Progress on items identified by Office of the Auditor General report

May 17, 2024

Update to the university community from Glenn Barnes, chair of the Board of Regents, and Dr. Neil Bose, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore:

Much work has been ongoing since the release of the Auditor General’s report on Memorial University in October 2023. As we reported in December, an ad hoc action committee of the Board of Regents was struck and has been meeting regularly in the intervening months.

Here is a summary of the progress with the broader university community.

Governance and oversight

  • Memorial’s review of its Separately Incorporated Entities (SIEs) is underway; by-laws, financial statements, management agreements, and other documentation has been provided to the Board of Regents and each of the SIEs has presented to the Ad Hoc Committee to provide a better understand the operations, roles, reporting relationships and structures. SIEs have also been notified that Memorial will be implementing enhanced oversight measures in the 2024/25 fiscal year.
  • A review of Harlow campus (MUN(UK)) operation and commitments continues.
  • Memorial continues to make significant progress in its review of existing policies and identification of areas of policy gaps, with 35 under active review and seven approved, including the revised Conflict of Interest policy for the Board of Regents.
  • The Delegation of Authority policy has been approved by the Board. A Delegation of Authority register has been developed for the Board, Board Committees and Executive Team. Work is ongoing to include other levels in the Delegation of Authority Register.  
  • The president’s travel is approved by the Board of Regents chair. Any deviation from the travel policy for the president must be reviewed and approved by the Board chair.
  • All vice-presidential travel is approved in advance by the president. Any deviations by a vice-president must be approved by the president.

Executive leadership

  • Since the last update, the Chief Information Officer role has been filled as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration which was approved by the Board of Regents on May 15. Searches to fill six other academic leadership roles are currently ongoing.
  • Formalized job descriptions for the vice-presidents are being finalized.

Accountability and transparency

  • Memorial continues to implement the recommendations of its Internal Auditor; an update on progress on the high-priority Internal Audit recommendations is presented at each Board of Regents meeting. Progress on the moderate-priority recommendations was reported to the board in March 2024 and will be again in July 2024.
  • Memorial continues to improve information flow to and between the executive and the Board of Regents to ensure information is provided to senior leadership and the Board of Regents on a regular basis with sufficient detail for decision-making and is reflected in board minutes.
  • A Fraud Risk Assessment Survey to assist with assessing fraud risk at Memorial is in development and will be issued annually.
  • Memorial has developed sponsorship guidelines. The application of these guidelines and the learning from it over the next year will enable the development of a sponsorship policy.
  • Memorial has developed a list of comparator universities, based on various online reports and information from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO). These comparator universities can be found here.

All information pertaining to Memorial’s response to the Auditor General’s report can be found online.