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

Office of the Auditor General of Canada2021–22 Departmental Plan

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. We are also the legislative auditor of the 3 territories (Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories). We conduct independent audits and studies that provide objective information, advice, and assurance to Parliament, territorial legislatures, governments, and Canadians. All of our audits are conducted according to professional auditing standards and OAG policies. With our reports and testimony at parliamentary hearings, we assist Parliament and territorial legislative assemblies in their work on the authorization and oversight of government spending and operations. Our strategic outcome is to contribute to better-managed government programs and better accountability to Parliament through legislative auditing.

Mandate and role

The Auditor General is an Officer of Parliament who is independent of the government in the execution of her work and responsibilities, and who reports directly to Parliament. Her 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 upon request.

International activities

Our international activities focus on