Audit function: best value service delivery

Benefits to Guelph residents: streamlined processes, cost savings and program and service delivery improvements

ServiceGuelph counterWith a mission to provide outstanding municipal service and value, City Hall is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve the way it delivers services to the community.

Internal audit is a function that helps with continuous service improvement and greater efficiency. Realizing the need for such a function, Council approved the role of an Internal Auditor and established an Audit Committee.

Internal audit is a professional, independent assurance and consulting function designed to add value and improve the City of Guelph’s operations and systems of internal controls. Internal Audit brings a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. The Internal Auditor helps Council and management to perform their responsibilities and advises on risk management, program and service delivery continuous improvements for residents and businesses.

An example of how the Internal Auditor improves services is through an operational audit of ServiceGuelph. Recommendations were made to enhance services. Among them, a six month pilot of extended service hours on Thursdays to measure customer walk-in traffic and the type of City Hall services residents would like offered after hours. The pilot began in January 2014.

The City’s first internal audit looked at controls and compliance with regards to the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR). 24 recommendations to improve the City’s vehicle fleet management and operations were made by the Internal Auditor. An action plan was developed to address inconsistencies and deficiencies in driver training, disciplinary programs, record-keeping, reporting and corporate policies.

A follow up audit noted significant work has been done to improve processes and compliance with MTO legislative requirements. And customers can continue to have confidence in the City’s transit which is meeting the Ministry’s obligations. Furthermore, the Internal Auditor has conducted a number of program, operational controls and compliance audits which have resulted in streamlined processes, cost savings, improved internal controls or enhanced program and service delivery.

These include the implementation of a corporate wide overtime policy; procurement controls and compliance. The Legal and Realty Services was a value for money audit.

The Internal Auditor has also played a significant role in identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks to ensure that corporate objectives are achieved. An Enterprise Risk Management Framework was approved by Council. With a sound framework in place, Guelph residents and stakeholders can be assured that due diligence and sound financial management is focused on areas of greatest risk and potential savings, efficiencies and continuous service improvements.

“By identifying and proactively addressing risks and opportunities, the City improves how it protects the interests of the public. Identifying and managing risk is everyone’s responsibility and is one component of good corporate governance” – Loretta Alonzo, City Internal Auditor.