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Auditor General Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-17)

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Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

Auditor General Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. A-17

An Act respecting the office of the Auditor General of Canada and sustainable development monitoring and reporting

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Auditor General Act.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

appropriate Minister

appropriate Minister has the meaning assigned by section 2 of the Financial Administration Act; (ministre compétent)

Auditor General

Auditor General means the Auditor General of Canada appointed pursuant to subsection 3(1); (vérificateur général)

category I department

category I department[Repealed, 2019, c. 2, s. 10.1]

Commissioner

Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed under subsection 15.1(1); (commissaire)

Crown corporation

Crown corporation has the meaning assigned to that expression by section 83 of the Financial Administration Act; (société d’État)

department

department has the meaning assigned to that term by section 2 of the Financial Administration Act; (ministère)

designated entity

designated entity has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act; (entité désignée)

funding agreement

funding agreement has the meaning given to that expression by subsection 42(4) of the Financial Administration Act; (accord de financement)

not-for-profit corporation

not-for-profit corporation[Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 301]

recipient

recipient has the meaning given to that expression by subsection 42(4) of the Financial Administration Act; (bénéficiaire)

recipient corporation

recipient corporation[Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 301]

registrar

registrar means the Bank of Canada and a registrar appointed under Part IV of the Financial Administration Act; (registraire)

sustainable development

sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (développement durable)

sustainable development strategy

sustainable development strategy[Repealed, 2008, c. 33, s. 15]

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 2
  • 1995, c. 43, s. 2
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 8
  • 2005, c. 30, s. 32
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 301
  • 2008, c. 33, s. 15
  • 2019, c. 2, s. 10.1

Marginal note:Control

  •  (1) For the purpose of paragraph (d) of the definition recipient in subsection 42(4) of the Financial Administration Act, a municipality or government controls a corporation with share capital if

    • (a) shares of the corporation to which are attached more than fifty per cent of the votes that may be cast to elect directors of the corporation are held, otherwise than by way of security only, by, on behalf of or in trust for that municipality or government; and

    • (b) the votes attached to those shares are sufficient, if exercised, to elect a majority of the directors of the corporation.

  • Marginal note:Control

    (2) For the purpose of paragraph (d) of the definition recipient in subsection 42(4) of the Financial Administration Act, a corporation without share capital is controlled by a municipality or government if it is able to appoint the majority of the directors of the corporation, whether or not it does so.

  • 2005, c. 30, s. 33
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 302

Auditor General of Canada

Marginal note:Appointment

  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint an Auditor General of Canada after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the Senate and House of Commons and approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Tenure

    (1.1) The Auditor General holds office during good behaviour for a term of 10 years but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on address of the Senate and House of Commons.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2011, c. 15, s. 17]

  • Marginal note:Re-appointment

    (3) Once having served as the Auditor General, a person is not eligible for re-appointment to that office.

  • Marginal note:Interim appointment

    (4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Auditor General or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint any qualified auditor to hold that office in the interim for a term not exceeding six months, and that person shall, while holding office, be paid the salary or other remuneration and expenses that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 3
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 110
  • 2011, c. 15, s. 17

Marginal note:Salary

  •  (1) The Auditor General shall be paid a salary equal to the salary of a puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Pension benefits

    (2) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Auditor General except that a person appointed as Auditor General from outside the public service may, by notice in writing given to the President of the Treasury Board not more than sixty days after the date of his appointment as Auditor General, elect to participate in the pension plan provided for in the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act in which case the provisions of that Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to him and the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act do not apply to him.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 4
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 225(E)

Powers and Duties

Marginal note:Examination

 The Auditor General is the auditor of the accounts of Canada, including those relating to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and as such shall make such examinations and inquiries as he considers necessary to enable him to report as required by this Act.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 5

Marginal note:Idem

 The Auditor General shall examine the several financial statements required by section 64 of the Financial Administration Act to be included in the Public Accounts, and any other statement that the President of the Treasury Board or the Minister of Finance may present for audit and shall express his opinion as to whether they present fairly information in accordance with stated accounting policies of the federal government and on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year together with any reservations he may have.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 6
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 170, s. 25

Marginal note:Annual and additional reports to the House of Commons

  •  (1) The Auditor General shall report annually to the House of Commons and may make, in addition to any special report made under subsection 8(1) or 19(2) and the Commissioner’s report under subsection 23(2), not more than three additional reports in any year to the House of Commons

    • (a) on the work of his office; and

    • (b) on whether, in carrying on the work of his office, he received all the information and explanations he required.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Each report of the Auditor General under subsection (1) shall call attention to anything that he considers to be of significance and of a nature that should be brought to the attention of the House of Commons, including any cases in which he has observed that

    • (a) accounts have not been faithfully and properly maintained or public money has not been fully accounted for or paid, where so required by law, into the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

    • (b) essential records have not been maintained or the rules and procedures applied have been insufficient to safeguard and control public property, to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of the revenue and to ensure that expenditures have been made only as authorized;

    • (c) money has been expended other than for purposes for which it was appropriated by Parliament;

    • (d) money has been expended without due regard to economy or efficiency;

    • (e) satisfactory procedures have not been established to measure and report the effectiveness of programs, where such procedures could appropriately and reasonably be implemented; or

    • (f) money has been expended without due regard to the environmental effects of those expenditures in the context of sustainable development.

