 15,099 18,972
Departmental net financial position 5,803 6,425

Contingent liabilities (note 8)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Ken Sandhu,
Interim Chairperson
Doug Lloyd,
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
August 2014


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31 (in thousands of dollars)
2014
Planned Results
2014
Actual
2013
Expenses
Refugee Protection 55,180 67,452 78,134
Immigration Appeal 20,910 14,792 17,362
Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews 12,156 13,092 12,044
Refugee Appeal 26,604 9,128 4,250
Internal Services 36,506 40,497 42,068
Total expenses 151,356 144,961 153,858
Revenues
Miscellaneous revenues 11 12 7
Revenues earned on behalf of Government (11) (12) (7)
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 151,356 144,961 153,858
Government funding and transfers
Net cash provided by Government 125,044 122,867 135,050
Change in due from Consolidated Revenue Fund (1,948) (2,381) 1,085
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) 26,172 23,853 24,321
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers 2,088 622 (6,598)
Departmental net financial position - Beginning of year 3,244 6,425 (173)
Departmental net financial position - End of year 1,156 5,803 6,425

Segmented information (note 10)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31 (in thousands of dollars)
2014
Planned Results
2014 2013
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers 2,088 622 (6,598)
Change due to tangible capital assets
Acquisition of tangible capital assets (note 7) 500 2,284 8,702
Other adjustments - (6) (400)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (3,878) (6,020) (4,124)
Total change due to tangible capital assets (3,378) (3,742) 4,178
Change due to prepaid expenses 26 (131) (61)
Net decrease in departmental debt (1,264) (3,251) (2,481)
Departmental net debt - Beginning of year 18,984 12,547 15,028
Departmental net debt - End of year 17,720 9,296 12,547

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Statement of Cash Flows (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31 (in thousands of dollars)
2014 2013
Operating activities
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 144,961 153,858
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (6,020) (4,124)
Adjustments of tangible capital assets (6) (400)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) (23,853) (24,321)
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase(decrease) in accounts receivable and advances (4,357) 2,936
Decrease in prepaid expenses (131) (61)
Decrease (increase) in accounts payable and accrued liabilities 5,841 (2,259)
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave 669 -
Decrease (increase) in future employee benefits 3,479 719
Cash used in operating activities 120,583 126,348
Capital investing activities
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 7) 2,284 8,702
Cash used in capital investing activities 2,284 8,702
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 122,867 135,050

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Notes to the Financial Statements (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31

1. Authority and Objectives

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is an independent administrative tribunal that was created on January 1, 1989, by an amendment to the Immigration Act. In 2002, the Immigration Act was replaced by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which was amended by the Balanced Refugee Reform Act (BRRA) in 2010 and the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act (PCISA) in 2012. IRB divisions derived their mandates from these acts during the 2013–14 reporting period.

The Board strategic outcome is to resolve immigration and refugee cases efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.

Five program activities support this strategic outcome:

  • Refugee Protection
    Renders quality decisions and otherwise resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • Refugee protection claims made by persons in Canada;
    • Pre-removal risk assessments (PRRA) of persons subject to a removal order.Note 1
  • Refugee Appeal
    Renders quality decisions and otherwise resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • Appeals against a decision made on a refugee protection claim of the Refugee Protection Division.
  • Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews
    Renders quality decisions and otherwise resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • Foreign nationals or permanent residents who are alleged to be inadmissible to Canada pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA);
    • Foreign nationals or permanent residents who are detained under the IRPA authority.
  • Immigration Appeal
    Renders quality decisions and otherwise resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • family sponsorship applications refused by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
    • Certain removal orders made against permanent residents, refugees and other protected persons and holders of permanent resident visas;
    • Permanent residents outside of Canada who have been found not to have fulfilled their residency obligation;
    • Appeals by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness against a decision of the Immigration Division on admissibility.
  • Internal Services
    The IRB administers internal services in support of program activities and other corporate obligations. Internal services include management and oversight services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, material services, acquisition services, corporate security, and travel and other administrative services.

