An Act to amend the Audit Act
to insure greater accountability
of hospitals, universities and colleges,
municipalities and other organizations
which receive grants
or other transfer payments
from the government
or agencies of the Crown
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. (1) The definition of "inspection audit" in section 1 of the Audit Act is repealed.
(2) Section 1 of the Act is amended by adding the following definitions: "
audit" includes an examination of the matters mentioned in clause 12 (2) (f); ("vrification") "
grant recipient" means an association, authority, board, commission, corporation, council, foundation, institution, organization or other body that receives a payment in the form of a grant or other transfer payment from Ontario or an agency of the Crown. ("bnficiaire d'une subvention")
2. Section 10 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Duty to furnish information
10. (1) Every ministry of the public service, every agency of the Crown, every Crown controlled corporation and every grant recipient shall furnish the Auditor with the information regarding its powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions and methods of business that the Auditor requires.
Access to records
(2) The Auditor shall have free access to all books, accounts, financial records, electronic data processing records, reports, files and all other papers, things or property belonging to or used by the ministry, agency of the Crown, Crown controlled corporation or grant recipient, as the case may be, that the Auditor needs to perform duties under this Act.
3. Subsections 13 (1) and (2) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:
Audit of grant recipient
(1) The Auditor may audit a grant recipient to the extent that the Auditor considers necessary and may require the recipient to prepare and to submit to the Auditor a financial statement that sets out the details of the disposition that the recipient made of the grant or other transfer payment that it received.
Obstruction of Auditor
(2) No person shall obstruct the Auditor or a member of the Office of the Auditor in the performance of an audit of a grant recipient or conceal or destroy any books, papers, documents or things relevant to the subject matter of the audit.
4. Section 14 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Examination on oath
14. (1) The Auditor may examine any person on oath on any matter pertinent to any account that the Auditor may audit.
Powers of Auditor
(2) For the purpose of the examination, the Auditor has the powers that Part II of the Public Inquiries Act confers on a commission, and that Part applies to the examination as if it were an inquiry under that Act.
5. Subsection 27 (2) of the Act is repealed.
6. The Act is amended by adding the following section:
27.1 (1) The Auditor, the Assistant Auditor and each person employed in the Office of the Auditor or appointed to assist the Auditor for a limited period of time or in respect of a particular matter shall preserve secrecy with respect to all matters that come into the person's knowledge in the course of employment or duties under this Act and shall not communicate the matters to any person, except as is required in connection with the administration of this Act or a proceeding under it or the Criminal Code (Canada).
(2) No person shall collect or retain personal information within the meaning of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act on behalf of the Auditor unless the Auditor determines that it is necessary for the proper administration of this Act or a proceeding under it.
(3) If the Auditor retains information relating to the medical, psychiatric or psychological history of an individual, the Auditor shall remove all references in the information to the name of the individual and shall retain the information by using a system of identification other than the name of the individual.
7. This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
8. The short title of this Act is the Audit Amendment Act, 2000.
The purpose of the Bill is to enable the Provincial Auditor to have access to the financial records of Crown agencies, grant recipients and Crown controlled corporations. The Auditor is authorized to audit the financial statements of grant recipients. Auxiliary provisions are included in this Bill to make it an offence to obstruct the Auditor's mandate, to allow the Auditor to examine people under oath and to require information to be kept confidential.