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Canada Firearms Centre Management Control Framework Audit

Executive Summary

The Canada Firearms Centre (CAFC) was created in 1996 to oversee the administration of the Firearms Act and the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). The CFP’s objective is to help reduce firearms-related death, injury and crime and to promote public safety through universal licensing of firearms owners and registration of firearms in Canada. Delivering the CFP depends on a partnership involving the federal government, provincial governments and law enforcement agencies. In 2003, it was established as a standalone agency within the portfolio of Public Safety. On May 17, 2006 responsibility for the CFP was transferred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

In June 2007, the RCMP’s Audit and Evaluation Committee approved an audit of the CAFC Management Control Framework (MCF) as part of the Risk-Based Internal Audit Plan for the period from April 2007 to March 2009. As per the terms of reference for this audit, signed by the Chief Audit Executive and the Deputy Commissioner, National Police Services, the objectives of this internal audit were to provide reasonable assurance that the CAFC MCF is adequate and effective to support its activities, and that the CAFC operational processes are designed and conducted in a manner consistent with the Firearms Act and related regulations.

Operational processes were reviewed in federal Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) offices. The engagement did not examine operational processes in provincial CFO offices since they are bound to the CAFC through separate contribution agreements. The engagement did not review processes performed at the CAFC’s Central Processing Site, including the enhanced screening process. The Firearms Support Services Directorate, which was aligned with the CAFC to form an integrated CFP in June 2008, was not examined in this engagement.

The audit found that CAFC demonstrated strengths in several areas:

  • change management - CAFC transition to the RCMP
  • performance management regime
  • collaborative initiatives and relationships with CAFC partners
  • accountability, authority, roles and responsibilities defined and communicated
  • monitoring external and internal environments
  • facilitating access to CAFC services.

In our opinion, overall, the CAFC management control framework in place was adequate and effective to support its activities.

Areas requiring management action are:

  • risk management plan
  • service standards in CFO offices.

Several of the CAFC operational processes examined were consistent with the Firearms Act and related regulations. These were:

  • administration of required firearms safety courses and tests
  • design and conduct of the firearms registration process
  • design and conduct of the authorizations to transport and authorizations to carry process
  • checking continuous eligibility of licence holders
  • design of the business and carrier licences process

Areas requiring management action are:

  • processes to issue business licences
  • processes to approve shooting clubs and shooting ranges.

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