Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2008, and all information contained in these statements rests with departmental management. These financial statements have been prepared by management in accordance with Treasury Board accounting policies, which are consistent with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector.
Management is responsible for the integrity and objectivity of the information in these financial statements. Some of the information in the financial statements is based on management's best estimates and judgment, and gives due consideration to materiality. To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management maintains a set of accounts that provides a centralized record of the department's financial transactions. Financial information submitted to the Public Accounts of Canada and included in the department's Departmental Performance Report is consistent with these financial statements.
Management maintains a system of financial management and internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded, and that transactions are in accordance with the Financial Administration Act, are executed in accordance with prescribed regulations, within parliamentary authorities, and are properly recorded to maintain accountability of Government funds. Management also seeks to ensure the objectivity and integrity of data in its financial statements by careful selection, training and development of qualified staff, by organizational arrangements that provide appropriate divisions of responsibility, and by communication programs aimed at ensuring that regulations, policies, standards and managerial authorities are understood throughout the department.
Management is supported by a Departmental Audit Committee (DAC). The DAC is undergoing fundamental changes to its structure, as dictated by the 2006 TBS government-wide Policy on Internal Audit and, as of July 2008, includes members external to DFAIT. The fundamental role of the DAC is to ensure the Deputy Ministers (DM) have independent, objective advice, guidance and assurance on the adequacy of the department's control and accountability processes. Its oversight responsibilities will extend to other key areas and processes including accountability reporting. The DAC will ensure the DMs receive the information needed to manage risk, improve performance and demonstrate accountability.