2014-2015 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, 2015, 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.

The IRB will be subject to periodic Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General and will use the results of such audits to adhere to the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control.

In the interim, the IRB has undertaken a risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2015, in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control, and the results and action plan are summarized in the annex.

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

Mario Dion,
Chairperson
Richard Kapune,
Acting Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
August 2015


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
As at March 31 (in thousands of dollars)
2015 2014
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4) 9,599 5,124
Vacation pay and compensatory leave 3,627 3,290
Employee future benefits (note 5) 6,962 6,039
Total liabilities 20,188 14,453
Financial assets
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 8,730 4,298
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) 907 980
Total gross financial assets 9,637 5,278
Financial assets held on behalf of Government
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) (151) (121)
Total financial assets held on behalf of Government (151) (121)
Total net financial assets 9,486 5,157
Departmental net debt 10,702 9,296
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses 98 57
Tangible capital assets (note 7) 10,475 15,042
Total non-financial assets 10,573 15,099
Departmental net financial position (129) 5,803

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

Mario Dion,
Chairperson
Richard Kapune,
Acting Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
August 2015


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)
2015
Planned Results
2015
Actual
2014
Expenses
Refugee Protection 65,445 63,338 67,452
Immigration Appeal 20,971 17,840 14,792
Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews 12,040 13,414 13,092
Refugee Appeal 12,767 12,995 9,128
Internal Services 34,793 39,155 40,497
Total expenses 146,016 146,742 144,961
Revenues
Miscellaneous revenues 10 11 12
Revenues earned on behalf of Government (10) (11) (12)
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 146,016 146,742 144,961
Government funding and transfers
Net cash provided by Government 0 114,759 122,867
Change in due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 0 4,432 (2,381)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) 0 24,408 23,853
Transfer of the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (note 10) 0 (2,773) 0
Transfer of tangible capital asset to other government department (note 7) 0 (16) 0
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers 0 5,932 622
Departmental net financial position - Beginning of year 0 5,803 6,425
Departmental net financial position - End of year 0 (129) 5,803

Segmented information (note 11)
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)
2015
Planned Results
2015 2014
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers 0 5,932 622
Change due to tangible capital assets
Acquisition of tangible capital assets (note 7) 0 1,012 2,284
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) 0 (4,972) (6,020)
Write-off of tangible capital assets 0 (591) 0
Other adjustments 0 0 (6)
Transfer of tangible capital asset to other government department (note 7) 0 (16) 0
Total change due to tangible capital assets 0 (4,567) (3,742)
Change due to prepaid expenses 0 41 (131)
Net increase (decrease) in departmental debt 0 1,406 (3,251)
Departmental net debt - Beginning of year 0 9,296 12,547
Departmental net debt - End of year 0 10,702 9,296

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)
2015 2014
Operating activities
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 146,742 144,961
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (4,972) (6,020)
Write-off of tangible capital assets (591) 0
Adjustments to tangible capital assets 0 (6)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) (24,408) (23,853)
Transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (note 10) 2,733 0
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase(decrease) in accounts receivable and advances (103) (4,357)
Increase (decrease) in prepaid expenses 41 (131)
Decrease (increase) in accounts payable and accrued liabilities (4,475) 5,841
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave (337) 669
Decrease (increase) in future employee benefits (923) 3,479
Cash used in operating activities 113,747 120,583
Capital investing activities
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 7) 1,012 2,284
Cash used in capital investing activities 1,012 2,284
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 114,759 122,867

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 2014–15 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 resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • Refugee protection claims made by persons in Canada.
  • Refugee Appeal
    Renders quality decisions and 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 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 resolves cases in a timely manner regarding:
    • 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, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, material services, acquisition services, and other administrative services.