Notes

Note 1

Activities associated with PRRA will begin in a future reporting period.

Return to note 1 referrer

2. Summary of significant accounting policies

These financial statements have been prepared using the Government's accounting policies stated below, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Significant accounting policies are as follows:

  1. Parliamentary authorities

    The IRB is financed by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities. Financial reporting of authorities provided to the IRB do not parallel financial reporting according to generally accepted accounting principles since authorities are primarily based on cash flow requirements. Consequently, items recognized in the Statement of Operations and the Departmental Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Financial Position are not necessarily the same as those provided through authorities from Parliament. Note 3 provides a reconciliation between the bases of reporting. The planned results amounts in the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in the future-oriented financial statements included in the 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities.

  2. Net Cash Provided by Government

    The IRB operates within the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), which is administered by the Receiver General for Canada. All cash received by the IRB is deposited to the CRF and all cash disbursements made by the IRB are paid from the CRF. The net cash provided by Government is the difference between all cash receipts and all cash disbursements including transactions between departments of the Government.

  3. Due from the CRF

    Amounts due from the CRF are the result of timing differences at year-end between when a transaction affects authorities and when it is processed through the CRF. Amounts due from the CRF represent the net amount of cash that the IRB is entitled to draw from the CRF without further appropriations to discharge its liabilities.

  4. Revenue

    Other revenues are accounted for in the period in which the underlying transaction or event that gave rise to the revenue takes place. The IRB does not charge for its services and its only revenues stem from gains on disposals of crown assets, Access to Information and Privacy fees and interest on overdue accounts receivable.

    Revenues that are non-respendable are not available to discharge the Department's liabilities. While the Deputy Head is expected to maintain accounting control, he or she has no authority regarding the disposition of non-respendable revenues. As a result, non-respendable revenues are considered to be earned on behalf of the Government of Canada and are therefore presented in reduction of the entity's gross revenues.

  5. Expenses

    Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis:

    • Vacation pay and compensatory leave are accrued as the benefits are earned by employees under their respective terms of employment.
    • Services provided without charge by other government departments for accommodation and employer contributions to the health and dental insurance plans are recorded as operating expenses at their estimated cost.
  6. Employee future benefits
    1. Pension benefits: Eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, a multiemployer pension plan administered by the Government. The IRB's contributions to the Plan are charged to expenses in the year incurred and represent the total obligation of the Board to the Plan. The IRB's responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the financial statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan's sponsor.
    2. Severance benefits: Employees entitled to severance benefits under labour contracts or conditions of employment earn these benefits as services necessary to earn them are rendered. The obligation relating to the benefits earned by employees is calculated using information derived from the results of the actuarially determined liability for employee severance benefits for the Government as a whole.
  7. Accounts receivable

    Accounts receivable are stated at the lower of cost and net recoverable value. A valuation allowance is recorded for accounts receivable where recovery is considered uncertain.

  8. Contingent liabilities

    Contingent liabilities are potential liabilities which may become actual liabilities when one or more future events occur or fail to occur. To the extent that the future event is likely to occur or fail to occur, and a reasonable estimate of the loss can be made, an estimated liability is accrued and an expense recorded. If the likelihood is not determinable or an amount cannot be reasonably estimated, the contingency is disclosed in the notes to the financial statements.

  9. Tangible capital assets

    All tangible capital assets and leasehold improvements having an initial cost of $10,000 or more are recorded at their acquisition cost. The Board does not capitalize intangibles, works of art and historical treasures that have cultural, aesthetic or historical value.

    Amortization of tangible capital assets is done on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset as follows:

    Amortization of tangible capital assets
    Asset class Amortization Period
    Informatics hardware 4 years
    Informatics software 5 years
    Machinery and Equipment 10 years
    Leasehold improvements Lesser of the remaining term of the lease or useful life of the improvement

    Assets under construction are recorded in the applicable capital asset class in the year that they become available for use and are not amortized until they become available for use.

