Compliance Assessment Summary Report: La Fédération coopératives du Nouveau-Québec
For Funding Agreement No. 1516-HQ-000009 between la Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau Québec and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.
June 17, 2019
Name: La Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau Québec
Location: Baié-d’Urfe, Québec
Time period covered by audit: April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017
Amount of CIRNAC funding claimed during the period: $17,803,458
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada ("CIRNAC") selected Fédération des Cooperatives du Nouveau Québec ("FCNQ" or the "Recipient Head Office") and one of its co-operatives, specifically, the Kuujjuaq Co-operative Ltd. ("Kuujjuaq", or the "Recipient Member Co-op") all together (the "Recipient") for an independent assessment for the funding period April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017. CIRNAC contracted Ernst & Young LLP to provide an independent report examining certain aspects of the Recipient’s management of the funding received under the program. Specifically, the engagement was planned to consider and provide observations and recommendations on:
- the subsidy claimed for reimbursement as it relates to the type and nature of eligible cost requirements of the program;
- the program visibility requirements and transparency of the subsidy to consumers as it relates to the requirements of the agreement;
- the Recipient’s reporting and claiming systems and procedures which support compliance with the terms of the agreement;
- management’s processes related to supply chain practices; passing on the full value of the subsidy and related profit margin practices; and, sales to ineligible clients.
Ernst & Young LLP, an independent firm, was commissioned to undertake the engagement which took place at the offices of the Recipient.
Procedures and findings
We performed the following and identified findings where noted:
- EY performed substantive procedures on a sample of the underlying vendor purchases incurred by the Recipient during the period and submitted as part of the subsidy claim, in order to assess if the shipments being claimed were in accordance with the provisions for Type and Nature of Eligible Costs, as per the NNC Program National Manual.
- We inspected a sample of grocery receipts and visited the retail stores to inspect in-store signage, against the Program Visibility requirements per the NNC Program National Manual.
- The Funding Agreement stipulates various reports to be provided on a monthly and annual basis for each fiscal year. On a sample basis we inspected the submitted information to verify if the respective deadlines were met.
- We conducted an interview with management and obtained the audited financial statements for the Recipient to gain an understanding of the profit margin practices of the Recipient.
- When performing our substantive procedures, we inspected consumer invoices and contracts in consideration of whether sales were being made to ineligible consumers
- We conducted an interview with management and were informed that the supply chain includes certain airline carriers; we then inspected the waybills for each transaction sampled to assess the cargo rate against management’s attestation.
- We conducted interviews with the Recipient manager, to obtain an understanding of the processes used in implementing the program. We focused our inquiries and inspection of relevant information around the following processes:
- Purchase orders and sales orders
- Pricing and invoicing
- Monthly subsidy claim
The following recommendations were provided to the Recipient for consideration:
- Implement a process to monitor changes in net weight of product to support accuracy of information provided to customers with respect to program visibility requirements.
- Develop a policy, process and procedure for assessing profit margins on a regular basis for subsidized and unsubsidized food items to verify and support that profit margins are not eroding the subsidy that is to be passed on to customers, in accordance with the NNC Program National Manual objectives.
The final report has been issued.
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