The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) has commenced two inquiries into important areas of public sector accountability as part of its examination of Auditor-General’s reports.
The Auditor-General’s reports on Defence Major Projects and on Audits of the Annual Performance Statements of Australian Government Entities are critical accountability mechanisms for the expenditure of public funds and operation of Government Departments.
The Committee Chair, Mr Julian Hill MP, noted that the performance statements audits are a new function of the Australian National Audit Office intended to drive improvements in the transparency, reliability and quality of performance reporting across Government. The inquiry into the Audit of Annual Performance Statements for 2021-22 (Auditor-General Report No. 13 of 2022-23) is a chance for the JCPAA to examine the performance and annual reporting of six Government Departments and to consider the Auditor-General’s findings in the first year of the performance statement audit process.
The inquiry into the Major Projects Reports (Auditor-General Report No. 13 of 2021-22 and Auditor-General Report No. 12 of 2022–23) will also allow the JCPAA to review the cost, progress and technical attributes of major Defence acquisitions over recent years.
“This is the is the first opportunity that the Committee has had since the 2022 Federal Election to consider the Major Projects Reports, so there are two years’ worth of reports to be examined in this inquiry,” Mr Hill said. “We will also be specifically considering the scope and guidelines for Defence Major Project Reports to ensure that they are fit for purpose into the future.”
The Committee invites submissions addressing the terms of reference of these inquiries by Friday, 21 April 2023. Details of the inquiries – including the terms of reference and upcoming public hearings – will be made available on the Committee website.