The Auditor-General Act 2009 (the Act) governs the powers and functions of the Auditor-General.
The Act provides the legal basis for the Auditor-General’s access to all government information and the freedom to report findings arising from audit reports.
The Act also promotes the independence of the Auditor-General and all authorised auditors. This means the Auditor-General may conduct an audit in any way considered appropriate and is not subject to direction by any person about the way audit powers are to be exercised.
The main objectives of the Auditor-General Act 2009 are:
- to establish the position of the Queensland Auditor-General and the Deputy Auditor-General
- to establish the Queensland Audit Office
- to confer on the Queensland Auditor-General and the Queensland Audit Office the functions and powers necessary to carry out independent audits of the Queensland public sector and related entities
- to provide for the strategic review of the Queensland Audit Office
- to provide for the independent audit of the Queensland Audit Office.
In 2009, the Victorian Auditor General’s Office commissioned a survey on behalf of the Australasian Council of Auditors General (ACAG) to identify and compare the range of independence safeguards for Auditors General that were in the legislative frameworks for New Zealand, the Commonwealth of Australia, and in each Australian State and Territory at the time.
The survey was repeated in 2013, and this year in 2020. This year’s survey aimed to update the findings from the prior years by examining the legislative framework in effect in each jurisdiction as at March 2020. The resultant report titled Independence of Auditors General: A 2020 update of a survey of Australian and New Zealand legislation is provided below.