Espace 400e Audit Quebec City
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Espace 400e Audit Quebec City

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PARKS CANADA AGENCY ESPACE 400e AUDIT QUEBEC CITY FINAL OCTOBER 2007 e Parks Canada Agency Espace 400 Audit © Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Parks Canada Agency, 2007 Catalogue Number: ISBN: OIAE 2 September 2007 e Parks Canada Agency Espace 400 Audit TABLE OF CONTENTS SUMMARY 4 1.BACKGROUND 5 2.OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE 5 3.METHODOLOGY 6 4.ASSURANCE STATEMENT 7 5.CONCLUSION 7 6. OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7 6.1 Management control framework 7 6.1.1 Conceptualization 8 6.1.2 Planning 9 6.1.3 Performance 11 6.1.4 Completion6.2 Funds spent as planned 12 6.3 Fair and optimal use of contracting resources 13 APPENDIX A 14 OIAE 3 September 2007 e Parks Canada Agency Espace 400 Audit SUMMARY 2008 will be the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, the first permanent French colony in North America. A committee made up of federal, provincial, Aboriginal and municipal government representatives is coordinating the anniversary celebrations. In May 2005, Treasury Board allocated $24 million to the Parks Canada Agency to develop the Louise Basin and the Espace 400e Pavilion, which will become a Parks Canada Discovery Centre in 2009. eThe Espace 400 ...

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PARKS CANADA AGENCY  
ESPACE 400e AUDIT QUEBEC CITY
FINAL
OCTOBER 2007
Parks Canada Agency  
 
                                     © Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Parks Canada Agency, 2007  Catalogue Number: ISBN:     
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SUMMARY 1.  BACKGROUND 2.  OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE 3.  METHODOLOGY 4.  ASSURANCE STATEMENT 5.  CONCLUSION 6.  OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1  Management control framework 6.1.1  Conceptualization 6.1.2  Planning 6.1.3  Performance 6.1.4  Completion 6.2  Funds spent as planned 6.3  Fair and optimal use of contracting resources  APPENDIX A
                
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 SUMMARY  2008 will be the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, the first permanent French colony in North America. A committee made up of federal, provincial, Aboriginal and municipal government representatives is coordinating the anniversary celebrations.  In May 2005, Treasury Board allocated $24 million to the Parks Canada Agency to develop the Louise Basin and the Espace 400e Pavilion, which will become a Parks Canada Discovery Centre in 2009.  The Espace 400 e project audit, a requirement of the Treasury Board submission, had been included in the Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation’s three-year plan for the 2007-08 fiscal year and was conducted by a team from the Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation.  The objective of the audit was to provide senior management with an independent evaluation of the existence of an effective management control framework and give assurance that the funds allocated were spent as planned and that there was fair and optimal use of contracting resources.  Visits to the Quebec City Field Unit and Service Centre were conducted between August 6 and August 31, 2007. Managers and staff in the field unit responsible for key financial processes were interviewed. The relevant supporting documents, contracts and invoices for the period of April 2005 to July 2007 were examined.  In our opinion, the audit work carried out and the evidence gathered are sufficient to support the findings set out in this report.  Overall, the audit team observed sound management and good cooperation between the various stakeholders involved in managing the Espace 400 e  project. The systems and controls in place are adequate and minimize the risk of non-compliance with PCA policies and procedures.  The management control framework, expenditure of allocated funds, and fair and optimal use of contracting resources are under control; no recommendation is needed.  According to the rating system used for audit reports, our observations allow us to conclude that the overall rating is:    GREEN Controlled Controls are functioning as intended and no additional actions are necessary at this time.
