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Annual performance statements

As the accountable authority of the Australian National Audit Office, I present the 2019–20 annual performance statements of the Australian National Audit Office, as required under paragraphs 39(1)(a) and (b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), and section 16F of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014. In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the entity for the reporting period, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Grant Hehir
Auditor-General
18 September 2020

Performance framework

The ANAO’s performance framework allows us to monitor and measure:

  • what we did (output);
  • how well we did it (quality and/or efficiency); and
  • what the benefits were (impact).

Taken together, the performance measures tell a story of the ANAO’s achievement of its purpose. The output measures relay progress in the delivery of the ANAO’s audit work. The quality and efficiency measures are intended to demonstrate efficient use of taxpayer resources and the ANAO’s commitment to quality and transparency in its work. The impact measures seek to provide information on entities’ implementation of audit findings and recommendations for the information of the Parliament and entities, and the extent to which Parliament’s engagement with our work leads to improvements in public sector administration.

Corporate plan and portfolio budget statements

The ANAO measures its performance against its purpose using a range of performance criteria, which are outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20 and the ANAO’s Corporate Plan 2019–20.

The purpose of the ANAO is to support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector through independent reporting to the Parliament, and thereby contribute to improved public sector performance.

In its Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20 the ANAO’s sole outcome (Outcome 1) is ‘to improve public sector performance and accountability through independent reporting on Australian Government administration to the Parliament, the Executive and the public’.

The ANAO seeks to achieve its purpose and outcome through its audit services, which include:

  • financial statements audits of Australian Government entities (Program 1.1); and
  • performance audits of Australian Government programs and entities (Program 1.2).

The ANAO’s outcome and programs framework for 2019–20 is shown in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1: ANAO’s outcome and programs framework for 2019–20

Outcome 1

To improve public sector performance and accountability through independent reporting on Australian Government administration to the Parliament, the Executive and the public.

Program 1.1: Assurance audit services

Program 1.2: Performance audit services

This program contributes to the outcome through:

  • providing assurance on the fair presentation of financial statements of the Australian Government and its controlled entities by providing independent audit opinions and related reports for the information of Parliament, the Executive and the public; and
  • contributing to improvements in the financial administration of Australian Government entities.

This program contributes to the outcome through:

  • reporting objectively on the performance of Australian Government programs and entities, including opportunities for improvement, by undertaking a program of independent performance audits and related reports for the information of Parliament, the Executive and the public; and
  • contributing to improvements in Australian Government administration by identifying and promoting better practice.

Assurance audits

The ANAO audits the annual financial statements of Australian Government entities and the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Australian Government. The Consolidated Financial Statements present the consolidated whole-of-government financial result inclusive of all Australian Government–controlled entities, including entities outside the general government sector. These audits are designed to give assurance to the Parliament that an entity’s financial statements fairly represent its financial operations and financial position at year end. The ANAO also undertakes a range of assurance reviews by arrangement with entities, and in accordance with section 20 of the Auditor-General Act 1997.

Performance audits

A performance audit is a review or examination of any aspect of the operations of an entity that is undertaken in accordance with the ANAO Auditing Standards. The ANAO’s performance audits are presented to the Parliament and identify areas where improvements can be made to aspects of public administration. They often make specific recommendations to assist public sector entities to improve performance. Performance audits may also involve multiple entities and examine common aspects of administration or the joint administration of a program or service. An assurance review of defence major projects is also undertaken annually.

Performance statements audits

In September 2018, the Independent Review into the operation of the PGPA Act recommended that the Finance Minister, in consultation with the JCPAA, should request that the Auditor-General pilot assurance audits of annual performance statements to trial an appropriate methodology for these audits. On 27 August 2019, the Minister for Finance requested that the Auditor-General conduct a pilot program of audits of annual performance statements in consultation with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. Following the Auditor-General’s agreement, the ANAO commenced the pilot under section 15 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 and is applying the performance statements auditing methodology developed over recent years to the 2019–20 performance statements of three entities.

The intent of performance statements audits is to drive improvements in the transparency and quality of entities’ performance reporting and, in turn, increase entities’ accountability to the Parliament and public. The pilot is being conducted in accordance with ASAE 3000 Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or reviews of Historical Financial Information and will consider whether entity performance statements comply with the relevant requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Rule, the appropriateness of the performance criteria and whether results are complete, accurate and supported by sufficient records.

The performance statements audits will include interim and final fieldwork, with management letters outlining interim and final audit results and is expected to be completed in time for inclusion in entity 2019–20 annual reports. The final audit opinions will appear in independent assurance reports similarly to those prepared by the ANAO in relation to its annual financial statements audits, and will be provided to the Minister for Finance for tabling in the Parliament. The detailed outcomes of the pilot will also be reported to the Minister for Finance, the JCPAA and the Parliament.

Analysis of performance against our purpose

Overall in 2019–20, the ANAO achieved 9 measures out of 18, a reduction in the number of performance outcomes achieved in 2018–19:

  • For Program 1.1: Assurance Audit Services, 1 out of 7 measures were met; a
  • For Program 1.2: Performance Audit Services 3 out of the 5 measures were met; and
  • For performance results for relationships and corporate and professional services 5 out of 6 measures were met.

A number of factors impacted the ANAO’s ability to meet its performance measures across both programs. This includes entities not providing the ANAO with a final set of financial statements for audit which impacts the percentage of mandatory financial statement auditors reports not completed. Other factors include the impact of budget constraints across both programs that impact the delivery of outcomes.

The ANAO successfully carried out its Annual Audit Work Program 2019–20 by responding to interests and priorities of the Parliament and providing a balanced program of activity that was informed by risk. Through the audit program, the ANAO promoted accountability, transparency and improvements to public administration; following up on past recommendations and identifying trends for improvement, or declines in performance across government; and applying all of the Auditor-General’s mandate. The ANAO also initiated four COVID-19 related performance audits and monthly assurance reviews of COVID-related advances to the Finance Minister reflecting the need to provide the Parliament with timely assurance and transparency of the Australian Government’s pandemic response measures.

