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Comparing Audit and Evaluation in the Government of Canada

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Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Comparing Audit and Evaluation in the Government of Canada
Prepared by Ian D. Clark for a Presentation to PADM 5420 (Professor Leslie A. Pal) on January 17, 2014



Internal Audit

Program Evaluation

Treasury Board of Canada Definition

Internal auditing in the Government of Canada is a professional, independent and objective appraisal function that uses a disciplined, evidence-based approach to assess and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.
Policy on Internal Audit, 3.1)

In the Government of Canada, evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of evidence on the outcomes of programs to make judgments about their relevance, performance and alternative ways to deliver them or to achieve the same results.
Policy on Evaluation, 3.1)

Common Meaning
(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

1a) a formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation
2) a methodical examination and review
Synonyms: inspection, check, checkup, examination, going-over, look-see, review, scan, scrutiny, survey, view

1) to determine or fix the value of
2) to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study
Synonyms: appraise, assess, estimate, guesstimate, rate, set, valuate, value


Internal Audit (c.f., External Audit by Auditor General), Management Practice Audit, Recipient Audit, Forensic Audit, Financial Audit, Compliance Audit, Performance Audit

Interim (Formative) Evaluation, Impact (Summative) Evaluation

Goals (and tension)

1) Accountability; 2)Improvement

1) Improvement; 2) Accountability

“2 Ps and 3 Es”

Prudence, Probity, Economy

Efficiency, Effectiveness

Bad Findings

Noncompliance, Irregularity, Misuse, Abuse, Illegality, Fraud

Inefficiency, Waste


Political Embarrassment, Dismissal, Imprisonment

Reassignment, Program Change


All Auditable Units (e.g., 50 Program AUs; 30 Internal Services AUs)

All Programs (preferably aligned with the Program Auditable Units)

Selecting Entities

Risk-based, but goal of covering all audit entities

Legislated 5-year cycle for all grants and contributions programs

Enthusiasm of Entities

Low to Very Low (with exceptions)

Neutral to Low (with exceptions)


Application of the Internal Auditing Standards for the Government of Canada (IIA Standards plus additional points). See also Directive on Internal Auditing in the Government of Canada.

Application of the Standard on Evaluation for the Government of Canada. See also Directive on the Evaluation Function and the Core Issues to be Addressed in its Annex A.)

Methodological Tools

Audit Scope, Audit Criteria, Interviews, Documentation Review, Sample Testing

Evaluation Scope, Logic Model, Literature Review (including Best Practices), Document and File Review, Key Informant Interviews, Case Studies

Performance Measurement

Is a performance measurement system in place?

What do the performance measures tell us and how can they be improved?

Report Length

20-40 pages

50-200 pages

Formal Client

Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister


Audit Committee (external members, including Chair)

Evaluation Committee (DM Chair, sometimes with external advisors)

Report Output

Audit Recommendations

Evaluation Recommendations


Management Response and Action Plan

Management Response and Action Plan


Audit Report and Management Response

Evaluation Report and Management Response

Parliamentary and Media Interest

Occasionally intense (e.g., Internal audit of HRDC grants and contributions in 2000)



$50,000 to $150,000

$50,000 to $200,000

Number per Year



Unit Budget

$3-6 million per year; 12-25 FTEs

$3-6 million; 12-25 FTEs

Central Agency

Office of the Comptroller General (Internal Audit Sector)

Treasury Board Secretariat, Centre of Expertise for Evaluation

Academic Preparation

Accounting, Public Administration

Public Policy, Public Administration, Economics, Sociology, Statistics

Professional Societies

Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Canada

Canadian Evaluation Society

Certifications and Designations

IIA Certifications (Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Government Auditing Professional, Certified Financial Services Auditor, Certification in Risk Management Assurance Certification in Control Self-Assessment), Accounting Certifications (CA, CMA, CGA)

Credentialed Evaluator (CE)

Occupational Group

PA (Program and Administrative Services)

EC (Economics and Social Science Services)

External Contractors

Accounting Firms

Evaluation Boutiques, Accounting Firms



 PDF Version


Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance