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The attached report provides information supporting the Auditor General’s 2022 Operating Budget request of $7.658 million. This includes $675,000 to restore the Auditor General’s budget to pre-pandemic (2020) levels and an additional $325,000 in temporary funding for a pandemic related audit requested by City Management. The Auditor General’s budget request reflects funding needed to help address some of the following:

  • responding to an expanded mandate1 and inflow of requests for audits
  • providing valuable independent oversight of critical systems to ensure the City is well-positioned to detect, mitigate, and respond to IT and cybersecurity risks
  • conducting investigations on serious, time-sensitive issues, and
  • undertaking the City-wide COVID-19 Continuous Improvement Audit.

In light of funding issues brought on by the pandemic, the Auditor General worked on delivering a larger mandate within a reduced 2021 budget. While she and her dedicated staff accomplished important work on this expanded mandate in 2021, some of that work carries on and more issues are being identified, so support is needed to meet critical emerging issues, in addition to working on projects in this expanded mandate. The Auditor General is requesting a return to her 2020 budget level by adding back $675,000 to her budget.

The Auditor General is also considering an audit that stems from a special request from the City Manager, the Fire Chief & General Manager of Emergency Management & COVID-19 Incident Commander, and the Medical Officer of Health. They have requested an audit of how the City performed during the pandemic, with a goal of also identifying how to be better prepared in the future. Should City Council support this request, the Auditor General would need additional temporary funding of $325,000 to conduct this work. This amount is already included in the Auditor General’s 2022 budget request.

The Auditor General’s Office provides City Council with an independent assessment of the safeguarding of public funds and whether the City is achieving value for money in operations by conducting performance, cybersecurity, financial, operational and compliance audits and reviews, and forensic investigations of City divisions and certain City agencies and corporations. As reported in her past Annual Reports, the Auditor General continues to demonstrate her value to City Council through the net positive return on quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits to the City.

The Auditor General’s 2022 Work Plan is being presented to the Audit Committee at the same meeting as her 2022 Operating Budget. The 2022 budget request supports 11 in-progress and ongoing projects that will be completed in 2022, and five new projects to commence in late 2021 or 2022. City Council’s support to restore the Auditor General’s budget to pre-pandemic (2020) levels and provide additional temporary funding for an audit of the City’s COVID-19 response, helps to address the 2022 Work Plan, including the requested audit of the City’s COVID-19 response, as well as commence projects in the following areas:

  • Cybersecurity assessment of a critical system – possibly the 911 system
  • Information Technology – Enterprise Work Management System
  • Additional investigations related to allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing

[1] The Auditor General’s mandate was expanded beyond the provincial City of Toronto Act mandate, and even though the Toronto Municipal Code allows the Auditor General to conduct audits of these boards upon request or special permission, it is only recently in the Auditor General’s term that those requests are materializing and being included in the Audit Work Plans.