The Auditor General of Québec is at the exclusive service of the National Assembly and its committees. It makes assiduous efforts to provide adequate support to elected members and to enable them to make optimum use of its work. Attuned to the needs of its client, the Auditor General regularly seeks feedback to make sure that it is fully meeting the National Assembly’s expectations.
The Auditor General works closely with parliamentary committees, especially the Committee on Public Administration. It shares with this Committee the concern for improving management practices at the government level.
The National Assembly entrusts the Auditor General of Québec with the mission of fostering, through audit, parliamentary control over public funds and other public property. The work associated with this mission includes, to the extent that the Auditor General deems appropriate, financial audits, audits to ensure the compliance of operations with statutes, regulations, policy statements and directives, as well as performance audits. The mission of the Auditor General does not entail examining the merits of the policy statements and the objectives of the various programs.
The Auditor General Act empowers the Auditor General to audit the books and accounts of the entities of the health and social services network and education network as well as those of the non-profit organizations that revolve around these networks. As for the Act respecting the governance of state-owned enterprises, it entrusts the Auditor General with the responsibility of adopting measures to assess the effectiveness and performance of seven entities. Following the legislative amendment to its constitutive act on June 14, 2013, the Auditor General has been able to conduct performance audits in public bodies and government agencies (some of which were formerly called enterprises), with the exception of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
The organization oversees the management of public funds and other public property by the government, with the prime intention of bringing about improvements in public management. The organization aims to increase the transparency of the government administration. Regarding financial and performance information, the organization promotes rigorous and transparent reporting and is on the watch for the risks to which entities are exposed. It pays special attention to economy in the acquisition and use of resources. Finally, the organization sees to it that the authorities adhere to its recommendations.
The Auditor General carries out its mission in collaboration with the internal auditors of the departments and agencies, who enable it to better exercise its responsibilities in relation to performance auditing and who contribute to determining the nature and scope of its own interventions.
The object of the Sustainable Development Act, passed in April 2006, is to establish a new management framework within the Administration to ensure that powers and responsibilities are exercised in the pursuit of sustainable development. As for the Auditor General Act, which was amended in the wake of the Sustainable Development Act, it now stipulates that an Assistant Auditor General is appointed to assist the Auditor General in the performance of his or her duties and that the chosen person bear the title of Sustainable Development Commissioner.
The Code de déontologie (code of ethics) sets out the principles and rules that govern the conduct of the Auditor General and its organization’s personnel, as well as the values guiding their conduct. The code is established in accordance with the principles set out in the Public Service Act, the Regulation respecting ethics and discipline in the public service, the Déclaration de valeurs de l’administration publique québécoise and the Code of ethics of chartered professional accountants. This code does not override the standards set out in other relevant documents. In the event of discrepancy, the more stringent rules and principles apply.
The legal framework ensuring the organization’s independence is set out in the Auditor General Act The organization does not charge government departments or agencies for its services. Funding for its activities comes from appropriations granted by the National Assembly.
The Politique environnementale du Vérificateur général du Québec (Auditor General of Québec’s environmental policy) sets out the organization’s concerns and responsibilities with regard to environmental management. It also describes the Auditor General’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its activities, in accordance with the intentions set out in the Strategic Plan for 2016-2019.