In addition, the ANAO continued to respond to requests from Parliament, by briefing members of parliament and committees, and making submissions to and/or appearing before parliamentary committees. The ANAO engagement with Parliament continued to include requests for submissions and/or appearances from committees other than the JCPAA. Of particular note was ANAO’s support provided to the Parliament in relation to Auditor-General Report No.23 (2019–20) Award of Funding under the Community Sports Infrastructure Program. In relation to the audit ANAO provided a total of three private briefings; appeared as a witness before the Senate Select Committee on the Administration of Sports Grants inquiry hearing, and responding to eight questions on notice taken during this hearing. The audit was also a key focus of ANAO’s appearance before the Finance and Public Administration Committee Senate Estimates hearing in March 2020, with ANAO responding to a further four questions following the Estimates hearing.

The ANAO has also established a new section on the ANAO website providing access for parliamentarians to performance audit reports sorted by areas of coverage for Senate estimates committees.

In 2019–20, the ANAO presented 42 performance audits for tabling in the Parliament. The primary focus of ANAO performance audits was effectiveness and economy — the extent to which entities delivered on intended objectives and the value for money achieved in doing so. The year also saw continued emphasis on risk management and governance within entities with a focus on probity and fraud, grants and procurement management, cyber security, and efficiency. Performance audit work covered non-corporate and corporate government entities and government business enterprises (GBEs) reflecting the Auditor-General’s mandate.

In 2019–20, the ANAO published four Audit Insights reports to support its purpose and the focus of the annual audit work program. Topics addressed were: entities approach to managing the implementation of recommendations; management of conflicts of interest in procurement activity and grant programs; and fraud control arrangements. The ANAO published an audit insights product on 16 April 2020 setting out key messages from Auditor-General reports for rapid implementation of Australian Government initiatives as the Australian Public Service commenced implementation of stimulus and support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following sections provide more detailed analysis of the ANAO’s performance results for Program 1.1 (assurance audit services), Program 1.2 (performance audit services), and ANAO-wide activities relating to relationships, and corporate and professional services.

Performance results for Program 1.1: Assurance audit services

The primary purpose of financial statements is to provide relevant and reliable information to users about a reporting entity’s financial performance and position. In the public sector, the users of financial statements include ministers, the Parliament and the community. The preparation of timely and accurate audited financial statements is also an important indicator of the effectiveness of an entity’s financial management, which fosters confidence in an entity on the part of users.

The ANAO’s financial statements audits, undertaken in accordance with the ANAO Auditing Standards, provide an independent examination of the financial accounting and reporting of public sector entities. They provide independent assurance that financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Australian Government’s financial reporting framework and Australian accounting standards. The ANAO’s assurance audits contribute to improvements in the financial administration of Australian Government entities.

The Auditor-General presents reports on audits of financial statements to the Parliament twice a year. The first of these reports, Interim Phase of the Audits of the Financial Statements of Major General Government Sector Entities, reports on ANAO coverage of key financial systems and controls in major Commonwealth entities. The second report, Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities, reports on the results of the financial statements audits of all Commonwealth entities. The independent reporting to the Parliament on this activity supports accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector.

Key to the ANAO’s audit process is an assessment of entities’ internal control frameworks as they apply to financial reporting. An effective internal control framework provides the ANAO with a level of assurance that entities are able to prepare financial statements that are free from material misstatement. In 2019–20, a total of 74 findings were reported to the entities included in the interim audit report to Parliament, comprising no significant, eight moderate, 65 minor findings. In addition one significant legislative breach was reported. This is an increase on the interim audit results of 2018–19, with a total of 70 reported findings comprising one significant, 12 moderate and 57 minor findings. Sixty-three per cent of findings are in the areas of:

  • management of IT controls, particularly the management of privileged users; and
  • human resources financial processing.

The Consolidated Financial Statements present the consolidated whole-of-government financial results inclusive of all Australian Government–controlled entities, as well as the general government sector financial report. The 2018–19 Consolidated Financial Statements were signed by the Minister for Finance on 14 November 2019 and an unmodified auditor’s report was issued on the same day.

A total of 184 findings were reported to entities as a result of the 2018–19 financial statements audits. These comprised three significant, 21 moderate and 160 minor findings. Most of the significant and moderate findings were in the areas of:

  • compliance and quality assurance frameworks supporting program payments and financial reporting; and
  • management of IT security and user access, in particular the management of privileged users.

Four legislative breaches were also reported to entities during 2018–19 financial statements audits. Of the legislative breaches, three were significant and one was non-significant. A significant breach is reported where a significant potential or actual breach of the Constitution occurs, or where noncompliance with an entity’s enabling legislation, legislation the entity is responsible for administering, or the PGPA Act is identified. A non-significant legislative breach is reported where instances of noncompliance with other legislation, or subordinate legislation, are identified.

Performance measures

Assurance audit services contribute to achieving the ANAO’s purpose through:

  • providing assurance on the fair presentation of financial statements of the Australian Government and its controlled entities by providing independent audit opinions for the Parliament, the executive and the public;
  • presenting two reports annually addressing the outcomes of the financial statements audits of Australian Government entities and the consolidated financial statements of the Australian Government, to provide the Parliament with an independent examination of the financial accounting and reporting of public sector entities; and
  • contributing to improvements in the financial administration of Australian Government entities.

To assess performance against our purpose in relation to assurance audit activities, the ANAO measures the:

  • number of financial statements audit opinions issued;
  • number of other assurance reports produced;
  • number of financial statements–related reports produced;
  • timeliness of issuing the auditor’s opinions;
  • average cost of financial statements audits; and
  • percentage of recommendations agreed and implemented by audited entities.

Criterion 1

Percentage of the mandatory financial statements auditor’s reports completed

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 98% against a target of 100%

The number of financial statements auditor’s reports issued is a key measure of the ANAO’s core business in achieving its purpose. Financial statements auditor’s reports provide assurance to the Parliament that the financial statements of an entity comply with Australian accounting standards and other reporting requirements (such as the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015), and present fairly the entity’s financial position and its financial performance and cash flows for the period.