  10. Measurement uncertainty

    The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses reported in the financial statements. At the time of preparation of these statements, management believes the estimates and assumptions to be reasonable. The most significant items where estimates are used are contingent liabilities, the liability for employee severance benefits and the useful life of tangible capital assets. Actual results could significantly differ from those estimated. Management's estimates are reviewed periodically and, as adjustments become necessary, they are recorded in the financial statements in the year they become known.

3. Parliamentary authorities

The IRB receives its funding through annual Parliamentary authorities. Items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Position and the Statement of Financial Position in one year may be funded through parliamentary authorities in prior, current or future years. Accordingly, the IRB has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis. The differences are reconciled in the following tables:

(a) Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year authorities used (in thousands of dollars)
2014 2013
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 144,961 153,858
Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) (23,853) (24,321)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (6,020) (4,124)
Decrease in employee future benefits 3,479 719
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave 669 -
Increase in accrued liabilities not charged to appropriation - (611)
Prepaid expenses previously charged to appropriation (242 (449)
Adjustments to prior's years accounts payable 400 322
Refund of prior years' expenditures 70 79
Other 62 (309)
Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities (25,435) (28,694)
Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 7) 2,284 8,702
Increase in prepaid expenses 111 388
Temporary advance (1) 5
Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities 2,394 9,095
Current year authorities used 121,920 134,259

(b) Authorities provided and used (in thousands of dollars)
2014 2013
Authorities provided:
Vote 10 - Operating expenditures 117,682 138,490
Statutory amounts 13,869 13,869
Less:
Lapsed: Operating (9,631) (18,100)
Current year authorities used 121,920 134,259

4. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

The following table presents details of the IRB's accounts payables and accrued liabilities (in thousands of dollars):

Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities
2014 2013
Accounts payable - Other government departments and agencies 511 1,951
Accounts payable - External parties 1,521 4,001
Total accounts payables 2,032 5,952
Accrued liabilities 3,092 5,013
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities 5,124 10,965

In Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government announced savings measures to be implemented by departments over the next three years starting in 2012-2013. As a result, the Board has recorded at March 31, 2014, an obligation for termination benefits for an amount of $125,000 ($812,000 in 2012-2013) as part of accrued liabilities to reflect the estimated workforce adjustments costs.

5. Employee future benefits

  1. Pension benefits

    The IRB's employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, which is sponsored and administered by the Government. Pension benefits accrue up to a maximum period of 35 years at a rate of 2 percent per year of pensionable service, times the average of the best five consecutive years of earnings. The benefits are integrated with Canada/Québec Pension Plans benefits and they are indexed to inflation.

    Both the employees and the IRB contribute to the cost of the Plan. Due to the amendment of the Public Service Superannuation Act following the implementation of provision related to EAP 2012, employee contributors have been divided into two groups – Group 1 related to existing plan members as of December 31, 2012 and Group 2 related to members joining the Plan as of January 1, 2013. Each group has a distinct contribution rate.

    The 2013-2014 expense amounts to $9.8M ($9.9M in 2012-2013). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.6 times (1.7 times in 2012-2013) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.5 times (1.6 times in 2012-2013) the employee contributions.

    The IRB's responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the financial statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan's sponsor.

  2. Severance benefits

    The IRB provides severance benefits to its employees based on eligibility, years of service and salary at termination of employment. These severance benefits are not pre-funded. Benefits will be paid from future authorities.