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 1. BACKGROUND  2008 will be the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, the first permanent French colony in North America. This oldest city in Canada is the source of the Canadian values of cultural diversity and linguistic duality. In addition, the historic district of Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A committee made up of federal, provincial, Aboriginal and municipal government representatives is coordinating the anniversary celebrations. In May 2004, the committee, known as the Société du 400 e anniversaire de Québec, commissioned an analysis of potential sites for “Espace 400 e - un lieu de rencontre,” a focal point for the festivities marking the 400th anniversary. The Louise Basin in the Old Port of Quebec City was selected as the ideal venue for Espace 400e.  In May 2005, a Treasury Board submission was approved giving the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) $24 million to develop the Louise Basin and the Espace 400e Pavilion (hereinafter referred to as “the project”). The Director General for Eastern Canada is responsible for establishing the general direction of the project and approving the management structure. Under his authority, the Director of the Quebec City Field Unit is responsible for overall management of the project. The Director works with the Quebec City Port Authority, the Société du 400 e , the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec, Public Works and Government Services Canada and Quebec City.  The project consists more specifically in the expansion of the Old Port interpretation centre, which will become a Parks Canada Discovery Centre in 2009; production of cultural and thematic exhibits; upgrading of infrastructures around the Louise Basin; and development of temporary facilities for Espace 400 e .  The Espace 400 e project audit, a requirement in the Treasury Board submission, had been included in the Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation’s three-year plan for the 2007-08 fiscal year and was conducted by a team from the Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation.  2. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE  The objectives of the audit, set out in the Treasury Board submission, were to provide senior management with an independent evaluation of: - the existence of an effective management control framework;  and give assurance that: - the funds allocated were spent as planned; and - there was fair and optimal use of contracting resources.  The criteria used to attain these objectives are listed in Appendix A.
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 The audit covers only transactions posted between April 1, 2005, and July 31, 2007, and processes developed and implemented during that period. The audit is the first of two included in the Treasury Board submission. The second audit is to be done when the project ends in 2009.  3. METHODOLOGY  Visits to the Quebec City Field Unit and Service Centre were conducted between August 6 and August 31, 2007. The following activities were carried out during these visits:  - interviews with managers and staff in the field unit responsible for key financial processes; - visit to the Espace 400 e site; - examination of relevant documents, including analyses, studies, agreements between PCA and Public Works and Government Services Canada and between PCA and the Quebec City Port Authority, miscellaneous financial reports and minutes of meetings; - examination of contracts and invoices.  Our observations and recommendations were made in accordance with the audit report rating system described below:  Audit Reporting Rating System  ng or are nonexistent.   RED Unsatisfactory ICmonmtreodlisa taer em naonta fguenmcteinotn aictions need to be taken to correct the situation. ORANGE Significant Controls in place are weak. Several major issues were Improvements noted that could jeopardize the accomplishment of Needed program/operational objectives. Immediate management actions need to be taken to address the control deficiencies noted. YELLOW Moderate Some controls are in place and functioning. However, Improvements major issues were noted and need to be addressed. Needed These issues could impact on the achievement or not of program/operational objectives. BLUE Minor Many of the controls are functioning as intended. Improvements However, some minor changes are necessary to make Needed the control environment more effective and efficient. GREEN Controlled Controls are functioning as intended and no additional actions are necessary at this time.
 
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Once the on-site work was completed, a preliminary report was submitted to the project manager.  4. ASSURANCE STATEMENT  In our opinion, the audit work carried out and the evidence gathered are sufficient to support the findings set out in this report.  5. GENERAL CONCLUSION  Management of the Espace 400 e project exemplifies sound management and good cooperation between the various stakeholders. The management control framework in place is effective. The project has clearly-identified objectives, the roles and responsibilities are defined, and the division of tasks is clear. In periodic meetings with the various stakeholders, cost and schedule changes were examined and monitored in order to comply with the project limitations. All of the funds allocated by Treasury Board and used to date have been spent solely for the purposes of the project. The contracting process was followed to the letter. The following section describes the various elements.  6. OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   6.1 Management control framework  GREEN Controlled Controls are functioning as intended and no additional actions are necessary at this time.  A management control framework is a set of procedures and directives aimed at ensuring that the established objectives are met. Establishing a management control framework facilitates cohesion and coordination between activities and provides direction for the various stakeholders involved. Implementing an effective management control framework enables the manager to track the progress of a project, quickly identify situations or activities that present a risk (for example, late delivery, cost overrun) and maximize the chances of completing the project on time and within budget.  By definition, a project is a temporary undertaking aimed at meeting a specific goal. The chances of a project succeeding are increased if the following four steps are put in place and monitored:   conceptualization (i.e., setting objectives, a budget and general deadlines);  planning (i.e., acquiring financial and human resources, assigning duties and coordinating activities);  execution (i.e., monitoring operations and costs, adjusting or modifying plans, and completing the project on time and within budget);
