A mid-April deadline has been announced for feedback on the draft annual audit work program for the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in the next financial year.
The auditor-general released the list of topics under 18 portfolio areas for potential review in 2022-23, with a mission statement to ‘support accountability and transparency in the Australian government sector’.
ANAO reviews assist the parliament with holding government entities accountable and driving improvements in public administration. It performs financial statement audits, performance audits, assurance reviews, and audits of annual performance statements. All audits must relate to commonwealth public sector entities.
Public sector budgeting, effectiveness of the use and procurement of behaviour research, use of the business advisory services panel, and governance arrangements for executive pay and bonuses are all up for consideration.
A statement on the ANAO website said the work on public sector budgeting would be neither an audit nor assurance review.
“This information report would seek to provide insights into the extent to which actual public sector expenditure, as reported in the consolidated financial statements, is aligned with the forecasts and priorities set by government in the portfolio budget statements,” the ANAO said.
“This information report [sic] would present no conclusions or opinions. The report would present the information in a variety of ways, including tables and figures, using publicly available data.”
Another potential area to be examined is the value for money offered by the Business Advisory Services Panel — a cooperative procurement arrangement managed by the Department of Finance that is due to expire in October 2022.
The ANAO said it planned to consider the extent to which entities encouraged competition between suppliers under the arrangement and whether the contracts entered reflected the scope and rates set out in a ‘deeds of standing offer’.
“As at 17 December 2021, there were 48 suppliers on the panel, with 134 Australian government agencies authorised to access it, and 625 contracts reported totalling $511 million,” the ANAO said.
“The business advisory services available are scoping studies and other reviews, commercial transactions, and ad hoc commercial and/or financial based advice.”
The arrangement was established in 2015 with a view to ‘achieve efficiency’ and ‘reduce risk’ while supporting government entities to obtain value for money.
The agency said all submissions would be considered but feedback from the ANAO would not be given.
A full list of potential ANAO work topics can be found on its website.
Feedback to the draft program should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight 19 April, 2022.