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For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
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APRIL 18, 2002

Canada: Rating departmental performance reports

Media release from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, April 17, 2002

In her Report to the House of Commons tabled today, the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, presented a model for rating departmental performance reports, the vehicle for government departments to report to Parliament.

"A good performance report should tell Canadians what difference a department has made and what value they are getting for the taxes they pay," Ms. Fraser said.

Departmental performance reports are submitted to Parliament every fall by most federal departments and agencies. These reports should outline what they have accomplished. In 1997 and 2000, the Auditor General reported that although the general reporting framework in place was sound, departments were not moving quickly enough to improve their performance reports.

Three organizations — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Environment Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada — volunteered to have the Auditor General rate their 2000-01 performance reports using the rating model to illustrate how it would work. Overall, results show that the model can help a department make rapid improvements in performance reporting.

"I am confident that this model is a useful tool that will help departments to provide better performance reports to Parliament and Canadians," concluded the Auditor General. "I thank the departments who volunteered to have their performance reports evaluated for this audit. We appreciate their co-operation."

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