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Grant Hehir named new Commonwealth Auditor-General

Grant Hehir
Grant Hehir

Grant Hehir, an experienced former departmental secretary and state auditor-general, will be the next Commonwealth auditor-general, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced today.

Hehir, who is currently the NSW auditor-general, will commence his 10-year appointment from 11 June, replacing Ian McPhee whose own 10-year appointment concluded in March. McPhee has continued to act in the role while the recruitment process was underway.

The federal audit program overseen by the Commonwealth auditor-general is the most extensive in the nation, typically completely around 50 performance audits per year in addition to agency financial statement audits and better practice guides. As an independent officer of the parliament, the auditor-general is responsible for ensuring accountability and transparency in the delivery of government programs and services.

Abbott thanked McPhee for his “significant contribution” to public sector accountability and administration.

Hehir was only two years into an 8-year term as NSW auditor-general. Prior to that appointment Hehir has served as secretary to of state departments including the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Education and Training, as well as senior executive roles in the federal Department of Finance and Administration. He is also a fellow of CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Under Hehir’s leadership at the NSW Audit Office, the state’s audit program was reformed and expanded to support the government’s priorities in the State Plan – NSW 2021.

Hehir’s last day at the NSW Audit Office will be June 5, after which NSW deputy auditor-general Tony Whitfield will be act in the top role until a replacement is appointed by the state’s governor.

Author Bio

Harley Dennett

Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.