Auditor General of British Columbia

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The Auditor General of British Columbia is an independent Officer of the Legislature of British Columbia, responsible for conducting audits of the government reporting entity (GRE) which consists of ministries, Crown corporations, and other government organizations such as universities, colleges, school districts, health authorities, and similar organizations that are controlled by or accountable to the provincial government. Independence is a vital safeguard for fulfilling the Auditor General's responsibilities objectively and fairly based solely on the evidence found while conducting proper audit procedures. For this reason, the Auditor General reports directly to the Legislative Assembly and not the government of the day. [1]

The Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia (OAGBC) is located in Victoria, B.C., Canada.


For information on the history of Auditors General, see Comptroller and Auditor General.

Auditors General in B.C.[edit]

The position of Auditor General in B.C. was first filled in 1861, with a continuous line of auditors general until 1917. However, these auditors did not benefit from objectivity and independence from government direction and operational priorities: qualities that are the distinguishing features of a modern auditing and legislative reporting function.[2]

The position was re-established in 1977 with the Auditor General Act, brought in by the government of the day to "fill a gap that has existed in British Columbia up to this time," according to then-Finance Minister E.M. Wolfe.[3]

Since then, the Auditor General has been governed solely by the Auditor General Act. Per the Act, the Legislative Assembly must unanimously appoint a person to be the Auditor General. The Auditor General holds office for a non-renewable eight-year term.[4]

The Auditor General can resign from the office at any time by giving written notice to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Auditor General can be suspended from office if a resolution is passed by 2/3 or more of the members present in the Legislative Assembly.[5]

List of all B.C. Auditors General[edit]

Auditor General Appointment Date Departure Date
Carol Bellringer, FCA September 15, 2014
Russ Jones, MBA, CA^ May 27, 2013 September 14, 2014
John Doyle, MAcc, FCA October 29, 2007 May 27, 2013
Errol Price, FCA, CMC^ June 4, 2007 October 28, 2007
Arn Van Iersel, FCGA^ June 7, 2006 June 1, 2007
Wayne Strelioff, FCA March 1, 2000 May 2, 2006
George L. Morfitt, FCA January 1, 1988 January 1, 2000
Robert J. Hayward, CA^ January 1, 1986 January 1, 1988
Erma P. Morrison, FCA September 1, 1977, January 1, 1986
William Allison April 1, 1913 January 1, 1917
John A. Anderson December 1, 1900 April 1, 1913
James McBride Smith January 1, 1880 January 1, 1900
John J. Austin^ January 1, 1879 January 1, 1880
W.C. Berkely^^ March 4, 1873 January 1, 1878
Thomas R. Holmes^ September 1, 1871 February 1, 1873
Robert Ker August 31, 1861 September 1, 1871

^Acting Auditor General ^^Audit Clerk

Present day[edit]

Current Auditor General[edit]

The current Auditor General of British Columbia is Carol Bellringer.[6] She began her term on September 15, 2014. Prior to her appointment, she served as Auditor General for the Province of Manitoba from 2006-March 2014 and from 1992 to 1996. She held previous roles in the office including Assistant Provincial Auitor and Director, Training and Technology. Ms. Bellringer possesses an extensive background in conducting financial statement audits, performance audits, and investigations.

A Chartered Accountant, Ms. Bellringer holds an MBA from the Warsaw School of Economics/University of Quebec at Montreal. She also was named a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Manitoba in 2006 in recognition of her contributions to the community.

She previously served as the City Auditor for the City of Winnipeg, and has held management positions with KPMG in Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg, and with Media One International in Warsaw, Poland. Ms. Bellringer is also a former Director of Private Funding at the University of Manitoba.

She currently serves on the board of the International Federation of Accountants, and has been a past board member for the Manitoba Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors; the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; Manitoba Hydro; the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; and CCAF-FCVI Inc.

Office of the Auditor General[edit]

Quick Facts[edit]

Fiscal 2013/14:[7]

  • Budgeted Costs: $16.07M
  • Actual Costs: $15.34M
  • Full-time equivalent staff: 107
  • Auxiliary staff: 7
  • Number of staff with accounting designations: 52
  • Number of staff with graduate degrees: 28
  • Other professional accreditations: 46
  • Financial audit reports completed: 43
  • Other reports and publications: 17

Training Office[edit]

The OAGBC is a recognized Chartered Accountant Training Office, meeting the profession's Practical Experience Requirements of providing audit, assurance and taxation hours.[8]

The OAGBC also participates in the Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation's international programs, which provides performance audit training for developing audit offices in a variety of countries.[9]

Work Performed[edit]

Financial Audit[edit]

The Auditor General is mandated to "report each year, in accordance with generally accepted auditing and assurance standards, to the Legislative Assembly on the financial statements of the government reporting entity (GRE)." [10] The GRE includes government ministries, Crown corporations, trusts, colleges, school districts, universities, health authorities and other public entities.[11] The audited Summary Financial Statements in 2013/2014 represented $44 billion in expenses, $44 billion in revenue and $82 billion in assets.[12]

The Auditor General is not required to audit each of these organizations individually, but must develop a Financial Statement Audit Coverage Plan detailing the Office's level of involvement in the audit.[13]

Performance Audit[edit]

Under Section 11(8) of the Auditor General Act, the Auditor General is also mandated to report on anything else that they consider should be brought to the attention of the Legislative Assembly.[14] This empowers the Auditor General to conduct performance audits, which look at the management of programs, services and resources.[15] These audits are conducted using a different process than financial audits.

Governance & Accountability[edit]

The OAGBC's third stated focus is auditing governance and accountability issues within three main areas: public sector governance, performance reporting and assurance on performance reporting.[16] Reports on these issues can be found in their own section of the OAGBC's website.[17]


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  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  17. ^ "Publications: Governance & Accountability". BC Auditor. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2017.

External links[edit]