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

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Act current to 2022-06-20 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

Access to Information

Marginal note:Access to information

  •  (1) Except as provided by any other Act of Parliament that expressly refers to this subsection, the Auditor General is entitled to free access at all convenient times to information that relates to the fulfilment of his or her responsibilities and he or she is also entitled to require and receive from members of the federal public administration any information, reports and explanations that he or she considers necessary for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Stationing of officers in departments

    (2) In order to carry out his duties more effectively, the Auditor General may station in any department any person employed in his office, and the department shall provide the necessary office accommodation for any person so stationed.

  • Marginal note:Oath of secrecy

    (3) The Auditor General shall require every person employed in his office who is to examine the accounts of a department or of a Crown corporation pursuant to this Act to comply with any security requirements applicable to, and to take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by, persons employed in that department or Crown corporation.

  • Marginal note:Inquiries

    (4) The Auditor General may examine any person on oath on any matter pertaining to any account subject to audit by him and for the purposes of any such examination the Auditor General may exercise all the powers of a commissioner under Part I of the Inquiries Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 13
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 90(E)

Marginal note:Reliance on audit reports of Crown corporations

  •  (1) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), in order to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada, the Auditor General may rely on the report of the duly appointed auditor of a Crown corporation or of any subsidiary of a Crown corporation.

  • Marginal note:Auditor General may request information

    (2) The Auditor General may request a Crown corporation to obtain and furnish him with such information and explanations from its present or former directors, officers, employees, agents and auditors or those of any of its subsidiaries as are, in his opinion, necessary to enable him to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Direction of the Governor in Council

    (3) If, in the opinion of the Auditor General, a Crown corporation, in response to a request made under subsection (2), fails to provide any or sufficient information or explanations, he may so advise the Governor in Council, who may thereupon direct the officers of the corporation to furnish the Auditor General with such information and explanations and to give him access to those records, documents, books, accounts and vouchers of the corporation or any of its subsidiaries access to which is, in the opinion of the Auditor General, necessary for him to fulfil his responsibilities as the auditor of the accounts of Canada.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 14

Staff of the Auditor General

Marginal note:Officers, etc.

  •  (1) The officers and employees that are necessary to enable the Auditor General to perform his or her duties are to be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act and, subject to subsections (2) to (5), the provisions of that Act apply to those offices and employees.

  • Marginal note:Public Service Employment Act — employer and deputy head

    (2) The Auditor General may exercise the powers and perform the functions of the employer and deputy head under the Public Service Employment Act within the meaning of those terms in subsection 2(1) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Public Service Employment Act — Commission

    (3) The Auditor General may, in the manner and subject to the terms and conditions that the Public Service Commission directs, exercise the powers and perform the functions of that Commission under the Public Service Employment Act, other than its powers and functions in relation to the hearing of allegations by a candidate under sections 118 and 119 of that Act and its power to make regulations.

  • Marginal note:Delegation

    (4) The Auditor General may authorize any person employed in his or her office to exercise and perform, in any manner and subject to any terms and conditions that he or she directs, any of his or her powers and functions under subsections (2) and (3).

  • Marginal note:Sub-delegation

    (5) Any person authorized under subsection (4) may, subject to and in accordance with the authorization, authorize one or more persons under that person’s jurisdiction to exercise any power or perform any function to which the authorization relates.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 15
  • 1992, c. 54, s. 79
  • 2003, c. 22, ss. 91, 227

Marginal note:Appointment of Commissioner

  •  (1) The Auditor General shall, in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act, appoint a senior officer to be called the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development who shall report directly to the Auditor General.

  • Marginal note:Commissioner’s duties

    (2) The Commissioner shall assist the Auditor General in performing the duties of the Auditor General set out in this Act that relate to the environment and sustainable development.

