This report deals with a decision by the Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Sue Ellery MLC, not to provide Parliament with the business case for the new TAFE student management system.
Section 82 of the Financial Management Act 2006 (the FM Act) requires a Minister who decides that it is reasonable and appropriate not to provide certain information to Parliament, to give written notice of the decision to both Houses of Parliament and the Auditor General within 14 days of the decision.
Section 24 of the Auditor General Act 2006 (AG Act) requires the Auditor General to provide an opinion to Parliament as to whether the Minister’s decision was reasonable and appropriate.
It is our longstanding approach to enquire into only those decisions not to provide information to Parliament that are raised in the Minister’s written notice. It would be onerous and impractical for us to identify and report on all other Ministerial decisions not to provide information to Parliament. When we do become aware that a Minister has decided not to provide information to Parliament, we may write to them reminding them of their obligations under section 82 of the FM Act.
Our Audit Practice Statement sets out the process we follow to arrive at our section 82 opinions, including:
- a review of entity documents
- a review of any advice provided to the relevant Minister by entities, the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) or other legal advisers
- interviews with key entity persons including discussions about our draft findings and the Auditor General’s opinion.
Our procedures are designed to provide sufficient appropriate evidence to support an independent view to Parliament on the reasonableness and appropriateness of the Minister’s decision.
We have not performed an audit, however our procedures follow the key principles in the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards.