This audit would assess the effectiveness of governance arrangements for selected Commonwealth Aboriginal land councils, which play an important role in representing the interests of Aboriginal peoples in the management of Aboriginal land within their respective regions.

Aboriginal land councils are established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The accountable authorities for Aboriginal land councils under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) are the chair and chief executive officer or director of the land council. Under the PGPA Act, the accountable authorities are subject to the requirements to establish and maintain an appropriate system of risk oversight and management, and an appropriate system of internal control.

This audit would assess whether accountable authorities’ governance and administrative arrangements are consistent with relevant legislative requirements; whether the authorities have structured their operations in a manner that supports effective governance; and whether they have established fit-for-purpose arrangements to oversee compliance with key legislative and policy requirements.