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The ANAO’s governance structure and practices support the Auditor-General in the oversight of the organisation, management of its resources and the delivery of quality audit products. The corporate governance framework, processes and related organisational capability supports the delivery of the ANAO’s purpose, and meets public and community expectations of probity, accountability and transparency.
Executive Board of Management
The Executive Board of Management assists the Auditor-General to meet statutory responsibilities, and provides leadership to the ANAO in pursuing its strategic direction and delivering against the commitments and initiatives outlined in the corporate plan. The Executive Board of Management is responsible for supporting the ANAO’s strategic direction; overseeing business; identifying strategic and operational risks; managing the ANAO’s budget and workforce; and delivering against the commitments and initiatives outlined in annual business plans.
The standing membership is:
- Auditor-General (Chair)
- Deputy Auditor-General
- Group Executive Directors, Assurance Audit Services Group, Performance Audit Services Group and Professional Services and Relationships Group
- Senior Executive Director, Corporate Management Group
- Senior Executive Director, Systems Assurance and Data Analytics Group
- Chief Financial Officer
For more information about ANAO organisational governance and capability, see Part 4 of ANAO Annual Report 2018-19.
Planning and performance
The performance of the ANAO is measured through the audit and non-audit activities undertaken over the period of the Corporate Plan. Performance measurement informs the Parliament about the ANAO’s performance in the delivery of its purpose, and provides accountability to the Parliament. The performance framework is also designed for the ANAO’s leadership and staff to understand the impact of the activities they are responsible for, evaluate whether these activities are delivering against the ANAO’s purpose.
Portfolio Budget Statements
The Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) set measurable deliverables that assess progress against the corporate plan.
The ANAO PBS has one outcome: to improve public sector performance and accountability through independent reporting on Australian Government administration to Parliament, the executive and the public.
The corporate plan is the ANAO’s primary planning document. It details the operating environment and sets out how the ANAO will achieve its purpose. The corporate plan is complemented by the annual audit work program.
The ANAO’s corporate plan details the performance measurement framework, which is based on measuring what we did (output); how well we did it (quality and/or efficiency); and what the benefits were (impact). The corporate plan also recognises that to position the ANAO to continue to meet its purpose within the operating environment described, the ANAO will make a range of capability investments. The ANAO’s governance and business planning is facilitated by the ANAO’s strategic planning framework.
Annual audit work program
The annual audit work program sets out the Auditor-General’s audit strategy and the ANAO’s deliverables for the coming year. It informs the Parliament, the public and government sector entities of the planned coverage of the Australian Government sector by way of financial statements audits, performance audits and other assurance activities.
The annual audit work program presents information primarily on a portfolio basis on the audit focus areas, a portfolio overview, financial statements and other assurance activities potential performance audits, in progress performance audits and recently tabled performance audits.
The annual report documents the ANAO’s performance. It addresses all applicable obligations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Auditor-General Act 1997 and the performance measures set out in the ANAO’s portfolio budget statements and the corporate plan. The ANAO annual report contains the annual performance statement, which reports on the achievement of the performance measures and provides narrative and analysis relating to the ANAO’s performance.
The ANAO’s annual performance statement and financial statements, which appear in the annual report, are audited by the Independent Auditor.
Risk oversight and management systems
The effective management of risk is critical to achieving the ANAO’s purpose. The ANAO’s Risk Management Policy and Framework follows the International Standard on Risk Management, and assist the Auditor-General to meet the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy issued by the Department of Finance.
Changes in the ANAO’s operating environment are monitored for their potential impact on the ANAO’s ability to achieve its purpose. Damage to our reputation is the single most important consequence should our risk management fail in a significant way, as it goes to the core of the way we conduct our business and our integrity as a professional audit organisation.
The Audit Committee provides independent assurance and advice to the Auditor-General, including reviewing the appropriateness of the ANAO’s financial and performance reporting, systems of risk oversight and management, and systems of internal control.
The committee comprises an independent Chair and members, who have appropriate qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience to assist the committee to perform its functions. The ANAO Audit Committee Charter sets out the committee’s role, authority, membership and functions, and its procedural, reporting and administrative arrangements.
For more information about the audit committee, see the annual report.
The ANAO’s internal audit function provides an independent and objective review and advisory service to:
- provide assurance to the Auditor-General that ANAO financial and operational controls designed to manage the organisation’s risks and achieve the entity’s purpose are operating in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner; and
- assist management in improving the entity’s business performance.
For more information about the internal audit, see the annual report.
Section 41 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 establishes the position of the Independent Auditor who undertakes the audit of the ANAO’s financial statements and may at any time conduct a performance audit of the ANAO. The Independent Auditor is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, with the approval of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). The independent auditor is a part-time statutory appointment for a period of at least three years and not more than five years.
The Independent Auditor has powers and functions similar to those provided to the Auditor-General. The independent auditor’s performance audit reports are tabled in the Parliament and considered by the JCPAA.
In performing or exercising their functions or powers, the Independent Auditor must have regard to the audit priorities of the Parliament for audits of the Audit Office, as determined by the JCPAA under paragraph 8(1)(n) of the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951.
For further information and recent external audit reports visit external audits and reviews.
The ANAO and the New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General have a long standing arrangement to conduct reciprocal performance audit peer-reviews annually, on a rotating basis. The scope of the review is not a comprehensive examination of the each office’s performance audit practices. Instead, this arrangement seeks to strengthen performance auditing through the provision of constructive feedback and sharing of better practices. The peer review methodology includes examining two published Auditor-General reports against agreed criteria, drawing on information from related planning documents, audit working papers and discussion with ANAO staff.
For further information and recent peer review reports visit external audits and reviews.
External reports on ANAO operations
The purpose of the JCPAA is to hold Commonwealth entities to account for the lawfulness, efficiency and effectiveness with which they use relevant money. Among its responsibilities, the committee considers the operations and resources of the ANAO. The committee is also required to review all Auditor-General reports tabled in the Parliament and to report the results of its deliberations to both houses of the Parliament. The Auditor-General meets with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the JCPAA at least annually to discuss committee business. The Auditor-General and officers of the ANAO provide private briefings to the Committee on operations and resources, and attend public hearings as part of the JCPAA’s review of Auditor-General reports.