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Audit of Initiatives Under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act

March 5, 2015

Office of Audit and Evaluation


Executive Summary

The Agricultural Marketing Programs Act (AMPA)established programs to facilitate and improve market opportunities for agricultural products of eligible producers through the provision of loan and price guarantees. It received royal assent in 1997 to replace the Agricultural Products Cooperative Marketing Act, the Advance Payments for Crops Act and the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act. Proposed amendments to the Act are currently before Parliament.

The audit of Initiatives under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act focused on the Advance Payment Program (APP). The Advance Payment Program is a financial loan guarantee program, delivered by participating producer organizations, known as Administrators, that gives producers easier access to credit through cash advances.

The Advance Payment Program is managed within the Programs Branch, Business Risk Management Programs Directorate at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

The audit determined that effective controls were generally in place to support the administration, compliance and monitoring controls for the Advance Payment Program under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act.

Audit recommendations were addressed to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Programs Branch for improvements in the following areas:

  1. Review disclosure requirements for Administrators and ensure that associated monitoring controls are in place;
  2. Consider provisions that enable AAFC to recall defaulted files to honour the guarantee and develop additional monitoring and recall actions to support this ability;
  3. Review the Administrator compliance visit process;
  4. Review labelling requirements to ensure the security of protected documents;
  5. Ensure information systems supporting Advance Payment Program include the capability of capturing Settlement Agreement information and that mechanisms to provide this information are put in place; and
  6. Ensure internal procedures are reviewed and updated where needed and improve internal communication among Advance Payment Program staff.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

1.2 Audit Objective

1.3 Audit Scope

1.4 Audit Approach

1.5 Conclusion

1.6 Statement of Conformance

2.0 Detailed Observations, Recommendations and Management Responses

2.1 Monitoring and Reporting

2.2 Management Controls

2.3 Information Systems


Annex A: Audit Criteria

  1. Effective monitoring and reporting is in place for the Advance Payment Program.
  2. Appropriate management controls are in place to oversee the Advance Payment Program.
  3. Information Systems support complete and accurate information for the administration and monitoring of the Advanced Payment Program.
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