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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > N, O > Office of the Auditor General

Office of the Auditor General 

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada is responsible for legislative auditing of the federal government. It also audits the three territorial governments.

(Office of the Auditor General)


The OAG web site (December 2008) states that: "The Office of the Auditor General of Canada is an independent and reliable source of the objective, fact-based information that Parliament needs to fulfill one of its most important roles: holding the federal government accountable for its stewardship of public funds. The Office audits departments and agencies, most Crown corporations, and many other federal organizations; it is also the auditor for the governments of Nunavut, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories." Sharon Sutherland, the Canadian scholar who has written most widely about the Office, has traced the evolution of the Office's role from its traditional function of auditing probity in the use of financial and material resources, to the role (after the passage of enabling legislation in 1977), of giving opinions on nonfinancial and value-related topics. Sutherland holds that the Office's opinions can exert pressure on officials and ministers, creating a dilemma for the doctrine of responsible government, as the OAG has neither a responsible elected leadership, nor a scientific methodology, nor a limited sphere of action.


Sutherland, Sharon L. 1993. "The Public Service and Policy Development." In Governing Canada: Institutions and Public Policy, edited by Michael M. Atkinson. Toronto: Harcourt Brace.

Sharon L. Sutherland, "The Politics of Audit: The Federal Office of the Auditor General in Comparative Perspective," Canadian Public Administration 29, 1 (Spring 1986): 118-148.

Sharon L. Sutherland,"On the Audit Trail of the Auditor General: Parliament's Servant 1973-1980," Canadian Public Administration 23, 4 (Winter 1980): 616-646.


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