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Annual Report 2017-2018

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Financial auditing

This year we delivered 183 audit opinions. This was for state agencies only, as our first annual financial audits of local government entities for the year ended 30 June 2018 are in progress and the audit opinions will be issued in 2018-19.

We aim to deliver audit opinions under the Financial Management Act 2006 (FM Act) in time for annual reports to be tabled by an agency within 90 days of the end of the financial year as required by the FM Act. In the past we have consistently achieved between 99% and 100% for this measure (Table 20). However, this year we achieved 97.9%, primarily due to agencies not being audit ready.

Parliament must be in session for an agency to table its annual report under the FM Act. This year, the last sitting day in which agencies could table their reports within the 90-day limit was September 14, almost 2 weeks earlier than previous years’. This meant a number of agencies could not meet their target. This is something we have raised with the Department of Treasury in its review of the FM Act .

Table 20 - Percentage of audit opinions issued within 90 days of financial year end

It took us an average of 64.8 days to issue our financial audit opinions and we delivered 59% of our audit opinions earlier than last year.

Table 21 - Audit opinions delivered from 2013-14 to 2017-18

Our reports tabled in 2017-18

During 2017-18, we tabled 27 reports in Parliament across our 4 audit topic categories. We aim to deliver timely, relevant and quality reports on public sector performance and accountability. These reports assist in achieving our vision and outcome of an informed Parliament and work that makes a difference and helps to improve the public sector.

On the following pages is a brief summary of the reports tabled this year which are available on our website here. We have provided agency details reflective of post 2017 machinery of government changes.

Website statistics provide an indication of the degree of interest in our reports, and we use these to inform our topic selection process. Four of the top 10 accessed reports in 2017-18 were from previous years. The annual Information Systems Audit Report is consistently one of the most accessed reports. Despite being tabled in May 2018, the Controls Over Corporate Credit Cards focus area report, which was our first report tabled under our new local government audit mandate, featured in the top 10 hits (Table 22).

Table 22 - Top 10 report accessed by external visitors to the OAG website in 2017-18

Our results tabled 2017-18 (page 68)

*Note: Did not meet our definition of a report for KPI purposes.

Our reports tabled in 2017-18 (page 69)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 70)

*Note: Did not meet our definition of a report for KPI purposes.

Our reports in 2017-18 (page 71)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 72)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 73)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 74)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 75)

Our reports tabled 2017-18 (page 76)

Making a difference – report successes

Our outcome is work that makes a difference and helps to improve the public sector. Positive change to government activity and practice is a reflection of the impact our work is having and of our progress in meeting our desired outcome.

In July 2017, we were pleased to see the Department of Transport and Main Roads WA providing a status update on their websites of the transport portfolio recommendations of our 2015 report, Safe and Viable Cycling in the Perth Metropolitan Area. This is a good way for agencies to increase transparency and accountability for the actions they are progressing in response to our reports.

Some examples announced or implemented this year, where our work has informed, influenced, or directly resulted in change includes:

• establishment of the Office of Digital Government within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet to drive digital capability and cyber security across the public sector. This was in response to a decade of annual information systems audit reports, which have found little to no improvement in agency management of information systems, particularly information security and business continuity
• a drug and alcohol strategy specific to prisons being developed by the Department of Justice in response to our Minimising Drugs and Alcohol in Prisons report (November 2017)
• the development of a centralised information portal relating to biodiversity surveys, as recommended in our Rich and Rare: Conservation of Threatened Species Follow‑up Audit (September 2017)
• the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) extended peer support program to include bush fire brigades and ensuring that peer support officers are trained to assist them, addressing concerns raised in our 2015 report, Support and Preparedness of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteers. DFES also released an emergency services volunteer sustainability strategy to ensure that expertise is captured, both to address volunteer feedback and recommendations from the Auditor General’s report on volunteers
• the Service Priority Review blueprint for public sector reform referencing our May 2016 report, Delivering Services Online, to highlight the significant savings available to government through doing business online rather than in person.

Better practice guidance

 

 

Page last updated: September 20, 2018

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