Committee recommends review of Auditor-General powers

The Public Accounts and Audit Committee has advised the Commonwealth to re-examine the role and powers of the Auditor-General.

Committee chair, Rob Oakeshott, said it was “timely for the role and powers of the Auditor-General to be re-examined” to ensure they were adequate in the “modern public sector environment”.

The Committee made 13 recommendations, including giving the Auditor-General greater authority to “follow the dollar” when auditing Commonwealth funding for programs and projects administered and delivered by the states and territories, or under contractors.

It also recommended: the removal of “antiquated restrictions” on the Auditor-General’s capacity to initiate audits of Commonwealth-controlled Government Business Enterprises; ensuring the Auditor-General’s full information gathering powers for performance audits also applied to “assurance” reviews requested by Parliament; and enhancing the Auditor-General’s role in reviewing the adequacy of an agency’s performance information.

“The changes proposed by the Committee will help ensure that Commonwealth funding is fully accounted for and that the taxpayer is receiving value for money,” Mr Oakeshott said.

Read the full report: Inquiry into the Auditor-General Act 1997 [PDF]

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