During 2019–20, the ANAO completed 243 of 249 mandated1 financial statements audits for the year ended 30 June 2019. This included the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Australian Government. There are 6 entities2 that have not provided the ANAO with a set of financial statements for audit; and 243 entities that provided the ANAO with a set of financial statements for audit and have received an auditor’s report for tabling in Parliament.

In addition to financial statements audits, the ANAO also completed two mandated non–financial statements audits in 2019–20. These are compliance audits required by the Australian Postal (Performance Standards) Regulations 1998 and subsection 313(3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. These audits are reported under Criterion 3 below — Number of assurance audit reports by arrangement.

Details of issues identified during the financial statements audits are included in Auditor-General Report No.20 of 2019–20: Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30 June 2019.

Criterion 2

Number of financial statements–related audit reports presented to Parliament

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–10, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 2 against a target of 2

The Auditor-General presents insights and findings from the outcomes of the financial statements audits of Australian Government entities and the consolidated financial statements of the Australian Government through independent reports to the Parliament. The reports support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector and provide Parliament with an independent examination of the financial accounting and reporting of public sector entities.

Auditor-General Report No.20 of 2019–20: Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30 June 2019 was tabled in December 2019. This report complemented the interim-phase report published in June 2019, and provided a summary of the final results of the audits of the Consolidated Financial Statements for the Australian Government and the financial statements of Australian Government entities.

Auditor-General Report No.38 of 2019–20: Interim Report on Key Financial Controls of Major Entities was tabled in May 2020. This report focused on the results of the interim audit phase — including an assessment of entities’ key internal controls — of the 2019–20 financial statements audits of 24 entities, including all departments of state and a number of major Australian Government entities. The work performed for the interim report pre-dated adjustments entities have made to their financial and risk management controls. These risks will be considered in the final audits of financial statements.

Criterion 3

Number of assurance audit reports by arrangement

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 41 against a target of 45

The target was based on an estimate of the number of audits and reviews by arrangement that the ANAO may be requested to undertake. This target was not achieved as the ANAO was not requested to undertake as many audits and reviews as originally estimated.

In addition to the conduct of mandated financial statements audits, the ANAO undertakes other assurance activities by arrangement with audited entities to support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector. Measuring section 20 audits (i.e. audits by arrangement) contributes to the delivery of Program 1.1 by independently identifying improvements in the financial administration of Australian Government entities. In 2019–20, the ANAO completed 39 other assurance activities.

These activities generally consist of audits or reviews conducted under section 20 of the Auditor-General Act 1997. They include financial statements audits and audits or reviews of compliance with legislative requirements. Once inquiries by the ANAO have been concluded, the outcomes and any findings from these individual assurance activities are communicated through the issue of a formal report or by other correspondence. The ANAO charges a fee for these audits and reviews.

Also reported against this criterion are two mandated non–financial statements audits completed by the ANAO in 2019–20. These are compliance audits required by the Australian Postal (Performance Standards) Regulations 1998 and subsection 313(3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

Criterion 4

Percentage of auditor’s reports issued within three months of the financial-year-end reporting date

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 81.9% against a target of 85%

In order to support timely reporting of entities’ financial performance to the Parliament through annual reports, the ANAO aims to issue 85 per cent of auditor’s reports within three months of the financial-year-end reporting date.

Providing timely auditor’s reports also supports entities in meeting requirements to provide audit-cleared financial information to the Department of Finance in accordance with deadlines that are set to assist the Australian Government to prepare the Final Budget Outcome by 30 September and the Consolidated Financial Statements by 30 November each year. The Consolidated Financial Statements present whole-of-government financial results, inclusive of all Australian Government–controlled entities.

Achievement of this measure relies on entities providing the ANAO with auditable financial statements within the required timeframe. In 2018–19, the ANAO assessed the timeliness and quality of financial statements preparation, the results of which are consistent with the increase in the number of financial statements preparation findings reported. Timeliness in preparation was assessed by comparing the date of delivery of the financial statements to agreed timeframes. The timeframe was established by entities and agreed with audit teams for the delivery of financial statements. Timeliness in financial statements preparation declined compared to the prior year. In November 2019 there were eight 2018–19 financial statements that had not been finalised and presented to the ANAO for audit compared to one in the previous year.3 The ANAO works closely with entities to facilitate the timely finalisation of the financial statements, with the objective of issuing auditor’s reports within two business days of the financial statements being signed. The ANAO issued 95 per cent (2018–19: 99 per cent) of auditors’ reports within two business days of the signing of the financial statements by the accountable authority.

The result of 81.9 percent of entities being issued a signed auditor’s report within three months of the financial year end is a decrease from 89.6 per cent in the prior year.

Criterion 5

Percentage increase to average cost per financial statements audit

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 0.63% increase against a target of 0%

The ANAO is committed to delivering cost-effective audits through increased efficiency and effectiveness. One way of demonstrating this is to measure the cost of delivering audits over time. This measure is designed to track the ANAO’s organisational performance against the delivery of audit outcomes.

In 2019–20, the ANAO is reporting on audits of financial statements from the 2018–19 audit cycle, as the financial year ends on 30 June and the audit occurs after the end of the financial year. Therefore, the average cost per audit for the Assurance Audit Services Group is calculated by comparing the average cost of the 2018–19 audit cycle, which was completed in September 2019, to the average cost of the 2017–18 audit cycle, which was completed in September 2018. The 2018–19 average cost was $154,889 and the 2017–18 average cost was $153,913 (see footnote (c) below) representing a 0.63 per cent increase.

Table 3.2: Cost of assurance audit reports, 2016–17 to 2018–19

Percentage increase

Target

Average cost per mandated audit ($)(a)

Range of audit fees charged (b)

2018–19

0%

154,889

$5500–$3,800,000

2017–18

0%

153,913(c)

$5000–$3,800,000

2016–17

0%

153,726

$4600–$3,800,000

(a) Cost is calculated on a nominal cost recovery basis using an accrual-based costing model.

