Can Public Accounts Committees add value a case study approach

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1 1 Can Public Accounts Committees add value a case study approach Marco Bini, Director Policy and Coordination Victorian Auditor-General s Office Graduate Management Centre, Deakin University Thursday 9 February 2012

2 Context of the PAEC/AG relationship 2 Independence of the Auditor-General PAEC s oversight role including the triennial performance audit of VAGO Victoria s unique relationship with PAEC consultation on Annual Plan and audit specifications

3 Engaging with PAEC throughout audits 3 Annual Planning Audit specification Tabling day Follow up

4 Engaging with PAEC throughout audits 4 Annual Planning Audit specification Tabling day Follow up

5 Annual planning 5 The Auditor-General must: prepare a draft annual plan submit the draft to PAEC consider comments received from PAEC indicate in the annual plan any suggested changes that were not adopted Audit Act 1994 s7a

6 Annual planning 6 Current PAEC consultation process: Environmental scanning and stakeholder consultation apply risk and materiality framework Draft annual plan provided to PAEC four years of areas of financial audit focus four years of specific performance audit topics, by sector Meeting between VAGO and PAEC Response to PAEC comments in Annual Plan

7 Annual planning 7 VAGO response: While regulation will be the primary focus, it will not be the only focus. For example, the audit will examine the effectiveness of coordination between Victoria Police, the City of Melbourne and the Department of Justice. It will also examine education and information. Amendment of the title as suggested narrows the scope of the audit. Annual Plan

8 Annual planning 8 VAGO s annual planning process also considers recommendations from PAEC reports. For example: PAEC s Report on Review of Auditor-General Reports 2008 (tabled 2010) recommended VAGO undertake an audit of the HealthSMART program HealthSMART clinical and patient health systems, Annual Plan

9 Engaging with PAEC throughout audits 9 Annual Planning Audit specification Tabling day Follow up

10 Audit specifications 10 Specifications must: be developed before conducting a performance audit set out the objectives of the audit be developed in consultation with PAEC Audit Act 1994 s15 Consultation requirement Unique in Westminster systems May impair the Auditor-General s independence VAGO has recommended this be removed

11 Audit specifications 11 Current practice: VAGO develops draft specification in line with legislation, includes audit objective above and beyond, also includes background, rationale, sub-objectives, criteria, scope, method, proposed tabling date and stakeholder consultation Draft provided to PAEC Meeting between VAGO and PAEC audit scope, stakeholder engagement, local issues Issue final audit specification

12 Audit specifications 12 Case study Suggestion for audit topic from PAEC member not a PAEC issue but a local issue raised a broad area of interest around land-use VAGO examined the issue and proposed a topic PAEC specification consultation PAEC became aware of request by individual member For balance, PAEC suggested adjustment of scope and sample VAGO agreed

13 Engaging with PAEC throughout audits 13 Annual Planning Audit specification Tabling day Follow up

14 Tabling day 14 Audit report tabled in Parliament Parliamentary Briefing held at Parliament for MPs Sector Director gives a presentation on the audit MPs can ask questions Briefings are well attended by PAEC members Auditor-General meets informally with PAEC Chair in tabling week

15 Engaging with PAEC throughout audits 15 Annual Planning Audit specification Tabling day Follow up

16 PAEC follow up inquiries 16 Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, s14 and s33 Status of findings and recommendations in a selection of priority audits tabled by the Auditor-General seek to hold agencies accountable Inquiries historical in nature, focused on actions taken since the tabling of the report to address the issues and recommendations made

17 PAEC follow up inquiries 17 Criteria applied to identify high priority reports for follow up Launch of inquiry Collection of evidence Public hearings with Auditor-General and department Written advice from Auditor-General and department Additional relevant research Publish report Includes recommendations Typically support VAGO audit reports PAEC found positive progress against most recommendations

18 PAEC follow up inquiries Case study 1 18 Review of the Findings and Recommendations of the Auditor- General s Reports July-December 2008 (September 2010) Key themes: the importance of evaluation and monitoring the role for departments in encouraging consistency of good practice across portfolios the integrity and robustness of data systems the need to improve transparency of communication applying lessons learnt from audited activities.

19 PAEC follow up inquiries Case study 2 19 Review of the Auditor-General s Report on Preparedness to Respond to Terrorism Incidents (December 2011) Main findings Highly critical of Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) Confirmed Auditor-General s concerns on inadequacy of oversight arrangements DPC disputes its obligations and responsibilities in coordinating effective oversight DPC has not adequately supported the Premier for critical infrastructure protection arrangements PAEC recommended DPC reconsider VAGO s report

20 PAEC follow up inquiries evolving relationship 20 VAGO working more closely with PAEC lines of inquiry prior to commencement observers throughout opportunity for closing comments Positive development in the PAEC/AG relationship

21 Questions? 21

22 More information 22 All our tabled audits and information on upcoming audits is available at Level 24, 35 Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia

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