The Auditor General provides an audit opinion (independent auditor’s report, pg. 32) on the Province’s consolidated Summary Financial Statements.
The Auditor General does not audit every organization in the government reporting entity. Most government organizations are audited by private sector firms appointed by the governing boards (boards of directors, boards of trustees, etc.) of these organizations.
The board, or a committee of the board, manages the process of appointing an auditor. The board is accountable for ensuring the effectiveness, value-for-money and fairness of its process.
Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PAC)
The Auditor General presents the Financial Statement Audit Coverage Plan annually to the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) for approval. The coverage plan summarizes which government organizations will be audited by the Auditor General and which will be audited by private sector firms. The Auditor General also provides guidance on the appointment of other auditors by boards.
Auditor General's Role in Audits of Government Organizations
There are three levels of involvement of the Auditor General in the financial statement audits of government organizations:
1. High (direct) involvement - when the audit is conducted directly either by staff of the Auditor General or by a private-sector firm under contract. In either case, the Auditor General is responsible for the audit and signs the audit opinion. Direct audit involvement provides us with the greatest understanding of the auditee’s business.
2. Moderate (oversight) involvement - when the audit is conducted by a private-sector firm. The Auditor General conducts extended procedures, such as attending audit committee meetings and reviewing the appointed auditor’s audit plans and year-end audit files, to determine the audit risk and if the audit work is sufficient for the Auditor General to rely on when forming an opinion on Government’s Summary Financial Statements.
3. Low (limited) involvement - when the audit is conducted by a private-sector firm. The Auditor General ensures that professional requirements are met by communicating with the appointed auditor our intended reliance on his/her work, and directing or reviewing audit work as required. The OAG will also work with the auditor if there is a specific issue in the organization or sector that needs to be addressed.
If you have questions regarding this guideline, please contact us.