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Actions for Report on Local Government 2019
I am pleased to present my third report to the Parliament on the 2019 audits of local government councils in New South Wales. This report notes that unqualified audit opinions were issued on the 2018–19 financial statements of 134 councils and 11 joint organisations. The opinion for one council was disclaimed and three audits are yet to complete. The report also highlights improvements I have seen in financial reporting and governance arrangements acro
Actions for Workforce reform in three amalgamated councils
The Inner West Council and the Snowy Monaro and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Councils have all made progress towards efficient organisational structures following the amalgamation of their former council areas in 2016, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General of New South Wales. All three councils are now operating with a single workforce and have largely achieved the milestones they planned for the first stage of their amalgamations.
Actions for Council reporting on service delivery
New South Wales local government councils’ could do more to demonstrate how well they are delivering services in their reports to the public, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford. Many councils report activity, but do not report on outcomes in a way that would help their communities assess how well they are performing. Most councils also did not report on the cost of services, making it diffic
Actions for Agency compliance with NSW Government travel policies
Overall, agencies materially complied with NSW Government travel policies. However, the Auditor-General found some agencies: did not always book official travel through the approved supplier had weaknesses in their travel approval processes had travel policies that were inconsistent with the NSW Government policy did not adequately manage their travel records. Last year the NSW Gover
Actions for Government Advertising: Campaigns for 2015–16 and 2016–17
The 'Stronger Councils, Stronger Communities' and the 'Dogs deserve better' government advertising campaigns complied with the Government Advertising Act and most elements of the Government Advertising Guidelines. However, some advertisements were designed to build support for government policy and used subjective or emotive messages. This is inconsistent with the requirement in the Government Advertising Guidelines for 'objective presentation in a fair
Actions for 2016 - An overview
This 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 i
Actions for Monitoring food safety practices in retail food businesses
New South Wales has a lower rate of foodborne illness than the national average. This reflects some good practices in the NSW Food Authority’s approach to monitoring food safety standards. It also is a factor of the long-standing commitment by local councils’ to ensuring retail food businesses meet these standards. To ensure foodborne illness remains low, the Authority needs to better monitor its arrangements with councils which inspect retail food busi
Actions for Areas of focus from 2014
The 2014 audits showed that the quality and timeliness of financial reporting have continued to improve. However, many agencies do not have financial sustainability indicators that provide early warning of management issues, such as an inability to meet financial obligations. Weaknesses were identified in information security, management of leave balances, asset management and internal controls. Governance issues and gaps in performance information a
Actions for Volume One 2014 - Areas of focus from 2013
Today the Auditor-General of New South Wales, Grant Hehir, released his Volume One Report to Parliament for 2014. The observations included in this report are designed to inform readers of common findings from the 2013 financial and performance audits so agencies and audit committees can use them to identify issues that may be relevant to their organisations.
Actions for Monitoring Local Government
The Division of Local Government (DLG) has helped many NSW councils improve their long-term financial planning and asset management practice. Many councils are serving their communities well. However, because DLG lacks the power, it finds it difficult to respond effectively when things go wrong. Parliamentary reference - Report number #225 - released 26 September 2012