The Tasmanian Audit Office is an independent State entity which assists the Auditor-General to provide an independent view of the financial and operational performance of State entities. As such the Office is part of the public sector accountability framework assisting Parliament in holding the Government accountable for fulfilling its responsibilities. This is done by conducting financial (attest), performance (non-attest) and compliance, or other audits and investigations and reporting the outcomes of these to Parliament.
Public Accounts Committee
We are accountable to the Tasmanian Parliament through the Tasmanian Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) which is a Joint Committee of the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly.
Through a Statement of Understanding between PAC and the Auditor-General, a mutual relationship between both independent bodies allows for a number of things including:
- the supporting of the continued independence of the Auditor-General in allowing that position to provide Parliament with assurance reporting on public sector performance and accountability
- the meeting of the parties on a periodic basis to share information and referral of matters
- the Auditor-General to brief PAC on their proposed work plan and provide an acquittal of the previous plan of work (a formal submission of the draft plan to the PAC by 31 March each year is required by section 11(1)(b) of the Audit Act 2008)
- the Auditor-General referring their tabled reports to the PAC under section 6(2)(b) of the Public Accounts Committee Act 1970, and
- allowing PAC to assist in oversighting the setting of the budget and forward estimates of the Tasmanian Audit Office.
The Statement of Understanding also covers annual declarations of interest and conflicts of interest that may be applicable to the office-holders of the Auditor-General and Deputy Auditor-General, and the publication on a quarterly basis of the completed gifts and benefits register of the Auditor-General. Click through to our current Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Register page here.
Risk and Audit Committee
The Office has an Audit Committee in accordance with the Treasurer’s Instruction Internal Audit (FC-2) made under the Financial Management Act 2016.
The role of the Committee provides assistance to the Auditor-General in fulfilling their corporate governance responsibilities relating to the Office’s:
- financial and performance reporting (including the preparation of the annual report and audit of the financial statements)
- system of risk oversight and management
- system of internal control (including internal control framework, legislative and policy compliance, internal audit coverage and performance reporting).
The Committee also:
- monitors the activities and effectiveness of internal audit
- monitors the Office’s response to external reviews and evaluations of the Office and the implementation of appropriate recommendations arising from the same
- undertake other activities related to its responsibilities as requested by the Auditor‑General.
We are subject to annual audits of our financial and performance statements by our External Auditors, Nexia Australia.
We are also subject to a periodic review of the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of our operations at least once in every period of 5 years (section 44 of the Audit Act 2008). The last section 44 review was conducted by Moore Stephens Audit (Vic) in February 2019 and covers the period 2014-2018.
Click here to access a copy of the report.
Internal audit assesses the quality and performance of specific functions in our office. Before the end of each financial year, our internal auditors with our Audit Committee develop the internal audit plan for the coming year. This plan lists proposed audits and when they will be carried out.
Feedback and complaints
Our staff interact with the public sector and community. This contact may result in dissatisfaction about our staff, products or services. You can provide feedback or make a complaint via our Contact Us page.
Fraud and corruption control
We does not tolerate fraud or corruption by our staff or by contractors and external service providers performing work for or on behalf of us. We take all allegations of suspected fraud or corruption very seriously and respond fully. You can make a complaint about suspected fraud or corruption by TAO staff, contractors or service providers via our Contact Us page.
We conduct biennial satisfaction surveys of Parliamentarians and State entities to elicit their levels of satisfaction of a number of metrics including:
- overall satisfaction with the Auditor-General’s reports and services
- provision of valuable information on public sector performance
- reports and services to help improve public sector administration
- high level of performance audits addressing key areas of interest
- responsiveness of the Auditor-General or their office
- extent to which the advice/information provided by the Audit-or-General or their Office address Parliamentarian needs
- overall performance of Performance Audit Services (process, reporting value), and
- overall performance of Financial Audit Services (process, reporting value).
The most recent results are contained in the Office’s Annual Report: see Annual Report.
We conduct process reviews of our individual audits and we also benchmark our performance against other audit offices in Australia.
We use the information from our surveys, reviews and internal audits to:
- address any issues that arise from individual audits
- identify trends and common themes
- develop improvement projects and strategies, and
- monitor the effectiveness of current improvement projects.