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The ANAO’s primary relationship is with the Australian Parliament, through its ongoing engagement with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). Through its audit and related services the ANAO provides to the Parliament, the Australian public can have confidence that the Auditor-General is scrutinising and reporting on the actions of public sector entities and whether public funds are being used economically, efficiently, effectively and ethically.
The ANAO has an important relationship with the accountable authorities of Australian Government Entities, who have primary responsibility for and control over public sector entities’ operations. This relationship is also supported by the ongoing engagement undertaken with officials of audited entities.
The ANAO also invests in a number of relationships to support its ability to be a learning organisation through the two-way exchange and sharing of information and practices. This includes the Australasian auditing community as a member of the Australasian Council of Auditors-General (ACAG). The ANAO also has close links with the international and regional auditing community through the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and its regional working groups, and contributes to the delivery of the Australian Government’s aid program in the Indo-Pacific region. The ANAO values its relationships with the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB), in their roles of setting and maintaining professional and ethical standards for the accounting and auditing professions, which underpin the delivery of quality audit services.
Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) is the ANAO’s oversight committee. The JCPAA is one of the joint committees of the Commonwealth Parliament, and is established by the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951. The JCPAA provides a formal link from the Auditor-General and the ANAO to the Parliament. The Committee approves the proposed appointment of the Auditor-General, reviews all ANAO reports, reviews the annual resource requirements and operations of the ANAO and advises the Auditor-General on the Parliament’s audit priorities.
The ANAO appears before other Parliamentary committees, including Senate Estimates committees and in the context of specific Parliamentary inquiries. Further, the ANAO is available to brief Members and Senators on its reports.
Accountable authorities of Australian Government Entities
The ANAO has an important relationship with the accountable authorities of Australian Government Entities, who have primary responsibility for, and control over, public sector entities’ operations. This relationship is also supported by the ongoing engagement undertaken with officials of audited entities.
The ANAO engages with auditees at a number of levels to strengthen relationships and promote improved financial reporting and governance.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
The ANAO sits within the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio for administrative purposes and the department exercises a number of policy functions relating to the Auditor-General Act, including the appointment of the Auditor-General and amendments to the Auditor-General Act.
The Auditor-General Act provides that, subject to the Act and other Commonwealth legislation, the Auditor-General has complete discretion in the performance or exercise of their functions or powers and is not subject to direction on the selection, priority and conduct of audits.
Department of Finance
The ANAO maintains a professional working relationship with the Department of Finance. The department plays a regulatory role in the Australian public sector and is responsible for setting many of the standards against which the ANAO audits, including public sector resource management, governance and accountability frameworks. Additionally, like other public sector entities the ANAO is required to comply with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, which is administered by the Department of Finance.
The ANAO hosts the Audit Committee Chairs Forum as a joint initiative with the Department of Finance. For further information on upcoming Audit Committee Chairs Forum visit Events and seminars.
Chief Financial Officers and Auditees
The ANAO engages with auditees at a number of levels to strengthen relationships and promote improved financial reporting and public sector administration.
The ANAO hosts a Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) Forum, which provides opportunities for dialogue between CFOs and the ANAO. In these forums the ANAO shares information about issues arising in audits, key focus areas of the audit program and provides insights and themes on the effectiveness of public administration.
For further information on upcoming CFO Forums visit Events and seminars.
Chairs of Audit Committees
The Audit Committee Chairs Forum is a joint initiative of the Department of Finance and the ANAO and includes the general government and non-general government sector Audit Committee Chairs. Audit committees play an important role in the public sector governance framework, and the forum is an opportunity to share insights from the audit program. The forum also seeks to provide relevant updates and information to assist committees to meet the requirements of the PGPA Act and Rules.
Contracted audit firms
The ANAO contracts audit firms to perform some of its audit work where additional resources or skills are required. The ANAO runs seminars for contracted audits firm to outline their responsibilities when performing audits on behalf of the ANAO.
For further information on upcoming Contractor Seminars visit Events and seminars.
Australasian Council of Auditors-General
The ANAO participates in the Australasian Council of Auditors-General (ACAG), attending regular meetings and facilitating an exchange of information between Auditors-General in the states and territories of Australia and Fiji, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The objective of the Council is to promote and foster public sector auditing in the Australasian region through an exchange of experiences, ideas, training and development, and cooperation.
The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) was created to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between Supreme Audit Institutions around the world. Over 170 Auditors-General, or their equivalent, are members. INTOSAI operates through the conduct of triennial Congresses, publication of an International Journal of Government Auditing, establishment of committees and working groups to study and report on various issues of interest to members, and through the work of the INTOSAI Development Initiative to provide information exchange and training for both practitioners and those who train them. INTOSAI is managed through the Congresses and annual Governing Board meetings.
The ANAO is a member of the Professional Standards Committee through participation in the Performance Audit Subcommittee, the Working Group on IT Audit and Working Group on Environmental Auditing.
The Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) represents 32 Asian audit institutions and is a regional grouping of INTOSAI. The objectives of ASOSAI include promoting understanding and cooperation through the exchange of ideas and experiences, providing facilities for training and continuing education, and serving as a centre for regional audit development. ASOSAI is managed by the members through an annual Governing Board meeting and a triennial conference. The ANAO actively participates in each conference.
The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) was established in 1988, and is one of the Regional Working Groups of INTOSAI. PASAI membership currently comprises 23 countries. It is the objective of PASAI to encourage, promote and advance co-operation among members in the field of public audit. PASAI members meet annually and the ANAO contributes to the Pacific regional Working Group on Environmental Auditing. The ANAO became a member of PASAI in 2007 and contributes actively to the group.
The ANAO also participates in peer-to-peer forums that facilitate international public auditing dialogue, such as the triannual Commonwealth Auditor Generals Conference and annual Global Audit Leadership Forum (GALF). Since 1951, the Auditors General of the Commonwealth have met to discuss matters of mutual professional interest and concern and to share and exchange work experiences. GALF is a small and informal forum for heads of SAIs of 20 member countries which aims to enhance audit activities of member SAIs, address global and strategic issues, as well as to contribute to the INTOSAI community.
Requests for information and participating in surveys are received directly from Supreme Audit Institutions and responded to by the ANAO. The ANAO also hosts visiting delegations, supports study visits and secondments from international peers.
Papua New Guinea Audit Office
The ANAO and the Papua New Guinea Auditor-General’s Office (PNG AGO) have worked together on the development of auditing practices since 2004. Currently, the ANAO manages four twinning programs to place staff members from the Auditor-General’s Office into Australian audit offices for individual capacity building. These programs are coordinated by the ANAO and delivered in partnership with the Australian state audit offices of New South Wales, Queensland and more recently Victoria. These twinning arrangements provide selected Papua New Guinea Auditor-General’s Office officers with development opportunities through exposure to technical expertise and culture in Australia. At the same time, the ANAO and state-based audit offices in Australia benefit from a greater understanding of challenges faced by auditors in Papua New Guinea and the approaches and practices employed by the Auditor-General’s Office in the delivery of its audit program.
To support the broader development of auditing practices in Auditor-General’s Office, the program also includes the placement of ANAO staff members in the Auditor-General’s Office’s to provide on-going technical support for performance and financial audit and to support twinning activities.
Indonesia Board of Audit
Since 2006, the ANAO has also been working with the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BPK) under the Government Partnership Fund Program. Under this program, the ANAO contributes to the strengthening the Republic of Indonesia’s performance and financial statement audit capacity through the delivery of a number of planned activities based on three streams (technical support, institutional leadership engagement and senior management engagement). Arrangements under the Government Partnership Fund Program have included: hosting secondees from Republic of Indonesia; delivering training courses to Republic of Indonesia officers; placement of a senior ANAO officer with Republic of Indonesia; and regular dialogue between senior ANAO and Republic of Indonesia officers. These arrangements have been supported by the ANAO’s relationships with Australian state Auditors-General through which the ANAO is able to draw on relevant knowledge from other Australian jurisdictions.
The ANAO is actively involved in the work of two professional accounting bodies in Australia, CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Staff are encouraged to undertake either the Chartered Accountants Program, the CPA Program or other relevant studies through the provision of study leave and financial assistance for study fees.
In recognition of the ANAO’s strong commitment to learning and development, the ANAO has ‘knowledge level’ status under CPA Australia’s Recognised Employer Partner program. Key benefits under the program include a simple method for members to demonstrate adherence to CPA Australia’s practical experience and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, and a recruitment advantage through promoting the ANAO’s partnership status in a variety of advertising and marketing forums.
Accounting and Auditing Standards
The ANAO contributes to the development of accounting and auditing standards through responding to exposure drafts for new or amended standards proposed by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB).
The ANAO’s outcome and programs framework is set out in its Portfolio Budget Statements, which sit administratively within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.
The Auditor-General is an independent officer of the Parliament appointed by the Governor-General to review public sector performance and accountability regimes. The Auditor-General and the ANAO form an important link in the accountability chain from the public sector to the Parliament.
- Australian Commonwealth Government Entry Point
- Government Online Directory
- State and Territory Governments
- CPA Australia
- Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand
- Institute of Public Accountants
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- Institute of Internal Auditors
- Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association
State/Territory Audit Offices
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
National Audit Body
International Audit Offices
- Office of the Auditor-General of Canada
- European Court of Auditors
- New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General
- United Kingdom National Audit Office
- United States Government Accountability Office
- Papua New Guinea Auditor-General’s Office
- Audit Board of Indonesia
International Audit Bodies
- Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI)
- Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI)
- Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI)
- European Court of Auditors
- European Organization of Regional External Public Finance Audit Institutions (EURORAI)
- European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI)
- EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing
- EUROSAI Information Technology Working Group
- International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)
- INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee
- INTOSAI Development Initiative
- INTOSAI Public Debt Committee
- INTOSAI Standing Committee on IT Audit
- INTOSAI Working Group on the Audit of Privatisation
- INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing
- Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions
- United Nations Panel of External Auditors