    As part of collective agreement negotiations with certain employee groups, and changes to conditions of employment for executives and certain non-represented employees, the accumulation of severance benefits under the employee severance pay program ceased for these employees commencing in 2012. Employees subject to these changes have been given the option to be immediately paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits on termination from the public service. These changes have been reflected in the calculation of the outstanding severance benefit obligation. Information about the severance benefits, measured as at March 31, is as follows (in thousands of dollars)

Severance benefits
2014 2013
Accrued benefit obligation - Beginning of the year 9,518 10,237
Expense for the year 583 2,914
Benefits paid during the year (4,062) (3,633)
Accrued benefit obligation - End of the year 6,039 9,518

6. Accounts receivable and advances

The following table presents details of the IRB's accounts receivable and advances balances (in thousands of dollars):

Accounts Receivable and Advances
2014 2013
Receivables - Other government departments and agencies 852 5,199
Receivables - External parties 121 73
Employee advances 7 17
Gross accounts receivable 980 5,289
Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government (121) (73)
Net accounts receivable 859 5,216

7. Tangible capital assets

Cost (in thousands of dollars)
Opening balance Acquisitions AdjustmentsNote 2 Closing Balance
Informatics Hardware 2,070 70 (74) 2,066
Informatics Software 17,827 - 2,890 20,717
Machinery and Equipment 457 - - 457
Leasehold Improvements 6,872 - - 6,872
Assets under construction 1,535 2,214 (2,961) 788
Total 28,761 2,284 (145) 30,900

Accumulated Amortization (in thousands of dollars)
Opening balance Amortization AdjustmentsNote 2 Closing Balance
Informatics Hardware 1,639 204 (139) 1,704
Informatics Software 5,746 3,428 - 9,174
Machinery and Equipment 39 46 - 85
Leasehold Improvements 2,553 2,342 - 4,895
Total 9,977 6,020 - 15,858

Net book value (in thousands of dollars)
2013 2014
Informatics Hardware 431 362
Informatics Software 12,081 11,543
Machinery and Equipment 418 372
Leasehold Improvements 4,319 1,977
Assets under construction 1,535 788
Total 18,784 15,042

Notes

Note 2

Adjustments include assets under construction of $2,955 thousands of dollar that were transferred to the other categories upon completion of the assets.

Return to note 2 referrer

Return to note 2 referrer

8. Contingent liabilities

Contingent liabilities arise in the normal course of operations and their ultimate disposition is unknown.

  1. Claims and litigation

    Claims have been made against the IRB in the normal course of operations. These claims include items with pleading amounts and other for which no amount is specified. While the total amount claimed in these actions is significant, their outcomes are not determinable. Claims and litigations for which outcome is not determinable and a reasonable estimate can be made by management amount to approximately $140,000 ($140,000 in 2012-2013) at March 31, 2014.

9. Related Party Transactions

The IRB is related as a result of common ownership to all government departments, agencies, and Crown corporations. The IRB enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms. During the year, the IRB received common services which were obtained without charge from other government departments as disclosed below.

  1. Common services provided without charge by other government departments

    During the year, the IRB received services without charge from certain common service organizations, related to accommodation and the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans. These services provided without charge have been recorded in the IRB's Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position as follows (in thousands of dollars):

    Common services provided without charge by other government departments
    2014 2013
    Accommodation 16,803 16,516
    Employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans 7,050 7,805
    Total 23,853 24,321

    The Government has centralized some of its administrative activities for efficiency, cost-effectiveness purposes and economic delivery of programs to the public. As a result, the Government uses central agencies and common service organizations so that one department performs services for all other departments and agencies without charge. The costs of these services, such as the payroll and cheque issuance services provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada and audit services provided by the Office of the Auditor General are not included in the IRB's Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position.

  2. Other transactions with related parties (in thousands of dollars)
    Other transactions with related parties
    2014 2013
    Expenses - Other Government departments and agencies 20,510 23,365

10. Segmented information

Presentation by segment is based on the IRB's program alignment architecture. The presentation by segment is based on the same accounting policies as described in the Summary of significant accounting policies in note 2. The following table presents the expenses incurred and revenues generated for the main program activities, by major object of expenses and by major type of revenues. The segment results for the period are as follows (in thousands of dollars):

Segmented program alignment architecture
Refugee Protection Immigration Appeal Admissibility Hearings & Detention Reviews Refugee Appeal Internal Services 2014
Total
2013
Total
Operating Expenses
Salaries and employee benefits 47,595 11,512 9,033 7,240 25,303 100,683 107,994
Accommodation 7,993 1,897 1,537 1,151 4,225 16,803 16,516
Rentals 213 16 23 18 603 873 1,462
Professional and special services 6,766 1,048 1,878 530 5,915 16,137 15,863
Amortization 3,428 17 382 - 2,193 6,020 4,124
Transportation and telecommunications 1,053 223 103 167 569 2,115 3,151
Repair and maintenance 54 - 19 - 126 199 767
Acquisition of equipment 74 9 78 3 1,194 1,358 2,720
Utilities, materials and supplies 182 26 36 10 243 497 657
Information 75 5 3 1 130 214 566
Other 19 39 - 8 (4) 62 38
Total operating expenses 67,452 14,792 13,092 9,128 40,497 144,961 153,858
Revenues
Miscellaneous revenues 7 - - 1 4 12 7
Revenues earned on behalf of Government (7) - - (1) (4) (12) (7)
Total revenues 0 - - 0 0 0 0
Net cost of operations 67,452 14,792 13,092 9,128 40,497 144,961 153,858

Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting (unaudited)

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Fiscal Year 2013-2014

1. Introduction

This document provides summary information on the measures taken by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (the IRB) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). In particular, it provides summary information on the internal control assessments conducted by the IRB for the year ended March 31, 2014, including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.

Detailed information on the department’s authority, mandate and program activities can be found in the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report and the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities.

2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting

2.1 Internal control management

The Immigration and Refugee Board has a well-established governance and accountability structure to support departmental assessment efforts and oversight of its system of internal control. A departmental internal control management framework, approved by the Chairperson, is in place and includes:

  • Organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management, including roles and responsibilities of senior managers in their areas of responsibility for control management;
  • Values and Ethics Office, which provides educational and awareness programs;
  • Ongoing communication and training on statutory requirements, and policies and procedures for sound financial management and control;
  • An annually updated Corporate Risk Profile;
  • Financial management policies as well as documentation of its main business processes and related key risk and control points to support the management and oversight of its system of ICFR;
  • A risk-based internal audit plan;
  • Periodic monitoring of and updates on internal control management, as well as the provision of related assessment results and action plans to the Chairperson and departmental senior management and, as applicable, the Departmental Audit Committee;
  • Regularly updated delegated authorities matrix; and
  • Secure financial and contracting information technology (IT) processing systems to achieve enhanced security, data integrity, and efficiency and effectiveness of transactions.
Key positions, roles and responsibilities

The following are the IRB's key positions and committees with responsibilities for maintaining and reviewing the effectiveness of its system of ICFR.

Chairperson- The IRB's Deputy Head, as Accounting Officer, assumes overall responsibility and leadership for the measures taken to maintain an effective system of internal control. In this role, the Chairperson chairs the Management Board (CMB) and is a member of the Departmental Audit Committee.

Executive Director- The IRB's Executive Director supports the Chairperson in the management of the operations of the IRB. In this role, the Executive Director chairs the Human Resources Management Committee.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)- The IRB's Director General of Corporate Planning and Services is also the CFO. As CFO, he reports directly to the Chairperson and provides leadership for the coordination, coherence and focus on the design and maintenance of an effective and integrated system of ICFR, including its annual assessment. The CFO chairs the Planning and Budgeting Committee.

Deputy Chairpersons, Senior General Counsel and Director Generals - The IRB's senior departmental managers in charge of program delivery are responsible for maintaining and reviewing the effectiveness of the system of ICFR falling within their mandate.