(b) Fees are charged on a cost recovery basis.

(c) Figure revised from 18-19 annual report. The 2017-18 average cost per mandated audit was reported in the 2018–19 annual report as $153,512. The ANAO subsequently identified a data integrity issue which resulted in this average cost being corrected to $153,913. This correction means that the 2018–19 annual report should have reported a 0.12% increase in the average cost of a mandated audit between 2016–17 and 2017–18 (against a target of a 0% increase), instead of the 0.14% decrease reported in the 2018–19 annual report. As a result, the 2018–19 annual report should have shown that the target was not achieved for criterion 5.

Criterion 6

Percentage of moderate or significant findings from assurance audit reports agreed to by audited entities

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 89% against a target of 90%

The ANAO adds value by providing entities with audit findings and recommendations to improve internal controls and business processes, based on observations noted during the conduct of financial statements audits. These matters are reported to the accountable authority and copied to the chair of the audit committee and the chief financial officer via an interim management letter, a closing report or a final management letter. The ANAO seeks to confirm all factual observations concerning the audit findings with entities before finalising these reports. Included in the measure of agreed recommendations are situations where the audited entity agrees with the ANAO’s factual observations, but the entity may suggest an alternative method to resolve the issue.

The audit findings and recommendations are reported using a rating scale whereby significant and moderate risk issues are reported individually to the audited entities, the relevant minister and the Parliament. Lower risk issues are also reported individually to each entity, and in aggregate in the ANAO’s reports to Parliament.4

All audit findings and recommendations are followed up as part of the audit of the following year’s financial statements.

Criterion 7

Percentage of moderate and significant findings that are addressed by material entities within one year of reporting

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.1, p. 113

Result

Achieved a result of 21% against a target of 90%

The ANAO measures the percentage of moderate and significant findings that are implemented by entities in order to measure the impact that the ANAO’s audit work has on public administration. This criterion relates to the percentage of moderate or significant findings for material entity audits, addressed within 12 months of being reported to the entity. ‘Addressed’ means that the entity has responded to and actioned the ANAO finding.

Audit findings are reported to entities at the conclusion of each year’s financial statements audit. In order to determine whether these findings have been addressed by entities within one year of reporting, a full twelve month period is required from the end of the previous audit cycle. The audit cycle generally runs from October to September. Therefore, this performance measure for 2019–20 considers whether the audit findings reported at the conclusion of the 2017-18 audit cycle (in September 2018) had been addressed by entities at the conclusion of the 2018–19 audit cycle (in September 2019). At the conclusion of the 2017–18 audit cycle, 14 significant and moderate findings were reported to material entities. A number of these findings relate to complex areas and/or system changes that entities have needed additional time to address. Three of these findings (21 per cent) were resolved within one year of being reported.

Performance results for Program 1.2: Performance audit services

The ANAO reports to the Parliament on aspects of public administration, and makes specific recommendations to assist Parliament in holding government entities to account for meeting expectations of, and making improvements to, proper use of resources as required by the PGPA Act. Performance audits may report on one entity, or involve multiple entities on a common aspect of administration or policy implementation, or where there is joint administration of a program or service.

The ANAO’s performance audit services include audit activities that involve performance audits of all or part of an entity’s operations and result in independent performance audit reports to the Parliament. Other information and limited assurance reviews are also prepared, including the Defence Major Projects Report. These reports, along with performance audits, contribute to accountability and transparency of public sector administration.

In 2019–20, the primary focus of ANAO performance audits was both effectiveness (the extent to which entities delivered on intended objectives and their performance measurement against these objectives) and economy (the extent to which value for money is being achieved). In 2019–20, the focus on effectiveness included an examination of fraud management.

ANAO responded to the sector-wide risks emerging for public administration of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic response by developing a strategy for a future program of audits on risks relating to the COVID-19 response package and by initiating four performance audits in key government response activity areas. In April 2020, the ANAO implemented a pause on engagement with entities in relation to performance audits underway. The pause was in recognition of the efforts entities were undertaking to both adjust their workforces to respond to health measures and to implement the Australian Government’s economic and social response measures. The pause, while well received within the sector, has had impacts on the delivery of the 2019–20 performance audit program, and will impact on the 2020–21 program due to the delayed start of new audits.

The year also saw the continuation of a series of audits on major investments by the Australian Government, including on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, major Defence procurements; Indigenous service delivery; cyber resilience; NBN; and the governance of Commonwealth corporate entities and government business enterprises.

In response to ongoing parliamentary interest in entities’ implementation of ANAO audit and parliamentary committee recommendations, the ANAO continued its audit series on the implementation of ANAO and parliamentary recommendations. In 2019–20, the Auditor-General tabled seven performance audits that either followed up on an entity’s progress in implementing recommendations, or followed on from other related audits.

In 2019–20, the ANAO began a pilot program of assurance audits of annual performance statements in consultation with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. The pilot was commenced at the request of the Minister for Finance in response to a recommendation of the Independent Review of the PGPA Act. In agreeing to conduct the pilot, under section 15 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 the ANAO is applying the auditing methodology developed over recent years to the 2019–20 performance statements of three entities. The final audit opinions will appear in independent assurance reports, in the same timing as, and similar to, those prepared by the ANAO in relation to its annual financial statement audits. The reports will be provided to the Minister for Finance for tabling in the Parliament. The application of performance audit resources to this pilot also impacted on the number of performance audits that were tabled in Parliament in 2019–20 and into 2020–21.

Performance measures

Performance audit services contribute to achieving the ANAO’s purpose through:

  • audits of the performance of Australian Government programs and entities, including identifying recommendations for improvement and key messages for all Australian Government entities; and
  • other assurance reviews and information reports to Parliament.

