Madam Chair, we are pleased to have this opportunity to discuss our 2016-2017 Departmental Results Report and our 2018-2019 Departmental Plan.
With me today is Sylvain Ricard, Assistant Auditor General of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer; Susan Seally, Principal of Human Resources; and Ron Bergin, Principal of Strategic Planning.
The Office of the Auditor General supports Parliament and territorial legislatures by providing independent and objective assurance, advice and information about government financial statements and the management of government programs. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development carries out our mandate related to the environment and sustainable development. We conduct all of our audits in accordance with Canadian auditing standards. Our audits and our system of quality control are subject to internal practice reviews and independent external reviews to provide assurance that you can rely on the quality of our work.
In addition to carrying out our audit work, we help to advance legislative audit methodology, and accounting and auditing standards. We also work internationally, supporting projects funded by Global Affairs Canada and promoting better managed and accountable international institutions.
As reflected in our financial statements, our net cost of operations was $92.5 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year, and we employed the equivalent of 555 full-time employees. With these resources we delivered 88 financial audits, five special examinations, and 22 performance audits. This represents all of the planned audit work except for our performance audit on preventing corruption in immigration and border services, for which the planned tabling in the fall of 2016 was postponed to the spring of 2017.
In our results report, we note that parliamentary committees reviewed 72% of the reports we presented to Parliament in the 2016-17 fiscal year. This represents an increase from 59% in the 2015-16 fiscal year and exceeds our target of 65%. In total, we participated in 44 parliamentary committee hearings and briefings on our audit work.
Audit committee chairs and senior managers of the organizations for which we performed financial statement audits continued to state their agreement that our audits are understandable, fair, timely, and add value. For senior managers of the organizations for which we performed performance audits, results were below our target. These senior managers continued to be concerned that our audits focused on negative findings and didn't include enough positive observations to provide balanced reporting. It is our view that we can add the most value by examining areas that are likely to involve high risk and opportunities for improvement.
Our measures of organizational performance remained generally positive. In particular, in our internal practice reviews, which serve as a key quality control in our audit methodology, the reviewers found that our audit reports were appropriate and supported by proper evidence. Our 2016-2017 Results Report identifies several indicators of the impact of our work along with measures of our operational performance, which are attached to this statement as Appendix A.
Let me now turn to our 2018-2019 plan. Our strategic framework identifies a number of client, operational, and people management objectives that we use to manage the office and direct our continuous improvement efforts.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year we will focus most of our improvement efforts on three of these objectives. First, to ensure effective, efficient and accountable office governance and management, we will enhance our information technology security controls. In a recently completed internal audit on managing IT security which is available on our website, auditors noted that we had not implemented all of the controls required by Treasury Board policy. We also need to renew the IT infrastructure that supports our audits and have begun to implement a multi-year plan to accomplish this.
Second, to develop and maintain a skilled, engaged, and bilingual workforce, we will implement the next steps in our professional development and second language plans. We will also better match our audit and support service requirements with the human resources we have available to do the work.
Third, to ensure that we are financially well managed, we need to address the financial challenges that we're facing. Budget 2018 has promised us new funding of $8.3 million. This will help us address some of the demands on our internal services, and help us deliver the 89 financial audits and eight special examinations that we are required to do in the 2018-19 fiscal year. We're currently assessing our ability to deliver all the 27 performance audits included in our 2018-19 plan.
The Office of the Auditor General is funded through various appropriations and transfers. Under vote 1 of the main estimates for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Office of the Auditor General's program expenditures for this committee to consider reporting to the House is $69 million. Our planned number of full-time equivalent employees is 550.
In conclusion, Madam Chair, my staff and I look forward to continuing to serve you in the coming year by delivering products of the highest value. We thank you for your ongoing support of our work. We would be pleased to answer the questions of the members of the committee.