Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight
Audit committee charts path towards enhanced financial oversight
July 12, 2021
The Senate’s Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight held its first session since the appointment of external members Hélène F. Fortin and Robert Plamondon. The inclusion of non-parliamentarians on a Standing Committee is historic on many levels. They joined four senators charged with launching the committee’s work: Chair David Wells, Deputy Chair Renée Dupuis and senators Percy E. Downe and Marty Klyne.
The audit committee was created in October 2020 and given the authority to monitor and scrutinize all the Upper Chamber’s spending and operational functions to ensure tax dollars are spent responsibly and effectively. Its specific responsibilities include reviewing the Senate’s quarterly financial reports, internal audit reports, and the annual externally audited financial statements. The Committee will also table an annual report to the Senate on its activities.
The committee’s reports will be made public, in line with the institution’s commitment to greater transparency and accountability.
The recent addition of two external members to the committee reinforces the Senate’s commitment to provide robust oversight and review of its expenditures. Together, Ms. Fortin and Mr. Plamondon bring decades of experience and expertise in the fields of accounting, auditing, financial oversight and governance. Both are recognized by Chartered Professional Accountants as Fellows and hold the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
- Senator David M. Wells’ motion to create the audit committee was unanimously adopted by the Senate on October 1, 2020. According to the motion, the committee is to act “for the purposes of integrity, independence, transparency and accountability.”
- The committee held its inaugural meeting on November 26, 2020 and announced the appointment of its two external members, Hélène F. Fortin and Robert Plamondon, on June 8, 2021.
- The committee is another example of the Senate’s commitment to greater transparency and accountability. The Senate has been proactively publishing quarterly reports on expenditures by senators and members of the Senate Administration since 2016.
- The Senate has inspired increased transparency in Parliament. The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration — which is responsible for the internal management of the Senate — made its meetings public in May 2016. Its House of Commons counterpart, the Board of Internal Economy, followed suit a year later.
“The committee is eager to dive into its important work on behalf of all Canadians. The expert advice and judgment provided by our new external members are invaluable to this committee’s work. The historic appointments of Ms. Fortin and Mr. Plamondon have been recognized and highlighted by parliamentarians outside of Canada.”
- Senator David M. Wells, Chair of the committee
“We are making important progress towards building a more robust and extensive level of financial oversight in the Senate. I would like to thank all committee members for their engagement in this important undertaking.”
- Senator Renée Dupuis, Deputy Chair of the committee
- Learn more about the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight.
- Follow the committee on social media using the hashtag #AOVS.
- Sign up for the Senate eNewsletter.
For more information:
Public Relations Officer | Senate of Canada
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