To assess performance against our purpose in relation to performance audit activities, the ANAO measures the:

  • number of performance audits presented to Parliament;
  • time and cost of these audits (our efficiency); and
  • percentage of recommendations agreed to and the status of their implementation by entities (our impact and effectiveness).

Criterion 8

Number of performance reports prepared for Parliament

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.2, p. 114

Result

Achieved a result of 42 against a target of 48

In 2019–20, the Auditor-General presented 42 performance audits for the information of the Parliament (Table 3.3). A number of audits have experienced delays and could not be finalised in 2019–20 both because some audits have been more complex than expected, primarily due to poor record keeping in entities and the resulting need for extensive data extraction and analysis, and due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic limited the ability of government entities to fully engage with the performance audit process as they redirected resources to support the Australian Government’s pandemic response. The ANAO also decided to pause engagement across the sector on all performance audits during April, which while well received by the sector, caused delays to a number of audits. In addition, the commencement of a pilot program of assurance audits of annual performance statements diverted resources from performance audits.

In addition to the 42 performance audits presented to Parliament, the ANAO presented Auditor-General Report No.19 of 2019–20: 2018–19 Major Projects Report in December 2019. This is an annual publication that provides assurance regarding the progress of major Defence projects. The ANAO also presented Auditor-General Report No. 27 of 2019–20: Australian Government Procurement Contract Reporting Update. This is the second information report on this topic, which seeks to provide greater transparency on procurement activity in the Australian public sector. This information report is neither an audit nor an assurance review and presents no conclusions or opinions.

Table 3.3: Number of performance audit reports, 2015–16 to 2019–20

Number of performance audits

Target

Result

2019–20

48

42

2018–19

48

48

2017–18

48

47

2016–17(a)

48

58

2015–16(a)

49

35

(a) The number of performance audits presented to the Parliament 2015–16 and 2016–17 was affected by the double dissolution of the Parliament on 9 May 2016, during which time Auditor-General reports could not be presented for tabling which caused a delay in publishing audits into 2016–17.

Criterion 9

Average elapsed time (months) for completion of performance audits

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.2, p. 114

Result

Achieved a result of 10 months against a target of 10 months

The duration of a performance audit (Table 3.4) is impacted by multiple factors, including the complexity of the activities examined, the depth of the audit scope, the number of entities selected for a particular audit, the experience of staff contributing to the audit and the timely and comprehensive provision of information by entities. When selecting audit topics from the Annual Audit Work Program, the ANAO seeks to achieve an appropriate balance of different audit types and complexities. This includes consideration of portfolio coverage, basic administration as well as complex program implementation, activity area (policy development, service delivery, asset management, grant management and so on) and whether a follow-up from a previous audit is timely.

Table 3.4: Duration of performance audits, 2015–16 to 2019–20

Time taken to complete report (months)

Target

Average

Range

2019–20

10.0

10.0

6.3-14.0

2018–19

10.5

10.1

4.6–18.1

2017–18

10.5

9.6

6.2–15.9

2016–17

N/A

10.6

5.2–22.0

2015–16

N/A

11.6

6.9–18.6

Criterion 10

Percentage increase to average cost per performance audit

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.2, p. 114

Result

Achieved a result of 5.0% increase against a target of 0%

The ANAO is committed to delivering cost-effective audits and improving our efficiency and productivity over time. One way of demonstrating this is to measure the cost of delivering audits and comparing this to our prior-year costs (Table 3.5).

The average cost of audits delivered in 2019–20 has increased compared to audits delivered in 2018–19. This reflects that 2019–20 audits have required, on average, more hours per audit than audits tabled in 2018–19, which, when coupled with rising charge out rates (hourly cost of audit time), means audits will cost more. In addition, audits have required, on average, more senior staff time than audits in 2018–19. This is due in part to the complexity of audit topics selected in 2019–20, but also due to the need for greater resource investment in quality assurance given the increased staff turnover rate in 2019–20 and the need to invest in developing new staff and associated quality assurance work required.

Table 3.5: Cost of performance audit reports, 2015–16 to 2019–20

Percentage increase

Cost per performance audit ($’000)(a)

Target

Average

Range

2019–20

0%

439

186–904

2018–19

0%

419

131–670

2017–18

0%

422

159–786

2016–17

N/A

468

102–1,500

2015–16

N/A

526

230–767

(a) Cost is calculated on a nominal cost recovery basis using an accrual-based costing model.

Criterion 11

Percentage of recommendations from performance audit reports agreed to by audited entities

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.2, p. 114

Result

Achieved a result of 91% against a target of 90%

The ANAO makes recommendations in performance audit reports to support Parliament in its role in holding entities to account for quality and timely administration and service delivery. Throughout a performance audit, the ANAO keeps entities informed of findings and discusses potential recommendations to ensure entities understand the basis and intention of recommendations. Table 3.6 provides details of recommendations agreed against those made. Only recommendations that were agreed without qualification are included as ‘agreed’ recommendations. In 2019–20, 128 recommendations were agreed, 2 recommendations were agreed with qualification, 4 recommendations were not agreed and 7 recommendations were noted.

Table 3.6: Agreement to recommendations in performance audit reports, 2015–16 to 2019–20

Recommendations

Total number

Fully agreed (%)

Agreed with qualifications (%)

Not agreed (%)

Noted or no response by entities (%)

2019–20

141

90.8

1.4

2.8

5.0

2018–19

146

90

7.0

0.5

2.5

2017–18

126(a)

85

9.5

2.5

3.0

2016–17

102

91

4.0

3.0

2.0

2015–16

103

97

3.0

0.0

0.0

(a) There were also four recommendations for which no response was provided.

Criterion 12

Percentage of ANAO recommendations implemented within 24 months of a performance audit report

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, Program 1.2, p. 114

Result

Achieved a result of 81% against a target of 70%

The ANAO monitors entities’ implementation of performance audit recommendations by attending entity audit committees, and conducting audits that follow up on entity progress in implementing previously made recommendations. The ANAO also seeks advice annually from all relevant entities on progress in implementing audit recommendations over a two-year implementation period. The self-reported data for audit recommendations made in 2017-18 suggests that entities are implementing ANAO recommendations largely within 24 months of the recommendation being agreed (Table 3.7). For those recommendations that have not yet been implemented, the majority of entities have advised that work is underway.

