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2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy—Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Press Release

Section 1: Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) supports the goals laid out in the FSDS by measuring, monitoring, and verifying government progress toward sustainable development in our audits and through the activities described in this departmental sustainable development strategy.

This strategy outlines some of the audit work we are planning in order to monitor and report on the government’s progress toward the FSDS and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also describes the ways in which we plan to further integrate the FSDS goals and the SDGs into our operations in order to further the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 7 principles of the act have been considered and incorporated in the OAG’s 2023–27 strategy.

This 2023–27 strategy is the first sustainable development strategy that the OAG is legally required to produce. However, the OAG has voluntarily prepared and issued sustainable development strategies since 1997.

Section 2: The Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s Sustainable Development Vision

Our vision is to bring together people, expertise, and technology for a better Canada, one audit at a time.

Our work promotes the interests of future generations through audits that consider economic, social, and environmental goals and outcomes.

The OAG’s 2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy focuses on the global and domestic sustainable development goals and targets that are relevant to our legislative audit work and to the corporate services that support it.

The OAG is mandated, under the Auditor General Act, to provide Parliament and Canadians with objective, fact‑based information and expert advice on government programs and activities, gathered through direct audit engagements (performance audits and special examinations) and financial audits of federal and territorial departments, agencies, and Crown corporations.

As the home of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, we hold a unique position within the Government of Canada with respect to sustainable development. We hold the federal government to account on its commitments to sustainable development by providing Parliament and Canadians with objective information on the government’s progress against these commitments.

The OAG’s role in assessing the government’s implementation of sustainable development practices, including the SDGs, is defined by our mandates under the Auditor General Act, the Canadian Net‑Zero Emissions Accountability Act, and the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

The Commissioner’s legislated responsibilities include

  • monitoring the implementation of the FSDS and departmental sustainable development strategies
  • assessing the fairness of the federal government’s sustainable development progress reports
  • monitoring federal progress toward sustainable development
  • examining and making recommendations on the implementation of federal measures aimed at mitigating climate change
  • commenting on the draft FSDS

We also support the identification and assessment of environmental and sustainable development risks as part of the audit planning process.

The OAG aligns its sustainable development work with the approach established by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which operates as an umbrella organization for supreme audit institutions around the world (see Section 5 of this report). The OAG also supports INTOSAI’s global efforts for assessing national governments’ progress on the SDGs and is a steering committee member of the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.

More broadly speaking, the OAG is committed to aligning all of its audit work to support sustainable development and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its underlying SDGs. All of the OAG’s audits—financial audits, performance audits, and special examinations of Crown corporations—contribute to SDG 16—Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In addition, we consider the other SDGs when planning and reporting on our performance audit work.

At an organizational level, we support government‑wide initiatives such as the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy to reduce the OAG’s ecological footprint and better withstand the impact of climate change. We have integrated sustainable development considerations into our operations, such as audit delivery, procurement, and resourcing.

Section 3: Listening to Canadians

During the public consultation held from 11 March to 9 July 2022, more than 700 comments on the draft 2022–2026 FSDS were received from a broad range of stakeholders, including governments, Indigenous organizations, non‑governmental organizations, academics, businesses, and individual Canadians in different age groups and of various backgrounds. The draft FSDS was also shared with the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Development Advisory Council for their review and comment.

As required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the OAG has considered comments on the draft 2022–2026 FSDS made during the public consultation period. For example, by aligning with the new FSDS, our strategy now links our departmental actions to FSDS goals and their associated SDGs. We’ve also further aligned with the SDGs by including departmental actions on equity, diversity, and inclusion and gender‑based analysis plus. Additionally, we have streamlined our indicators to have fewer departmental actions, which was a theme coming from the consultations.

More information on the FSDS public consultation and its results are available in the FSDS Consultation Report.

Section 4: The Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s Commitments

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