The Auditor General Act gives the Auditor General many tools to achieve his mandate. While traditional public reports are the most visible output of this Office’s efforts, over the last few years we have developed additional formats to convey the results of our work. Current formats include:
- Traditional reports
- Management letters
- Summary reports
- Follow-up reports
- Compendium reports
- Information bulletins
Traditional reports contain the full report following an audit, including findings, recommendations and a response from the audited organization.
A significant amount of work is often done, and results achieved, outside of our public reports. Engagement teams work closely with (but independent of) management in public sector entities, such as ministries and Crown corporations. As such, communication is consistent and transparent, meaning management is often aware of our general findings early on in the engagement process. In some cases, management is able and willing to begin addressing our findings during the engagement itself. Other times, our findings can be so numerous, specific, and/or technical in nature that they are not suitable for a public report, but are of great value to the organization we are auditing.
In these instances, “management letters” are used to convey the results of our work to senior management. These letters are formal products from the Office and are intended to give organizations a very detailed account of the project, findings and recommendations, that they may be recognized for their existing good practices and improve on any issues identified.
Where appropriate, the results of management letters are relayed to legislators and the public in different means. For financial audits relating to the Province’s Summary Financial Statements, we publish a summary of management letter issues in our annual Observations of Financial Reporting report. For performance audits and reviews we summarize the most important findings and recommendations from the management letter in a public "Summary Report." As is apparent when reading the summaries, and for reasons unique to each piece of work, these projects did not need to be the subject of a traditional report to be beneficial.
- Summary Report: results of completed projects (December 2010)
The Office publishes semi-annual follow-up reports which contain self-assessments from audited organizations regarding their progress in implementing the Office's recommendations. The self-assessments are published unedited so that readers can assess for themselves whether or not progress is satisfactory. A follow-up report may also contain a progress assessment or progress audit when the Office audits or reviews the organization’s self-assessment. (More information on the follow-up process)
Compendium reports contain a number of reports on a similar topic. The reports tend to be half the length of a traditional report and represent pieces of work completed around a common theme. As such, the Auditor General provides one set of opening comments at the beginning of the report that refers to all pieces.
- Aspects of Financial Management (August 2010)
Our Office is developing a growing suite of good practice tools to aid public sector entities. Good practice guides provide specific guidance to public agencies on topics such as governance, public participation and fraud risk management. (Review all guides)
- Guide for Developing Relevant Key Performance Indicators for Public Sector Reporting (December 2010)
Information bulletins break down complex issues into plain language. (Review all information bulletins)
- Unqualified Audit Opinions are Important: A discussion on the 2009/10 qualified audit opinion on B.C.'s summary financial statements (May 2011)
Brochures offer high-level information in a user-friendly format. (Review all published brochures)