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COMPONENTS COMMON TO PROGRAMS 1.1 AND 2.1

This section reports on performance in relation to two components that contribute to both of the ANAO’s outcomes and are shared by programs 1.1 and 2.1:

  • Assistance to Parliament—The ANAO provides ministers, shadow ministers, other parliamentarians and parliamentary committees, and their staff, with briefings on audit reports tabled in Parliament and the contribution that the implementation of audit recommendations can make to improvements in public administration.
  • National and international representation—The ANAO shares its auditing expertise in order to enhance audit capabilities, standards and processes nationally and internationally.

The effectiveness of these components is assessed largely from formal and informal parliamentary and audit client feedback, and from demand for our services.

Another component common to both programs is the ‘special appropriation’ received to fund the remuneration of the Auditor-General, including for any short-term acting arrangements for periods when the Auditor-General is absent. The special appropriation is reported on in the ANAO financial statements (see Appendix 1).

Table 7 provides a summary of the performance of the shared program components in 2010–11. The delivery of the components is described in more detail in the following sections.

Table 7 Performance against indicators and targets common to outcomes 1 and 2

Table 7 Performance against indicators and targets common to outcomes 1 and 2
Performance indicators 2010–11 target 2010–11 result
Parliament acknowledges the value of the ANAO contribution 90% value role of ANAO Not assessed in 2010–11. Survey conducted every two years.a
Public sector entities acknowledge the value added by ANAO products and services 90% value role of ANAO Assurance Audit Services: 88%b
Performance Audit Services: 86%c
JCPAA’s general satisfaction with the overall quality, timeliness and coverage of the ANAO’s products and services High standard of satisfaction Not assessed in 2010–11. Survey conducted every two years.a

JCPAA = Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

a The parliamentary survey from January 2009 found that 94% of parliamentarians surveyed expressed satisfaction with ANAO products and services and the JCPAA reported a high level of satisfaction with the overall quality, timeliness and coverage of ANAO products and services. The next parliamentary survey will be conducted in 2011–12 under a two year cycle.

b Assurance Audit Services Group Client Survey, March 2011.

c Performance Audit Services Group Client Survey, August 2011.

In 2010–11, the distribution of costs of the ‘assistance to Parliament’ and ‘national and international representation’ program components was 26 per cent to Program 1.1 and 74 per cent to Program 2.1.

Assistance to Parliament

The Parliament is the ANAO’s key client. In 2010–11, we continued to actively support the work of the Parliament by providing briefings and information to ministers, shadow ministers and other parliamentarians; parliamentary committees; and parliamentary staff.

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) is Parliament’s audit committee. Among its other responsibilities, the committee is the formal link between the Parliament and the Auditor-General. In 2010–11, officers of the ANAO attended private briefings and public hearings as part of the JCPAA’s review of audit reports.

In addition to our work with the JCPAA, we assisted other committees during 2010–11, appearing before or providing other assistance to:

  • the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into the conduct of the 2010 federal election and matters relating thereto, in February 2011
  • the Joint Select Committee on the Parliamentary Budget Office inquiry into the proposed parliamentary budget office, in February 2011
  • the Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity hearing into the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006, in February 2011
  • the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee inquiry into procurement procedures for Defence capital projects, in April 2011
  • the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration’s budget estimates hearings, in October 2010, February 2011, and May 2011.

Feedback on provision of services to Parliament

We conducted a parliamentary survey in 2009 to obtain feedback on the extent to which the ANAO’s services meet the needs of parliamentarians. A new survey was planned for the first half of 2011. However, because of the changes resulting from the 2010 election, including significant changes to the membership of the JCPAA, the ANAO has delayed the survey until later in the calendar year.

The 2009 survey found that senators, members of parliament and parliamentary committee secretaries had overall positive perceptions of the ANAO and highly valued our work.

National and international representation

The ANAO contributes to the development of Australian and international auditing standards and professional practices by participating in relevant national and international forums and assisting countries in our region, in particular Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

National representation

The ANAO is a member of the Australasian Council of Auditors-General (ACAG), which comprises the Auditor-General for Australia and the Auditors-General for each Australian state and territory, Fiji, New Zealand and PNG. The council’s objective is to promote public sector auditing in the Australasian region through exchanges of experiences and ideas, training initiatives, and cooperation.