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 delivery (i.e., delivery to the user).  In most cases, completion of a project requires input from various stakeholders and coordination of multiple simultaneous or consecutive activities. The temporary nature of a project often assumes the existence of a time limit that is an important consideration in making decisions.  The development of Espace 400 e fits this definition perfectly. Consequently, the effectiveness of its management framework was evaluated according to the above-mentioned steps other than delivery, since the audit was conducted before work was completed. For that final phase, the emphasis was primarily on meeting deadlines in order to ensure timely delivery of the product.  6.1.1 CONCEPTUALIZATION  Objectives The objectives phase of the creation of Espace 400 e was carried out before the Parks Canada Agency became involved in the project. However, when it came on board with the project, PCA embraced the development concept. A review of the various preliminary studies conducted to evaluate potential sites and assess environmental impact showed that every effort was made to maximize the selection of an ideal site for Espace 400 e . Moreover, a risk analysis was conducted by Public Works and Government Services Canada and was included in the Treasury Board submission.  Budget From the outset of the project, budget management has been handled by one manager. That person has now retired but will continue to oversee the project for the next six months. The work will be done on a part-time basis as the project progresses. An advisory committee has been set up, and signing authority will be given to the Executive Director for Quebec.  Given that the initial budget estimates for the project submitted in April 2005 by Société du 400 e totalled more than $34 million, the budgets were reviewed and adjusted so as not to exceed the allocated envelope. The original project was modified to ensure that the total cost of the project would stay within budget.  The initial allocation of expenditures included $4.3 million for specific purposes: $1.7 million to cover management and administrative costs and $2.6 million to cover the Parks Canada exhibit. Rolling those costs into the project eliminated the financial pressure that would otherwise have been placed on the field unit to manage the project. This is a very good management practice.  Deadlines Every sub-project has a delivery date. Possession of the site is scheduled for February 2008. Completion of work on the pavilion is scheduled for December 2007. Development of the Louise Basin should be completed by the end of October 2007. The
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temporary facilities should be ready by May 2008 and the Parks Canada exhibit should be available in March 2009.  A timetable has also been established by the contractors for timely delivery of the interpretation centre, the focal point of Espace 400 e . The timetable is reviewed regularly to ensure that there are no delays.  The site visit provided an opportunity to determine the status of the work and according to the records, the project is on track.   6.1.2 PLANNING  Resources The $24 million authorized by Treasury Board represents the full amount of the financial resources allocated to Parks Canada for the Espace 400 e project. This amount was allocated over four years, and the field unit receives a payment in April of each year as part of the previously established budget program. The only extra staff provision in the field unit for Espace 400 e was a student hired for the exhibit phase of the project. Current staff will carry out the entire project in addition to their regular duties. Salaries for project staff are therefore covered by the funds received for the project, and a separate line item has been created.  Assignment of tasks The Director General, Eastern Canada has designated the Quebec City Field Unit as the Parks Canada representative. The field unit is therefore responsible for overall management of the project, which includes identifying general project needs and specific needs and coordinating activities, resources, committees and budget management in accordance with PCA policies.  Owing to the specialized nature of the work, Parks Canada has signed an agreement with PWGSC under which Public Works will assume responsibility for identifying technical and professional needs, awarding and administering contracts, negotiating costs and agreements with consultants and contractors, and providing goods and services. One project manager and two component managers have been designated to represent Public Works and Government Services Canada. Signing of contracts and validation of any extras that arise throughout the life of the project but that are not included in the initial contract are the responsibility of the project manager. Work is monitored by the component managers, one of whom is responsible for the development of the Louise Basin, the other for the pavilion project. These managers are responsible for validating expenditures submitted to them and sending status reports to Parks Canada. A consulting firm has been hired to be on site at all times in order to ensure the quality of the product. The consultants validate the invoices submitted by contractors, sign them and send them to PWGSC for processing. PWGSC then prepares invoices for Parks Canada. A PWGSC employee carries out daily monitoring of the site; however, the manager responsible for the Agency is very involved in project management.  
