THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF PEEL

AUDIT SUBCOMMITTEE

M I N U T E S      ASC-2007-4


The Audit Subcommittee met on June 21, 2007, at 8:33 a.m. in the Council Chamber, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton.

Members Present: C. Corbasson; E. Kolb; R. Paterak; R. Whitehead
     
Members Absent:   G. Miles, due to other municipal business
     
Also Present:   D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; D. Labrecque, Chief Financial Officer; L. Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services; R. Wiseman, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information and Technology Services; B. Wilson, Director, Internal Audit; K. Travers, Associate Partner, KPMG; J. Payne, Committee Clerk

Chaired by Councillor R. Whitehead


1. DECLARATIONS OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
- Nil


2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

RECOMMENDATION ASC-7-2007:

That the agenda for the June 21, 2007 Audit Subcommittee meeting be approved.


3. DELEGATIONS/PRESENTATIONS - Nil


4. REPORTS

a) Information and Technology Services Governance Assessment
Presentation by Laura Nashman, Commissioner of Employee and Business Services; Roy Wiseman, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information and Technology Services; and Beate Wilson, Director, Internal Audit

Received

Beate Wilson, Director, Internal Audit explained that the CobiT framework (Control Objective for Information and Related Technologies) was selected because it is a proven method of assessing the information and technology maturity of a corporation. The Region of Peel Internal Audit division and the Region of Peel Information and Technology (I&T) Services division worked in cooperation with The Manta Group, an external consultant, to conduct the assessment.

Laura Nashman, Commissioner, Employee and Business Services provided a high level overview of the CobiT assessment and highlighted the areas that were selected and targeted during the process. The assessment provided valuable recommendations that the I&T Services division will be acting upon.

Councillor Corbasson expressed concern that the subject report indicated that it has been 10 years since the last internal audit of I&T Services at the Region of Peel. She requested that the Internal Audit division undertake a timely audit schedule moving forward as it relates to information and technology at the Region of Peel. Laura Nashman responded that I&T Services performance measures are reported to Regional Council through reports such as the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) report and the Public Service Network Annual report. Laura Nashman indicated that additional reporting to Regional Council regarding the internal controls that are in place within the I&T Services division could be provided if that would help in addressing the concerns raised by Councillor Corbasson. Beate Wilson clarified that the CobiT assessment was not an audit; rather it was a facilitated self-assessment to determine the current status of I&T Services governance. Beate Wilson noted that numerous internal audits both completed and pending in the business areas of the organization include significant examination of information technology components used to support those business areas. Based on the concerns raised by Councillor Corbasson, Beate Wilson expressed her willingness to review the 2008 to 2010 Internal Audit Work Plan to determine if further audits involving I&T Services could be incorporated.

Councillor Paterak inquired if essential Regional services that are dependent upon technology have built in redundancies. Laura Nashman responded that redundancies are in place to ensure key services can still be delivered to the public. Roy Wiseman, Chief Information Officer, advised the Committee of an internal project that has assessed the various technological needs within each of the departments and identified work-arounds in the event technological services are not available. Based on this information, I&T Services has developed a prioritized systems recovery protocol for the Region of Peel.

Councillor Whitehead inquired if the overall CobiT assessment was deemed to be successful. Laura Nashman indicated that the assessment was very valuable. It provided I&T Services with recommendations for improvement and the identification of key areas of the business to improve upon moving forward.

Councillor Whitehead expressed concern about the organization and control over information in general terms at the Region. By way of a specific example, he referred to interactions with staff where outdated e-mail and residential address information was utilized to communicate with him. He suggested that more centralized control of such information would resolve this situation. Further, he noted that staff e-mail addresses are not readily available, yet phone extensions are, which seems at odds with current technology. Laura Nashman responded that the points raised by Councillor Whitehead do have an impact upon the reputation of the organization where it involves public interaction and as such she indicated that she would undertake a review of how information is organized, retained and updated based on the examples provided by Councillor Whitehead.

b) Treasury Services Audit

Received

Beate Wilson provided a brief overview regarding the audit of Treasury Services. She stated that the audit findings show that effective controls are in place in accordance with legislative and Council approved investment limitations. The report contained six recommendations regarding improvements to procedures, documentation and compliance. Beate Wilson noted that Treasury Services division staff are very proactive in adopting and implementing the recommendations set out in the audit findings report.

c) Results of the 2006 Audit Effectiveness Surveys

Received

Beate Wilson advised the Committee of the 2006 Audit Effectiveness Survey results which confirmed the following: that clients were engaged in the audit process; audit staff gained sufficient knowledge of the audit subject matter; the audit was conducted in an objective and professional manner; key issues and findings were discussed throughout the audit; and, the audit recommendations helped improve business processes. Areas for improvement were also identified by clients and Internal Audit will consider the suggestions put forward by management to further refine the internal audit process.


5. COMMUNICATIONS

a) "Tone at the Top" Newsletter: May 2007

Received


6. SCHEDULE OF FUTURE MEETINGS

NEXT MEETING

October 4, 2007
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Regional Administrative Headquarters
Council Chamber, 5th Floor
10 Peel Centre Dr.
Brampton, Ontario


7. OTHER BUSINESS
- Nil


8. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 a.m.