2019–20 Departmental Results Report—Raison d’être, mandate and role: Who we are and what we do

Office of the Auditor General of Canada2019–20 Departmental Results Report

Raison d’être, mandate, and role: Who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) is the legislative audit office of the federal government and of the 3 northern territories. The main legislative auditing duties are financial audits, performance audits, special examinations, and sustainable development monitoring activities and environmental petitions. Our audits and studies provide objective information, advice, and assurance to Parliament, territorial legislatures, governments, and Canadians. With our reports and testimony, we assist parliamentarians and territorial legislators in their work on the authorization and oversight of government spending and operations. The Minister of Finance is responsible for tabling the Auditor General’s administrative reports in Parliament, including the Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report.

Mandate and role

The Auditor General of Canada is an officer of Parliament whose work and responsibilities are independent of the government and who reports directly to Parliament. The Auditor General’s duties are set out in the Auditor General Act, the Financial Administration Act, and other acts and orders-in-council. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development assists the Auditor General in performing the duties that relate to the environment and sustainable development.

The OAG’s main legislative auditing duties are

Under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, the Auditor General has the mandate to investigate disclosures by public servants of alleged wrongdoing within the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada. If we determine that allegations of wrongdoing are well founded, we must submit a case report to Parliament.

Professional practices

The OAG works with other legislative audit offices and professional organizations, such as the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, to advance legislative audit methodology, accounting and auditing standards, and best practices.

In addition, the OAG’s Audit Services Group acts as the National Professional Practices Group, serving members of the Canadian Council of Legislative Auditors by offering methodology, training, and advice on request.

International activities

Our international activities focus on