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Auditor General Role

29-May-2010 [197]

• The role of the Auditor General - Municipal Code and and City website

Part of Auditor

The law, as set out in the City of Toronto Act, requires City Council to appoint an Auditor General, or AG. The AG is one of 4 "Accountability Officers" who is appointed by City Council for the purpose of helping Council ensure that the City is accountable to its citizens. To find out more about the background behind the accountability officers and their roles, see City accountability officers - roles

A summary of the Auditor General's job, as defined in this provincial law, and further defined by City Council by-law, is set out below.

See also the City of Toronto website which explains the role of the City's Auditor General at and his or her duties

The City of Toronto Act requires City Council to appoint an Auditor General who reports directly to Council. His or her job is to help Council to hold itself and the city bureaucracy accountable for "the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in city operations".

The Auditor General has access to all city records and information and has broad powers to compel city employees to answer questions and produce records.

The City of Toronto Act says that City Council will further define the powers and duties of the Auditor General. The City has defined these duties by way of by-law, as described below.

The City of Toronto Municipal Code

City Council defined the AG's duties in city by-law No. 1098-2009, passed on 2009-10-27 City by-law re: Auditor General's role. This by-law is now reproduced in Chapter 3, entitled "Accountability Officers" in the City of Toronto Municipal Code - a compilation of by-laws (amended quarterly) which pertain to the city as a whole.Toronto Municipal Code Oct 2009.

The Code specifies that the Auditor General will serve for a seven-year non-renewable term. It sets out a number of duties, including the following:

- carrying out financial (excluding attest), compliance and performance audits of all programs, activities and functions for all City departments, including the offices of the Mayor and members of Council, local boards (restricted definition) and City-controlled corporations.

- upon request, carry out the same financial audits of the following boards: (1) Toronto Police Services Board. (2) Toronto Public Library Board. (3) Toronto Board of Health.

- acting only upon specific direction from Council in relation to a perceived breach by Toronto Hydro Corporation of the shareholder direction, conduct an audit of Toronto Hydro and its subsidiaries

- submit an annual audit plan to Council

- Council cannot delete or change the AG's audit plan, but they can add to it with a 2/3 vote of all Councillors in favour of the addition

- Council can assign other duties to the AG

- in the AG encounters any interference in his/her duties, s/he must report this to Council

- the AG is subject to an external peer review every three years to make sure s/he is complying with government auditing standards and this review is reported to Council via the Audit Committee

- the AG submits his/her annual budget request to the Audit Committee which considers it and makes recommendations to Council.