Under section 138 of the Financial Administration Act, federal Crown corporations are subject to a special examination once every 10 years. A special examination could be done earlier than the 10-year timeline, as a result of a request by the Office, the Minister, the Board, or the Governor in Council.
A few interesting observations from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Special Examination Report—2013 by Canada's Auditor General:
- We looked at whether CBC/Radio-Canada has a formal security management process in place. We found that although the Corporation has key systems and practices in place, it does not show consistency in the way it handles sensitive information that is normally considered to be classified or protected under federal government policy.
- Frequent movement of senior personnel in People and Culture poses the risk of loss of corporate memory and inconsistency in approaches, including adjustments in strategic plans and attention to performance management. In our view, the lack of consistent management could adversely affect the Corporation’s ability to implement and advance its human resource initiatives.
- Since 2008, the Corporation has had four different human resources strategic plans. It is appropriate to update plans in response to changing conditions. However, the lack of stability regarding strategic direction over a relatively short period increases the risk that the organization spends more time and energy on planning instead of implementing initiatives and moving forward.