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The Queensland Audit Office (QAO) continues to evolve its operations to focus more on meeting our clients’ and stakeholders’ needs. We are implementing new approaches to our work to ensure our deliverables are focused on our vision of better public services. We also continue to adapt our work in response to the new or changing challenges COVID-19 is presenting for our clients, government, and the wider Queensland community.

In the coming months, you will see QAO publish some new types of reports to parliament in addition to our existing audits. These new publications balance deep analysis and conclusions, with faster delivery of our insights. An outline of the new publications follows.

Image showing the four new product types from left to right on a scale of fully evaluative to much less evaluative: full performance audit, Auditor-General's insights, Information brief, topic overview.

Topic overviews

We think our clients and stakeholders would like to understand more about some complex issues and subjects. So we are planning topic overviews that may set out key facts, identify underlying assumptions and summarise information that may be otherwise difficult to understand.

Imagine, for example, a short publication that describes the health landscape in Queensland. Or one that outlines the commercial arrangements of a major outsourcing deal. In that case, we might set out who the prime contractor is, how they are due to be paid and who is bearing risk.

We want our topic overviews to be highly readable and explain complex issues, but we won’t ever oversimplify the issue.

Information briefs

In today’s data-rich landscape, QAO regularly reviews large amounts of information and makes judgements about what it means. So we plan to share more of our work via information briefs. These publications may set out key facts, involve some evaluation, and may include findings and recommendations, where relevant.

For example, we might prepare an information brief that sets out key facts about government’s engagement with local suppliers. This might include some detailed information analysing how much government spends with small to medium enterprises. 

Auditor-General’s insights

Our third new type of publication involves more evaluation than the topic overview and information brief. Auditor-General’s insights often draw on other QAO work, within certain sectors or across government. They will also be a vehicle for us to highlight risks and issues that we think government needs to manage now and in the future. An example could be a report that evaluates the government’s overall performance in implementing technology projects.

Full audit reports

Performance audits:

You will be familiar with our performance audit reports. Our performance audits evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of public service delivery. Our topics cover important aspects of public service delivery across a wide range of sectors.

Financial audits:

Each year, QAO provides professional audit services for over 400 state and local government entities. This work includes our opinions on the accuracy and reliability of the financial statements, and insights on financial performance, risk, and internal controls. We will continue to summarise the results of these audits in reports to parliament each year.

Your input

QAO’s new products will give us more avenues to share the insights we gather from our audit work with our clients, parliament, and the Queensland community. We look forward to sharing more of our work with you and will welcome your feedback.

You are also invited to suggest potential topics for us, or raise issues about financial waste or mismanagement, via our website: www.qao.qld.gov.au/contact-us. Via our website you can also subscribe to receive tabling notifications and a monthly roll up of our blog articles.