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PACP Committee Report

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Government Response to the Eleventh Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts

Public Accounts Of Canada 2007

Recommendation 1
The Office of the Comptroller General work with those departments who have not yet completed their departmental audit readiness assessments so as to ensure that these assessments are completed by 30 September 2008.

The Government agrees with the recommendation and is preparing the largest twenty-two departments to be able to undergo a controls reliant audit.  These departments, plus organizations already receiving audit opinions on their financial statements represent roughly 95% of total government spending.

At present, audit readiness assessments have been completed for the twenty-two large departments and action plans are being finalized.  The work required to be prepared for an audit varies by department. Target dates for audit are posted on the Office of the Comptroller General’s website, and can be found at www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fin/afsi-iefv/afsi-iefv_e.asp.

Recommendation 2
The Canada Revenue Agency modify its tax revenue estimation methodology by 30 September 2008. If this cannot be done by this date, the Canada Revenue Agency should explain to the Public Accounts Committee the reasons for the inability to meet this deadline and provide the Committee with a date by which this modification will be done.

The Government agrees with the recommendation. The financial statements of the Government of Canada are prepared on an accrual basis of accounting, which requires substantial use of estimation. Some of the most significant estimates are in the area of tax revenues.  Responsibility for developing the methodology used for estimating the tax revenues is a collaborative effort between the Canada Revenue Agency, The Department of Finance and the Office of the Comptroller General. The Government continually looks to improve its estimates in these areas and has made changes to its methodology for estimating tax revenues in three of the past four years. For the fiscal year 2007-2008, additional improvements are being discussed with the Office of the Auditor General to address the concerns raised related to tax revenues.