Report of the Audit Committee to the Auditor General of Canada for the 2021–22 Fiscal Year

Report of the Audit Committee to the Auditor General of Canada for the 2021–22 Fiscal Year

Chairperson’s message to the Auditor General of Canada

This is the annual report from the external members of the Audit Committee of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) for the year ended 31 March 2022.

The year marked the retirement of Louise Bertrand, Chief Audit Executive, after many years of dedicated service to the OAG. The office welcomed Julie Bastarache as the new Chief Audit Executive on 1 March 2022. The committee would like to thank Caroline Viens for acting as Interim Chief Audit Executive during the transition period.

Despite the continued challenges created by the COVID‑19 pandemic and the added complexity of a labour dispute within the organization, OAG employees’ dedication, effort, and engagement during this challenging period have allowed the Auditor General to deliver on her mandate.

Throughout this time, the Audit Committee has served in an oversight capacity with respect to the OAG’s significant business and operational areas. The committee responded to the dynamic environment created by the pandemic and the labour dispute. The independent external members met with the Auditor General or the Deputy Auditor General on multiple occasions throughout the year to support the Auditor General in the second year of her mandate. Given the virtual working environment that was prompted by the pandemic, the committee continued to meet virtually and had 11 meetings during the 2021–22 fiscal year.

In addition to providing oversight and advice on the OAG’s response to the pandemic and the labour dispute, the committee continued its regular business, including overseeing the OAG’s financial statements, internal controls and external audit, accountability reporting, compliance, and practice review and internal audit and also delivering on its enhanced role with respect to governance and strategic risk management.


The OAG Audit Committee Charter requires that the committee be composed of 3 voting members, all of whom are independent external members. Anita Biguzs, Suzanne Morris, and I are the continuing members from the previous year. Karen Hogan, Auditor General; Andrew Hayes, Deputy Auditor General; and Lissa Lamarche, Assistant Auditor General and Chief Financial Officer, continued to be members of the committee. Louise Bertrand, Chief Audit Executive, regularly attended the committee’s meetings until her retirement, followed by Caroline Viens as Interim Chief Audit Executive and then by Julie Bastarache at the end of the year.


The committee regularly reviews its terms of reference as it continues to develop practices to serve the OAG effectively, and it annually reviews its charter to ensure that the charter aligns suitably with applicable policy and legislative requirements. In the 2021–22 fiscal year, the committee recommended its charter for approval by the Auditor General at the 26 October 2022 meeting, and she subsequently approved it. The committee’s work plan, minutes, and supporting documentation demonstrate that it has addressed its responsibilities in respect of the following key areas of responsibility: values and ethics, risk management, management control framework, practice review and internal audit, external assurance providers, follow‑up on management action plans, financial statements, and accountability reporting.


The committee continually assesses emerging issues that are relevant to its oversight of significant business and operational areas. The committee fulfilled its roles and responsibilities under its charter. The committee continued to streamline its work plan to facilitate “deep dive” discussions on significant operational and strategic areas. The committee has continued to expand its enhanced role to support the Auditor General, with a focus on the priorities and challenges faced by the OAG. As previously mentioned, the committee had 11 meetings during the 2021–22 fiscal year and discussed several topics at these meetings, including the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic, the labour dispute, corporate and strategic planning, risk management, the transition to a new workplace model, talent management and culture, audit planning, the OAG’s sustainable development strategy and green initiatives, relationship management, office modernization, cybersecurity, and digital transformation.


The briefings and reports presented to the committee during the 2021–22 fiscal year, together with the experience of previous years, have provided the committee with a sound understanding of the key issues the OAG faces. The committee found that management and staff were candid and clear on the challenges they face and were receptive to the committee members’ comments and suggestions.

The committee notes that the OAG sets high standards for the quality of its audit products and that it has a satisfactory methodology for conducting reliable audits and studies. In addition, the committee believes that the system of internal controls is satisfactory for the OAG’s needs. That said, as it works toward its strategic priorities, the OAG needs to continue to improve its relationship management, audit selection process, and human resources management.

Overall, the committee has observed that the OAG has a rational and systematic approach to addressing its mandate, monitoring results, and reporting to Parliament and Canadians.

I therefore respectfully submit this report to the Auditor General in keeping with section 19(a) of the OAG Audit Committee Charter. This will be my last report as Chair of the Audit Committee, as Anita Biguzs took over the role of Chair on 1 April 2022.

Bruce Joyce, Fellow Chartered Professional AccountantFCPA, Fellow Chartered AccountantFCA
Chair of the Audit Committee for the 2021–22 fiscal year
Office of the Auditor General of Canada

August 2022