Inquiry into Victoria’s Audit Act 1994

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Background to the Inquiry

The Committee is currently conducting a wide-ranging Inquiry into Victoria’s Audit legislation, the Audit Act 1994, under section 33(3) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003.

The Audit Act 1994 establishes the operating powers and responsibilities of the Auditor-General. Its coverage includes the operations of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office. It also addresses the relationship of the Auditor-General with the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee as the representative body of Parliament and the Auditor-General’s accountability to Parliament for use of the powers accorded the position and for discharge of the position’s responsibilities.

Statement of Government Intentions

The Government identified in its Annual Statement of Government Intentions in February 2009 that it is committed to strengthening the Audit Act. The document states that an Audit Amendment Bill would help the State strengthen financial accountability by clarifying the powers of the Auditor-General. In addition, amendments to the Act should achieve the following:

  • provide clarity on certain aspects of the Auditor-General’s mandate and powers, including adherence to applicable Accounting and Auditing Standards;
  • promote greater efficiency in the operation of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office; and
  • fulfil the Government’s commitment to implement certain recommendations of the Committee’s 2006 Report on a legislative framework for independent officers of Parliament.

The process stated by Government is that proposals will be referred to the PAEC for advice.


On 22 June 2009, the Committee referred itself a new Inquiry under section 33(3) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003 into Victoria’s Audit Act 1994. Its aim is to review the legislation in its entirety, paying particular attention to innovative opportunities to progress it to leading edge status.

Discussion Paper


The Committee presented a discussion paper on its Inquiry to Parliament on 4 February 2010. The discussion paper outlines the results of the Committee’s research to that date, and can be accessed via the link below:

Inquiry into Victoria's Audit Act 1994-Discussion Paper 926.22 Kb

The Committee has since received a number of submissions from interested parties and will be conducting public hearings on 7 and 29 April 2010.

The Committee intends to present its findings and recommendations from the Inquiry to Parliament by October 2010.


The Committee has commenced an inquiry into Victoria’s Audit Act 1994 under section 33(3) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003.

The Committee invited comments, via written submissions, from individuals and organisations for proposed amendments to the Audit Act based on its Discussion Paper.

The closing date for submissions was Friday 19 March 2010. All submissions are treated as public documents and are published, unless confidentiality is requested or the Committee exercises it discretion.

To date, the following submissions have been approved for publication as evidence (other submissions received are to be considered in time):

 Peechelba Water Supply Co-operative Ltd 134.84 Kb

 The Australian National University 49.19 Kb

 Victorian Auditor-General's Office 4.04 Mb

 Australasian Council of Auditors-General 8.08 Mb

 Department of Transport 155.18 Kb

 Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development 408.54 Kb

 CPA_ICAA_and_NIA_Joint.pdf 538.83 Kb

 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia 161.90 Kb

pdf Public Sector Standards Commissioner 182.16 Kb




Executive Officer
Public Accounts and Estimates Committee
Parliament House, Spring Street
East Melbourne, VIC 3002


Hearings and Transcripts

Public hearings into the Inquiry into the Audit Act 1994 were held on Wednesday 7 April 2010, Thursday 29 April 2010 and Monday 10 May 2010.  Links to transcripts are provided below.

Please contact the Committee Secretariat on 8682 2793 or email the secretariat with any queries (email:

Wednesday 7 April 2010

9.30am - 11.30am
Witnesses - Victorian Auditor-General's Office: Mr Des Pearson, Auditor?General; Dr Peter Frost, Chief Operating Officer; Mr Marco Bini, Director, Policy and Coordination
Transcripts:  pdf VAGO 162.19 Kb

11.30am - 1.00pm
Witnesses - Department of Treasury and Finance/Department of Premier and Cabinet: Mr Grant Hehir, Secretary, Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF/DPC); Mr Steve Mitsas, Director, Budget and Financial Management (DTF); Mr Philip Reed Deputy Secretary, Government and Corporate (DPC)
Transcripts:  pdf DTF/DPC 109.22 Kb

2.00pm - 2.45pm
Witnesses - Department of Transport: Mr Jim Betts, Secretary; James Lavery Executive Director ? Legal; Dr Len Gainsford Director, Audit and Assurance
Transcripts:  pdf Transport 69.34 Kb

2.45pm - 3.30pm
Witnesses - Public Sector Standards Commissioner: Mr Peter Allen, Public Sector Standards Commissioner; Ms Karen Cleave Chief Executive Officer, State Services Authority
Transcripts:  pdf PSSC 61.92 Kb

3.30pm - 5.00pm
Witness - Australian Council of Auditors-General:
Mr Mike Blake (Auditor?General, Tasmania) Australasian Council of Auditors?General (ACAG) ? phone conference
Transcripts:  pdf ACAG 78.67 Kb

Thursday 29 April 2010

9.30am - 11.00am
Witnesses - CPA Australia/Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia/National Institute of Accountants:
Dr Gary Pflugrath CPA, Policy Adviser, Audit and Assurance, Professional Standards (CPA Australia); Mr Andrew Stringer, Head of Audit (Institute of Chartered Accountants); National Insitute of Accountants
Transcripts: pdf CPA/ICAA/NIA 77.34 Kb

11.00am - 11.30pm
Witnesses - Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development:
Mr Alf Smith, Acting Secretary; Mr Rob Barr, Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services & Development; Ms Rosemary Martin, Director Legal, Audit and Risk; Mr Dan Kirtley, Chief Internal Auditor
Transcripts:  pdf DIIRD 72.06 Kb

11.30am - 12.30pm
Witness - Australian National University:
Professor Kerry Jacobs via phone conference
Transcripts:  pdf ANU 49.51 Kb

Monday 10 May 2010

12.15pm - 12.45pm
Witnesses: Hon Jenny Lindell MP (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly), Hon Robert Smith MLC (President of the Legislative Council),  Mr Ray Purdey (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly), Mr Wayne Tunnecliffe (Clerk of the Legislative Council), Mr Peter Lochert (Secretary, Department of Parliamentary Services)
Transcripts:  pdf Presiding Officers 52.69 Kb

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