Overall, the audit found that governance priorities and controls regarding the use of THS contracts would benefit from significant improvements (see Appendix A for complete conclusion scale with definitions).

It is only since the creation of the Senior Procurement Review Committee (SPRC) in December 2011 that there has been any challenge and oversight of THS use in the Department.  The SPRC plays a limited challenge as to whether or not a responsibility centre manager’s need for professional services resources should be met through the contracting of the resource or through other means such as permanent or temporary staffing arrangements.  Once the SPRC agrees with the responsibility centre manager’s request to enter into a contract for professional services, there is no further challenge or oversight of THS contracting, either by the SPRC or by contracting staff.

The appropriateness of delegating THS contracting authority to responsibility centre managers has not been reassessed since THS limits were increased in 2008 from $89K to $400K. There would be merit in reviewing these delegations in the context of risk and expenditure controls.  There would also be merit in reviewing the SPRC role with respect to THS contracts.

Finally, the audit found that the control framework needs to be strengthened to:

  • reduce the high volume of financial system coding errors being made.  (It was noted that recent changes to the department’s financial system will also help reduce coding errors and improve the accuracy of reporting.);
  • ensure contracted resources meet the minimum requirements of the position (stream and classification) as stipulated by PWGSC;
  • ensure a THS contract is the most cost-effective and appropriate vehicle to obtain required resources and to complete the work required; and
  • ensure complete file documentation is being maintained.
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