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1994 Report of the Auditor General of Canada

1994 Report

Appendix A—Auditor General Act

R.S., c. A-17

An Act respecting the office of the Auditor
General of Canada and matters related
or incidental thereto

SHORT TITLE

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Auditor General Act . 1976-77, c. 34, s.1.

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

2. In this Act,

Auditor General

"Auditor General" means the Auditor General of Canada appointed pursuant to subsection 3(1);

Crown corporation

"Crown corporation" has the meaning assigned by section 83 of the Financial Administration Act ;

Department

"department" has the meaning assigned to that term by section 2 of the Financial Administration Act ;

Registrar

"registrar" means the Bank of Canada and a registrar appointed under Part IV of the Financial Administration Act . 1976-77, c. 34, s.2, 1984, c. 31, s.14.

AUDITOR GENERAL OF CANADA

Appointment and tenure of office

3. (1) The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint a qualified auditor to be the officer called the Auditor General of Canada to hold office during good behaviour for a term of ten years, but the Auditor General may be removed by the Governor in Council on address of the Senate and House of Commons.

Idem

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Auditor General ceases to hold office on attaining the age of sixty-five years.

Re-appointment

(3) Once having served as the Auditor General, a person is not eligible for re-appointment to that office.

Vacancy

(4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Auditor General or if the office of Auditor General is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint a person temporarily to perform the duties of Auditor General. 1976-77, c. 34, s.3.

Salary

4. (1) The Auditor General shall be paid a salary equal to the salary of a puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Pension benefits

(2) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act , other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Auditor General except that a person appointed as Auditor General from outside the Public Service may, by notice in writing given to the President of the Treasury Board not more than sixty days after the date of his appointment as Auditor General, elect to participate in the pension plan provided for in the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act in which case the provisions of that Act, other than those relating to tenure of
office, apply to him and the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act do not apply to him. 1976-77, c. 34, s.4; 1980-81-82-83, c. 50 s.23, c. 55, s.1.

DUTIES

Examination

5. The Auditor General is the auditor of the accounts of Canada, including those relating to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and as such shall make such examinations and inquiries as he considers necessary to enable him to report as required by this Act. 1976-77, c. 34, s.5.

Idem

6. The Auditor General shall examine the several financial statements required by section 64 of the Financial Administration Act to be included in the Public Accounts, and any other statement that the President of the Treasury Board or the Minister of Finance may present for audit and shall express his opinion as to whether they present fairly information in accordance with stated accounting policies of the federal government and on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year together with any reservations he may have. 1976-77, c. 34, s. 6; 1980-81-82-83, c. 170, s. 25.

Annual and additional reports to the House of Commons

7. (1) The Auditor General shall report annually to the House of Commons and may make, in addition to any special report made under subsection 8(1), not more than three additional reports in any year to the House of Commons

(a) on the work of his office; and,

(b) on whether, in carrying on the work of his office, he received all the information and explanations he required.

Idem

(2) Each report of the Auditor General under subsection (1) shall call attention to anything that he considers to be of significance and of a nature that should be brought to the attention of the House of Commons, including any cases in which he has observed that

(a) accounts have not been faithfully and properly maintained or public money has not been fully accounted for or paid, where so required by law, into the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

(b) essential records have not been maintained or the rules and procedures applied have been insufficient to safeguard and control public property, to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of the revenue and to ensure that expenditures have been made only as authorized;

(c) money has been expended other than for purposes for which it was appropriated by Parliament;

(d) money has been expended without due regard to economy or efficiency; or

(e) satisfactory procedures have not been established to measure and report the effectiveness of programs, where such procedures could appropriately and reasonably be implemented.

Submission of annual report to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

(3) Each annual report by the Auditor General to the House of Commons shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons on or before December 31 in the year to which the report relates and the Speaker of the House of Commons shall lay each such report before the House of Commons forthwith after receiving it or, if that House is not then in sitting, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

Notice of additional reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

(4) Where the Auditor General proposed to make an additional report under subsection (1), the Auditor General shall send written notice to the Speaker of the House of Commons of the subject-matter of the proposed report.

Submission of additional reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

(5) Each additional report of the Auditor General to the House of Commons made under subsection (1) shall be submitted to the House of Commons on the expiration of thirty days after the notice is sent pursuant to subsection (4) or any longer period that is specified in the notice and the Speaker of the House of Commons shall lay each such report before the House of Commons forthwith after receiving it or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it. 1976-77, c. 34, s. 7; 1994, c.32, s.1 and 2.

Special report to the House of Commons

8. (1) The Auditor General may make a special report to the House of Commons on any matter of pressing importance or urgency that, in the opinion of the Auditor General, should not be deferred until the presentation of the next report under subsection 7(1).

Submission of reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

(2) Each special report of the Auditor General to the House of Commons made under subsection (1) or 19(2) shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons and shall be laid before the House of Commons by the Speaker of the House of Commons forthwith after receipt thereof by him, or if that House is not then sitting, on the first day next thereafter that the House of Commons is sitting. 1976-77, c. 34, s.8; 1994, c.32, s.3.

Idem

9. The Auditor General shall

(a) make such examination of the accounts and records of each registrar as he deems necessary, and such other examinations of a registrar's transactions as the Minister of Finance may require, and;

(b) when and to the extent required by the Minister of Finance, participate in the destruction of any redeemed or cancelled securities or unissued reserves of securities authorized to be destroyed under the Financial Administration Act ;

and he may, by arrangement with a registrar, maintain custody and control, jointly with that registrar, of cancelled and unissued securities. 1976-77, c. 34, s.9.

