On 15 May 2003, the Public Accounts Committee of the 36th Parliament tabled Report No. 5, The 2001-2002 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General: A Performance Review. Among other things, the Committee recommended that all government agencies subject to a Performance Examination by the Auditor General should be required to report to the Public Accounts Committee within 12 months of the tabling of the Auditor General's Report. The reporting should provide details of the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations.
The Public Accounts Committee wrote to all Government Ministers and Directors General to inform them of the requirement to report to the Committee, and received favourable responses. The Auditor General also welcomed the Committee’s initiative, which ensures that there is improved accountability to Parliament.
The Public Accounts Committee of the 37th Parliament resolved to follow up the progress of government agencies in implementing the Auditor General’s recommendations, based on the procedure established by its predecessor. The Public Accounts Committee of the 38th Parliament (current) similarly resolved to continue the follow-up process based on the established procedure.
The general procedure observed by the Committee is as follows:
- The Auditor General tables a Performance Examination report relating to a particular agency;
- About one month after the report is tabled, the Committee requests the agency to provide a report within 12 months of the date of tabling regarding progress on the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations; and
- The Committee considers the agency’s response and may request additional information.
The Committee forwards the correspondence to the Auditor General for comment, and after due consideration, may convene a hearing of relevant senior agency officers and/or the Auditor General.