James Sinclair (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)
The bill which was given
first reading last session to enable it to be in the hands of members of parliament, and the bill which we shall give first reading after this resolution is accepted, are almost identical, with the exception 'of a few changes in phraseology which I shall mention on
second reading. The principal change in the duties of the Auditor General is to remove from him the present regulations which under some circumstances require him to make a pre-audit of funds. Before the public accounts committee the Auditor General said it was neither reasonable nor fair to expect him to make a pre-audit before expenditure, and as Auditor General afterwards certify to the accuracy of the expenditures. I think that is the principal change in the function of the Auditor General. In other words, the Auditor General is completely removed from any departmental responsibility now. He is parliament's servant to audit the public accounts once they are through the Department of Finance; that is, through our auditor, the comptroller general.
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR CONSOLIDATION AND REVISION OF CERTAIN ACTS, AUDIT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, FINANCIAL CONTROL OF CROWN CORPORATIONS, ETC.