  • 1995, c. 43, s. 4

Marginal note:Responsibility for human resources management

 The Auditor General is authorized, in respect of persons appointed in his or her office, to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the Treasury Board that relate to human resources management within the meaning of paragraph 7(1)(e) and section 11.1 of the Financial Administration Act, as well as those of deputy heads under subsection 12(2) of that Act, as that subsection reads without regard to any terms and conditions that the Governor in Council may direct, including the determination of terms and conditions of employment and the responsibility for employer and employee relations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-17, s. 16
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 92

Marginal note:Delegation

  •  (1) The Auditor General may authorize any person employed in his or her office to exercise and perform, in any manner and subject to any terms and conditions that he or she directs, any of his or her powers and functions in relation to human resources management.

  • Marginal note:Sub-delegation

    (2) Any person authorized under subsection (1) may, subject to and in accordance with the authorization, authorize one or more persons under that person’s jurisdiction to exercise any power or perform any function to which the authorization relates.

  • 2003, c. 22, s. 92

Marginal note:Contract for professional services

 Subject to any other Act of Parliament or regulations made under any Act of Parliament, but without the approval of the Treasury Board, the Auditor General may, within the total dollar limitations established for his or her office in appropriation Acts, contract for professional services.

  • 2003, c. 22, s. 228

Marginal note:Classification standards

 Classification standards may be prepared for persons employed in the office of the Auditor General to conform with the classifications that the Auditor General recognizes for the purposes of that office.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 18

Marginal note:Delegation

 The Auditor General may designate a senior member of his staff to sign on his behalf any opinion that he is required to give and any report other than his annual report on the financial statements of Canada made pursuant to section 64 of the Financial Administration Act and his reports to the House of Commons under this Act, and any member so signing an opinion or report shall indicate beneath his signature his position in the office of the Auditor General and the fact that he is signing on behalf of the Auditor General.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 19

Immunities

Marginal note:Immunity as witness

 The Auditor General, or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Auditor General, is not a competent or compellable witness — in respect of any matter coming to the knowledge of the Auditor General or that person as a result of performing audit powers, duties or functions under this or any other Act of Parliament during an examination or inquiry — in any proceedings other than a prosecution for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made under this Act.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 305

Marginal note:Protection from prosecution

  •  (1) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Auditor General, or against any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Auditor General, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the course of the performance or purported performance of audit powers, duties or functions under this or any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Defamation

    (2) For the purposes of any law relating to defamation,

    • (a) anything said, any information supplied or any document or thing produced in good faith by or on behalf of the Auditor General, in the course of the performance or purported performance of audit powers, duties or functions under this or any other Act of Parliament, is privileged; and

    • (b) any report made in good faith by the Auditor General in the course of the performance or purported performance of audit powers, duties or functions under this or any other Act of Parliament, and any fair and accurate account of the report made in good faith in a newspaper or any other periodical publication or in a broadcast, is privileged.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 305

Estimates

Marginal note:Estimates

  •  (1) The Auditor General shall annually prepare an estimate of the sums that will be required to be provided by Parliament for the payment of the salaries, allowances and expenses of his office during the next ensuing fiscal year.

  • Marginal note:Special report

    (2) The Auditor General may make a special report to the House of Commons in the event that amounts provided for his office in the estimates submitted to Parliament are, in his opinion, inadequate to enable him to fulfil the responsibilities of his office.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 20

Marginal note:Appropriation allotments

 The provisions of the Financial Administration Act with respect to the division of appropriations into allotments do not apply in respect of appropriations for the office of the Auditor General.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 21

Audit of the Office of the Auditor General

Marginal note:Audit of office of the Auditor General

  •  (1) A qualified auditor nominated by the Treasury Board shall examine the receipts and disbursements of the office of the Auditor General and shall report annually the outcome of his examinations to the House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Submission of reports and tabling

    (2) Each report referred to in subsection (1) shall be submitted to the President of the Treasury Board on or before the 31st day of December in the year to which the report relates and the President of the Treasury Board shall lay each such report before the House of Commons within fifteen days after receipt thereof by him or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that the House of Commons is sitting.