We contribute to the council’s work by attending business meetings, preparing discussion papers, participating in information exchanges, undertaking an annual benchmarking survey, and conducting peer reviews and training courses. In April 2011, the Auditor-General attended the ACAG Biennial Conference in Perth as well as the biennial Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees (ACPAC) Conference, which was held at the same time.

International representation

In meeting our responsibilities to international organisations, the Auditor-General and selected staff attend international conferences and workshops, participate in short-term placements and prepare research papers.

International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions

The Twentieth International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (XX INCOSAI) was held in South Africa in October 2010. The Auditor-General presented a paper on environmental auditing and sustainable development, and attended the Knowledge Sharing Committee meeting.

The ANAO participated in several working groups of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) during 2010–11, as described in Table 8.

Table 8 Participation in International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions working groups, 2010–11

Table 8 Participation in International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions working groups, 2010
Group Purpose ANAO participation
Sub-committee on Performance Audit Disseminating the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions Implementation Guidelines for Performance Auditing, developing standards and guidelines for performance audit based on the guidelines, and monitoring and assessing the implications for performance audit of developments and reforms within the public sector and other fields (such as academia). The Auditor-General attended the Knowledge Sharing committee meeting at XX INCOSAI in November 2010, which discussed the work of this group.
Working Group on Environmental Auditing Improving the use of audit mandate and audit instruments in the field of environmental protection policies, both by members of the working group and by non-member supreme audit institutions (SAIs). The working group pays special attention to joint auditing by SAIs of cross-border environmental issues and policies, and the audit of international environmental accords. The working group hosted a workshop on environmental auditing in Turkey in November 2010, but the ANAO was unable to attend due to other work priorities. The Auditor-General attended the Knowledge Sharing Committee meeting at XX INCOSAI in November 2010, which discussed the work of this group.
Working Group on IT Audit Supporting SAIs in developing their knowledge and skills in the use and audit of IT by providing information and facilities for exchanges of experiences, and encouraging bilateral and regional cooperation. The Auditor-General attended the Knowledge Sharing Committee meeting at XX INCOSAI in November 2010, which discussed the work of this group. The working group met in South Africa in March 2011, but the ANAO was unable to attend due to other work priorities.
Working Group on the Audit of Privatisation, Economic Regulation and Public–Private Partnerships Responding to the increasing role of the private sector in providing what had previously been seen as ‘public’ services, such as electricity and transport. That involvement takes many forms, including privatisations, contracting out and public–private partnerships. The Auditor-General attended the Knowledge Sharing Committee meeting at XX INCOSAI in November 2010, which discussed the work of this group.
Working Group on Value and Benefits of SAIs To develop a framework and measurement tools for defining the value and benefits of SAIs. Value and benefits are recognised from two perspectives: to be recognised as an institution that makes a difference in the lives of citizens, and to be recognised as an independent model organisation. The ANAO reviewed and commented on papers.

Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions

The ANAO provided articles and shared information with Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) counterparts during 2010–11. The ANAO supported ASOSAI research projects on environmental auditing and internal audit by responding to questionnaires, and contributed to the finalisation of the ASOSAI strategic plan for 2011–15.

Pacific Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions

The ANAO is a member of the Pacific Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI), and attended the Thirteenth PASAI Congress which was held in Kiribati in July 2010. The ANAO assisted the PASAI Secretariat with a range of training materials to help build the capacity of PASAI members.

External Relations staff Tamie Plant and Rani Austin
External Relations staff Tamie Plant and Rani Austin.

Auditors-General Global Working Group

The Auditors-General Global Working Group is an international forum of Auditors-General who meet annually to hold organised but informal discussions on current and emerging issues of concern to their governments and offices, and to explore opportunities to share information and work closely together.

Current members of the group are Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Deputy Auditor-General attended the twelfth meeting of the group, held in India in March 2011, and presented a paper on the fallout from the global financial crisis and lessons arising for government agencies and supreme audit institutions.

Conference of Commonwealth Auditors-General

The Auditor-General presented a keynote paper on aligning institutional capacity and the performance of supreme audit institutions to the Twenty-first Conference of Commonwealth Auditors-General, held in Namibia in April 2011.

Indonesian Board of Audit

Under the Government Partnership Fund administered by AusAID, the ANAO was provided with funding for a five-year project to assist the Indonesian Board of Audit (the Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan or BPK).

