This annual report summarises the activities and performance of the Audit Office of New South Wales for 2015–16 against the main goals, strategies and targets in its strategic plan. As well as reporting on the financial results for the past year, the report looks to the year ahead. This and earlier annual reports are available on our website.

 

 

2015–16 highlights

Parliament highlights Parliament black and white
Agencies highlights Agencies
People highlights People
Profession highlights Profession
Governance highlights Governance
Finance highlights Governance

Our organisation

Built on strategic foundations

Our vision

Making a difference through audit excellence.

Our mission

To help parliament hold government accountable for its use of public resources.

Our values

Purpose - we have an impact, are accountable, and work as a team.

People - we trust and respect others and have a balanced approach to work.

Professionalism - we are recognised for our independence and integrity and the value we deliver.

Auditor at head office

Bus Depot

Who we are

The Audit Office of New South Wales
is a statutory authority, established under
the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983,
that conducts audits for the Auditor-General.

The Auditor-General helps parliament hold
government accountable for its use of public
resources.

Our main clients

  • Parliament of New South Wales
  • NSW Government agencies
  • The people of New South Wales.

Where we sit in sector chart

What we do

Auditors at construction site

The Auditor-General is responsible for audits and related services.

The Audit Office conducts financial and performance audits, principally under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 and the Corporations Act 2001.

Financial audits provide an independent opinion on NSW Government agencies’ financial statements. They identify whether agencies comply with accounting standards and relevant laws, regulations and government directions.

Performance audits build on our financial audits by reviewing whether taxpayers' money is spent efficiently, effectively, economically and in accordance with the law.

Special reports seek to confirm that specific legislation, directions and regulations have been adhered to by government agencies.

The Auditor-General also provides certain assurance services over Commonwealth grants and payments to the State under Commonwealth legislation.

Our resources

273
273 full-time equivalent staff at the Audit Office at 30 June 2016
$37
$37 million revenue from government agencies and universities for audits of their financial statements
$8
$8 million from the government for our performance and compliance audits and reports to parliament
10
10 external contract audit agents assist with our financial statement audits, representing about 12 per cent of our financial audit work
 

Benchmarks

Our costs compare favourably with other Australian audit offices.

We benchmark ourselves against the national average for audit offices.

Total audit costs (excluding payroll tax) per $’000 of public sector transactions $
Audit Office of NSW
Average of all Australian audit offices
2012
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2013
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2014
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2015
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2016
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Total audit costs (excluding payroll tax) per $’000 of public sector
assets $
Audit Office of NSW
Average of all Australian audit offices
2012
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2013
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2014
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2015
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2016
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Auditor-General’s message

Margaret Crawford

I am pleased to present my first annual report as the Auditor-General for New South Wales.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the excellent work and commitment of Tony Whitfield who acted as Auditor-General in 2015–16 until I started in April this year. Tony ensured the Audit Office performed well and provided ongoing value to the NSW Parliament and our audit clients. He continues as Deputy Auditor-General where he is respected and well known throughout the accounting profession and NSW public sector. Read More...

The year ahead

strategic plan

Our activity in 2016–17 will be driven by our corporate plan

Our activity in 2016–17 will be driven by our corporate plan, which has three levels – our three-year strategic plan, annual branch business plans and staff performance agreements. Each level supports the Audit Office’s vision and mission, and has the same four key result areas and accompanying goals. Read More...
 

Office Executive

Office Executive Exec Org Chart

Experience and performance

The Office Executive provides the leadership necessary for the Audit Office to achieve its strategic direction and goals. The Office Executive is led by the Deputy Auditor-General and draws on the expertise of other staff when required.

 

 

Margaret Crawford

Margaret Crawford

- Auditor-General Commenced as the Auditor-General of New South Wales in April 2016
Margaret has over 20 years of experience as a senior executive across many large, complex public sector organisations – local, State and the Commonwealth governments – including the Victorian Department of Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority and Australia's largest local government, Brisbane City Council. Most recently, before becoming Auditor-General, she held the position of Deputy Secretary at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Margaret has worked across a diverse range of sectors, including housing and homelessness, community and disability services, road transport policy and regulation, taxation administration and gaming regulation.
Tony Whitfield

Tony Whitfield

- Deputy Auditor-General PSM, B.Comm, FCA

Before joining the Audit Office in 1994, Tony Whitfield spent 29 years in the private sector, including 17 years as an audit partner in a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm. During that time, he was responsible for delivering audit and other services to a portfolio of clients, and for audit technology within the firm. Tony has also worked in the USA, and is a past NSW State Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Tony was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in 2015 for outstanding public service to public sector financial performance and reporting. Tony was Acting Auditor-General from 9 June 2015 to 3 April 2016.

Kathrina Lo

Kathrina Lo

- Assistant Auditor-General
Performance Audit
BEc, LLB, LLM, Grad Dip Leg Prac

Before joining the Audit Office in October 2014, Kathrina Lo held senior policy and legal roles in the NSW public sector, most recently as Director of Justice Policy in the Department of Justice. Kathrina also previously held a number of statutory and chief executive appointments in an acting capacity, including NSW Information Commissioner, NSW Privacy Commissioner and Chief Executive of NSW Juvenile Justice.

John Viljoen

John Viljoen

- Assistant Auditor-General
Financial Audit
B.Acc, FCPA

John Viljoen joined the Audit Office in 1996, after 18 years in the private sector. He spent nine years with a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm, where he was responsible for delivering audit services to clients in Australia and Africa. John is responsible for financial audit quality and methodology, technical audit support, information systems audit and compliance audits.

Scott Stanton

Scott Stanton

- Assistant Auditor-General
Financial Audit
B.Comm, FCPA

Scott Stanton joined the Audit Office in 1987, and has significant experience in leading the delivery of audit services to a diverse range of public sector clients including those in the transport, electricity and university sectors. He is a previous Chair of CPA Australia’s NSW Public Sector Committee and is currently serving on CPA Australia's NSW Divisional Council. Scott was Acting Deputy Auditor-General from 9 June 2015 to 3 April 2016.

Steven Martin

Steven Martin

- Assistant Auditor-General
Financial Audit
B.Bus, CA

Steven Martin joined the Audit Office in 2008 after 18 years with a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm where he was responsible for delivering audit services to clients. This included ten years in Europe where he specialised in advisory on cross-border transactions and acquisitions. He also worked as the commercial accountant in the head office of a blue chip multinational logistics company based in Sydney.

The history of the Auditor-General

History Auditor General timeline