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Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2014

Schedule 4 Auditor-General Act 1997 and related amendments

Part 1 Amendments

Auditor-General Act 1997

1  Readers guide (heading “Related legislation”)

Repeal the heading.

2   Readers guide (paragraphs under the heading “Related legislation”)

Repeal the paragraphs.

3  Subsection 5(1)

Omit “(1)”.

4  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

accountable authority , of a Commonwealth entity, has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

5  Subsection 5(1) (definition of Agency )

Repeal the definition.

6  Subsection 5(1) (definition of Chief Executive )

Repeal the definition.

7  Subsection 5(1) (definition of Commonwealth authority )

Repeal the definition.

8  Subsection 5(1) (definition of Commonwealth company )

Omit “ Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 ”, substitute “ Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ”.

9  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

Commonwealth entity has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

10  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

corporate Commonwealth entity has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

11  Subsection 5(1) (definition of director )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

director , of a Commonwealth company, has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

12  Subsection 5(1) (definition of Finance Minister )

Omit “ Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 ”, substitute “ Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ”.

13  Subsection 5(1) (definition of FMA official )

Repeal the definition.

14  Subsection 5(1) (definition of GBE or government business enterprise )

Omit “ Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 ”, substitute “ Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ”.

15  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

non-corporate Commonwealth entity has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

16  Subsection 5(1) (definition of officer )

Repeal the definition.

17  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

official , of a Commonwealth entity, has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

18  Subsection 5(1) (definition of responsible Minister )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

responsible Minister :

                     (a)  in relation to a Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company—has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ; and

                     (b)  in relation to a Commonwealth partner—means the Minister responsible for achieving the Commonwealth purpose concerned; and

                     (c)  in relation to a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company—the responsible Minister for the entity or company concerned.

19  Subsection 5(1) (definition of senior manager )

Repeal the definition.

20  Subsection 5(1) (definition of subsidiary )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

subsidiary , of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company, has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

21  Subsection 5(1) (definition of wholly owned Commonwealth company )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

wholly-owned Commonwealth company has the same meaning as in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

22  Subsection 5(2)

Repeal the subsection.

23  Division 1 of Part 4 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Division 1 Annual financial statement audits

24  Sections 11, 12, 13 and 14

Repeal the sections, substitute:

11   Annual financial statements of Commonwealth entities, Commonwealth companies and subsidiaries

                   The Auditor-General’s functions include auditing the:

                     (a)  annual financial statements of Commonwealth entities in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ; and

                     (b)  annual financial statements of Commonwealth companies in accordance with that Act; and

                     (c)  annual financial statements of subsidiaries of corporate Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies in accordance with that Act.

12   Annual consolidated financial statements

                   The Auditor-General’s functions include auditing the annual consolidated financial statements in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

14   Audit fees for annual financial statement audits

             (1)  A person or body (other than a non-corporate Commonwealth entity) whose annual financial statements are audited as mentioned in:

                     (a)  section 11 of this Act; or

                     (b)  subsection 30(3) of the Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Act 2011 ;

is liable to pay audit fees for the audit, based on a scale of fees determined by the Auditor-General.

             (2)  Fees are payable within 30 days after issue of a payment claim. Payment claims for instalments may be issued before the audit is completed.

             (3)  Unpaid fees:

                     (a)  are a debt due to the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  may be recovered by the Auditor-General, on behalf of the Commonwealth, by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

             (4)  In the annual report prepared by the Auditor-General and given to the Minister under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for a period, the Auditor-General must include details of the basis on which the Auditor-General determined the audit fees that applied during the period.

25  After Division 1 of Part 4

Insert:

Division 1A Annual performance statement audits

15   Commonwealth entities

                   The Auditor-General’s functions include auditing annual performance statements of Commonwealth entities in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

16   Audit fees for annual performance statement audits

             (1)  A corporate Commonwealth entity whose annual performance statements are audited as mentioned in section 15 is liable to pay audit fees for the audit, based on a scale of fees determined by the Auditor-General.

             (2)  Fees are payable within 30 days after issue of a payment claim. Payment claims for instalments may be issued before the audit is completed.

             (3)  Unpaid fees:

                     (a)  are a debt due to the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  may be recovered by the Auditor-General, on behalf of the Commonwealth, by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

             (4)  In the annual report prepared by the Auditor-General and given to the Minister under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for a period, the Auditor-General must include details of the basis on which the Auditor-General determined the audit fees that applied during the period.

26  Sections 15, 16 and 17

Repeal the sections, substitute:

17   Performance audits of Commonwealth entities, Commonwealth companies and subsidiaries

             (1)  The Auditor-General may at any time conduct a performance audit of:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth entity; or

                     (b)  a Commonwealth company; or

                     (c)  a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company.