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 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 "Expenses" and "Revenues" sections of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in the Future-oriented Statement of Operations included in the 2014-2015 Report on Plans and Priorities. Planned results are not presented in the "Government funding and transfers" section of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt because these amounts were not included in the 2014-2015 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 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 (the "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)
2015 2014
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 146,742 144,961
Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 9) (24,408) (23,853)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (4,972) (6,020)
Write-off of tangible capital assets (591) 0
Decrease (increase) in employee future benefits (923) 3,479
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave (337) 669
Prepaid expenses previously charged to appropriation (128) (242)
Adjustments to prior's years accounts payable 271 400
Refund of prior years' expenditures 56 70
Other 80 62
Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities (30,952) (24,435)
Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 7) 1,012 2,284
Transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears 2,773 0
Increase in prepaid expenses 171 111
Temporary advance 4 (1)
Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities 3,960 2,394
Current year authorities used 119,750 121,920

(b) Authorities provided and used (in thousands of dollars)
2015 2014
Authorities provided:
Vote 10 - Operating expenditures 115,999 117,682
Statutory amounts 12,689 13,869
Less:
Lapsed: Operating (8,938) (9,631)
Current year authorities used 119,750 121,920

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
2015 2014
Accounts payable - Other government departments and agencies 1,308 511
Accounts payable - External parties 2,601 1,521
Total accounts payables 3,909 2,032
Accrued liabilities 5,690 3,092
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities 9,599 5,124

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, 2015, an obligation for termination benefits for an amount of $87,866 ($125,000 in 2013-2014) 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 (the 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 Economic Action Plan 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 2014-2015 expense amounts to $8.7M ($9.8M in 2013-2014). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.41 times (1.6 times in 2013-2014) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.39 times (1.5 times in 2013-2014) 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)

    Information about the severance benefits, measured as at March 31, is as follows (in thousands of dollars):

Severance benefits
2015 2014
Accrued benefit obligation - Beginning of the year 6,039 9,518
Expense for the year 1,979 583
Benefits paid during the year (1,056) (4,062)
Accrued benefit obligation - End of the year 6,962 6,039

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
2015 2014
Receivables - Other government departments and agencies 750 852
Receivables - External parties 151 121
Employee advances 6 7
Gross accounts receivable 907 980
Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government (151) (121)
Net accounts receivable 756 859

7. Tangible capital assets

Cost (in thousands of dollars)
Opening balance Acquisitions AdjustmentsNote 1 Closing Balance
Informatics Hardware 2,066 0 96 2,162
Informatics Software 20,717 0 38 20,755
Machinery and Equipment 457 0 (28) 429
Leasehold Improvements 6,872 0 667 7,539
Assets under construction 788 1,012 (1,392) 408
Total 30,900 1,012 (619) 31,293

Accumulated Amortization (in thousands of dollars)
Opening balance Amortization AdjustmentsNote 1 Closing Balance
Informatics Hardware 1,704 215 0 1,919
Informatics Software 9,174 3,733 0 12,907
Machinery and Equipment 85 46 (12) 119
Leasehold Improvements 4,895 978 0 5,873
Total 15,858 4,972 (12) 20,818

Net book value (in thousands of dollars)
2014 2015
Informatics Hardware 362 243
Informatics Software 11,543 7,848
Machinery and Equipment 372 310
Leasehold Improvements 1,977 1,666
Assets under construction 788 408
Total 15,042 10,475

Notes

Note 1

Adjustments include assets under construction of $801,440 that were transferred to the other categories upon completion of the assets and $591,583 for assets that were written off.

Return to first note 1 referrer

Return to second note 1 referrer

Effective March 18, 2015, IRB transferred equipment with a net book value of $16,256 to Canada Border Service Agency. This transfer is included in the adjustment column.

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 $567,400 ($140,000 in 2013-2014) at March 31, 2015.

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
    2015 2014
    Accommodation 17,916 16,803
    Employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans 6,492 7,050
    Total 24,408 23,853

    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
    2015 2014
    Expenses - Other Government departments and agencies 23,090 20,510

10. Transfer of the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears

The Government of Canada implemented salary payments in arrears in 2014-15. As a result, a one-time payment was issued to employees and will be recovered from them in the future. The transition to salary payments in arrears forms part of the transformation initiative that replaces the pay system and also streamlines and modernizes the pay processes. This change to the pay system had no impact on the expenses of the IRB. However, it did result in the use of additional spending authorities by the IRB. Prior to year end, the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears were transferred to a central account administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada, who is responsible for the administration of the Government pay system.

