In this inaugural edition of audit insights, we look at the history and mandate of the Auditor-General of Australia, the functions delivered under the Auditor-General Act, the purpose of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and our relationship with the Australian Parliament.




The Auditor-General of Australia is an independent officer of the Australian Parliament.

The office of the Auditor-General was created in 1901 by the fourth piece of legislation passed by the federal Parliament, and has existed continuously since then.

The Auditor-General’s mandate is set out in the Auditor-General Act, and provides for the conduct of a range of functions across the Australian Government sector.

Under the Act, the Auditor-General delivers:

  • Annual financial statement audits
  • Audits of annual performance statements (on request)
  • Performance audits of programs and entities
  • Assurance reviews
  • The provision of advice and the sharing of information, including through submissions to Parliamentary committees, and providing briefings to Parliamentarians on the work of the Auditor General

In delivering against this mandate, the Auditor-General is assisted by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

The purpose of the ANAO is to drive accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector, through quality evidence-based audit services and independent reporting to Parliament, the Executive and the public, with the result of improving public sector performance.

The ANAO’s primary relationship is with the Australian Parliament, through its ongoing interactions with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA).

Through the audit and related services that the ANAO provides to the Parliament, the Australian public can have confidence that the Auditor-General is scrutinising and reporting on the actions of Australian Government public sector entities, including whether public funds are being used economically, efficiently, effectively and ethically. 

To find out more about the work of the Auditor-General and the ANAO, please visit the ANAO website.