2013 Spring report of the Auditor General of Canada: Chapter 1—Status report on evaluating the effectiveness of programs

This report presents the results of a performance audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Following the issue by the Treasury Board of a new Policy on Evaluation in 2009, which had the purpose of strengthening the evaluation function in departments and agencies, this Chapter 1 of this report looks at the progress in implementing these recommendations that has been made by Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.


Chapter 1 - Status Report on Evaluating the Effectiveness of Programs

  • Main Points
  • Introduction
    • What we found in our 2009 audit
    • Focus of the audit
  • Observations and Recommendations
    • Meeting evaluation requirements
      • Two departments did not evaluate all ongoing grant and contribution programs, as required
      • Departments are making progress in evaluating other departmental programs
      • A third of evaluation reports are incomplete
      • Gaps remain in how the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat monitors evaluation coverage in the departments
      • While progress has been made, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat still needs to provide more guidance to departments
      • Departments have major concerns about the evaluation requirements
    • Generating ongoing performance information
  • Departments are making progress in generating ongoing performance information
  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provided adequate support to help departments generate ongoing performance information
  • Weaknesses in ongoing performance measurement continue to limit evaluation
  • Using evaluation findings
  • Departments use evaluation findings to support improvement
  • Evaluation findings are not always available to support spending decisions
  • Improving the evaluation function
  • Departments have established evaluation committees
  • Departments obtain feedback from evaluation users
  • Capacity in departments has remained stable or increased
  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has increased its capacity
  • Conclusion
  • Summary of progress
  • About the Audit
  • Appendix—List of recommendations
  • Exhibits:
  • 1.1—Lack of ongoing performance data affected evaluators’ ability to assess the performance of Canada’s maritime search and rescue program
  • 1.2—Human Resources and Skills Development Canada considered evaluation when seeking funding for a new program


Canada. Office of the Auditor General, issuing body (2003). Report of the Auditor General, Spring 2013. Available at https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2013/bvg-oag/FA1-2013-1-1-eng.pdf