11. 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:

Segmented information (in thousands of dollars)
Refugee Protection Immigration Appeal Admissibility Hearings & Detention Reviews Refugee Appeal Internal Services 2015
Total
2014
Total
Operating Expenses
Salaries and employee benefits 42,888 12,871 9,112 8,707 24,508 98,086 100,683
Accommodation 7,827 2,342 1,691 1,545 4,511 17,916 16,803
Rentals 116 29 26 8 773 952 873
Professional and special services 6,786 2,403 1,761 2,599 6,025 19,574 16,137
Amortization 3,923 9 524 0 516 4,972 6,020
Transportation and telecommunications 760 138 157 118 495 1,668 2,115
Repair and maintenance 27 8 6 0 90 131 199
Acquisition of equipment 90 16 78 6 1,728 1,918 1,358
Utilities, materials and supplies 244 21 57 9 300 631 497
Information 87 3 2 3 226 321 214
Other 590 0 0 0 (17) 573 62
Total operating expenses 63,338 17,840 13,414 12,995 39,155 146,742 144,961
Revenues
Miscellaneous revenues 1 0 0 0 10 11 12
Revenues earned on behalf of Government (1) 0 0 0 (10) (11) (12)
Total revenues 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Net cost of operations 63,338 17,840 13,414 12,995 39,155 146,742 144,961

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

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Fiscal Year 2014-2015

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, 2015, 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 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report and the 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities.

2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting

2.1 Internal control management

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 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;
  • Periodic monitoring of and updates on internal control management;
  • 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).

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 Finance and Administration 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.

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.

Executive Committee (ExCom) — In April 2015 the CMB and the CBC were merged and became the Executive Committee.

Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) — The PBC is the senior level committee dedicated to financial governance. It meets periodically 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 and Information Technology  Strategic Committee  (ISC) — The  ISC is responsible for the management of IRB's information assets. The Committee is chaired by the Chief Information Officer (ClO), 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 of Canada 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 of Canada 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 of Canada 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 major 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 the end of 2015.
  • The Treasury Board Secretariat provides the Board with corporate administrative systems and system support for SAP Financial, PeopleSoft human resources management system, Cognos Business Intelligence Tool and a secure infrastructure to host the three applications.

3. Departmental assessment results during fiscal year 2014-15

During 2014-15 the Board began the operation of a new SAP financial system to comply with the 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 2014-15, revised roles and responsibilities with respect to financial system access were implemented effective April 1, 2014. Documentation and testing of general computer controls were incorporated role of the common systems service provider andred to 2015-16.

In 2014-15, the Board addressed a weakness previously identified in the design effectiveness of its operating expense process. To conform to recommended best practices, the payment control process was centralized to report fully to the Chief Financial Officer branch effective April 1, 2014.

3.2 Operating effectiveness of key controls

In 2014-15 the Board focused the operating effectiveness testing of key controls on its main category of expenses, salaries. Because the control framework of the pay process is largely outsourced, testing was limited to the initial authorization controls in the department and the post payment managerial review.

3.3 Ongoing monitoring of key controls

In 2014-2015, the Board continued to update its monitoring process of key internal controls taking into consideration the enhanced capabilities available in the new financial system. This monitoring process will be further developed and implemented in 2015-16.

4. Departmental action plan

4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2014-15

During 2014-15, the Board focused its internal control resources primarily on completing the implementation of the new financial system. The emphasis was placed on ensuring the application controls and processes operated effectively and on training and support to personnel.

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: SAP, Peoplesoft control documentation and assessment of design effectiveness The assessment was incorporated in the common system provider interdepartmental service agreement and documentation and testing rescheduled to 2015-16. Network and server infrastructure general computer control assessment activities were undertaken by Shared Services Canada and the results reported to departments. An Entity Level Control Framework that documented key entity level controls for infrastructure services was completed.
Pay and benefits, operating expenses testing Pay and benefits testing was limited to the pay initiation and post payment controls occurring in the department. Operating expenses control testing wasred to 2015-16.
Capital assets: documentation update and design effectiveness The design effectiveness of the capital asset key controls wasred to 2015-16 due to the rescheduling of the asset management module implementation to April 2015.
Financial close Documentation of the financial close process continued. 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

The IRB's rotational ongoing monitoring plan over future years, based on an annual validation of the high-risk processes and controls and related adjustments to the ongoing monitoring plan as required, is shown in the following table.

Entity Level Controls
Documentation Design Effectiveness Operating Effectiveness
2015-2016
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 yes
Financial close yes yes yes
2016-2017 and Subsequent Years
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