Table 3.7: Percentage of 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017-18 performance audit recommendations implemented within 24 months

Recommendations (number)

Recommendations implemented (%)

Recommendations not implemented (%)

Recommendations with no response provided (%)

2017-18

126

81

19

0

2016–17

102

72

26

2

2015–16

103

89

11

0

Performance results for relationships and corporate and professional services

A number of performance measures are shared across the ANAO, generally relating to relationships, corporate, and professional services. These areas of activity contribute to achieving the ANAO’s purpose through:

  • facilitating dissemination of the ANAO’s findings to members of parliament, the executive and the public;
  • providing organisation-wide enabling services for the ANAO, based on specialised knowledge, professional practice and technology; and
  • ensuring ANAO audits are of high quality and compliant with auditing standards.
Performance measures

To assess performance against our purpose in relation to ANAO-wide activities, the ANAO measures performance in delivering audit services through our key relationship with the Parliament; and the publication of audit insights and key learnings from audit work.

The ANAO also evaluates whether the independent Quality Assurance Program indicates that audit conclusions are appropriately supported by evidence.

Criterion 13

Number of appearances and submissions to parliamentary committees

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, shared by programs 1.1 and 1.2, p. 117

Result

Achieved a result 47 against a target of 20

The ANAO supports the work of parliamentary committees by providing private briefings on request, and making appearances before, and submissions to, committee inquiries. In 2019–20, the ANAO made 47 appearances before, and submissions to, parliamentary committees. Appendix A details ANAO appearances and submissions.

The 2019–20 result exceeded the target and is comparable to the 2018–19 result of 40. The relationship with the JCPAA remains the ANAO’s key parliamentary engagement. To support the work of the Parliament more broadly, the ANAO focused on proactively seeking opportunities to engage with the Parliament and improve the utilisation of audit reports in parliamentary proceedings. Engagement activities included:

  • providing written briefs to incoming ministers and shadow ministers on the commencement of the 46th Parliament outlining the work of the ANAO specific to portfolio responsibilities;
  • presenting to Senators of the 46th Parliament on the role of the ANAO during new senators’ orientation week;
  • reviewing all Senate, House and joint committee inquiries and making submissions and being available to appear at hearings where there was relevant audit coverage to the committee inquiry terms of reference; and
  • providing a summary before all estimates hearings to estimates committees, which includes information about all audit reports that have been tabled since the last estimates hearings and highlighting which audits are relevant to a committee’s portfolio of responsibilities.

Criterion 14

Percentage of private briefings undertaken by request of parliamentarians

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, shared by programs 1.1 and 1.2, p. 117

Result

Achieved a result of 100% against a target of 100%

In 2019–20, the ANAO provided 27 of 27 private briefings requested by parliamentarians. The total number of briefings provided in 2019–20 substantially exceeded the 12 briefings provided in 2018-19. This is consistent with an increase in requests for private briefings in previous years following the commencement of a new Parliament. Of the 27 briefings provided, 24 related to specific audit reports, two briefings provided a general outline of ANAO audit services provided to the Parliament, and one briefing related to a request for audit.

All private briefings provided by the ANAO to parliamentarians and parliamentary committees are published on the ANAO website as they occur.

Criterion 15

The ANAO independent quality assurance program indicates that audit conclusions are appropriate

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19, shared by programs 1.1 and 1.2, p. 117

Result

Achieved a result of 94.7% against a target of 100%

Quality in the delivery of the ANAO’s audit services is critical in supporting the integrity of audit reports and maintaining the confidence of the Parliament and public sector entities. This is reflected in the target set in the performance indicator for Criterion 15.

The ANAO’s quality assurance framework is a system of quality control designed to provide assurance that audits performed by the ANAO comply with applicable professional standards and relevant regulatory and legal requirements, and that the reports issued are appropriate in the circumstances.

A key element of the quality assurance framework is monitoring of compliance with policies and procedures that comprise the system of quality control. The monitoring system comprises internal and external quality assurance reviews of the ANAO’s audit and other assurance engagements. Monitoring activities are the responsibility of the Professional Services and Relationships Group reporting to the Executive Board of Management and the ANAO Audit Committee. The ANAO Quality Committee is responsible for monitoring the ANAO’s progress in addressing the findings and recommendations arising from the monitoring programs.

Monitoring processes include:

  • annual quality assurance reviews of completed audits covering all of the functions of the ANAO;
  • real-time quality reviews of in-progress financial statements audits;
  • progress reviews at specified points by the audit executive and Auditor-General for in-progress performance audits;
  • biennial external peer reviews of completed performance audits performed by the New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General;
  • external reviews of the quality framework and completed financial statement audits conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and
  • internal audits of compliance with selected requirements of the ANAO audit manual.

In 2019–20, the annual quality assurance program of completed audits reviewed nine financial statements audits and four performance audits. In addition, four real-time quality reviews of in-progress financial statements audits were conducted. One real-time review was a focused review on the IT audit work conducted as part of the financial statement audit. The focused review is not included in the above performance measure.

One financial statements audit file reviewed was determined to be unsatisfactory as a material misstatement was not detected in the audit meaning the conclusion was inappropriate in the circumstances. The identified quality issues are being considered in the context of the 2019–20 audit. Additional work is underway with the auditee to ensure appropriate remediation of the findings and presentation in the 2019–20 year financial statements. All remaining financial statement audit conclusions and all performance engagement assurance conclusions were appropriate in the circumstances. The three satisfactory reviews conducted by the Australian Security Investment Commission and discussed further below are also included in the performance measure.

Based on the results reported to the Executive Board of Management and the completed internal and external reviews, the Auditor-General is satisfied that the system of quality control functioned effectively in 2019–20. Identified deficiencies and good practice recommendations identified in all internal and external reviews are addressed by ANAO follow-up actions. Progress and completion of follow-up actions is monitored by the Quality Committee.

