The Auditor General Act specifies that the Auditor General must appoint an Assistant Auditor General, bearing the title of Sustainable Development Commissioner, to assist him or her in his or her duties relating to sustainable development auditing. Mr. Paul Lanoie was appointed Sustainable Development Commissioner in September 2016.
The Sustainable Development Commissioner is responsible for preparing at least one report per year under the supervision of the Auditor General. In that report, the Commissioner must share his or her comments and recommendations regarding the application of the Sustainable Development Act. He or she also addresses any topics that are raised by his or her audit or investigation work into sustainable development, and comments on the principles, procedures and other methods used by the audited government entities.
The Sustainable Development Commissioner's mandate clearly indicates that he or she must assess how well the Sustainable Development Act is being applied and share his or her findings. He or she must examine how audited entities fulfill their responsibilities.
The Sustainable Development Commissioner pays particular attention to the Administration's sustainable development planning. His or her audits aim to ensure that the government's activities do not negatively affect ecosystems and that they effectively contribute to the well-being of society.
TheSustainable Development Act, was assented to in April 2006 and is intended to establish a reference framework within the Administration to ensure that the Administration's powers and responsibilities are exercised in the pursuit of sustainable development. The Auditor General Act was amended in April 2006 to provide for the appointment of a Sustainable Development Commissioner and include auditing the application of the Sustainable Development Act.
The Auditor General of Québec, like all other individuals appointed by the National Assembly, is not subject to the Sustainable Development Act. The organization has nevertheless chosen to voluntarily contribute to the Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020 (in French only) by adopting its own Sustainable Development Action Plan 2017-2020 (in French only).
This plan, which came into effect on April 1, 2017, aims to achieve 11 cross-disciplinary organizational objectives that apply to all Auditor General employees. The objectives were chosen with sustainable development principles in mind, and they contribute to some of the objectives included in the government strategy. Achievement of the 11 objectives will be encouraged by mobilizing staff and implementing 28 actions.
The Sustainable Development Working Group's mandate is to support the resource management committee by commenting on and providing suggestions about important aspects that could improve the Auditor General's approach to sustainable development. The group also works with the administrative units responsible for carrying out the actions identified in the Sustainable Development Action Plan 2017-2020. Futhermore, it organizes activities and issues memos to inform all Auditor General employees of the importance of the sustainable development objectives the organization has set for itself.
Lastly, a sustainable development advisor, who is a member of the working group and the Sustainable Development Cimmissioner's executive committee, is tasked with coordinating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Action Plan 2017-2020 and ensuring the commitments that have been made are honoured.