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About Us

The Auditor General examines and reports on how well the government is managing its responsibilities and resources. This is achieved by doing objective, fact-based audits that are then provided to the Legislative Assembly.

Supported by a staff of more than 55 individuals, the Auditor General serves the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, and in turn all Manitobans.

 

The need for legislative audit

In Canada, similar to other parliamentary systems, control of public money is carried out on behalf of the people by their elected representatives, the members of Legislative Assemblies. While governments draft budgets and spending estimates, they may neither collect nor spend taxpayers’ money without the approval of Legislative Assemblies. After governments spend the money entrusted to them, they are obligated to report back to the Assemblies on how the money was used. This obligation to answer for actions taken forms the basis of an accountability relationship between governments and their Legislative Assemblies.

 

As the governing body in this accountability relationship, each Legislative Assembly is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the activities of government.

  • Holding government accountable for its handling of public money.

 

To assist this process, the government provides the Legislative Assembly with information about the use of the public funds entrusted to it. However, the Assembly needs assurance that this information is appropriate, credible, and complete, and that it accurately reflects the activities of government. The way in which it obtains such assurance is through an independent audit function set up to assist it in fulfilling its oversight role.

 

The legislative audit function, in Manitoba fulfilled by the Auditor General, is therefore a critical piece of public accountability, and a vital part of the democratic process of responsible government.

Independence

Above all else, the Auditor General and their staff members must be, and be perceived to be, independent from government and the government organizations we audit. Independence is known as the cornerstone of legislative auditing.

Our independence from government is necessary to fulfill our mandate effectively. It enables us to examine, without interference, any key issues or areas of concern. It keeps us from being influenced by political or other external pressures that may deter us from conducting certain audits. It also makes it possible for us to report what we find and what we believe are fair conclusions, even if the government or government organization disagrees with our conclusions or recommendations.

This is a great responsibility that is fundamental to our role in helping the Legislative Assembly hold the government accountable.

Our mandate

The Auditor General Act (the Act) establishes the Auditor General as an officer of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. The Act notes the Auditor General’s role is to provide the Assembly with independent information, advice, and assurance but that this work must be done without questioning the merits of policy objectives of government. The Act also outlines the Auditor General’s responsibilities and authorities to conduct and report on:

  • Financial statement audits.

  • Audits of operations, audits of recipients of public money, and special audits on request

 

The Auditor General is appointed for a renewable 10-year term and can only be removed by a vote of two-thirds of the Legislative Assembly.

Access to information

Given our broad mandate, it is important that we have the ability to access the information needed to be able to do our work properly. To that end, Section 18 of the Act states the Auditor General is entitled to access, at all reasonable times, the records of any government organization that are necessary for the purpose of the Act.

(*Special audits must be requested and can be denied if the Auditor General is of the opinion that it would interfere with the primary responsibilities of the Auditor General. See Services  for more information).

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