Becoming Performance Audit Ready – the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Relationship
Since 2012
Key Team Members
Richard Eaton
Norma Glendinning
The BC Labour Market and Immigration Division of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training engaged Berlineaton to help them better prepare for a performance audit.  The leadership team believed the Division likely would be audited by the BC Office of the Auditor General and wanted to proactively prepare for this eventuality. Besides wanting to pass such an audit with flying colours, the Division’s leadership team also understood that being ready for an audit leads to improved operational effectiveness.  

Project Overview
One of the programs that the Division is responsible for is the Provincial Nominee Program. This program selects economic immigrants based on BC's economic needs and priorities, and nominates them for expedited permanent resident status.   

At the time the Division asked for our help, they knew of four other provinces whose Provincial Nominee Programs had already been audited, and all had been found to have deficiencies that were clearly outlined in embarrassing public reports.  To avoid a similar outcome, the Division engaged us to help them prepare.  

We delivered a Performance Audit Ready workshop to 30 Division personnel in Vancouver. We worked with the Management Team on the first day and a broader, cross section of staff on the second day.  Over these two days, we helped them better understand what a performance audit is and is not, the process auditors follow and how to become ready for an audit.  

As a team, they used our assessment tool to self-assess how prepared their Division was for a performance audit. Based on their assessment, they determined their priorities for improvement and created a plan to close the gaps.  
Conclusion
At the end of the workshop participants completed a post-session survey and some of the comments they shared with us include:

  • “I got a lot of value out of understanding what the auditor does when they get engaged with an organization, and what I can do to help manage the audit process.” 
  • “I got a lot of good tips that I can use right now.” 
  • “I enjoyed having an opportunity to interact with Norma and benefit from her knowledge/experience.” 
  • “I found the tools simple to understand, easy to use and very practical. We can do this back in our office right now.”
This is how Ian Mellor, the Executive Director responsible for the program summarized the experience: 

“The workshop enabled us to identify areas for improvement and develop an action plan to enhance our organization’s effectiveness.  As a result, we are strengthening our strategic and operation planning and implementing an annual updating cycle, which we expect will lead to improved performance management, as well as create a more rewarding work environment. 

I would recommend this workshop to other public sector organizations that need to assess and improve their readiness for a performance audit.”

Today

To date, the BC Provincial Nominee Program has not been audited by the Auditor General of BC, but Division staff is no longer concerned because they know they are prepared and will do well if the auditor comes knocking on their door. 
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