As in previous years, the mix of financial statements audits selected for review comprised audits conducted utilising in-house resources and those undertaken by contracted firms. Identified areas for improvement in financial statements audits included the design and execution of substantive analytical procedures and the documentation related to engagement team planning meetings, independence declarations and subsequent events. The identified areas for improvement in performance audits relate to records of internal meetings and the closure of the audit file.

In 2019–20, the ANAO conducted a root cause analysis of selected findings and observations from the 2017-18 financial statements audit file inspections to identify the root cause of findings and determine the most appropriate remedial actions. Follow up actions arising from this analysis included updates to methodology and guidance and training for engagement team planning discussions and responses to fraud risk, and the audit approach over risks associated with auditees’ use of cloud services and other emerging technologies.

The ANAO Qualifications and Technical Advisory Committee provides a forum for engagement executives to consult on difficult or contentious matters and, where necessary, resolve differences of opinion on audit-related matters. ANAO policy identifies the matters that must be referred to the committee and the committee meets as required to provide advice to the Auditor-General. Under ANAO audit policy, the Auditor-General can refer matters arising in performance audits to the committee for advice. The committee was consulted on 14 matters in 2019–20.

In 2019–20, the ANAO continued the arrangement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to conduct an external independent review of the ANAO’s quality assurance framework initiated in 2017–18. This year, three audits of financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2019 were reviewed. These reviews were conducted using ASIC’s methodology for reviewing private sector audits. In respect of the file reviews, ASIC made findings on the sufficiency and adequacy of audit documentation, including considerations related to retaining or updating historical accounting positions and the details of supporting evidence reviewed. Other findings included design of audit procedures over journal entries and capitalisation costs.

In respect of the quality framework, ASIC reviewed the ANAO’s responses to recommendations made in the prior-year review, and also reviewed in detail the ANAO’s root cause analysis conducted in 2019–20. ASIC concluded that the initial pilot was effectively scoped to cover internal monitoring findings from QA reviews conducted on in-house ANAO financial statements audits. ASIC provided the ANAO with a number of good practice considerations to further enhance and expand on the initial root cause analysis program. The ANAO will integrate these considerations made by ASIC in the expansion of the root causes analysis program and methodology. Within the scope of its review, ASIC identified no areas where the design of the framework did not satisfy the requirements of Auditing Standard ASQC 15.

In 2019–20, the ANAO’s internal auditor conducted a review on compliance with selected ANAO Audit Manual policies, including completion of independence declarations; process for agreement of work with Systems Assurance and Data Analytics (SADA); signoff of planning documentation prior to interim work; signing officer responsibilities on contract out audits; approval of changes to audit scope and documentation of entry and exit meetings. Two medium-risk recommendations were made regarding training and communication of the importance of completing independence declarations and ensuring timely review and sign off of the planned audit approach prior to audit work commencing. One low risk recommendation was made regarding entry and exit meetings.

Criterion 16

Percentage of inquiries and audit requests from parliamentarians finalised within 28 days

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, shared by programs 1.1 and 1.2, p. 117

Result

Achieved a result of 100% against a target of 90%

Note: An ANAO response to an audit request or inquiry is finalised when it has been prepared and sent to a parliamentarian. In cases where an audit or limited assurance review is commenced, the notification by letter that the ANAO has taken this step will be sufficient to consider the request ‘finalised’. Equally, where a response is provided that the topic will be considered in the development of the next annual audit work program, this will be considered a ‘finalised’ response. Follow-ups to the initial audit request would not be counted as an additional inquiry. This measure does not refer to a holding letter that is sent to parliamentarians to indicate that we have received the request.

In determining the ANAO’s audit work program, the Auditor-General must consider the priorities of the Parliament, as determined by the JCPAA. Formal consultation with the JCPAA about the audit priorities of the Parliament occurs in approximately April to May each year to inform the development of the ANAO’s annual audit work program. The ANAO provided the draft work program for 2020–21 to the JCPAA in April 2020. A revised draft work program was provided to the Committee in May 2020 that included a focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public sector administration. Throughout the year, the Auditor-General also receives direct requests from members of parliament and senators for audits of particular areas of public administration as new issues emerge. Where the Auditor-General determines that further examination is warranted as a result of an audit request, a response can be provided through a range of mechanisms, including by initiating a performance audit, assurance review or information report, or through correspondence.

In 2019–20, the Auditor-General received 17 requests for audit from members and senators of the Parliament of Australia. A response to 100 per cent of requests was provided in 28 days. Table 3.8 outlines the ANAO’s responses to these requests.

Table 3.8: Parliamentary requests for audit, 2019–20

Date of request

Date of response

Requestor

Audit request relating to

Response provided to request

3 July 2019

12 July 2019

Senator Mehreen Faruqi

Live Exports Branch of the Department of Agriculture

Included in the Annual Audit Work Program 2019–20.

3 September 2019

20 September 2019

Mr Julian Hill MP

The family migration program

Do not intend to conduct an audit of the matters referred at this time. Re-consider including coverage in the development of the ANAO’s 2020–21 Annual Audit Work Program.

1 October 2019

29 October 2019

Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Federal Government drought funding measures

Do not intend to conduct an audit of the matters referred at this time. Re-consider including coverage in the development of the ANAO’s 2020–21 Annual Audit Work Program.

25 October 2019

22 November 2019

Senator Katy Gallagher

Government spending on external contractors and consultants

Do not intend to conduct an audit of the matters referred at this time. Will consider sector wide risks in this area of reporting in developing the 2020–21 annual audit work program

31 October 2019

18 November 2019

Mr Andrew Giles MP

Global visa processing system.

