Crossreferencing: ch. 6.
As I write this blog, there have been calls by (I believe) all the mainstream political parties to release the auditor general's report on the "G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund". Thusfar, the auditor general has declined to do so, reasoning that "we can only present reports when Parliament is sitting. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada remains the custodian of its reports until they are presented to the Speaker of the House of Commons for tabling."
Some public commentary on this issue has implied that if the four mainstream parties, the speaker of the recently dissolved 40th Parliament and the auditor general agree, the latter may release the report because no question of parliamentary privilege will be transgressed (the report was never submitted to Parliament and is, therefore, not within its purview).
With respect to these views, they ignore the strictures of the Auditor General Act itself. In the provisions of relevance to this matter, this statute empowers the auditor general to report only to the House of Commons -- not the general public -- and anticipates only one route for the auditor general to release reports: to Parliament, via the Speaker. There is no provision allowing the auditor general to circumvent this procedure, with the blessing of political leaders or otherwise. If there is no speaker and no Parliament because of dissolution, there is no release of the report. To act otherwise would render the auditor general ultra vires her authority.
This may suggest that the Act should be amended to deal with the treatment of reports during a dissolution. However, absent that amendment, the auditor general acts properly in declining to release the report.