Constitution Act 1975
Victoria’s Constitution Act 1975 establishes the Auditor-General as an independent officer of 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 governing the ongoing role and functions of the Auditor-General. This Act identifies statutory powers and responsibilities, and authorises the Auditor-General to:
- conduct efficient and effective financial audits in the Victorian public sector
- conduct efficient and effective performance audits in the Victorian public sector, including examining specified uses of a financial benefit or property for a particular purpose
- conduct efficient and effective assurance reviews in the Victorian public sector, including specified uses of a financial benefit or property for a particular purpose, providing reports on audits assurance reviews to the 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 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 policy objectives of the government
- provide an absolute assurance of the truth of agency information, or the effectiveness of internal controls
- enforce recommendations
- resolve individual matters of contention.
Australian Auditing Standards
We conduct financial audits in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards, and performance audits in accordance with Standards on Assurance Engagements, as required by section 78 of the Audit Act 1994. These standards are set down by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and are updated regularly. The standards cover planning, communication, conduct, evidence, quality assurance, delegations and reporting of an audit. They require auditors to design and perform procedures to obtain ‘sufficient and appropriate’ audit evidence, to use as a basis for drawing conclusions and forming an audit opinion. Sufficiency is a measure of the quantity of audit evidence, and whether it is enough to support the audit opinion and conclusions. Appropriateness is a measure of the quality of evidence, which is affected by the relevance and reliability of the information it is based on.