Auditor independence is critical for a successful legislative audit regime. Auditor independence allows auditors to exercise objectivity—to not be compromised by bias, conflict of interest, or undue influence of others. Independence also enhances professional skepticism (i.e., appropriate challenge of management’s assertions).
The Provincial Auditor Act provides the legislative framework for the independence of the Office and its staff. The framework enables the Provincial Auditor, the Office, and its staff to be independent of the Government and be able to exercise that independence—that is, make decisions without being affected by influences that would compromise their judgment. For example, the Act:
- Creates an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly called the Provincial Auditor with the responsibility to audit all government agencies and report the results directly to the Legislative Assembly.
- Ensures the Provincial Auditor is independent from elected and appointed officials including the Assembly’s committees and boards.
- Requires an order of the Legislative Assembly based on a unanimous recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee to appoint the Provincial Auditor for an eight-year, non-renewable term. The Public Accounts Committee is an all-party committee that does not include Cabinet ministers.
- Makes the Office’s employees part of the Legislative Branch of Government. They are neither part of the Executive Branch of Government nor members of the public service of Saskatchewan.
- Requires the Public Accounts Committee (an all-party committee chaired by a member of the opposition) to review the Office’s annual Business and Financial Plan and recommend the Office’s annual funding to the Assembly.
- Gives the Provincial Auditor administrative independence—the power to administer, manage, and control the Office, its general business, as well as oversee and direct the Office’s staff. This includes the ability to decide which employees to hire and at what rate, and what audit work to do and how.
The Office has also placed additional safeguards to enable staff to act with integrity, and exercise objectivity and professional skepticism.
Learn more about Who Audits the Auditor