Go to top of page

External and internal scrutiny

The Commission’s processes, which provide for high levels of transparency and community participation in its work, are a key means of promoting external scrutiny. These processes are outlined in detail in chapter 4.

External scrutiny is also promoted through the Commission’s extensive reporting, in various publications, of different aspects of its work.

Both the Commission and the Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office (which has separate functions although located within the Commission) have service charters. Performance against the charters is monitored on an exceptions basis — that is, by complaints to designated senior managers. No complaints were received during 2020-21 in respect of either charter.

The Auditor‑General issued an unqualified independent audit report on the Commission’s 2020‑21 financial statements. The Commission also engages a firm to undertake a program of internal audit reviews. In 2020‑21, the internal auditors conducted a review of stakeholder engagement, to assess whether the Commission has developed and implemented adequate stakeholder engagement processes. In addition, the internal auditors assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission’s internal facing inquiry systems and processes.

The Audit and Risk Committee also plays an important internal scrutiny role. The Committee’s efforts during the year related mainly to:

  • oversight of the Commission’s internal audit program
  • consideration of the annual financial statements
  • scrutiny of the Commission’s risk management assessment and plan
  • reviews of relevant ANAO reports.

The use of Commission reports by Federal parliamentary committees during the year is discussed in chapters 2 and 4. The Commission is often invited to appear before Senate Committees to assist the work of Federal Parliament and facilitate scrutiny of its work, as well as being requested to attend Senate Estimates hearings, with appearances by the Chair and senior staff before the Senate Standing Committee on Economics.

The Commission’s website continues to provide a valuable source of information about the current work of the Commission, its publications and other activities. During 2020‑21, the Commission continued to develop its use of social media to raise awareness of its work and promote participation in its public inquiries. The use of infographics and videos to highlight and promote aspects of the Commission’s work also continued.