Volume Five 2014 Focusing on Electricity and Water

Today the Auditor-General of New South Wales, Grant Hehir, released his Volume Five Report to Parliament for 2014 focusing on NSW Government water businesses for the year ended 30 June 2014.

Increased profits

The combined profit after tax for the State’s water businesses increased from $443 million in 2012-13 to $582 million in 2013-14. The $139 million increase in profits was largely due to marginal rises in the regulated water price together with increased usage from lower rainfall.
Water businesses accrued and paid $566 million in dividends and income taxes to the Government, $113 million lower than previous year.

Better financial controls required

The 2014 audits identified 12 information technology issues in the NSW Government water businesses – 11 for the first time. These centred on information security controls for newly implemented applications and access controls to high‑privileged user accounts that produce financial information.

“The NSW Government water businesses should improve the information technology processes and controls that support the integrity of financial data”, said the Auditor-General, Grant Hehir.

Integration strategy critical for establishing Water NSW

Water NSW, a merger of State Water Corporation and the Sydney Catchment Authority, is expected to commence operations from 1 January 2015.

For the merger to be successful, State Water Corporation and Sydney Catchment Authority should formulate a combined and structured approach to integrate their existing functions and processes.

“Now is the time to get the integration strategy right for Water NSW’, said the Auditor-General”

“The integration process should include milestones, cost estimates, expected outcomes and key performance measures. Management of Water NSW should oversee the integration process and achievement of planned outcomes”, he added.

Further Information

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au