Audit Function Review

Council has voted to fully accept all recommendations outlined in the Municipal Audit Function Review Report, details in the News Feed.


The City of St. John’s has struck a 3-person Panel to advise if the current governance process for its Internal Audit Function best serves the goals of accountability and transparency to members of the public. Members of the Panel are: Mr. Terry Paddon, CPA, CA – Chair; Ms. Lynn Zurel, CPA, CA; Mr. Simon Lono.

The city currently has an internal audit team of two persons who reports to Council, and administratively, to the City Manager and Council. There is an Audit Advisory Committee chaired by a member of Council which has two public members as well which reports to Committee of the Whole. The audit team prepares an audit plan annually and focuses on process and procedure audits primarily. The audit of the City’s financial statements is completed by an external firm.

There is no consistency across Canada in how audit functions are structured within municipalities. However, having some internal audit function is common. Some municipalities have a Municipal Auditor General – appointed either by provincial legislation or municipal by-law. Some larger municipalities have both internal audit and a Municipal Auditor General. Auditor Generals are typically appointed for a limited term, 5 to 7 years, and report to Council. Some may also report publicly.

The Panel has identified some broad areas for consideration to this point. These are ideas only at this time. The external review team is looking for feedback from the public before it makes recommendations back to Council.

Options include: Status Quo; Status quo with governance changes; Enshrine mandate of Internal Audit in City by-laws; Increase external membership on Audit Committee; Audit Committee have a greater role in Internal Audit resourcing; Increase Internal Audit Function staff with governance changes; Move to a Municipal Auditor General structure.

Council has voted to fully accept all recommendations outlined in the Municipal Audit Function Review Report, details in the News Feed.


The City of St. John’s has struck a 3-person Panel to advise if the current governance process for its Internal Audit Function best serves the goals of accountability and transparency to members of the public. Members of the Panel are: Mr. Terry Paddon, CPA, CA – Chair; Ms. Lynn Zurel, CPA, CA; Mr. Simon Lono.

The city currently has an internal audit team of two persons who reports to Council, and administratively, to the City Manager and Council. There is an Audit Advisory Committee chaired by a member of Council which has two public members as well which reports to Committee of the Whole. The audit team prepares an audit plan annually and focuses on process and procedure audits primarily. The audit of the City’s financial statements is completed by an external firm.

There is no consistency across Canada in how audit functions are structured within municipalities. However, having some internal audit function is common. Some municipalities have a Municipal Auditor General – appointed either by provincial legislation or municipal by-law. Some larger municipalities have both internal audit and a Municipal Auditor General. Auditor Generals are typically appointed for a limited term, 5 to 7 years, and report to Council. Some may also report publicly.

The Panel has identified some broad areas for consideration to this point. These are ideas only at this time. The external review team is looking for feedback from the public before it makes recommendations back to Council.

Options include: Status Quo; Status quo with governance changes; Enshrine mandate of Internal Audit in City by-laws; Increase external membership on Audit Committee; Audit Committee have a greater role in Internal Audit resourcing; Increase Internal Audit Function staff with governance changes; Move to a Municipal Auditor General structure.

  • Municipal Audit Function Report

    6 months ago

    Council voted on April 15, 2019 to fully accept all recommendations outlined in the Municipal Audit Function Review Report. The report recommends ways in which the City can enhance the current Internal Audit Division however, it does not recommend establishing an independent Municipal Auditor General. The full report can be viewed online in the Committee of the Whole Agenda (April 3, 2019).

    Three key recommendations of the report include:

    • That there be two public representatives on the Audit and Accountability Standing Committee; one being the Chair.
    • That one additional staff member be added to the Internal Audit Division.
    • That the City review the Internal Audit governance process every five years.

    In 2018 the City established a three-member panel to review and advise on the best governance process for its Internal Audit function in response to calls from the public to establish a Municipal Auditor General to improve governance and enhance transparency: Mr. Terry Paddon, CPA, CA – Chair; Ms. Lynn Zurel, CPA, CA; and Mr. Simon Lono.

    As part of the process, the Panel considered the municipal audit landscape in Canada and the current audit environment at the City of St. John’s. The review process included meetings with council, senior staff, the Internal Audit Division, the Chair of the Audit and Accountability Standing Committee, a pubic meeting and opportunities for public comment through the City’s engagement website.

    Council voted on April 15, 2019 to fully accept all recommendations outlined in the Municipal Audit Function Review Report. The report recommends ways in which the City can enhance the current Internal Audit Division however, it does not recommend establishing an independent Municipal Auditor General. The full report can be viewed online in the Committee of the Whole Agenda (April 3, 2019).

    Three key recommendations of the report include:

    • That there be two public representatives on the Audit and Accountability Standing Committee; one being the Chair.
    • That one additional staff member be added to the Internal Audit Division.
    • That the City review the Internal Audit governance process every five years.

    In 2018 the City established a three-member panel to review and advise on the best governance process for its Internal Audit function in response to calls from the public to establish a Municipal Auditor General to improve governance and enhance transparency: Mr. Terry Paddon, CPA, CA – Chair; Ms. Lynn Zurel, CPA, CA; and Mr. Simon Lono.

    As part of the process, the Panel considered the municipal audit landscape in Canada and the current audit environment at the City of St. John’s. The review process included meetings with council, senior staff, the Internal Audit Division, the Chair of the Audit and Accountability Standing Committee, a pubic meeting and opportunities for public comment through the City’s engagement website.