             (2)  However, the Auditor-General may only conduct such an audit on request by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit if the audit is of:

                     (a)  a corporate Commonwealth entity that is a GBE, or of any of its subsidiaries; or

                     (b)  a wholly-owned Commonwealth company that is a GBE, or any of its subsidiaries.

             (3)  Nothing prevents the Auditor-General from asking the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit to make a particular request under subsection (2).

             (4)  As soon as practicable after completing the report on an audit under this section, the Auditor-General must:

                     (a)  cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament; and

                     (b)  give a copy of the report to the responsible Minister; and

                     (c)  give a copy of the report:

                              (i)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth entity—to an official who is, or is a member of, the accountable authority of the entity; or

                             (ii)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth company—to a director of the company; or

                            (iii)  if the audit is of a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company—to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the subsidiary; and

                     (d)  to the extent that the report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth partner—give a copy of the report to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner.

             (5)  The Auditor-General may give a copy of, or an extract from, the report to any person (including a Minister) who, or any body that, in the Auditor-General’s opinion, has a special interest in the report or the content of the extract.

             (6)  For the purposes of this section, a Commonwealth entity is taken not to include any persons who are:

                     (a)  employed or engaged under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 ; and

                     (b)  prescribed by an Act or rules made for the purposes of the definition of Department of State or Parliamentary Department in section 8 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 in relation to the entity.

27  Subsection 18(1)

Omit “Agency”, substitute “Commonwealth entity”.

28  Paragraphs 18(2)(d), (e) and (f)

Repeal the paragraphs, substitute:

                     (d)  to the extent that the report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth entity—give a copy of the report to a person who is, or is a member of, the accountable authority of the entity; and

                     (e)  to the extent that the report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth company—give a copy of the report to a director of the company; and

                      (f)  to the extent that the report relates to the operations of a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company—give a copy of the report to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the subsidiary; and

29  Paragraph 18(2)(h)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (h)  to the extent that the report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth partner—give a copy of the report to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner.

30  Subsection 18(4) (definition of Commonwealth public sector )

Omit “Agencies, Commonwealth authorities”, substitute “non-corporate Commonwealth entities, corporate Commonwealth entities”.

31  Section 18A

Repeal the section, substitute:

18A   Audit of performance measures

             (1)  The Auditor-General may at any time conduct an audit of:

                     (a)  the appropriateness of the performance measures (however described) of:

                              (i)  a Commonwealth entity; or

                             (ii)  a Commonwealth company; or

                            (iii)  a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company; and

                     (b)  reporting by the entity, company or subsidiary against those measures.

             (2)  However, the Auditor-General may only conduct such an audit on request by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit if the audit is of:

                     (a)  a corporate Commonwealth entity that is a GBE, or of any of its subsidiaries; or

                     (b)  a wholly-owned Commonwealth company that is a GBE, or of any of its subsidiaries.

             (3)  Nothing prevents the Auditor-General from asking the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit to make a particular request under subsection (2).

             (4)  As soon as practicable after completing the report on an audit under this section, the Auditor-General must:

                     (a)  cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament; and

                     (b)  give a copy of the report to the responsible Minister; and

                     (c)  give a copy of the report:

                              (i)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth entity—to an official who is, or is a member of, the accountable authority of the entity; or

                             (ii)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth company—to a director of the company; or

                            (iii)  if the audit is of a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company—to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the subsidiary.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not apply if the report is, or is to be, included in the annual report of the Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company.

             (6)  The Auditor-General may give a copy of, or an extract from, the report to any person (including a Minister) who, or any body that, in the Auditor-General’s opinion, has a special interest in the report or the content of the extract.

32  Subsection 18B(4)

Omit “15, 16,”.

33  Paragraph 18B(6)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  give a copy of the report to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner.

34  Subsection 18B(7)

Omit “15, 16,”.

35  Section 19

Repeal the section, substitute:

19   Comments on proposed report

             (1)  After preparing a proposed report on an audit of a Commonwealth entity under paragraph 17(1)(a), the Auditor-General must:

                     (a)  give a copy of the proposed report to an official who is, or is a member of, the accountable authority of the entity; and

                     (b)  to the extent that the proposed report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth partner—give a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner:

                              (i)  a copy of the proposed report; or

                             (ii)  extracts of the parts of the proposed report that deal with the audit of the Commonwealth partner; or

                            (iii)  extracts of the proposed report that include the parts of the proposed report that deal with the audit of the Commonwealth partner.

             (2)  After preparing a proposed report on an audit of a body under paragraph 17(1)(b) or (c), the Auditor-General must:

                     (a)  give a copy of the proposed report to:

                              (i)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth company—to a director of the company; or

                             (ii)  if the audit is of a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company—to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the subsidiary; and

                     (b)  to the extent that the proposed report relates to the operations of a Commonwealth partner—give a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner:

                              (i)  a copy of the proposed report; or

                             (ii)  extracts of the parts of the proposed report that deal with the audit of the Commonwealth partner; or

                            (iii)  extracts of the proposed report that include the parts of the proposed report that deal with the audit of the Commonwealth partner.

