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Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight
The Senate of Canada
Canada, K1A 0A4
If you wish to subscribe to the committee’s distribution list for notices of meetings and unrevised transcripts, please send an e-mail message to receive these documents by electronic mail as it they are available. Please note that the transcripts you receive are unedited verbatim of proceedings as they were taken, in the original spoken language. The fully translated and edited copy of the transcript is posted on the committee’s site (under "Transcripts and Minutes") within a few weeks of a hearing. If you wish to cite an unrevised transcript, please obtain the consent of the person who spoke.
INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON AUDIT AND OVERSIGHT
The Standing Senate Committee on Audit and Oversight was created based on the principles of integrity, independence, transparency, and accountability which were determined to be essential to fulfilling its mandate to provide oversight and to report on the Senate’s spending.
The committee is authorized, on its own initiative, to exercise the review, monitoring and inquiry function of the Senate’s financial operations. More specifically, it is responsible for the following:
- retaining the services of and overseeing the external and internal auditors;
- supervising the Senate’s internal and external audits and reporting to the Senate;
- reviewing the Senate’s Quarterly Financial Reports and the audited Financial Statements; and
- tabling before the Senate all relevant financial documents, including an annual report with observations and recommendations.
The committee is also tasked with reviewing the Senate Administration’s action plans to ensure that they adequately address the recommendations and findings arising from internal and external audits and that they are effectively implemented.
The committee is composed of five members, of which three are senators. Part of its uniqueness is that the Senate will appoint, for the first time in Senate history, two external members to the committee. The Rules of the Senate (the Rules) require that, after electing its chair and deputy chair, the committee must adopt a report to the Senate nominating two external members of the committee. This report must be agreed to by all three senators who are members of the committee and is expected to include recommendations on remuneration and permissible expenses for the external members. A former senator or former member of the House of Commons is not eligible to be nominated as an external member.
The chair of the committee must be a senator who is not a member of the recognized party or recognized parliamentary group to which the chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (the Committee on Internal Economy) belongs. Further, members of the committee cannot be members of the Committee on Internal Economy and the Committee on Audit and Oversight simultaneously.
The Standing Senate Committee on Audit and Oversight has engaged the services of Boyden Canada to assist the committee with the selection process for its two external members. This will help ensure that candidates are brought forward through a fair, transparent and arm’s-length process. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the requirements and appointment process are invited to contact Boyden Canada directly at: email@example.com referencing the Standing Senate Committee on Audit and Oversight.
Following the tabling of the Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Senate of Canada - Senators' Expenses in the Senate on June 9, 2015, the Committee on Internal Economy mandated its Subcommittee on Estimates to review the recommendations in the Auditor General's report.
Following its review, the subcommittee presented its 5th report to the Committee on Internal Economy and concluded that the creation of a standing committee under the Rules to oversee all Senate expenditures would be the best option. In its 21st report to the Senate presented on October 26, 2017, the Committee on Internal Economy recommended that the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures, and Rights of Parliament (the Rules Committee) develop and propose amendments to the Rules to establish the general mandate for a Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight.
The Rules Committee considered several issues and as a result, on November 29, 2018, it presented its 10th report proposing amendments to the Rules to create a Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight. However, the report was not adopted by the Senate prior to the dissolution of Parliament on September 11, 2019.
On October 1, 2020, the Senate adopted a motion to amend the Rules to create the Standing Senate Committee on Audit and Oversight.
The Senate appointed the first three Senate members of the committee on November 5, 2020, and the committee held its first meeting on November 25, 2020.
Detailed information on current work of the committee can be found on the Audit and Oversight Committee website at https://sencanada.ca/en/committees/aovs/.