Potential performance audit not commenced

14 November 2019

11 December 2019

Senator Kimberley Kitching

Department of Parliamentary Services portfolio

Do not expect to commence both of these audits in the current financial year, but will probably choose one to commence

26 November 2019, 20 January, and 28 February 2020

19 December 2019, 14 February 2020, and 11 March 2020

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Procurement of Water entitlements in the Murray-Darling Basin

Do not intend to conduct an audit of the matters referred at this time. Will consider sector wide risks in this area of reporting in developing the 2020–21 annual audit work program.

19 December 2019 and 6 March 2020

14 January 2020 and 2 April 2020

Hon Catherine King MP

Regional development and jobs growth

Included two of the four topics requested in the draft Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

4 February 2020

27 February 2020

Mr Andrew Giles MP

Urban Congestion Fund

Consider including an audit on this topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

7 February 2020

27 February 2020

Senator Janet Rice and Senator Larissa Waters

Community Sport Infrastructure — female facilities and water safety program

Consider including an audit on this topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

14 February 2020 and 9 June 2020

27 February 2020 and 3 July 2020

Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Janet Rice

Community Development Grants Programme

Consider including an audit on this topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2021–22

16 February 2020

27 February 2020

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Grant funding arrangements within the Environment Restoration Fund and Communities Environment Program

Consider including an audit on each program in the Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

25 February 2020

20 March 2020

Senator Larissa Waters

Adani Carmichael coal mine

Performance audit commenced will not extend the scope of the current audit

31 March 2020

23 April 2020

Senator Katy Gallagher

Australian Government’s economic response to COVID-19

Intend to develop and publish an audit program of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response. The audit program will focus on providing Parliament with transparency and assurance on management of the response.

23 April 2020

12 May 2020

Ms Zali Steggall OAM, MP

Australian Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investment program

Included as a potential topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

4 May 2020

25 May 2020

Senator Katy Gallagher

Commonwealth Government’s debt management focusing on the increased government debt levels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Consider including as a potential topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2020–21

11 June 2020

3 July 2020

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

The operation of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs program

Consider including as a potential audit topic in the Annual Audit Work Program 2021-22

Note: Parliamentarians are advised on the outcome of the request when the AAWP is released.

Criterion 17

Percentage of JCPAA members surveyed who were satisfied that the ANAO improved public sector performance and supported accountability and transparency

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, shared by programs 1.1 and 1.2, p. 117

Result

Achieved a result of 100% against a target of 90%

Note: The result reported is based on the result achieved from those members who responded to the survey.

The ANAO engaged a research firm, ORIMA Research Pty Ltd, to conduct a survey of JCPAA members in 2020. The result of 100 per cent against a target of 90 per cent was based on the percentage of JCPAA members who responded to the survey that agreed or strongly agreed to the following statements:

  • The ANAO’s reports and services have contributed to improved public sector accountability and transparency; and
  • The ANAO’s reports and services help improve public sector administration.

The response rate of JCPAA members to the 2020 survey (50 per cent), representing eight of the 16 members surveyed, remained consistent with the participation rate of 53% (8 of 15 members surveyed) in 2019. Comparative analysis of the 2019 and 2020 survey in respect to the satisfaction ratings that the ANAO improved public sector performance and supported accountability and transparency, indicate that the results were similar in terms of the level of agreement. In addition, JCPAA members were positive in their ratings in relation to the ANAO’s role and function, particularly with regard to perceptions of the ANAO’s integrity as an organisation; the ANAO’s audit priorities; representation by the ANAO at public hearings; and the overall value of information it provides on public sector performance. Ratings for the ANAO’s audits of financial statements were very positive, showing improvements for the majority of aspects compared to 2019. Performance audit reports, the Defence Major Projects Report and other assurance review reports were rated consistently high, with some opportunity for improvement in relation to reports being easy to understand noted.

The ANAO supports accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector through independent reporting to the Parliament. To provide some insights into the Parliament’s utilisation of ANAO reports, analysis of mentions of ANAO reports by parliamentarians or parliamentary committees was conducted for internal reporting purposes. The results of the analysis reveal that, in 2019–20, there were in excess of over 250 individual mentions of ANAO reports, significantly more than the 180 mentions reported in 2018–19. Over fifty of the mentions related to Auditor-General Report No.23 Award of Funding under the Community Sports Infrastructure Program reflecting the significant parliamentary interest in the audit in the period February to March 2020.

Criterion 18

Number of published audit insights and key learnings from across ANAO activities

Source

ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20

Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20, programs 1.1 and 1.2, p.117

Result

Achieved a result of 4 against a target of 4

The ANAO’s Audit Insights products provide information on shared learnings for all Commonwealth entities as identified through financial statements audits and performance audits. In 2019–20, the ANAO published four reports in its Audit Insights series:

The ANAO has continued to revise and improve the development of Audit Insights since the first edition was released in 2017. Key changes have been to focus on a strategic thematic topic as a method to identify the narrative and tell the story, identifying the audience and focusing on targeted and customised distribution methods for each edition.

Transparency reporting

The Corporations Act 2001 includes requirements for annual transparency reporting by auditors. Although the ANAO is not subject to the transparency reporting requirements for private sector audits that are specified in the Corporations Act, the ANAO has embraced the principles of transparency reporting. Appendix B summarises the requirements that are relevant to the ANAO and shows where the required information is presented in this annual report.

Footnotes

  1. Mandated audits are those required under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 or other legislation.
  2. Kakadu Tourism (GCH) Pty Ltd, Kakadu Tourism (GLC) Pty Ltd, Gagudju Crocodile Hotel Trust, Gagudju Lodge Cooinda Trust, North Australia Aboriginal Corporation, Northern Australia Aboriginal Charitable Trust
  3. The Auditor-General Report No.20 2019–20 – Audits of the Financial Statements of Australian Government Entities for the Period Ended 30 June 2019
  4. Significant (Category A) issues are those that pose a significant business or financial management risk to the entity. These include issues that could result in a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements. Moderate (Category B) issues are those that pose a moderate business or financial management risk to the entity. These may include prior-year issues that have not been satisfactorily addressed.
  5. Auditing Standard ASQC1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Reports and Other Financial Information, Other Assurance Engagements and Related Services Engagements.