Across B.C., each university’s board of governors has a critical role in overseeing cybersecurity risk management. They review strategies to protect IT systems and personal data, and they hold university management accountable for those strategies. This audit focused on the board of Vancouver Island University and its oversight of cybersecurity risk management at VIU.
Our office has followed-up on 112 recommendations made to B.C. government organizations in 18 audits of programs and services. These performance audits were reported in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and government agreed to address all of the recommendations.
The Office of the Auditor General’s Annual Report and Financial Statements 2022/23 highlights achievements and summarizes the independent assurance and trusted information we provided to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. This is a report on the achievements of the goals, objectives, and performance measures set out in our annual service plan. The annual financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Our financial statements and annual report are audited by an independent auditor, and their two audit reports are included.
In 2020, B.C.’s tourism sector was devastated by COVID-19-related closures and nearly two-thirds of people working in the industry lost their jobs. In response, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport quickly designed and launched the $41.4-million Destination Development grant program, supporting 106 tourism-related projects across the province. We looked at whether the ministry administered the grants according to government transfer payment policy and program guidelines.
Public sector organizations need a strong fraud risk management framework to safeguard public dollars against potential losses due to fraud. In B.C., government ministries are expected to follow a common approach to fraud detection, prevention and response, with oversight by the Office of the Comptroller General. We sent a questionnaire to 22 ministries to understand how they perceive and manage the risk of fraud.
The Public Service Agency (PSA) supports human resources for 35,000 provincial government workers and is currently leading a strategy to ensure the public service is inclusive and diverse. We looked at whether the PSA had established strong governance to ensure that the strategy can achieve its goals.
We sent a questionnaire to 23 Crown organizations, post-secondary institutions, school districts, health authorities and associations, to understand how they perceive and manage the risk of fraud. This information will help our auditors plan our annual audit of the Province’s summary financial statements — the largest financial statement audit in B.C.