Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 May 2011) . . Page.. 1663 ..
independent performance audit of the operations of the ACT Auditor-General and the ACT audit office. That audit commented:
… the existing performance audit function is viable, but just so …
The size of the program provided by the current level of funding makes it difficult for the office to plan a series of successive audits on a particular theme such as environmental protection, governance or risk management.
The committee believes there would be considerable benefit to the ACT community and the Legislative Assembly if a funding model supporting growth in the performance audit program was developed and instituted as part of the 2011–12 budget.
The committee therefore recommended that the office receive additional funding to support growth in its performance audit function for 2011–12 to 2014–15. It was recommended that the office receive additional appropriation, in the first instance, to deliver two extra performance audits in 2011–12, two extra performance audits in 2012–13, one extra performance audit in 2013–14 and one extra performance audit in 2014–15.
By way of background, the committee recommended, without success, in 2009 that the office be funded to support growth in the performance audit function. The committee has again recommended additional funding to support growth in this audit function because it believes that the Assembly and the ACT community would be served well by the cost effectiveness of such an investigation in terms of its contribution towards (1) strengthening accountability for government performance and (2) identifying improvements in public administration and delivery of services.
The committee also notes that its request for additional funding is further supported by the following points. Firstly, compared to other jurisdictions, the office is significant in having a strong performance audit mandate as provided by legislation. Secondly, performance auditing provides an important role in governance and accountability. This is on the basis that financial auditing provides some assurance at a point in time, but it does not provide audited agencies, parliament or communities with any assurances about the government’s service performance. Performance auditing provides such assurances. Thirdly, increasingly, on this basis, parliaments are seeking to support growth in their respective Auditor-General’s performance audit functions.
The committee looks forward to the ACT Auditor-General’s Office being funded to support an expanded performance audit program.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella), by leave: I thank Ms Le Couteur as chair for making that statement on behalf of the public accounts committee. It is an important issue. Later today, the budget will be made public. If you are looking for savings and efficiencies, one of the ways that governments can do that, of course, is to take the advice of the Auditor-General.