This focus audit examined controls for verifying the identity and credentials of new employees and monitoring the status of existing employees.
We previously performed this audit in 2015 for state government entities. This report covers a sample of local government entities.
Our audit found that all entities need to improve their practices for screening employees. We identified many instances where local government entities were not checking the identity, right to work in Australia, employment history, qualifications and criminal backgrounds of new and existing employees.
While this audit was not designed to identify individual cases of inappropriate staff appointment, it did reveal significant shortcomings in policy and practices. If not addressed, these control weaknesses could impact the quality of employees in, and the integrity of, the public sector.
These focus audits can be considered as ‘hygiene’ audits as they give an indication of the health of various management controls. We conduct these audits as an extension of our annual financial audits, using more detailed testing than is required for forming our financial audit opinions.
The findings of these audits are likely representative of issues in other government entities that were not part of our sample. I encourage all entities, and not just those audited, to periodically assess themselves against these risks and controls on an ongoing basis. Our better practice checklist at Appendix 1 has been designed to assist entities to run their own hygiene checks.