The Auditor General is an independent officer of Parliament with responsibility for auditing the state public sector. The Auditor General has complete discretion in the performance of his functions. This independence and freedom from pressure, influence or interference is the cornerstone of public sector audit. Mr Colin Murphy, was appointed Auditor General for a non-renewable term of 10 years in June 2007, in accordance with the Auditor General Act 2006. In June 2017, the Governor extended Mr Murphy in the position until a new Auditor General is appointed.
The OAG is the public sector department established to support the Auditor General. The OAG is one of the largest audit practices in Western Australia and is a department of the public service. The Auditor General is the CEO and employer of staff.
The Auditor General and the OAG report directly to Parliament and not to a minister (Figure 1).
Figure 1: OAG reporting structure to Parliament
The Auditor General is responsible for:
- auditing the Annual Report on State Finances
- conducting annual financial statement, key performance indicator and control audits, and issuing audit opinions for departments, statutory authorities, tertiary institutions and corporatised entities
- undertaking wide-ranging performance examinations to ensure there are adequate controls within agencies, compliance with the relevant legislation, and most importantly efficiency, effectiveness and economy of agency operations or programs
- reporting the results of audits to Parliament in an objective, competent, insightful and timely manner.
Our main clients are the Parliament of Western Australia, Western Australian state government agencies and the people of Western Australia. In the past 12 months we completed financial audits of 187 agencies and subsidiaries that had a combined worth of over $221 billion in assets.
We also assess the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector agencies and programs through performance audits. In 2016-17, we conducted and reported on 26 performance audits, involving over 90 agencies, that included 159 recommendations.
We deal with agencies employing over 135,700 people, that provide hugely diverse public services, including education, health, community services, justice, energy, natural resource management and economic development.
We achieve this with a budget of $25.2 million and just over 139 people. Our people come with a range of qualifications and experiences, including commerce, economics, law, history, psychology, environmental science, human resources and information technology. We are very proud of this diversity because it strengthens our capacity and culture, and makes OAG a more enjoyable place to work.