Audit of the National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program

Internal Audit

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting function designed to add value and improve the Agency's operations. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

Internal audit engagements are authorized as part of the CFIA's risk-based audit plan, which is updated at least annually for approval by the President. Internal audits are carried out in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit and the Institute of Internal Auditors' International Professional Practices Framework. Final internal audit reports are approved by the President on the recommendation of the CFIA audit committee.

Overview

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for monitoring the food supply for chemical residues and contaminants and enforcing compliance with maximum residue limits (MRLs), tolerances and maximum levels established by Health Canada.

The National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program (NCRMP) provides information about the residue levels and compliance status of the Canadian food supply. The NCRMP allows the CFIA to identify trends over time, gauge the effectiveness of policies and programs, and develop strategic plans to minimize potential health risks to Canadians. It also enables the CFIA to identify where follow-up and enforcement action is necessary. In addition, the NCRMP supports the export of Canadian products to trading partners such as the United States and the European Union by demonstrating the equivalence of Canada's residue control system.

The objective of the audit was to provide reasonable assurance that there are adequate processes and controls in place for the management and delivery of the NCRMP.

Key Findings

The audit concluded that process and control improvements are required, most notably with respect to establishing clear accountability, roles and responsibilities, and program objectives; and strengthening the management of follow-up on identified violations to ensure that actions and decisions are taken and documented. The audit provides seven recommendations aimed at addressing these findings.

Complete Report

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