Audit recommends Carlton Trail College recruit board members in timely manner

A performance audit of the Carlton Trail College’s governance system is recommending the college recruit its board members in a more timely manner.

That was among the four recommendations given to the college by the Provincial Auditor that examined how the college ensures the board members had the skills needed to govern the educational institution. The audit was part of the auditor’s periodic examinations of the province’s agencies.

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The seven member board is appointed by the provincial government on the recommendation of the college.

“The college did not initiate its recruitment process early enough to enable recommending potential members to the minister of advanced education prior to the expiry of board terms,” the audit read.

Shelley Romanyszyn-Cross, the college’s president, said they have a board member recruitment policy, but it doesn’t identify timelines for recruitment.

“We are going to be working on our policies and processes, and the policy will be updated to include those timelines for the recruitment of potential board candidates,” she said, adding the college will give recommendations to the minister for any required replacements in a timely manner before that member leaves the board.

The auditor recommended the college needs to look at how often it examines the board’s skills and develop a strategy to develop the skills it’s lacking.

Romanyszyn-Cross said the college does have a list of the skills it wants to see its members – and the board as a whole – possess.

“We were using those primarily for recruiting for new board members, but as a result of the audit, we are just in the process of establishing policies and procedures that will include a formalized schedule of reassessing our existing and desired competencies for board members.”

The auditor also recommends the college looks at how often it reassesses the effectiveness its governance, saying that it has been doing that three times a year where once annually would work.

Other than what was identified, the auditor said the college had the necessary processes to make sure its board had the skills it needed.

“I look at an audit as an opportunity for us to grow,” Romanyszyn-Cross said. “At the end of the day, it's just about identifying ways that we can improve. I think we do things well at our college and if there's little gaps, then let's improve it and put the policies and processes in place to make it more effective.”

The auditor also examined the college’s financial statements and concluded that they were reliable and fulfilled the government’s requirements, but did recommend the college require its staff to independently review and approve journal entries.

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