Departmental Audit Committees

Departmental audit committees (DACs) are an integral part of the Government of Canada's efforts to ensure the rigorous stewardship and accountability of public funds across its operations.

The Financial Administration Act requires that deputy heads of large departments establish an independent departmental audit committee that includes a majority of external members who have been recruited from outside the federal public administration. DACs report directly to deputy heads of federal departments. The Treasury Board Directive on Internal Auditing in the Government of Canada provides that a deputy head and the Comptroller General of Canada shall jointly select external audit committee members for approval by the Treasury Board. Appointments are for a term of four years and are renewable once.

DAC members are seasoned professionals who have high-level business management skills and experience with complex organizations.

Appointment of Departmental Audit Committee Members

A process for recruiting and appointing departmental audit committee (DAC) members has been developed in consultation with departments.

What does a DAC do?

A DAC is a strategic resource for the deputy head. It provides objective advice and recommendations to the deputy head regarding the sufficiency, quality and results of assurance on the adequacy and functioning of the department's risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes (including accountability and auditing systems). Deputy heads can use this information to enhance accountability, transparency and the overall performance of their departments.

The key areas of responsibility of DAC members are as follows:

The independent members of the DAC shall submit an annual report to the deputy head that will:

What role does the Office of the Comptroller General play?

The Office of the Comptroller General supports DACs across the federal public service. Key responsibilities include the following:

Read on to learn more:

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