In 2010–11, we hosted three visits by BPK officials and four seconded auditors from BPK. In October 2010 the Chair of BPK, Dr Hadi Poernomo, and his senior officials visited the ANAO. This was a milestone in establishing a strong relationship with the new chair of BPK and a sound basis for continuing cooperation between the two offices.

In 2010–11 the ANAO continued to deploy a Senior Executive Service officer to Jakarta, to support the program and to provide technical and advisory support to BPK. In 2011 two senior staff visited BPK to facilitate a workshop on quality assurance.

Indonesian secondees Amin Bangun, Wiwid Mulwadi, Prima Ginting and Rahmi Istani
Indonesian secondees Amin Bangun, Wiwid Mulwadi, Prima Ginting and Rahmi Istani.

The ANAO’s contribution to BPK has received strong support from AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as an important element of Australian Government assistance programs.

Papua New Guinea Auditor-General’s Office

Under the AusAID-funded Strongim Gavman Program, two senior ANAO officers undertook postings to the PNG Auditor-General’s Office (PNG AGO). The program is a whole-of-government engagement involving Australian Government entities that provide capacity development assistance and advice to counterpart PNG Government entities. The program’s overarching goal is to assist the PNG Government to strengthen public sector performance in selected sectors and entities.

The Australian National Audit Office – Papua New Guinea Audit Office Twinning Scheme aims to develop the knowledge and skills of graduates and to build the capacity of the PNG AGO. Under this AusAID-funded scheme, two staff of the PNG AGO have been seconded to the ANAO to develop their skills in financial auditing. The New South Wales Audit Office also contributed to the program by accepting two people seconded from and funded by the PNG AGO.

Arrangements were also made for one director of audit from the PNG AGO to spend one month finalising his four-month development program at the Queensland Audit Office, and one audit manager spent four months working with audit teams in the Queensland Audit Office in Brisbane.

During 2010–11 two ANAO officers undertook short-term assignments to the PNG AGO to assist with its financial audit work program.

The ANAO’s Chief Information Officer made two return visits to the PNG AGO to provide advice and guidance on improving the performance of the office’s wireless network, including advice on developing IT policies. Senior ANAO representatives also visited the PNG AGO to provide advice on improving human resources systems and performance management.

International visitors

During 2010–11, we hosted 17 short-term visits for a total of 100 delegates from a number of countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, New Zealand, Russia, the United States and Vietnam. ANAO staff also met with representatives of the Norwegian Parliament, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, the Iraqi Ministry of Finance, the Papua New Guinean Ombudsman’s Office and the United Nations Population Fund. Delegates provided very positive feedback on their visits.

Two representatives of the Samoan Audit Office took part in the ANAO’s performance audit learning and development course. An ANAO performance analyst was seconded to the Office of the Auditor-General of New Zealand for 11 months, and a manager from Audit New Zealand was seconded to the ANAO for four weeks.

Responding to external inquiries

The ANAO had extensive interactions with other supreme audit institutions during 2010–11. We also responded to over 350 external inquiries and provided information and responses to requests for input on a range of governance and audit-related matters.

Other information services

In addition to our primary role of providing independent assurance and advice to the Parliament, we support and advise audit clients on matters that complement our primary role and fall within our area of expertise.

As part of this work we conduct seminars to advise on topical and emerging issues, with a focus on improved financial reporting. More specifically, our client seminars cover changes to the Accounting Standards, the Corporations Act 2001, the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. The seminars, which continue to generate a great deal of interest, were well received by attendees in 2010–11.

The five client seminars that we conducted in 2010–11, in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, attracted a total attendance of more than 460 representatives of government entities. Over 97 per cent of attendees who provided feedback indicated that the seminars met course objectives; 95 per cent indicated that the content was useful.

During the year, a number of our staff accepted invitations to speak to Australian Government entities and other bodies on topical matters and issues arising from audit reports and better practice guides. More information on those presentations is in Appendix 5.

We periodically publish two newsletters to inform entities of audit-related items of general interest and to provide technical accounting and auditing information:

  • AUDITFocus captures lessons from our audit work that are likely to be of general interest and application to entities. The three editions published in 2010–11 included articles on a range of issues, including direct source procurement, program implementation, project planning and approval, fraud control in agencies, and effective cross-agency agreements.
  • Opinions gives audit clients information on developments in financial reporting and disclosure, together with details of performance audit activity and our better practice guides. Four editions were published in 2010–11.

Both newsletters are available from our website.