  • 1976-77, c. 34, s. 22

Sustainable Development

Marginal note:Purpose

 In addition to carrying out the functions referred to in subsection 23(3), the purpose of the Commissioner is to provide sustainable development monitoring and reporting on the progress of designated entities towards sustainable development, which is a continually evolving concept based on the integration of social, economic and environmental concerns, and which may be achieved by, among other things,

  • (a) the integration of the environment and the economy;

  • (b) protecting the health of Canadians;

  • (c) protecting ecosystems;

  • (d) meeting international obligations;

  • (e) promoting equity;

  • (f) an integrated approach to planning and making decisions that takes into account the environmental and natural resource costs of different economic options and the economic costs of different environmental and natural resource options;

  • (g) preventing pollution; and

  • (h) respect for nature and the needs of future generations.

Marginal note:Additional functions

 The Commissioner must also carry out the functions assigned to them under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

Marginal note:Petitions received

  •  (1) Where the Auditor General receives a petition in writing from a resident of Canada about an environmental matter in the context of sustainable development that is the responsibility of a designated entity, the Auditor General shall make a record of the petition and forward the petition within fifteen days after the day on which it is received to the appropriate Minister for the designated entity.

  • Marginal note:Acknowledgement to be sent

    (2) Within fifteen days after the day on which the Minister receives the petition from the Auditor General, the Minister shall send to the person who made the petition an acknowledgement of receipt of the petition and shall send a copy of the acknowledgement to the Auditor General.

  • Marginal note:Minister to respond

    (3) The Minister shall consider the petition and send to the person who made it a reply that responds to it, and shall send a copy of the reply to the Auditor General, within

    • (a) one hundred and twenty days after the day on which the Minister receives the petition from the Auditor General; or

    • (b) any longer time, where the Minister personally, within those one hundred and twenty days, notifies the person who made the petition that it is not possible to reply within those one hundred and twenty days and sends a copy of that notification to the Auditor General.

  • Marginal note:Multiple petitioners

    (4) Where the petition is from more than one person, it is sufficient for the Minister to send the acknowledgement and reply, and the notification, if any, to one or more of the petitioners rather than to all of them.

Marginal note:Duty to monitor

  •  (1) The Commissioner shall make any examinations and inquiries that the Commissioner considers necessary in order to monitor

    • (a) the extent to which designated entities have contributed to meeting the targets set out in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and have met the objectives, and implemented the plans, set out in their own sustainable development strategies laid before the Houses of Parliament under section 11 or 12 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act; and

    • (b) the replies by Ministers required by subsection 22(3).

  • Marginal note:Commissioner’s report

    (2) The Commissioner shall, on behalf of the Auditor General, report annually to Parliament concerning anything that the Commissioner considers should be brought to the attention of Parliament in relation to environmental and other aspects of sustainable development, including

    • (a) the extent to which designated entities have contributed to meeting the targets set out in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and have met the objectives, and implemented the plans, set out in their own sustainable development strategies laid before the Houses of Parliament under section 11 or 12 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act;

    • (b) the number of petitions recorded as required by subsection 22(1), the subject-matter of the petitions and their status; and

    • (c) the exercising of the authority of the Governor in Council under sections 12.2 and 12.3 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

  • Marginal note:Duty to examine

    (3) The Commissioner shall examine the report required under subsection 7(2) of the Federal Sustainable Development Act in order to assess the fairness of the information contained in the report with respect to the progress of the federal government in implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and meeting its targets.

  • Marginal note:Duty to report

    (4) The results of any assessment conducted under subsection (3) shall be included in the report referred to in subsection (2) or in the annual report, or in any of the three additional reports, referred to in subsection 7(1).

  • Marginal note:Submission and tabling of report

    (5) The report required by subsection (2) shall be submitted to the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and the Speakers shall lay it before their respective Houses on any of the next 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives the report.

 
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