This year marks the final year of our 2017–21 strategic plan, in which we have focused on making our outputs more relevant and influential. Our strategy and our achievements over the past four years have been underpinned by investing in the skills and knowledge of our workforce and in streamlining and modernising our systems and processes.
I am pleased that over the past four and a half years we have continued to strengthen the reputation and standing of my Office. Our reports are generally regarded as objective, balanced and fair; and this has served to add to their credibility, usefulness and wide acceptance. To this end it is pleasing to see a steady improvement this year in the rate of progress by audited agencies implementing our audit recommendations.
Much of the success of our reports we attribute to our data first strategies, which embed data science into our performance audits and data analytics into our financial audits. This has served to strengthen our audits and enrich our public reports with more empirical evidence to support our findings. As well as making an impact in our audit practices this approach has also improved the way we communicate our findings. Our growing list of public-facing dashboards serve to increase transparency and strengthen accountability for public sector performance.
Work flexibility has been central to investing in our people this year. To achieve this, we have transitioned to our 'Better Normal’ hybrid working model. This combines the best of office-based and virtual work to match the way our people work with their specific situations and needs. This year we have also continued to focus on creating a more inclusive workplace with the finalisation of our Reconciliation Action Plan and the development of our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan 2022–25.
We still face challenges addressing workloads and time pressures that cause many of our staff undue stress—worsened by the lingering effects of the pandemic on our workforce and those of the agencies we audit. It was nonetheless pleasing to see that employee engagement increased in our People Matter survey results this year.
We recognise that our future success depends critically on our people. For this reason, we have given them prominence in our new strategic plan for 2022–25. Much of our effort over the coming years will be directed to investing in our workforce and equipping them with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to be successful.
About this report
This report covers the activities of VAGO for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. It is prepared in accordance with the Audit Act 1994 and the Financial Management Act 1994, and complies with the requirements of relevant Australian Accounting Standards and Interpretations, Standing Directions and Financial Reporting Directions.