  • Marginal note:Submission of annual report to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

    (3) Each annual report by the Auditor General to the House of Commons shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons on or before December 31 in the year to which the report relates and the Speaker of the House of Commons shall lay each such report before the House of Commons forthwith after receiving it or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

  • Marginal note:Notice of additional reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

    (4) Where the Auditor General proposes to make an additional report under subsection (1), the Auditor General shall send written notice to the Speaker of the House of Commons of the subject-matter of the proposed report.

  • Marginal note:Submission of additional reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

    (5) Each additional report of the Auditor General to the House of Commons made under subsection (1) shall be submitted to the House of Commons on the expiration of thirty days after the notice is sent pursuant to subsection (4) or any longer period that is specified in the notice and the Speaker of the House of Commons shall lay each such report before the House of Commons forthwith after receiving it or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 7
  • 1994, c. 32, s. 2
  • 1995, c. 43, s. 3

Marginal note:Inquiry and report

  •  (1) The Auditor General may, with respect to a recipient under any funding agreement, inquire into whether

    • (a) the recipient has failed to fulfil its obligations under any funding agreement;

    • (b) money the recipient has received under any funding agreement has been used without due regard to economy and efficiency;

    • (c) the recipient has failed to establish satisfactory procedures to measure and report on the effectiveness of its activities in relation to the objectives for which it received funding under any funding agreement;

    • (d) the recipient has failed to faithfully and properly maintain accounts and essential records in relation to any amount it has received under any funding agreement; or

    • (e) money the recipient has received under any funding agreement has been expended without due regard to the environmental effects of those expenditures in the context of sustainable development.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The Auditor General may set out his or her conclusions in respect of an inquiry into any matter referred to in subsection (1) in the annual report, or in any of the three additional reports, referred to in subsection 7(1). The Auditor General may also set out in that report anything emerging from the inquiry that he or she considers to be of significance and of a nature that should be brought to the attention of the House of Commons.

  • 2005, c. 30, s. 34
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 304

Marginal note:Special report to the House of Commons

  •  (1) The Auditor General may make a special report to the House of Commons on any matter of pressing importance or urgency that, in the opinion of the Auditor General, should not be deferred until the presentation of the next report under subsection 7(1).

  • Marginal note:Submission of reports to Speaker and tabling in the House of Commons

    (2) Each special report of the Auditor General to the House of Commons made under subsection (1) or 19(2) shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons and shall be laid before the House of Commons by the Speaker of the House of Commons forthwith after receipt thereof by him, or if that House is not then sitting, on the first day next thereafter that the House of Commons is sitting.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 8
  • 1994, c. 32, s. 3

Marginal note:Idem

 The Auditor General shall

  • (a) make such examination of the accounts and records of each registrar as he deems necessary, and such other examinations of a registrar’s transactions as the Minister of Finance may require, and

  • (b) when and to the extent required by the Minister of Finance, participate in the destruction of any redeemed or cancelled securities or unissued reserves of securities authorized to be destroyed under the Financial Administration Act,

and he may, by arrangement with a registrar, maintain custody and control, jointly with that registrar, of cancelled and unissued securities.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 9

Marginal note:Improper retention of public money

 Whenever it appears to the Auditor General that any public money has been improperly retained by any person, he shall forthwith report the circumstances of the case to the President of the Treasury Board.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 10

Marginal note:Inquiry and report

 The Auditor General may, if in his opinion such an assignment does not interfere with his primary responsibilities, whenever the Governor in Council so requests, inquire into and report on any matter relating to the financial affairs of Canada or to public property or inquire into and report on any person or organization that has received financial aid from the Government of Canada or in respect of which financial aid from the Government of Canada is sought.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 11

Marginal note:Advisory powers

 The Auditor General may advise appropriate officers and employees in the federal public administration of matters discovered in his examinations and, in particular, may draw any such matter to the attention of officers and employees engaged in the conduct of the business of the Treasury Board.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 12
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)
 
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