Financial Statement Auditing
Summary of Recommendations
We conducted our audits in accordance with the Auditor General Act and the standards for assurance engagements as set out in the CPA Canada Handbook—Assurance.
This report contains five new and three repeated recommendations to government. The repeated recommendations have been made because we do not believe there has been sufficient action taken to implement our previous recommendations.
As part of the audit process, we provide recommendations to government in documents called management letters. We use public reporting to bring recommendations to the attention of Members of the Legislative Assembly. For example, members of the all-party Standing Committee on Public Accounts refer to the recommendations in our public reports during their meetings with representatives of government departments and agencies.
The auditor general is the auditor of every ministry, department and regulated fund, and most provincial agencies. Under the Government Organization Act, ministers are responsible for administering departments and provincial legislation. Deputy ministers are delegated responsibility to support the minister in his or her role, and to act as the chief operator of a department. Ministers may also establish any boards, committees or councils they consider necessary to act in an advisory or administrative capacity for any matters under the minister’s administration. A minister is responsible for oversight of the work and actions of the department and any provincial agencies under his or her administration. However, we make our recommendations to departments and provincial agencies rather than to the minister directly, given the delegated operational responsibilities and that they are in the best position to respond to and implement our recommendations. With respect to recommendations related to ministerial oversight of a provincial agency, we generally make the recommendation to the department supporting and providing advice to the minister.
We believe all of the recommendations in this report require a formal public response from the government. In instances where a recommendation has been made to a board-governed organization, we expect the organization to implement the recommendation and report back to its respective government ministry as part of proper oversight of the organization.
Reporting the Status of Recommendations
We follow up on all recommendations. The timing of our follow-up audits depends on the nature of our recommendations. To encourage timely implementation and assist with the planning of our follow-up audits, we require a reasonable implementation timeline on all recommendations accepted by the government or the entities we audit that report to the government. We recognize some recommendations will take longer to fully implement than others, but we encourage full implementation within three years.