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We have commenced the below audits and are currently finalising our forward audit plan, giving consideration to the current demands on entities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenced

We are in the planning, field work or report writing stages of these audits. Where an audit relates specifically to State or local government, we have indicated this in brackets. Our program continues to work around the competing demands and availability of entities as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns. As a result, we have at various times placed some audits on hold, modified the scope and reporting processes of some, and pushed back the expected tabling date on some others. Click on the respective audits for further details.

In 2016, we tabled the Payment of Construction Subcontractors – Perth Children’s Hospital Project (PCH audit) and the Assessment of Progress to Improve Payment Security for Government Construction Subcontractors audit reports. Both audits were in response to concerns raised by Parliament about the security of payments to subcontractors.

The PCH audit considered whether the Department of Treasury exercised appropriate oversight over payments made by the Perth Children’s Hospital contractor to its subcontractors in accordance with contract terms. It found that Treasury complied with contract terms but that this would not ensure that Treasury was fully informed about payment disputes, or that the contractor provided reliable information.

The second audit assessed actions taken by the Departments of Finance, Treasury, and Housing and Works, in response to recommendations by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) to improve the security of payments for subcontractors. The audit found there had been substantial progress towards implementing the SBDC recommendations, but Treasury and Housing and Works needed to improve their pre-award assessments of financial capacity and strategies to mitigate the risk of contractors not completing work.

The objective of this follow-on audit is to assess whether State government entities have effective controls in place to ensure timely payments to subcontractors working on government construction projects.

We will focus on the following criteria:

  1. State entities have effective policies and processes to protect subcontractor payments and apply them consistently.
  2. State entities monitor whether their policies and processes are effective and implement improvement opportunities where needed.

We plan to table this audit in the first quarter of 2022.

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Corrective Services (within the Department of Justice) use rosters to deliver services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to prisoners in prisons throughout Western Australia. Well-planned staff rostering is essential to the efficient and effective operations of entities where shifts are needed to maintain service delivery. Where rostering is ineffective, services may be impacted, increased costs may be incurred, and the risk of misuse of entitlements increases.

The objective of the audit is to assess whether Corrective Services is managing staff rosters to deliver services safely and efficiently.

Our criteria are:

  1. Does Corrective Services effectively manage rosters to deliver services safely?
  2. Does Corrective Services efficiently manage rosters to minimise costs and fraud risks?

We plan to table this audit in the first quarter of 2022.

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The Public Trustee offers Western Australians a range of will, deceased estate administration, and trustee services. When appointed to do so, it manages the estates of people who have died, as well as living people who are unable or unwilling, to manage their own financial affairs.

The Public Trustee manages considerable funds, and its clients are typically vulnerable or bereaved. In 2019-20, it directly managed net assets of roughly $1.2 billion, including 6,452 trusts and 459 deceased estates.

The objective of this audit is to assess if the Public Trustee effectively administers the deceased estates and trusts in its care.

We will focus on the following criteria:

  1. Are deceased estates and trusts administered efficiently to protect vulnerable people?
  2. Are effective controls in place to prevent fraud?

We plan to table this audit in the first quarter of 2022.

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The Department of Education provides school psychologists to help schools meet the social, emotional, learning and behaviour needs of students.

Research and media reports show that an increasing number of school-aged children are experiencing emotional and mental health issues. Health Department data also indicates that a growing number of children are being treated for mental health problems.

In 2021, the State Government committed $42.4 million for an additional 100 school psychologists to be employed in the public education system.

The objective of the audit is to assess effectiveness of the Department of Education’s management of school psychology services.

Our criteria include, but are not limited to:

  1. Are students’ psychological support needs identified in a timely manner?
  2. Does provision of school psychology services address identified needs in a timely manner?

We plan to table this audit in the second quarter of 2022.

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The objective of our general computer controls (GCCs) audits is to determine whether computer controls effectively support the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems across a sample of State government entities and tertiary institutions in the WA public sector.

We plan to table a report summarising the results of the 2021 annual cycle of information systems audits in the first quarter of 2022.

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The objective of our general computer controls (GCCs) audits is to determine whether computer controls effectively support the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems across a sample of WA local government entities.

We plan to table a report summarising the results of the 2021 annual cycle of information systems audits in the second quarter of 2022.

 

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The State Government, often with joint investment from the Commonwealth Government, invests billions of dollars each year in major projects to build roads, hospitals, schools, prisons and other government infrastructure for the people and economy of Western Australia. Despite this significant investment of public money, Parliament and the public cannot easily access information on the progress of these projects.

In 2020, we tabled our Transparency Report: Major Projects. In that report we flagged our intention to periodically report and track a selection of major projects until Government fills the gap. This current audit follows up on our last report for the major projects still underway and some additional projects not included in our previous audit.

The objective of this audit is to provide information to Parliament and the public around the cost and time performance, governance and financial controls for a selection of major projects. Our criteria are:

  1. What is the current cost and timing against approved funding and timelines?
  2. Can entities provide a reasonable and substantiated explanation for significant variations in costs and timing?
  3. Are sound governance and financial controls in place for a sample of selected projects?

We plan to table this audit in the second quarter of 2022.

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In August 2021, the Office tabled a report of its audit of the SafeWA digital contract registration application which supports WA Health’s contact tracing efforts. The purpose of that audit was to gain assurance about the integrity, availability and confidentiality of information generated by or stored in SafeWA and related systems.

One area of concern noted in that audit was the ongoing limited communication around WA Health’s use of personal information collected by other government entities (including Transperth SmartRider and Police G2G border crossing pass data) in its contact tracing efforts.

The Auditor General flagged that the Office would examine this issue further in a separate audit of WA Health’s PHOCUS system, which accesses data from these and other sources, including SafeWA.

Similar to our SafeWA audit, the objective of our examination of the PHOCUS system is to gain assurance that the integrity, availability and confidentiality of information generated by or stored in PHOCUS is appropriate.

We plan to table this report in the first quarter of 2022.

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This second volume of our Audit Results Report – 2020-21 Financial Audits of State Government Entities will highlight some of the major key performance indicator, financial and controls impacts observed by our financial audit teams that are attributable to the unique policy environment generated by the Commonwealth and State governments’ COVID-19 response.

We plan to table this report in the first quarter of 2022.

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The 2020-21 financial year marked the final year of our 4-year transition to assuming responsibility for the annual financial audit of all 148 WA local government entities. This report will summarise the results of our 2020-21 financial audit cycle.

We plan to table this report by the second quarter of 2022.

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This report will summarise the results of our annual audits of the 4 public universities, their subsidiaries and the 5 TAFEs for the 31 December 2021 reporting year. The report may also contain the results of a small number of other annual audits of statutory authorities and cemetery boards.

We plan to table this report by the second quarter of 2022.

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