To say that Bonnie Lysyk has a tough job is an understatement. Ms. Lysyk’s office, which is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, conducts financial audits of the provincial government, organizations, agencies, and programs that are provincially funded. As interns, we’re still getting used to running our nine committees! Before her appointment as the Auditor General of Ontario, Ms. Lysyk served in senior positions in the public and private sectors in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan for over 25 years.
As OLIP interns, we have the privilege of meeting all the independent officers of the Assembly, and were very excited to get a chance to speak with Ms. Lysyk. We were also joined by Vanessa Dupuis, Strategic and Operations Advisor to the Auditor General and a former OLIP intern, as well as Nick Stavropoulos,Assistant Auditor General and Emanuel Tsikritsis, Audit Team Director.
Ms. Lysyk spoke with us about the role of the Auditor General’s office and her staff’s work on public accounts, value-for-money audits and special audit reports. We were surprised to learn that each year the office selects a few entities to review and undertakes thorough, year-long audits. The backgrounds of the staff at the Auditor General’s office are as diverse as the types of issues the office works on, supplemented by a group of public and private sector experts.
We also discussed the Auditor General’s thoughts on expanding the office’s mandate. Ms. Lysyk spoke about the challenges that private-public partnerships and programs/services that cross provincial-municipal jurisdictions present to her office’s work. We were also happy to hear about the trends that Ms. Lysyk has seen throughout her time as an independent office of the legislature and the impact of government change on her office’s work.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us, Ms. Lysyk! Your perspectives on the use of public funds and efficiency of government programs will stay with us as we continue to learn more about the interplay between the legislative and executive branches.