It Takes a Village to Manage Risk: The big vision and big impact of a collaborative Government of Canada internal audit community
There was a perception, and in some cases a reality, that internal audit toiled in the present, focused on past events, searching for systemic issues which, once fixed, would lead to improvements for the future. This might have been sufficient for that time, however, events and their associated risks began to completely outpace the ability for massive enterprises like the government of Canada to respond. However, thanks to the purposeful community approach and the willingness of departmental Chief Audit Executives to head up centrally led initiatives, the face, but not necessarily the pace, of risk is changing. The presentation will talk about the changes in the role of the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG), once considered the “compliance police” and now widely seen as the steward of the government’s vision for better, timelier assurance. In order to meet these new expectations, OCG has become the propagator of an internal audit suite of services that focuses on the time and the audit resources available matched to the level of assurance required. Using web-enabled tools and focusing on community engagement, the OCG has also initiated the AUDITorium, an online platform to share public sector best practices and tools. This vision of internal audit changes not only the way auditors see the challenges in front of them but also how their organizations see them and the value they add. Finally, the presentation will discuss how internal audit is in the midst of another major change; one that brings past, present and future together. OCG has launched an initiative that aspires to leverage artificial intelligence tools to harvest key risk information from engagement reports and risk-based audit plans from past years and organize these as a searchable body of knowledge to provide baseline information and historical risk context for future endeavors. 1OCG is also developing an internal audit portal so departments can upload their audit products directly into a database that will support an audit intelligence system that can be used to generate timelier reporting on government-wide risks which will lead to value added impact.