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.
2017 strategic review
The Strategic Review of the Queensland Audit Office 2017 was tabled in parliament on 23 March 2017. We welcomed the review as an opportunity to have our position and performance independently evaluated. We also looked to the review to highlight areas for improvement and, importantly, any strategic issues that need to be addressed. Since the prior review in 2010, there was a significant change in our legislation that provided us with a mandate to conduct performance audits. Naturally, the terms of reference focused the reviewers in this area.
We supported all of the recommendations made by the 2017 reviewers and publicly report on their implementation in our annual report. The reviewers for the next strategic review are due to be appointed by April 2023.
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 and Minister for the Olympics.
The review included an examination of the legislation underpinning the state's existing integrity framework. On 23 March 2022, the Auditor-General made a submission, drawing on information made public via previous inquiries and strategic reviews of QAO, and parliamentary committee briefings.
The final Coaldrake review report contains recommendations that would strengthen the independence of the Auditor-General, which the Auditor-General and QAO welcome. The report can be read at: www.coaldrakereview.qld.gov.au.