The Auditor-General provides assurance to Parliament on the accountability and performance of the Victorian public sector. We achieve this through an annual program of financial and performance audits of state and local government public sector entities.
Our financial audits check the financial statements that agencies produce to assess whether they fairly present the financial position, cash flows and results of their operations for the year, in accordance with relevant financial reporting frameworks and standards. Each year we audit around 550 financial statements and around 108 performance statements of public sector agencies, including government departments, public bodies, government business enterprises, superannuation funds, health services, universities, TAFE institutes, water corporations, local councils, and the financial accounts of the state of Victoria, and 108 audit opinions on the performance statements of agencies
The financial audit group also conducts a review of the state’s Estimated Financial Statements and our review opinion is included in the state’s Budget Papers.
Our performance audits can include any of these 550 public sector agencies and private or not-for-profit providers of public sector services or functions, and grant recipients. These audits assess whether agencies are meeting their aims effectively, using their resources economically and efficiently, and complying with relevant legislation. Performance audits extend beyond the examination of the financial affairs and transactions of a government agency to encompass wider management issues of significance to the community.
We table reports in Parliament on the results of our audits:
- one report on our audit of the state’s annual financial report
- five reports on the results of financial audits—local government, technical and further education institutes, universities, public hospitals and water entities
- one report for each performance audit
These reports include recommendations directed to the audited agencies, and highlight issues of importance that can generate debate in Parliament and in the community.
The Auditor-General can decide what to audit, how to conduct the audit, and when to do it. Our auditors must be objective, unbiased and independent from the agencies we audit. We must avoid situations where our objectivity could be compromised or where bias could influence our judgement.
Access to information
We have wide-ranging powers to access information for an audit. We gather evidence from a variety of sources including records, data analysis, interviews, and stakeholder surveys. We can also gather information from outside the sector, such as universities and similar organisations from other jurisdictions. We can also access information that has restrictions on disclosure imposed by other legislation, such as secrecy provisions, and documents that are Cabinet-in-Confidence or commercial-in-confidence. In some circumstances, we can conduct searches of premises, and individuals can be compelled to provide documents in their possession. We use the high-quality evidence we gather to form conclusions and draft recommendations to agencies.
Read the full list of agencies that VAGO audits.