Industry Canada - Legal Services Unit
March 2012

Executive summary

Audit Opinion/Overall Conclusion

The management framework of the Industry Canada (IC) Legal Services Unit (LSU) is operating effectively and adequately supports the delivery of legal services to the client department. Open communication at all levels and the implementation of individual memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with each client sector within Industry Canada ensure that client needs are addressed in a timely fashion and that the LSU responds to these needs according to set performance standards.

In its MOUs with IC, management has developed feedback mechanisms to determine the client’s level of satisfaction with LSU services on a more regular basis than the departmental survey conducted every three years. Overall, clients are satisfied with the services provided by the LSU.

Human, financial, and material resources are effectively managed with the appropriate number and mix of human resources to meet current client requirements for legal services; strong control over the IC LSU’s budget and financial reporting; and appropriate security measures to safeguard assets and ensure confidentiality of information. LSU management has also implemented procedures to ensure that the LSU is in compliance with the Official Languages Act.

In the area of Information Systems and Management, the LSU has access to a variety of information systems that support decision making, objective setting, and resource utilization. Controls have been implemented that ensure the information generated from these systems is adequate, reliable, and complete.

The Department of Justice has established dedicated LSUs for most government departments and agencies. These units provide the client organizations with legal advice, represent the Crown in civil litigation and before administrative tribunals, draft legislation, and respond to other legal requirements.

The overall objective of the audit was to provide assurance that the IC LSU’s management framework is effective. The scope of the audit included the operations and activities of the IC LSU, which is located in the National Capital Region. The planning and on-site examination phases of the audit were carried out between October 2010 and March 2011.

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