Areas of focus in 2015

The quality and timeliness of financial reporting continued to improve across the NSW public sector in 2015, according to a report released today by the Acting Auditor-General of New South Wales, Tony Whitfield. The report focuses on key observations from the 2015 financial and performance audits.

“It is pleasing to see that reported misstatements and significant matters identified during the audits have fallen significantly over recent years,” Mr Whitfield said.  The disciplines introduced by NSW Treasury and implemented by the agencies have made this possible, enabling more effective decision making and financial management”, he added.

There is still room for improvement with some agencies needing to complete asset revaluations and associated quality reviews earlier. Weaknesses in financial controls, particularly information security and the management of assets and leave balances need to be addressed.

Mr Whitfield pointed out that “governance arrangements for agency clusters should be clarified, for example, by clearly articulating the role of cluster Secretaries and Chief Financial Officers.” He was also concerned that some agencies could not demonstrate they were fully implementing the government’s decisions, policies and procedures. “For example, policy covering independent assurance processes for large projects was sometimes not properly followed or communicated to those responsible for implementing it,’ said Mr Whitfield.

The report’s findings are broadly classified into financial reporting, financial controls, governance and service delivery. These themes will continue to inform and shape the focus of financial and performance audits in 2016. 

Further Information

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email