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Inquiry Details

Review of the Operation of Audit Committees

On 23 June 2004, the Committee resolved to commence a Follow-up Inquiry on issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Compliance Review of the Operations of Audit Committees of May 2002. That review examined the operation of audit committees in 14 New South Wales’ government agencies. A survey of the existence of audit committees was also conducted in 69 large agencies as part of the review.
Resolution passed 23 June 2004, Minute No. 13, Item 4. The Terms of Reference for the Committee Inquiry are to examine: · whether New South Wales’ government agencies are aware of the Auditor-General’s report, and · how agencies responded to the recommendations in that report. The compliance review is contained in the Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament for 2002, volume 3 (pp3-6). The key findings of the compliance review were: 1. Audit committees, while operating in the vast majority of NSW government sector agencies, are not present in some of the larger agencies. 2. Audit committees would be improved if: · in government departments, at least one member of the committee is an independent person · neither the CEO nor the chair of the board is the chair of the audit committee · they undertook a formal annual assessment of the performance of the internal audit function · in government departments, they oversee the preparation of the agency’s annual financial report and assist the CEO during the audit process · agencies report to external parties what the committee does and what expertise the members have and how well they attend meetings · their performance is periodically reviewed. The Report recommended: 1. All large NSW Government agencies should have audit committees. 2. Audit committees, particularly those operating in government departments, should consider their own activities and amend them where appropriate to accord with best practice, especially in the matters mentioned earlier. The full Report may be found at: www.audit.nsw.gov.au/agrep02v3/Contents.htm The Committee will conduct the Inquiry by undertaking a survey of significant agencies. The survey questionnaire is included below. The Committee welcomes submissions addressing the Terms of Reference. These should be forwarded by 27 August 2004 to: Committee Manager Public Accounts Committee Parliament House Macquarie Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 If you have any queries regarding the Inquiry, please contact: Jackie Ohlin, Project Officer, Phone (02) 9230 2354

The Terms of Reference for the Committee Inquiry are to examine: · whether New South Wales’ government agencies are aware of the Auditor-General’s report, and · how agencies responded to the recommendations in that report. The compliance review is contained in the Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament for 2002, volume 3 (pp3-6). The key findings of the compliance review were: 1. Audit committees, while operating in the vast majority of NSW government sector agencies, are not present in some of the larger agencies. 2. Audit committees would be improved if: · in government departments, at least one member of the committee is an independent person · neither the CEO nor the chair of the board is the chair of the audit committee · they undertook a formal annual assessment of the performance of the internal audit function · in government departments, they oversee the preparation of the agency’s annual financial report and assist the CEO during the audit process · agencies report to external parties what the committee does and what expertise the members have and how well they attend meetings · their performance is periodically reviewed. The Report recommended: 1. All large NSW Government agencies should have audit committees. 2. Audit committees, particularly those operating in government departments, should consider their own activities and amend them where appropriate to accord with best practice, especially in the matters mentioned earlier. The full Report may be found at: www.audit.nsw.gov.au/agrep02v3/Contents.htm The Committee will conduct the Inquiry by undertaking a survey of significant agencies. The survey questionnaire is included below. The Committee welcomes submissions addressing the Terms of Reference. These should be forwarded by 27 August 2004 to: Committee Manager Public Accounts Committee Parliament House Macquarie Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 If you have any queries regarding the Inquiry, please contact: Jackie Ohlin, Project Officer, Phone (02) 9230 2354


 Audit committee agency survey

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