Comptroller General of Canada sous-fonds [textual record]
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Comptroller General of Canada sous-fonds [textual record]
Record Information – Details
- Sous-fonds includes:
2 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
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- 171.4 m of textual records.
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- Scope and content:
Sous-fonds consists of records which document the activities of the Office of the Comptroller General in establishing policy, maintaining standards and reviewing departmental practices in regard to financial control, management accounting and reporting, financial management information systems, program evaluation, internal audit and comprehensive audit techniques. Also documented is the administration of the freeze on discretionary expenditure circa 1986, and revised estimates and public accounts procedures. Files from block 8057 comprise detailed program by program evaluations which, in conjunction with other accessions, will eventually provide a comprehensive analytical portrait of federal government programs circa 1980-1990, just before the massive program review innovations that began in 1993. The records also contain files relating to departmental enquiries, budget preparation, and advisory committees training of financial managers. The records are arranged according to the file registry systems in which the records were maintained at the time of their transfer to the archives. The pre-1993 file registry systems were maintained by the Office of the Comptroller General while the Office was a separate Secretariat; the post-1993 file registry systems were maintained by the office of the Comptroller General after its functions had merged into the Treasury Board Secretariat. File series that had been maintained in the pre-1993 file registry systems may have been migrated or continued under different prefix and/or file number in the post-1993 registry systems.
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- Biography/Administrative history:
Canada. Office of the Comptroller General : The Office of the Comptroller General of Canada (OCG) was created in 1978 (Amendments to the Financial Administration Act, 30 June 1978, SC 1977-78, c.33) in order, generally, to promote and enforce sound financial management practices in general; and specifically, to fulfill new accountability requirements consistent with the standards of comprehensive audit and to fill certain holes that had emerged in the reformed financial accounting systems of the Government of Canada after major reforms in the period 1966-1970. Between 1978 and 1993, the Comptroller General had the status of a Deputy Minister heading a separate department of government, reporting to the President of the Treasury Board and supporting the broader mandate of the Treasury Board as a Committee of Cabinet. The OCG constitutes a second parallel secretariat of the Treasury Board. The Office of the Comptroller General seeks to ensure sound financial management practices in a system where responsibility for many accounting and financial control functions had been delegated to the senior managements of departments from the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury (1931-1969). This function of the Comptroller General may sound similar to the role of the Treasury Board Secretariat but the chief financial concern of the Treasury Board secretariat in the years 1978-1993 is better understood as the planning, allocation and program justification of resources through the centrally regulated multi-year expenditure management and budgetary process while the OCG is primarily concerned with the standards of the delegated control and accountability mechanisms which audit and verify the ways in which resources are spent during the fiscal year (including the pre-audit and comptrollership functions). In defining the overall budgetary and financial accountability system, the radical reforms of 1966-1970 in favour of departmental delegation left a very serious gap. Between 1972 and 1978, the Auditor General (the independent office reporting to Parliament performing the post-audit function) made scathing attacks on the resulting waste and lack of accountability. By 1978 the Auditor General had secured an enhanced statutory mandate and authority to conduct more in-depth review of program expenditure (often described as value-for-money audit). Yet there was practically no enforcement mechanism to ensure that departments conformed to the rules, no clear understanding of the scope of the rules for pre-audit and comptrollership necessary to make the system of delegation work, and no control mechanism to audit the internal audit function performed at the departmental level. In order to get its financial house in order, the executive branch of government required a mechanism to ensure adequate coordination of the pre-audit and comptroller functions within the regime of delegated spending authority. This was the essential role of the Comptroller General. The Office of the Comptroller General performs a specialized type of auditing and accountability function in relation to all the internal departmental accountability and financial control procedures. The OCG assures the standards whereby the rigour of the comprehensive or value-for-money audit may be applied to government operations through internal departmental structures on a continuing basis. Instead of auditing accounts, the OCG audits departmental accounting, control, financial administrative procedures, management and reporting accounting, and financial information systems for the adequacy, reliability and timeliness of their reports as well as such senior departmental management functions as internal audit, financial planning, and program evaluation. In this way the function of the OCG may be defined as the auditor of the auditing function or the enforcer of refined comprehensive audit standards in a regime of delegated financial management authority and centralized budgetary planning. In the modern financial accountability regime, the Comptroller General is a unique and essential component of an integrated and interdependent whole. In fulfilling its mandate, the OCG is performing some functions that were barely conceived of prior to 1968. The control and accountability functions of the Comptroller General have been executed through more than sixteen separate activities involving coordination, advice, monitoring, staffing, professional development, performance measurement, program evaluation, formal audit and enforcement. The Comptroller General has the responsibility for developing the official response to the annual report of the Auditor General. In 1993 a separate Office of the Comptroller General ceased to exist as the title was assumed by the Secretary of the Treasury Board and functions were merged back into the Treasury Board Secretariat in a radically reorganized single department of government. Virtually all the functions of the Office of the Comptroller General continued through the diffuse activities of the four reorganized program review sectors, the residual office of Deputy Comptroller General and the Chief Information Officer which together made up the components of the re-engineered Treasury Board Secretariat which dealt in financial management.
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