CIO Council Launches AI Ethics Assurance Program in Collaboration With KPMG Canada

Based on CAN/CIOSC 101:2019, the new Program provides independent assurance reporting under Canadian Standards for Assurance Engagements (CSAE 3000).

Artificial intelligence must be regulated to protect Canadians’ privacy and human rights, a federal watchdog says.

In issuing new recommendations for regulating AI Thursday, Canada’s privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said he is calling for legislation to regulate the use and development of AI systems.

This sets the scene for an announcement about a new program from the CIO Strategy Council (CIOSC), who today announced the launch of a made-in-Canada Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics Assurance Program in collaboration with KPMG in Canada.  

Based on CAN/CIOSC 101:2019, the new Program provides independent assurance reporting under Canadian Standards for Assurance Engagements (CSAE 3000). This will help organizations obtain independent assurance on whether their controls meet the criteria set out in CAN/CIOSC 101:2019, Ethical design and use of automated decision systems.  

For AI to be truly transformative, organizations must have confidence in how AI functions. While many organizations today now rely on AI in their decision-making process, they might not fully understand the output of an algorithm that they didn’t create. That’s why a comprehensive assurance model for AI ethics so important. 

“Organizations are increasingly having to manage ethical risks in ICT,” says Matthew MacNeil, Director of Standards and Technology. “When designing and deploying AI and machine learning, verifying against a consensus-based national standard can help organizations to demonstrate their commitment and leadership as responsible stewards in the use of these technologies.” 

CAN/CIOSC 101:2019 specifies the core requirements in protecting human values and incorporating ethics in the design and use of AI using machine learning for automated decisions. 

The Program is available to all organizations, including public and private companies, government entities, and not-for-profit organizations. 

“This Program is an important milestone to help promote the use of responsible AI in Canada,” says Kareem Sadek, partner in KPMG in Canada’s Advisory, Technology Risk practice. “Given the breadth of work happening in this space, it’s critical that Canadians have trust in responsible AI decision-making. 

“KPMG is pleased to work with the CIO Strategy Council to deliver a made-in-Canada solution,” says Erik Niemi, partner in KPMG in Canada’s Technology Risk practice and KPMG’s Global IT Attestation Services Leader. “The Program is designed to help companies to obtain independent assurance on their AI controls and identify potential areas of improvement.”  

KPMG is Canada’s first accounting and consulting firm to offer ethical AI assurance using these standards. 

CIO Strategy Council (CIOSC) provides a forum for Canada’s most forward-thinking chief information officers to focus on collectively transforming, shaping, and influencing the Canadian information and technology ecosystem. The Council has deployed a nationally-accredited, agile, and consensus-based standards-setting process that matches the speed of innovation and advancement in ICT. Learn more at   

KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm ( is a limited liability partnership, established under the laws of Ontario, and the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG has more than 7,000 professionals/employees in over 40 locations across Canada serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently recognized as an employer of choice and one of the best places to work in the country. 

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. 


For more information, please contact:  

Matthew MacNeil
Director, Standards and Technology
CIO Strategy Council
(613) 627-6477 

Caroline Van Hasselt
National Communications & Media Relations
KPMG in Canada
(416) 777-3288 

For media inquiries: 

Megan Ip
Senior Communications Manager
CIO Strategy Council
(613) 627-6477 

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