42nd Parliament, 1st Session (December 3, 2015 - September 11, 2019) Current Session
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g) of the House of Commons, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has a mandate to, among other matters:

review … and report on the Public Accounts of Canada and all reports of the Auditor General of Canada, which shall be severally deemed permanently referred to the Committee immediately after they are laid upon the Table … .

The Committee also has the general mandate given to all committees under Standing Order 108(2); that is, the power to study and report on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of the government department(s) that are assigned to them. In the case of the Committee, the department is the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Additionally, the Committee may enquire into any other matter that the House of Commons may refer to it.

The Public Accounts Committee is Parliament’s standing audit committee, and it reviews the work of the federal government’s external auditor, the Auditor General of Canada.

When the Speaker tables a report by the Auditor General in the House of Commons, it is automatically referred to the Public Accounts Committee. The Committee selects the chapters of the report it wants to study and calls the Auditor General and senior public servants from the audited organizations to appear before it to respond to the Office of the Auditor General’s findings. The Committee also reviews the federal government’s consolidated financial statements – the Public Accounts of Canada – and examines financial and/or accounting shortcomings raised by the Auditor General. At the conclusion of a study, the Committee may present a report to the House of Commons that includes recommendations to the government for improvements in administrative and financial practices and controls of federal departments and agencies.

Government policy, and the extent to which policy objectives are achieved, are generally not examined by the Public Accounts Committee. Instead, the Committee focuses on government administration – the economy and efficiency of program delivery as well as the adherence to government policies, directives and standards. The Committee seeks to hold the government to account for effective public administration and due regard for public funds.