Statement from the President of the Treasury Board on the Auditor General's Annual Report
Today, Liz Sandals, President of the Treasury Board, released the following statement:
"We thank the Auditor General for her report, and continue to appreciate our ongoing working relationship with the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The Treasury Board Secretariat works closely with the OAG on a wide variety of issues on a regular basis, and her oversight and insight is welcomed both during our regular interactions and with this annual report.
The Auditor General mentions a number of topics that represent ongoing conversations between government and her office; for instance, the accounting practices regarding pension assets and the application of the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles when the Public Sector Accounting Board's standards are silent. The government's position on these differences of opinion has not changed.
We agree with the Auditor General's comments on the importance of accountability for agencies, boards, commissions and other broader public sector entities. Since 2010, our government has implemented a number of important measures to strengthen broader public sector and provincial agency accountability, transparency and governance. Our recent Fall Economic Statement, if passed, responds to the recommendations of the Auditor General in her 2015 Annual Report to streamline administration and establish consistency in the tabling and communication of provincial agency annual reports. However, we know that making process changes to annual reports may not be the complete solution. We will continue working with the OAG to enhance oversight and ensure accountability across all of our agencies.
We share the Office of the Auditor General's belief that the Auditor General has an important role to play in the oversight of government advertising, and that's one of the reasons that we are proud that Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada to have legislation in place to ensure that oversight. In fact, we have recently expanded her oversight to include digital advertising.
We know that the government has a responsibility to communicate to the public it serves, and that advertisements are one medium through which we can do that. For example, our Sexual Violence and Harassment prevention campaign - #WhoWillYouHelp challenged existing attitudes, and sparked international discussion. Our video was viewed over seven million times in the first 10 days, and generated more than 85 million views worldwide. And within six months, we had measurable results - 55 per cent strongly agreed they had an obligation to intervene when witnessing sexual harassment, up from 37 per cent.
As the President of the Treasury Board, I am committed to leading the government's efforts on accountability, openness and modernization, while working to deliver good government and public services in the most effective and efficient way possible. As part of this commitment, we work side-by-side with our partners, including the Auditor General, throughout the year to ensure that we continue to become more efficient in our processes and more open and accountable as a government."