The Auditor General of Canada is an officer of Parliament, appointed by the Governor in Council under the Auditor General Act, to audit the accounts of Canada and to investigate the financial affairs of the federal government. The Auditor General holds office for a non-renewable term of 10 years.
The Auditor General’s mandate includes both attesting to the accuracy of the government’s financial statements and examining how well the government has managed its financial affairs. The Speaker tables the reports of the Auditor General in the House.
As auditor of the Public Accounts of Canada, the Auditor General examines the government’s financial statements to ensure that the information is presented fairly, in accordance with stated accounting policies, and on a basis consistent with that used in the previous accounting year.
The Office of the Auditor General carries out three types of audits: attest audits, compliance audits, and value-for-money audits.
Attest auditing verifies that the government is keeping proper accounts and records and that it is presenting its overall financial information fairly.
Compliance auditing ensures that the government collects and spends only those amounts of money authorized by Parliament and only for the purposes approved by Parliament.
Finally, value-for-money auditing (sometimes called “performance auditing”) assesses whether or not government programs were run economically and efficiently, with due regard to their environmental effects. It also assures Parliament that the government has the means in place to measure the effectiveness of its programs.
The Office of the Auditor General is also responsible for evaluating the extent to which departmental activities meet their environmental and sustainable development objectives.
In addition, the Auditor General may be asked by the Governor in Council to inquire into and report on any matter related to: