Page 3917 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009
Public Accounts—Standing Committee
Ms LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.26): I present the following report:
Report 4—Review of Auditor-General’s Report No 8 of 2008: 2007-08 Financial Audits, dated 12 August 2009, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.
I am pleased to present this report today. The Auditor-General’s report No 8 of 2008 was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 17 December 2008, and consequently referred to PAC for inquiry. It has been the annual practice of the ACT Auditor-General to provide a report such as this one which contains independent opinions on financial reporting and accounting in the ACT public sector, and this includes comparisons of agency budgets against financial performance as reported in their operating statements. Also, the report reports on matters coming to light during the audits of the agency financial reports and the reviews of the statements of performance that the agencies make.
This is not to do with the Auditor-General’s performance audits. This is purely the financial audits. The matters which are typically reported on are noted in our 10 recommendations. They include weaknesses in government arrangements, control weaknesses and breakdowns, IT issues—there are always IT issues, I guess—and timeliness in reporting by agencies in responding to the Auditor-General’s reports.
As all members would be aware, an independent audit opinion is essential to ensure the appropriate level of accountability to the Legislative Assembly and to the ACT public for ACT finances and performance. Independent opinions such as provided by the Auditor-General’s annual report on financial audits provide an integral part of our effective system of accountability for the stewardship of public funds, how these funds are spent and the quality of decision making that underpins that spending.
The audit report summarises the audits of the financial reports and the views of the statements of performance completed during 2007-08 covering the territory and its agencies. It contains comments on the systematic and significant matters found during these audits. The committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General and also received the government’s submission in relation to the audit report’s findings.
The committee considered and assessed the matters of significance raised by the audit report and its report focused on a selection of significant issues raised. It also provides a summary of the government’s response in relation to them. The committee’s report makes 10 recommendations covering various aspects of financial reporting and accountability in the ACT public sector. Last of all, I would like to thank all those people involved in creating the report: my colleagues, Mr Smyth and Ms Burch, the people who assisted the committee in considering the report and, most particularly, I