The Auditor-General responded on 19 November 2021 to correspondence from Ms Alicia Payne MP dated 5 November 2021, requesting that the Auditor-General clarify some points of concern about the potential audit of the Australian War Memorial expansion (Management of the Australian War Memorial's development project).

Auditor-General's response

19 November 2021

Ms Alicia Payne MP
Member for Canberra

By email:

Dear Ms Payne

Management of the Australian War Memorial development project

I am writing in your response to your letter of 5 November 2021 seeking advice on the commencement and scope of the potential audit ‘Management of the Australian War Memorial’s (AWM) development project’ and whether the performance audit ‘Procurement by the National Capital Authority’ includes this project.

The potential audit ‘Management of the AWM development project’ has not commenced. As described in the 2021–22 Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Annual Audit Work Program (the work program), the proposed scope of the potential audit is to examine the effectiveness of the AWM’s management of the development project, including planning, achieving value for money in procurement, and progress to date in delivering the project. The matters you have raised will be considered during audit planning.

If the audit proceeds, the approved objective and criteria audit will be published on the ANAO website. If you subscribe to the audit topic on our website you will receive an automated notification when the audit has commenced: Management of the Australian War Memorial's development project | Australian National Audit Office (

The scope of the audit that is currently underway of procurement by the National Capital Authority (NCA) does not include any of the procurement being undertaken to engage consultants and contractors for the redevelopment project. This is because, while the redevelopment project works are to be undertaken on land that sits within the Parliamentary Triangle thereby requiring planning approval by the NCA, the NCA is not the Commonwealth entity undertaking the project. Rather, the redevelopment project is the responsibility of the Australian War Memorial. When undertaking procurement, both entities are subject to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules issued by the Finance Minister under Section 105B of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Yours sincerely

Grant Hehir

Correspondence from Ms Alicia Payne MP

Correspondence from Ms Alicia Payne MP. You can find a transcript of the correspondence on this page.


Transcript of letter from Ms Alicia Payne MP


Grant Hehir
Australian National Audit Office
38 Sydney Avenue
Forrest ACT 2603

By Email:; CC:

Dear Auditor-General,

I write to you on behalf of my constituents Dr Sue Wareham OAM and Mr David Stephens, members of the Heritage Guardians group. The Heritage Guardians are a group who, like many in the Canberra community, are deeply concerned about the recently started expansion of the Australian War Memorial (AWM), and about the processes of the Australian Government in undertaking this project.

I understand that the Audit Office has put the 'management of the AWM expansion project' on its potential audit list. In my role as the representative of the Canberra electorate, I voice my support for this audit proceeding. I hope you may also be able to clarify a few points of concern.

When will a decision be made on whether there is an audit of the AWM expansion project?

How broad will the terms of reference of this potential audit be? Given the strong sustained community campaign against the project, will the audit include an examination of how accurately or otherwise the AWM reported the extent of public support or opposition for the project?

How broadly is the term "management" interpreted?

I understand that there is an audit currently in progress on the National Capital Authority's procurement process. Does this audit include the War Memorial expansion? If not, why not?

Thank you for your consideration of these questions.

Kind regards,

Alicia Payne MP
Member for Canberra