2016 - An Overview

The Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford released her special report ‘2016 – An Overview’ today. The report focuses on key observations and findings from 2016 audits and highlights key areas of focus for financial and performance audits in 2017.

The quality and timeliness of financial reporting continued to improve across the NSW public sector in 2016. Only one qualified audit opinion was issued and most agencies signed their financial statements on time.

We found the Government’s cluster governance arrangements were unclear and inconsistently implemented across the sector in 2016. Clearer arrangements would improve cooperation and coordination amongst cluster agencies and help deliver government priorities that cut across agencies.

Our 2016 audits found examples where key projects suffered from project management, cost and time issues. Strong project governance will be critical if the NSW Government’s $73.3 billion investment program to 2019-20 is to deliver the intended outcomes.

In 2017, we will build on our 2016 financial audits and continue to report our observations and findings as they relate to financial performance and reporting, financial controls, governance and service delivery. Our 2017 performance audits will have regard to what we see as key risks and opportunities for the NSW Government, and the Premier's and State Priorities. In 2016, performance against the Premier's and State Priorities was mixed and inconsistently reported. We will monitor and report on agencies’ performance in achieving the priorities in 2017.

We will audit all local councils’ financial statements and conduct performance audits across the local government sector for the first time in 2017. We will also work alongside councils and their audit committees as they implement changes to governance structures and business planning processes.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.