Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present the third report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts respecting the peer review report on the value for money practices of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
Speaking to the report, on March 11, 2004, the Auditor General of Canada, Mrs. Sheila Fraser, together with assistant auditor general, Mr. David Rattray, appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to present the results of the February 2004 peer review of the Office of the Auditor General and to table a copy of the review and the Auditor General's management action plan.
In February 2003 the Auditor General asked the members of the international audit community if they would be interested in participating in a review of the office's value for money audit practices The purpose of the review was to assess the extent to which this practice was designed to reflect recognized standards of professional VFM audit practices and whether it was operating effectively to meet the office's goal of producing independent, objective and supportable information that Parliament could rely on to examine the government's performance and to hold it to account.
The peer review was formed in early 2003 to include members of the international audit community from the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands and France. The general accounting office of the United States participated as an observer. The peer review was conducted between June and November 2003 and was completed in February 2004.
Mrs. Fraser was pleased to announce to the committee that the results of the peer review were very positive. The report concluded that the office's VFM audit practice was suitably designed and operating effectively to achieve the office's value for money objectives. The peer review also identified a number of good practices in the office of the VFM process and quality management framework.
The peer review report also identified a number of opportunities for improvement in some of the office's value for money policies and practices, and suggested some possible areas of solution which the office should take into account to improve its VFM products.
Mrs. Fraser told the committee that her office would respond to these issues and table the office's management action plan for addressing the suggestions made by the peer review report.