Improper retention of public money

10. Whenever it appears to the Auditor General that any public money has been improperly retained by any person, he shall forthwith report the circumstances of the case to the President of the Treasury Board. 1976-77, c. 34, s.10.

Inquiry and report

11. The Auditor General may, if in his opinion such an assignment does not interfere with his primary responsibilities, whenever the Governor in Council so requests, inquire into and report on any matter relating to the financial affairs of Canada or to public property or inquire into and report on any person or organization that has received financial aid from the Government of Canada or in respect of which financial aid from the Government of Canada is sought. 1976-77, c. 34, s.11.

Advisory powers

12. The Auditor General may advise appropriate officers and employees in the public service of Canada of matters discovered in his examinations and, in particular, may draw any such matter to the attention of officers and employees engaged in the conduct of the business of the Treasury Board. 1976-77, c. 34, s.12.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Access to information

13. (1) Except as provided by any other Act of Parliament that expressly refers to this subsection, the Auditor General is entitled to free access at all convenient times to information that relates to the fulfilment of his responsibilities and he is also entitled to require and receive from members of the public service of Canada such information, reports and explanations as he deems necessary for that purpose.

Stationing of officers in departments

(2) In order to carry out his duties more effectively, the Auditor General may station in any department any person employed in his office, and the department shall provide the necessary office accommodation for any person so stationed.

Oath of secrecy

(3) The Auditor General shall require every person employed in his office who is to examine the accounts of a department or of a Crown corporation pursuant to this Act to comply with any security requirements applicable to, and to take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by, persons employed in that department or Crown corporation.

Inquiries

(4) The Auditor General may examine any person on oath on any matter pertaining to any account subject to audit by him and for the purposes of any such examination the Auditor General may exercise all the powers of a commissioner under Part I of the Inquiries Act . 1976-77, c. 34, s.13.

Reliance on audit reports of Crown corporations

14. (1) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), in order to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada, the Auditor General may rely on the report of the duly appointed auditor of a Crown corporation or of any subsidiary of a Crown corporation.

Auditor General may request information

(2) The Auditor General may request a Crown corporation to obtain and furnish to him such information and explanations from its present or former directors, officers, employees, agents and auditors or those of any of its subsidiaries as are, in his opinion, necessary to enable him to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada.

Direction of the Governor in Council

(3) If, in the opinion of the Auditor General, a Crown corporation, in response to a request made under subsection (2), fails to provide any or sufficient information or explanations, he may so advise the Governor in Council, who may thereupon direct the officers of the corporation to furnish the Auditor General with such information and explanations and to give him access to those records, documents, books, accounts and vouchers of the corporation or any of its subsidiaries access to which is, in the opinion of the Auditor General, necessary for him to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada. 1976-77, c. 34, s.14.

STAFF OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

Officers, etc.

15. (1) Such officers and employees as are necessary to enable the Auditor General to perform his duties shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act .

Contract for professional services

(2) Subject to any other Act of Parliament or regulations made thereunder, but without the approval of the Treasury Board, the Auditor General may, within the total dollar limitations established for his office in appropriation Acts, contract for professional services.

Delegation to Auditor General

(3) The Auditor General may exercise and perform, in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions as the Public Service Commission directs, the powers, duties and functions of the Public Service Commission under the Public Service Employment Act , other than the powers, duties and functions of the Commission in relation to appeals under section 21 of that Act and inquiries under section 34 of that Act.

Suspension

(4) The Auditor General may suspend from the performance of his duty any person employed in his office. 1976-77, c. 34, s.15; 1992, c.54, s.79.

Responsibility for personnel management

16. In respect of persons employed in his office, the Auditor General is authorized to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Treasury Board under the Financial Administration Act that relate to personnel management including the determination of terms and conditions of employment and the responsibility for employer and employee relations, within the meaning of paragraph (1)(e) and sections 11 to 13 of that Act. 1976-77, c. 34, s.16.

Classification standards

17. Classification standards may be prepared for persons employed in the office of the Auditor General to conform with the classifications that the Auditor General recognizes for the purposes of that office. 1976-77, c. 34, s.18.

Delegation

18. The Auditor General may designate a senior member of his staff to sign on his behalf any opinion that he is required to give and any report, other than his annual report on the financial statements of Canada made pursuant to section 64 of the Financial Administration Act and his reports to the House of Commons under this Act and any member so signing an opinion or report shall indicate beneath his signature his position in the office of the Auditor General and the fact that he is signing on behalf of the Auditor General. 1976-77, c. 34, s.19.

ESTIMATES

Estimates

19. (1) The Auditor General shall annually prepare an estimate of the sums that will be required to be provided by Parliament for the payment of the salaries, allowances and expenses of his office during the next ensuing fiscal year.

Special report

(2) The Auditor General may make a special report to the House of Commons in the event that amounts provided for his office in the estimates submitted to Parliament are, in his opinion, inadequate to enable him to fulfil the responsibilities of his office. 1976-77, c. 34, s.20.

Appropriation allotments

20. The provisions of the Financial Administration Act with respect to the division of appropriations into allotments do not apply in respect of appropriations for the office of the Auditor General. 1976-77, c. 34, s.21.

AUDIT OF THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

Audit of the office of the Auditor General

21. (1) A qualified auditor nominated by the Treasury Board shall examine the receipts and disbursements of the office of the Auditor General and shall report annually the outcome of his examinations to the House of Commons.

Submission of reports and tabling

(2) Each report referred to in subsection (1) shall be submitted to the President of the Treasury Board on or before the 31st day of December in the year to which the report relates and the President of the Treasury Board shall lay each such report before the House of Commons within fifteen days after receipt thereof by him or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that the House of Commons is sitting. 1976-77, c. 34, s.22.