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Coordination of activities When the Louise Basin was chosen as the site for Espace 400 e , a five-year plan was developed jointly with the various stakeholders involved in the project. A number of committees were created, including a technical project development committee made up of representatives of the Quebec City Port Authority, the Parks Canada Agency, Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Société du 400 e , the Commission de la capitale nationale de Québec and the environmental monitoring committee, with input from fifteen other organizations, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Health Canada and Environment Canada. At the start of the project, meetings were held periodically to track information, timetables and costs. The committee is still in place, but meetings are now held as needed.  Because the various project initiatives were being carried out on Government of Canada property, including property owned by the Quebec City Port Authority, the Parks Canada Agency and Public Works and Government Services Canada, agreements were made in order to define the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders, define authority and determine responsibility for infrastructure management.  Site meetings are held every two weeks. Minutes are kept. The schedules set by the contractor are reviewed regularly, and copies are attached to the minutes.  Coordination of activities among the various stakeholders is going well, largely owing to ongoing dialogue and regular meetings. One example of coordination is the development of the bicycle path that cuts through the various properties, but is managed in its entirety by Quebec City. Development takes the various needs into account in order to ensure that work does not have to be redone because something was overlooked (e.g., water pipes, wiring).  Regarding the coordination of activities within the Parks Canada Agency, the Director General for Eastern Canada is PCA’s authority for the project as a whole. The project has been incorporated into the activities of the Quebec City field unit, and a manager has been specifically designated to oversee project operations. Once the work is done and the portion related to the 400th anniversary activities is complete, project management will be transferred to the Director of the Quebec City Field Unit, who will oversee the conversion of the interpretation centre to a Parks Canada Discovery Centre by 2009.  Moreover, to enable the Director General for Eastern Canada to assume his designated responsibilities, an internal monitoring committee was recently created. The committee, headed by the Executive Director of Quebec, will report directly to the Director General. Since this is a new committee, tasks among the members had not yet been determined at the time of the audit.   Since the project started, presentations have been made to the Parks Canada steering committee in order to provide progress reports. The last meeting was held in April 2007.   
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6.1.3 PERFORMANCE  Tracking of operations and costs As stated earlier, management of operations related to construction and development of the site has been assigned to PWGSC under a specific service agreement (SSA) for the duration of the project. Since this is a multi-year project, Parks and PWGSC reach an agreement at the beginning of each fiscal year on a budget envelope for the year. In December, the numbers are reviewed and adjusted as needed. If there is any change, the SSA is amended. The SSA and any amendments made at the time of the audit were in the file.  Despite the project management agreement between PWGSC and Parks Canada, the Quebec City field unit retained full responsibility for financial management of the Espace 400 e project and had to put in place controls to ensure proper tracking of costs. The involvement of the Parks Canada manager at all stages of the project and constant communication among the various stakeholders made it possible to ensure very good tracking, reflected in the fact that the project is on time and within budget.  Project adjustments and modifications The contractors on the project carry out construction work from previously approved plans. If changes become necessary, the contractors annotate the plans as the work proceeds. At the end of the project, copies of the plans will be given to the consultant representing the architectural firm; the consultant is responsible for updating the official plans that will be given to Parks Canada when the project is delivered.  When a change is necessary, the consultant submits a notice of change and the contractor submits a price. The consultant analyses and recommends proceeding with the notice of change to PWGSC. The PWGSC manager is then responsible for validating the information and allowing the contractor to proceed with the proposed change.  All change notices are numbered. The action taken on a change notice and the authorizations granted are reflected in the minutes.  Expenditures are monitored closely, and budget amendments are made as planned activities are changed. For example, a project to build a walkway at the end of the basin was cancelled because the activities originally planned for that area would not be taking place. That change in the project freed up money that will be redirected to other potential projects related to Espace 400 e .  6.1.4 COMPLETION  The involvement of the Quebec City Field Unit in the Espace 400 e project was aimed at meeting two separate objectives, namely: (1)  preparation of the site as a gathering place during the festivities with a temporary exhibit showcasing the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City
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