The intent of performance statements audits is to drive improvements in the transparency and quality of entities’ performance reporting and, in turn, increase entities’ accountability to the Parliament and public.

Annual performance statements audits pilot program

In August 2019, following the review of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Minister for Finance requested that the Auditor-General conduct a pilot program of audits of annual performance statements in consultation with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. The intent of performance statements audits is to drive improvements in the transparency and quality of entities’ performance reporting and, in turn, increase entities’ accountability to the Parliament and public.

Following the Auditor-General’s agreement, the pilot was commenced under section 15 of the Auditor-General Act 1997, applying the performance statements auditing methodology developed over recent years to the 2019–20 performance statements (as presented in annual reports). The entities included in the pilot include the Attorney General’s Department, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The ANAO will present its final audit opinions in independent assurance reports, similar to those prepared for the ANAO’s annual financial statement audits. The Auditor-General will provide these assurance reports to the Minister for Finance for tabling in the Parliament.

Should the government agree that the ANAO transition to full implementation of annual performance statements auditing, this would most likely occur on a staged basis to allow time for the ANAO and entities to build capability using the lessons learned from the pilot program.

More information about the Auditor-General’s mandate and functions under the Auditor-General Act 1997 is available on the ANAO website.