Pac Performance Audits 0908

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Pac Performance Audits 0908

  1. 1. Keeping the Audit Alive: PAC examination of performance audits PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Paul McLeay MP COMMITTEE Chair, PAC
  2. 2. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE The Committee The NSW Public Accounts Committee
  3. 3. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE • PAC background and functions • Examination of performance audits
  4. 4. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE OVERVIEW • Created by Part 4 of Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 • Comprises six members of the Legislative Assembly • Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries excluded from membership of the Committee • Chaired by a Government member • Four members required for quorum
  5. 5. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE HISTORY • Established in 1902 • Examines financial and accountability issues on behalf of the NSW Parliament • Previously, limited range of issues  unable to initiate own inquiries  Parliament and Auditor-General reluctant to refer matters • Reforms in the 1980s  expanded powers  can now initiate its own inquiries
  6. 6. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Current functions Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, Section 57 • PAC’s primary functions are to examine:  Total State Sector Accounts  Financial reports of State authorities  Opinions and reports of the Auditor-General Restrictions on the Committee x Government policy, unless inquiry referred by Assembly or Minister x Estimates of proposed expenditure
  7. 7. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Source of Inquiries Referral by:
  8. 8. • Referral by:  Legislative Assembly
  9. 9. • Referral by:  Legislative Assembly  Minister
  10. 10. • Referral by:  Legislative Assembly  Minister  Auditor-General
  11. 11. The NSW Public Accounts Committee
  12. 12. Referral by:  Legislative Assembly  Minister  Auditor-General  the Committee
  13. 13. Inquiries Functions include reporting on circumstances connected with Auditor-General’s reports
  14. 14. Auditor-General Assists Parliament to improve State accountability & performance through auditing Reports Refers Parliament Delegates to the PAC detailed examination of expenditure & audit reports Refers PAC Reports Assists Parliament to improve State accountability & performance through examination of audits
  15. 15. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Former Approach — the PAC would: • choose a performance audit once or twice a year for detailed examination • conduct a standard, detailed committee inquiry, publicly calling for submissions and hearing from a broad range of witnesses • Produce a detailed report with recommendations reflecting the Committee’s views on the subject matter of the audit
  16. 16. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits New Approach — the PAC: • Examines every performance audit • Seeks submission from agency 12 months after audit • Refers agency’s submission to A-G for comment on consistency with audit recommendations • Holds hearings with agency and A-G • Report with recommendations regarding response to the audit • Report debated in Parliament • Government response within 6 months
  17. 17. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Timeline: • Submission request 12 months after audit • One month for agency to produce submission • Two weeks for Auditor-General’s response • Hearings held periodically on a number of audits
  18. 18. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Agency submissions: • Outline response to each recommendation, including: Assessment of recommendation Plans made in response Timetable for completion Current status and action taken to date
  19. 19. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Hearing Process: • Questioning on issues arising from consideration of submissions • Auditor-General appears as a witness at the same time as agencies • A number of reports will be considered on a single day
  20. 20. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Parliamentary Debate: • New sessional orders provide for debate of all committee reports • Opportunity for Members to raise enduring concerns or points of interest in Parliament • Alerts the whole House to issues raised in the Committee
  21. 21. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC
  22. 22. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC • Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten Agency revised responses for hearing
  23. 23. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC • Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten • Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena Explain any rejection of recommendations Demonstrate how any problems have been addressed
  24. 24. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC • Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten • Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena • Ensure CEOs account to the Parliament for how they respond to recommendations Outline changes to address issues Explain any lack of progress
  25. 25. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC • Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten • Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena • Ensure CEOs account to the Parliament for how they respond to recommendations • Provide reality check to Audit Office External assessment of recommendation in light of experience
  26. 26. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Purpose: • Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC • Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten • Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena • Ensure CEOs account to the Parliament for how they respond to recommendations • Provide reality check to Audit Office
  27. 27. PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Review of Performance Audits Outcome: • Improved accountability & performance of State agencies
  28. 28. www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/publicaccounts

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