Assented to 2013-03-27
An Act to enhance the financial accountability and transparency of First Nations
This enactment enhances the financial accountability and transparency of First Nations.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.
2. The following definitions apply in this Act.
“consolidated financial statements”
« états financiers consolidés »
“consolidated financial statements” means the financial statements of a First Nation — prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles — in which the assets, liabilities, equity, income, expenses and cash flows of the First Nation and of those entities that are required by those principles to be included are presented as those of a single economic entity, as if the First Nation were a government reporting on its financial information.
« conseil »
“council” has the same meaning as “council of the band” in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act.
« entité »
“entity” means a corporation or a partnership, a joint venture or any other unincorporated association or organization.
« dépenses »
“expenses” includes the costs of transportation, accommodation, meals, hospitality and incidental expenses.
« première nation »
“First Nation” means a band, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act, but does not include a band that is party to a comprehensive self-government agreement given effect by an Act of Parliament.
« membre »
“member” has the same meaning as “member of a band” in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act.
« ministre »
“Minister” means the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
« rémunération »
“remuneration” means any salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, fees, honoraria and dividends and any other monetary benefits — other than the reimbursement of expenses — and non-monetary benefits.
Marginal note:Purpose of Act
3. The purpose of this Act is to enhance the financial accountability and transparency of First Nations by requiring the preparation and public disclosure of their audited consolidated financial statements and of the schedules of remuneration paid and expenses reimbursed to a First Nation’s chief and each of its councillors — acting in their capacity as such and in any other capacity, including their personal capacity — by the First Nation and by any entity that, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, is required to be consolidated with the First Nation.
4. This Act applies in respect of every First Nation’s financial year that begins after the day on which this Act comes into force.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SCHEDULE OF REMUNERATION AND EXPENSES
Preparation and Independent Audit
Marginal note:Accounts and consolidated financial statements
5. (1) A First Nation must maintain its accounts and prepare its consolidated financial statements annually in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the primary sources of which are the handbooks — including the handbook respecting public sector accounting — of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, or its successor, as they are amended from time to time.
(2) A First Nation’s consolidated financial statements must be audited, in accordance with the generally accepted auditing standards of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, or its successor, by an independent auditor who is a member in good standing of a corporation, institute or association of accountants incorporated under an Act of the legislature of a province.
6. (1) A First Nation must annually prepare a document entitled “Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses” that sets out, separately, the remuneration paid and the expenses reimbursed to its chief and each of its councillors — acting in their capacity as such and in any other capacity, including their personal capacity — by the First Nation and by any entity that, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, is required to be consolidated with the First Nation.
Marginal note:Distinct document
(2) The schedule does not form part of the consolidated financial statements.
(3) An auditor’s report or a review engagement report, as the case may be, prepared by the auditor referred to in subsection 5(2), must accompany the schedule.
Marginal note:Copies — members
7. (1) A First Nation must, on the request of any of its members, provide the member with copies of any of the following documents:
(a) its audited consolidated financial statements;
(b) the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses;
(c) the auditor’s written report respecting the consolidated financial statements; and
(d) the auditor’s report or the review engagement report, as the case may be, respecting the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses.
Marginal note:Time limit
(2) The First Nation must provide the copies without delay, but has until 120 days after the end of the financial year in question to provide them if the request is received within those 120 days.
(3) A First Nation may charge a fee for providing the copies, but the fee must not exceed the cost of the service.
Marginal note:Internet site — First Nation
8. (1) A First Nation must publish the documents referred to in paragraphs 7(1)(a) to (d) on its Internet site, or cause those documents to be published on an Internet site, within 120 days after the end of each financial year.
Marginal note:Documents archived
(2) The documents referred to in subsection (1) must remain accessible to the public, on an Internet site, for at least 10 years.
Marginal note:Discharging duty
(3) Publishing any document on an Internet site is insufficient to discharge the First Nation’s duty to make copies of it available to its members who request that document.
Marginal note:Internet site — Minister
9. The Minister must publish the documents referred to in paragraphs 7(1)(a) to (d) on the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development’s Internet site without delay after the First Nation has provided him or her with those documents or they have been published under subsection 8(1).
COURT REMEDIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES
Marginal note:Application by member of First Nation
10. If a First Nation fails to provide copies of any document under section 7, any member of that First Nation may apply to a superior court for an order requiring the council to carry out the duties under that section within the period specified by the court.
Marginal note:Application by any person
11. If a First Nation fails to publish any document under section 8, any person, including the Minister, may apply to a superior court for an order requiring the council to carry out the duties under that section within the period specified by the court.
12. An application for an order in respect of documents referred to in paragraphs 7(1)(a) to (d) for the most recent financial year may only be made after the expiry of 120 days after the end of that financial year.
Marginal note:Power — Minister
13. (1) If a First Nation is in breach of any duty imposed on it under sections 5 to 8, the Minister may take one or more of the following measures:
(a) require the council to develop an appropriate action plan to remedy the breach;
(b) withhold moneys payable as a grant or contribution to the First Nation under an agreement that is in force on the day on which the breach occurs and that is entered into by the First Nation and Her Majesty in right of Canada as represented by the Minister, solely or in combination with other ministers of the Crown, until the First Nation has complied with its duty; or
(c) terminate any agreement referred to in paragraph (b).
(2) An amount withheld under paragraph (1)(b) is deemed to be an amount that is due or owing for the purposes of section 37.1 of the Financial Administration Act.
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