Congratulations on your election to the 59th Victorian Parliament.
As the Auditor-General, an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament, my primary role is to assist your oversight of the public sector. I do so primarily by providing independent assurance on the sector’s performance through my financial and performance audits, and reporting on the results of these audits to Parliament.
In my experience, members of parliament use my reports in a variety of ways, including to support their contribution to parliamentary debates when considering the passage of new legislation and to scrutinise public expenditure.
I am happy to meet with you to discuss how my office can be of service to you during your parliamentary term.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Engaging with VAGO
We aim to regularly engage with you to increase awareness of VAGO's important role and identify ways that we can deliver more value to your role in Parliament. You can engage with us in a variety of ways, including:
Introductory information session
We understand Parliament will soon hold an introductory session, which the Auditor-General and other integrity bodies will attend. During this session, you will be familiarised with the role of the Auditor-General and how we can support your needs and priorities.
Upon request the Auditor-General welcomes one-on-one meetings with you, should you want to discuss audit and accountability issues. When the Auditor-General is not available, Assistant Auditors-General will meet with you. To arrange a meeting please email AG@audit.vic.gov.au.
Annual Plan briefing
We will provide a briefing of our 2019 Annual Plan in May, which outlines the Auditor-General’s annual audit program. To read our 2018 plan click here.
Each year we invite you to participate in our survey to help us better tailor our work to your needs.
Staying in touch
We welcome feedback, questions and audit topic suggestions. The easiest way to suggest an audit topic or provide feedback is to email the Auditor-General at AG@audit.vic.gov.au.
As a Member of Parliament you can use our work in various ways:
- to support debate or passage of new legislation
- to seek information
- to stimulate action.
We are working to present our reports in ways that are easily accessible to you, such as:
Tabled report briefings
In a sitting week, we hold briefings for you and your staff on the reports we tabled that day, which is an opportunity for you to ask questions about the report. We send invitations via email a week before each briefing.
We are also happy to brief you individually on any past, current or future audit reports at any stage. To request an audit briefing please email AG@audit.vic.gov.au.
We produce a short video briefing for each report outlining the key findings and conclusions. See an example here.
Assistance to Parliamentary Committees
Upon request, we provide evidence at public hearings and work with Parliamentary Committee staff to help you use our audit findings in inquiries.
We have new innovative, interactive and visual dashboards to display report data. See an example here.
The Victorian public sector is large and complex and manages significant resources and risk. Effective examination of the public sector is necessary to ensure it's work is carried out effectively, economically and efficiently, and the State's investment results in good outcomes for Victorians. VAGO’s audits seek to provide this assurance.
Our reports provide findings and recommendations on how to improve accountability and performance. They can be a catalyst for change and an impetus for decision-makers.
For example, VAGO audits and reports are used by:
- MPs to support passage of new legislation
- Parliamentary Committees as evidence for their own inquiries
- agencies to inform changes to practices and processes
- the media to highlight issues of public interest.
For more examples of the impact of our audits, see our Annual Report.
VAGO conducts financial and performance audits across over 500 public sector agencies and can also audit some of the activities of associated entities such as private or not-for-profit organisations, or grant recipients, who receive public funds to deliver services on behalf of the government.
The Auditor-General is responsible for the annual financial audit of the Annual Financial Report of the State of Victoria, and the annual financial statements of:
- Government Departments
- Victorian Public companies, trusts and joint ventures
- Public bodies
- Public cemeteries
- Independent budget sector agencies
- Public hospitals and ambulance services
- Regional waste management groups
- Superannuation funds
- Universities and other educational institutions
- Water authorities
- Municipal councils
- Regional library corporations
- Integrity bodies
The Auditor-General can conduct performance audits of the work of any of these bodies.
To see current audits in progress, click here.
The role of the Auditor-General
The role of the Auditor-General is to provide assurance to Victoria’s Parliament and the public about how effectively, economically and efficiently public sector agencies provide services and use public money.
The Auditor-General is appointed under the Constitution Act 1975. The Audit Act 1994 governs the Auditor-General’s powers and functions. Parliament and the Executive Government have the power to act on audit recommendations. The Auditor-General cannot enforce recommendations.
Audits in Victoria
- the effectiveness, efficiency, and/or economy of government agencies, programs or services
- the quality of resource management
- improvements in management practices and systems
- the fair presentation of annual financial statements and (where applicable) performance statements
- compliance with legislative and other requirements
- wastage or lack of probity or financial prudence in the management of public resources.
The Auditor-General cannot:
- question the merits of the policy objectives of the government
- provide absolute assurance of the truth of agency information or the effectiveness of internal controls
- enforce recommendations
- resolve individual matters of contention.
In a performance audit, we examine how well public money is being spent and used. We assess whether an organisation or government program is performing effectively, economically and efficiently, and in compliance with all relevant legislation. The audit can cover part or all of an agency’s activities, or the activities of a number of agencies. It can also include private and not-for-profit organisations - called associated entities, that receive state government funds to deliver public services.
To focus our resources on areas where we can have the most impact we research and consult extensively to help us select performance audit topics. Our Strategic Plan 2017-21 establishes our aim to have more of our performance audits originate from requests from Parliament, the public sector and the public. We welcome suggestions for audit topics.
Financial audits provide independent assurance to Parliament and the public that the information contained in the financial reports of public sector entities are presented fairly, in accordance with Australian accounting standards. We also attest to whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and comply with relevant legislation.
Our independent audits result in audit opinions included with agencies’ annual financial reports. We also issue annual reports to Parliament on our audit results.
VAGO is leading the application of modern audit techniques, including data analytics, to leverage our unique position and provide greater insights into the performance of the public sector and the challenges it faces. An example of our dashboards is here.
We welcome feedback, questions and audit topic suggestions. The easiest way to suggest an audit topic, provide feedback or request a meeting is to email the Auditor-General at AG@audit.vic.gov.au.