Defence Audit and Risk Committee
The Defence Audit and Risk Committee has been established in accordance with section 45 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and section 17 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule). Consistent with subsection 17(2) of the PGPA Rule, the committee reviews and provides independent written advice to the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force on the appropriateness of Defence’s financial reporting, performance reporting, system of risk oversight and management, and system of internal control.
The committee has five members, three of whom are external to Defence, including the Chair and Deputy Chair. The Vice Chief of the Defence Force and the Associate Secretary are also members of the committee.
During 2019–20 the Audit and Risk Committee met formally nine times. Other committee activities during the year included workshops in relation to Defence’s performance information and the financial statements, attendance at Independent Assurance Reviews, and intersessional review of documents and information to address the requirements of the committee. The external members also chaired and were members of the Financial Reporting Sub-Committee.
An electronic version of the charter of the Defence Audit and Risk Committee is available from the Defence website at www.defence.gov.au/Decisions.asp.
Table 5.1 provides information in accordance with audit committee disclosure requirements for Commonwealth entities (sections 17AG(2A) and 17BE(taa) of the PGPA Rule).
Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience
Ms Clark has an extensive background in business, finance and governance through a career as an investment banker, where her role included Defence major projects, and as a non-executive director since 1991.
She has been the chair or deputy chair or a member of over 20 audit committees and boards in the Commonwealth and private sectors over the past 30 years. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has substantial experience in financial and performance reporting, audit, risk management and project management.
Ms Montano holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (UNSW) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
She has over 20 years of experience as chair, deputy chair and member of boards and audit committees across a range of government and not-for-profit entities. She has broad-ranging experience in governance and the machinery of government, including in financial and performance reporting, risk, assurance, and program and project management and oversight.
She is a former chief executive officer in the Commonwealth government and senior financial services lawyer with King & Wood Mallesons.
Mr Ridley is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with bachelor’s degrees in commerce and accounting.
He has served as independent member and chair of audit and risk committees for several large and medium-sized Commonwealth agencies since 2011, and also assists some entities in the oversight of ICT projects. He was formerly a senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers with leadership roles in risk advisory, internal audit and ICT project assurance for large companies in financial services and other industries and for state and federal governments.
Ms Skinner was the Associate Secretary of the Department of Defence from
September 2018 until March 2020. She has held numerous senior leadership positions within Defence, including with the Australian Signals Directorate and the
Defence Intelligence Organisation.
Ms Skinner is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Computer Science) from Swinburne University.
Note: for three meetings from March 2020, the acting Associate Secretary was Mr Steven Groves.
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Vice Admiral David Johnston AO RAN is the Vice Chief of the Defence Force. He has an extensive military background, including operational naval tours as Commanding Officer of HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Newcastle. Between 2014 and 2018 he performed the role of Chief of Joint Operations. He was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2018.
Since 2018, he has been the chair of the Investment Committee and Joint Warfare Committee.
Vice Admiral Johnston holds a Master of Science in Operations Research from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Deakin University.
Note: for one meeting, Vice Admiral Johnston was represented by Major General Kathryn Toohey.
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