Canada’s auditor general will be conducting a performance audit of the federal government’s ArriveCan application, CTV News has confirmed.

According to Auditor General Karen Hogan’s office, how long it takes to conduct performance audits can vary depending on their size and scope. With the spring round of audits into other topics nearing completion, it could take some time before this probe’s findings are presented to Parliament.

In an email, spokesperson for the Auditor General’s Office Vincent Frigon said because the scope and timeline have yet to be confirmed, he “cannot comment further at this time.”

This comes after opposition MPs joined forces in November to pass a motion calling for an audit into the federal government’s border application ArriveCan. 

The motion, which the Liberals did not support, called on the Auditor General of Canada to “conduct a performance audit, including the payments, contracts and sub-contracts for all aspects of the ArriveCan app, and to prioritize this investigation.”

While the motion was non-binding, Hogan’s office told at the time that when parliamentarians pass a motion asking for an audit to be conducted, it “carries a significant amount of weight as we identify the work that we will do.”

The push for a probe into the contentious federal application comes on the heels of a series of stories about the estimated $54-million cost of the app, and the contracts awarded to build and maintain it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also tasked Canada’s clerk of the Privy Council with looking into what he’s said appeared to be “highly illogical and inefficient” practices surrounding the app’s contracting. 

Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, ArriveCan became mandatory as a way to screen inbound travellers to Canada for their travel and health-related information, including vaccination status.

After months of defending the at-times glitchy application, and insisting it was a “critical tool” despite pressure from the travel industry and opposition MPs to scrap it, the federal government made the use of ArriveCan optional on Oct. 1.

The app can still be used by travellers to fill out customs and immigration declarations prior to arrival, with the federal government stating this option will save Canadians time at the airport.

Meanwhile, the Government Operations and Estimates Committee is in the midst of a separate study that has included requesting unredacted government documents related to the planning, contracting, and subcontracting of the application’s development and launch.


The Auditor General’s Office has also confirmed plans to launch a performance audit into federal contracts issued to consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

This comes after questions were raised over the surge in McKinsey’s federal contract earnings under the Liberals, the firm’s influence on government policies, and whether federal funds were being wasted by contracting out work that could be accomplished by the public service.

Since 2015, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has awarded McKinsey 23 contracts for a total of $101.4 million, up from the $2.2 million spent under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

McKinsey has defended its work, saying that despite the opposition-prompted concerns, the company’s work with the Canadian government is “entirely non-partisan” and in line with procurement laws.

In January, the House of Commons Government Operations and Estimates Committee launched a study of the contracts, seeking considerable documentation from both the firm and federal officials and hearing testimony from key players.

The work MPs will be embarking on as part of this study will also be incorporated into a broader review the committee has underway scrutinizing the federal government’s overall outsourcing of contracts.

With files from CTV News’ Spencer Van Dyk

This content was originally published here.