Chief Audit Executive (CAE)- The IRB's CAE reports directly to the Chairperson and provides assurance through periodic internal audits, which are instrumental to the maintenance of an effective system of ICFR.

Departmental Audit Committee (DAC)- The DAC is an advisory committee that provides objective views on the IRB's financial statements, risk management, control and governance frameworks; it comprises three members external to government. As such, it reviews the IRB's Corporate Risk Profile, its internal audit reports, and its system of internal control, including the assessment and action plans relating to the system of ICFR.

Chairperson's Management Board (CMB)- The CMB is the senior management body setting organizational priorities and objectives, and providing overall direction for the IRB. The Committee oversees major initiatives that cut across the organization to ensure a comprehensive/integrated approach. Final recommendations of CMB members are presented to the Chairperson, who takes final decisions. The CMB is also an information-sharing forum on organizational-wide issues.

Core Business Committee (CBC)- The CBC is the forum for discussion and providing advice to the Chairperson on strategic plans, priorities, and policies concerning the IRB's core business function—adjudicative decision-making in the four Divisions and operational support. The role of the Committee is to provide leadership and direction to ensure that the IRB is executing its strategic priorities with respect to operational issues in order to optimize divisional and operational performance.

Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC)- The PBC is the senior level committee dedicated to financial governance. It meets regularly to plan resource allocations and reallocations, track progress against plans, and make recommendations to the Chairperson regarding financial resource allocations.

Human Resources Management Committee (HRMC)- The HRMC is the senior level committee addressing human resources management.

The Information Management (IM) and Information Technology (IT) Committee - The IM/IT is responsible for the management of IRB's information assets. The Committee is chaired by the Director General, Corporate Planning and Services, with committee members drawn from all branches and divisions.

Contract Review Committee- The contract review committee is chaired by the CFO and is responsible for the governance regarding the contractual activities of the IRB.

2.2 Service arrangements relevant to financial statements

The Immigration and Refugee Board relies on other organizations for the processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements as follows:

Common Arrangements
  • Public Works and Government Services Canada centrally administers the payments of salaries and the procurement of certain goods and services, and provides accommodation services;
  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides the Immigration and Refugee Board with information used to calculate various accruals and allowances, such as the accrued severance liability;
  • Shared Services Canada provides information technology infrastructure services to the Immigration and Refugee Board in the areas of data centre and network services. The scope and responsibilities are addresses in the interdepartmental arrangements between Shared Services Canada and the Board.
Specific Arrangements
  • Public Works and Government Services Canada processes a portion of the Board’s pay transactions at the new Public Service Pay Centre. All of the Board’s pay transactions are scheduled to be transferred to the Pay Centre by 2015.
  • The Treasury Board Secretariat provides the Board with a Peoplesoft human resources management system application.

3. Departmental assessment results during fiscal year 2013-14

During 2013-14 the Board prepared to implement a new SAP financial system to comply with the new financial system standard promulgated by the Office of the Comptroller General. As a consequence, certain elements of the planned control assessment were modified to focus resources on the new system control environment.

3.1 Design effectiveness testing of key controls

During 2013-14, in the context of a new financial system implementation, a review of roles and responsibilities with respect to financial system access was completed to begin operation in the new system on April 1, 2014. Testing of general computer controls and design effectiveness of the system being phased out was cancelled to allocate resources to the implementation of the new system.

In 2013-14, the Board addressed a weakness previously identified in the design effectiveness of its operating expense process. A review of roles and responsibilities with respect to the procure-to-pay process and realignment of these roles was completed. To conform to recommended best practices, the payment control process was centralized to report fully to the Chief Financial Officer branch.

3.2 Operating effectiveness of key controls

In 2013-14 the Board conducted operating effectiveness testing of key controls over the authorization of extra-duty pay. The pay process completed the transition from pay calculations performed, authorized and processed within the department to pay calculations processed entirely by a service provider external to the department. The automation of the extra-duty pay authorization process has improved the effectiveness of controls over extra-duty pay and previously identified weaknesses in the manual process have been addressed.

