Strategic and other reviews of the Queensland Audit Office
External reviews of our organisation are an important part of our governance framework. They provide for an independent understanding of our organisation, hold us accountable for how we discharge our mandate, and recommend opportunities for improvement.
The Auditor-General Act 2009 provides the mandate for QAO's role. A key accountability measure contained within the legislation is an independent review of our organisation to be conducted at least every 5 years. The Governor in Council appoints the independent reviewers from outside of our organisation, and provides them with the terms of reference. The reviewers then engage with us, our clients, and other key stakeholders to understand how well we are operating and fulfilling our mandate.
2023 strategic review
The 2023 strategic review of the Queensland Audit Office commenced in July 2023. Her Excellency the Governor of Queensland appointed Emeritus Professor Ian O’Connor AC and Moore Australia Audit as the reviewers. The reviewers provided the final report to the Queensland Premier for tabling in parliament on 4 December 2023. The report was tabled in parliament on 15 February 2024.
We welcome the report as an opportunity to have our position and performance independently evaluated and improve our services into the future. We have commenced action on the review recommendations and will report on our progress to the relevant parliamentary committee and to our governance bodies.
2013 Finance and Administration Committee inquiry
In September 2013, the then parliamentary committee, Finance and Administration Committee (FAC), commenced an inquiry into the legislative arrangements assuring the Queensland Auditor-General's independence. The inquiry concluded in 2016 without the committee making any recommendations. On 23 October 2013, QAO provided a submission to the inquiry. The committee's report can be read here.
2022 Coaldrake review
On 28 June 2022, Professor Coaldrake provided his final report titled: Review of culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector to the Premier of Queensland.
The review included an examination of the legislation underpinning the state's integrity framework and the final report contained recommendations on strengthening the independence of the Auditor-General. The report also stated that the government should address the recommendations made in previous external reviews of QAO on improving the Auditor-General’s independence. These recommendations have largely been addressed through amendments to the Auditor-General Act 2009.
The Auditor-General made a submission to Professor Coaldrake’s review, drawing on information made public via previous inquiries and strategic reviews of QAO, and parliamentary committee briefings.