Legislation and standards
Constitution Act 1975
Victoria’s Constitution Act 1975 establishes the Auditor-General as an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament and contains provisions on the Auditor-General’s appointment, operational independence and tenure. Following amendments passed by the Victorian Parliament in 2003, the government can only change provisions relating to the Auditor-General following a referendum, which protects the independence of the Auditor-General in Victoria.
Audit Act 1994
The Audit Act 1994 establishes the legislative framework that governs the Auditor-General's ongoing role and functions. This Act identifies the Auditor-General's statutory powers and responsibilities and authorises them to:
- conduct efficient and effective financial audits of the Victorian public sector and public bodies.
- conduct efficient and effective performance audits of the Victorian public sector, including examining specified uses of a financial benefit or property for a particular purpose
- conduct efficient and effective assurance reviews of the Victorian public sector, including specified uses of a financial benefit or property for a particular purpose, providing reports on audits and assurance reviews to Parliament, and administrating and auditing the Victorian Auditor-General's Office
- examine the use of public grants received by both private and public sector organisations
- use the organisational structure and resources of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office to fulfil their legislative functions
- access new information, documents and attendances, and to enter and inspect premises.
The Auditor-General is not able to:
- question the merits of the government's policy objectives
- provide absolute assurance of the truth of agencies' information, or the effectiveness of internal controls
- enforce recommendations
- resolve individual matters of contention.
Audit (Public Bodies) Regulations 2015
The Audit (Public Bodies) Regulations 2015 outlines those organisations that are defined as 'public bodies' under the Audit Act 1994.
Australian Auditing Standards
As required by section 78 of the Audit Act 1994, we conduct financial audits in accordance with the Australian Auditing Standards and performance audits in accordance with the Standards on Assurance Engagements. These standards are set by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and are updated regularly. The standards cover the requirements for planning, communication, conduct, evidence, quality assurance, delegations and reporting for an audit. They require auditors to design and perform procedures to obtain 'sufficient and appropriate’ audit evidence to use as a basis for their drawing conclusions and forming an audit opinion. Sufficiency refers to the quantity of audit evidence and whether it is enough to support the audit opinion and conclusions. Appropriateness refers to the quality of evidence, which is affected by the relevance and reliability of the information it is based on.