3.3 Ongoing monitoring of key controls

In 2013-2014, the Board began to update its monitoring process of key internal controls taking into consideration the enhanced capabilities that will be available in future years in the new financial system. This monitoring process will be further developed in 2014-15 and implementation will begin in that fiscal year.

4. Departmental action plan

4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2013-14

During 2013-14, the Board directed its resources primarily on the review preparation for the implementation of the new financial system. The emphasis was placed on the review of the design effectiveness of the major processes to ensure compliance with the common business processes established by the Office of the Comptroller General. The following table summarizes the department’s progress based on the plans identified in the previous fiscal year’s annex.

Progress Status
Element in previous year’s action plan Status
Entity level controls: documentation, design effectiveness and operating effectiveness The documentation of entity level controls was updated and testing of design and operating effectiveness completed
General IT level controls; documentation of Free Balance or SAP, Peoplesoft and Network and Servers and assessment of design effectiveness for Peoplesoft Documentation of SAP system general computer controls was partially completed. With focus on the SAP financial system implementation, documentation and design effectiveness of the Peoplesoft application wasred until next fiscal year.
Operating expenses: documentation and design effectiveness The documentation of controls over operating expenses for the material categories of expenses was completed. In addition, design effectiveness testing of a portion of the processes was conducted.
Capital assets: documentation The documentation of capital assets controls was updated in light of the implementation of a new capital asset module in 2014-15.
Financial close: documentation and design effectiveness Documentation of the financial close process was partially completed. The documentation will be completed upon implementation of the new SAP financial system. Design effectiveness evaluation wasred until the new system processes are documented.

4.2 Status and action plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent years

With the adoption of a service model for its financial system, the Board will be updating its strategy for general computer control assessment. Financial system general computer controls will be documented and assessed primarily at the service provider level in collaboration with other departments for a more efficient use of resources. Service level agreements will ensure that the requirements of the Policy on Internal Control are addressed by the service provider for this category of controls. In addition, updating the system documentation and policies and procedures will be conducted given the significant changes that the new system will bring. A similar strategy will be implemented for the information technology infrastructure of network and servers which is a service provided by Shared Services Canada.

This will delay the implementation of an ongoing rotational monitoring plan to assess control performance on a risk basis across all control areas by one fiscal year, but the adoption of the government standard financial system provides significant improvements to the control environment for financial transactions. The addition of a procurement module integrates the procure-to-pay process. The integration of a salary management module within the financial system reduces the number of interfaces and improves commitment controls over pay transactions.

The frequency and extent of testing will be adapted to the materiality and risk level of the transaction cycle or account balance, and will take into account changes in processes and environment. The status and action plan for the completion of the identified control areas for the next fiscal year and for subsequent years are shown in the following table. Once initial documentation and design effectiveness testing has taken place, the annual process includes updating the documentation and testing the design effectiveness of processes where change occurred.

Entity Level Controls
Documentation Design Effectiveness Operating Effectiveness
2014-2015
Entity Level Controls yes yes yes
General IT Level Controls
SAP yes yes no
Peoplesoft yes yes no
Business Process Level Controls
Pay and benefits yes yes yes
Operating expenses yes yes yes
Capital Assets yes yes no
Financial close yes yes no
2015-2016
Entity Level Controls yes yes yes
General IT Level Controls
SAP yes yes yes
Peoplesoft yes yes yes
Business Process Level Controls
Pay and benefits yes yes yes
Operating expenses yes yes yes
Capital Assets yes yes yes
Financial close yes yes yes
2016-2017
Entity Level Controls yes yes yes
General IT Level Controls
SAP yes yes yes
Peoplesoft yes yes yes
Business Process Level Controls
Pay and benefits yes yes yes
Operating expenses yes yes yes
Capital Assets yes yes yes
Financial close yes yes yes