Audit program

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This section is about our performance audit program, including how we develop our strategic audit plan, and the details of our upcoming audit topics.

Developing our program

Performance audits provide independent assurance that public resources are being used appropriately and that government programs are delivering on their objectives efficiently, effectively, and economically.

Each year, we receive funding from parliament to conduct performance audits and we strive to invest this funding into performance audits of importance to Queensland.

To achieve this, we engage broadly and use our expertise to identify potential performance audit topics. Our key stakeholders in this process include the Economics and Governance Committee, other parliamentary committees, the executive management of public sector entities and user groups of public services.

We then evaluate each topic against key criteria to develop a three-year program that represents the best use of our funding.

Current program

We are required to prepare and publish by 30 June each year a three-year strategic audit plan (SAP) which shapes and drives our program of performance audits.

Our 2018–21 SAP is the culmination of our ongoing efforts to understand the challenges, risks, and opportunities facing the Queensland public sector, and is a vehicle to communicate our future audit direction.

Importantly, the plan itself is not the end of the conversation, it is an output from ongoing conversation throughout the year.

Our plan sets out the performance audit topics we propose to undertake over the next three years. This forward-work schedule allows us to engage early in conversations with our stakeholders so that we can refine and direct our efforts to the areas where we can have the greatest impact on better public services. This plan may change over the next three years and this is communicated to our clients. Since publishing our 2018–21 SAP, QAO is planning for three additional follow-up audits.


  • Two Education Department 2014–15 performance audits: Maintenance of public schools (Report 11: 2014–15) and Oversight of recurrent grants to non-state schools (Report 12: 2014–15). These follow-up audits will result in one report to parliament.
  • Managing child safety information (Report 17: 2014–15).


  • Emergency department performance reporting (Report 3: 2014–15).

The objective of these audits is to examine whether departments have effectively implemented the recommendations we made in the original audits and whether the actions they have taken address the underlying issues that led to our recommendations.


How to prepare for a performance audit PDF

Contribute to our audit program

We welcome suggestions from members of the public about our proposed or any new potential performance audit topics, as well as contributions to performance audits that are currently in progress. When suggesting new topics, or contributing to an open audit, the submissions need to relate to public sector entities or money being spent on public services. Any contribution can be made confidentially and your personal information is protected by the Information Privacy Act 2009.

Suggest a new topic for a performance audit


Prior strategic audit plans

QAO's Strategic Audit Plans from 2012 to 2020 are available below.