Report highlights: Planning and Environment 2023

What this report is about

Results of the Planning and Environment portfolio financial statement audits for the year ended 30 June 2023.

The audit found

Unqualified audit opinions were issued for all completed Planning and Environment portfolio agencies. Seven audits are ongoing.

The Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (CMCT) did not comply with its obligations under the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act) to prepare and submit financial statements for audit.

The Department of Planning and Environment (the department) has not yet provided their assessment of the financial reporting requirements for the 579 Category 2 Statutory Land Managers (SLMs) for 2022–23.

One-hundred and nineteen Commons Trusts are non-compliant with the GSF Act as they have not submitted their financial statements for audit.

We issued unqualified opinions on the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation's 2020–21, 2021–22 and 2022–23 financial statements.

The number of monetary misstatements identified in our audits decreased from 59 in 2021–22 to 51 in 2022–23, however the gross value of misstatements increased.

The key audit issues were

The former Resilience NSW and NSW Reconstruction Authority (the Authority) re-assessed the accounting implications arising from contractual agreements relating to temporary housing assets associated with the Northern Rivers Temporary Homes Program. This resulted in adjustments to recognise the associated assets and liabilities.

We continue to identify significant deficiencies in NSW Crown land information records.

The department has not been effective in addressing the differing practices for the financial reporting of rural firefighting equipment vested to councils under section 119 (2) of the Rural Fires Act 1997.

The number of findings across the portfolio reported to management increased from 132 in 2021–22 to 140 in 2022–23. Thirty per cent of issues were repeated from the prior year.

Seven high-risk issues were identified. These related to the findings outlined above, deficiencies in quality reviews of asset valuations, internal control processes and IT general controls.

The audit recommended 

Recommendations were made to the department and portfolio agencies to address these deficiencies.

Fast Facts
The Planning and Environment portfolio is responsible for the stewardship of the NSW Government’s natural and built assets. There are 43 agencies, 579 Category 2 Statutory Land Managers and 119 Commons Trusts in the portfolio.
  • $128.2b property, plant and equipment as at 30 June 2023
  • $15.5b total expenditure incurred in 2022–23
  • 100% unqualified audit opinions issued on agencies’ completed 30 June 2023 financial statements
  • 7 high-risk findings identified
  • 51 monetary misstatements reported in 2022–23
  • 30% of reported issues were repeat issues

Further information

Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email.