             (3)  After preparing a proposed report under section 18A on an audit of the performance measures of a body and the body’s reporting against those measures, the Auditor-General must give a copy of the proposed report to:

                     (a)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth entity—to an official who is, or is a member of, the accountable authority of the entity; or

                     (b)  if the audit is of a Commonwealth company—to a director of the company; or

                     (c)  if the audit is of a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company—to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the subsidiary.

             (4)  After preparing a proposed report on an audit of a Commonwealth partner under section 18B, the Auditor-General must give a copy of the proposed report to a person who is, or is a member of, the governing body of the Commonwealth partner.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not apply if:

                     (a)  the proposed report is included, or is to be included, in the proposed report on an audit under section 17; or

                     (b)  the audit of the Commonwealth partner was conducted as part of an audit under section 18.

             (6)  After preparing a proposed report on an audit under section 17, 18, 18A or 18B, the Auditor-General may give a copy of, or an extract from, the proposed report to any person (including a Minister) who, or any body that, in the Auditor-General’s opinion, has a special interest in the report or the content of the extract.

             (7)  If the recipient of the proposed report, or the extract from the proposed report, gives written comments to the Auditor-General as follows, the Auditor-General must consider those comments before preparing a final report:

                     (a)  in the case of a proposed report on an audit under section 18A (audit of performance measures)—within 14 days after receiving the proposed report, or the extract from the proposed report;

                     (b)  otherwise—within 28 days after receiving the proposed report, or the extract from the proposed report.

             (8)  The Auditor-General must, in the final report, include all written comments received under subsection (7).

36  Subsections 19A(1) and (2)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

             (1)  The Auditor-General may at any time conduct an assurance review of:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth entity; or

                     (b)  a Commonwealth company; or

                     (c)  a subsidiary of a corporate Commonwealth entity or a Commonwealth company.

             (2)  However, the Auditor-General may only conduct such an assurance review on request by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit if the review is of:

                     (a)  a corporate Commonwealth entity that is a GBE, or of any of its subsidiaries; or

                     (b)  a wholly-owned Commonwealth company that is a GBE, or of any of its subsidiaries.

37  Paragraph 21(1)(a)

Omit “Commonwealth authority”, substitute “corporate Commonwealth entity”.

38  Paragraph 21(1)(c)

Omit “as defined in section 34 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 ”, substitute “within the meaning of subsection 89(2) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ”.

39  Paragraph 24(a)

After “1,”, insert “1A,”.

40  Paragraph 24(c)

Omit “section 56 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 ”, substitute “section 49 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ”.

41  Section 28

Repeal the section.

42  Subsection 29(1)

Omit “an FMA official”, substitute “an official of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity”.

43  Subsection 32(5) (definition of authorised official )

Omit “an FMA official”, substitute “an official of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity”.

44  Paragraph 33(1)(a)

Omit “Commonwealth authority”, substitute “corporate Commonwealth entity”.

45  At the end of subsection 33(1)

Add:

Note:          Paragraph (1)(a) does not expressly refer to non-corporate Commonwealth entities because these entities are legally part of the Commonwealth.

46  Subsection 33(4) (definition of authorised official )

Omit “an FMA official”, substitute “an official of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity”.

47  Section 44

Repeal the section, substitute:

44   Audit of annual financial statements

             (1)  After preparing the annual financial statements for the Audit Office under section 42 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 , the Auditor-General must give the statements to the Independent Auditor.

             (2)  The Independent Auditor must audit the statements in accordance with section 43 of that Act.

             (3)  For these purposes, references in sections 42 and 43 of that Act to the Auditor-General are taken to be references to the Independent Auditor.

48  Section 50

Repeal the section, substitute:

50   Guaranteed availability of parliamentary appropriations

             (1)  There is payable to the Audit Office such money as is appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of the Audit Office.

             (2)  The Finance Minister may give directions about the amounts in which, and the times at which, money payable under subsection (1) is to be paid to the Audit Office.

             (3)  If a direction under subsection (2) is given in writing, the direction is not a legislative instrument.

             (4)  A provision of an Appropriation Act that authorises the Finance Minister to determine that a departmental item of a Commonwealth entity is to be reduced does not apply in relation to a departmental item of the Audit Office.

             (5)  A provision of an Appropriation Act that has the effect of reducing an administered item of a Commonwealth entity does not apply in relation to an administered item of the Audit Office.

49  Section 54 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

54   Provision of information to the Minister or the Finance Minister

50  Subsection 54(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  This section applies to a requirement under paragraph 19(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for the Auditor-General to give the Minister or the Finance Minister reports, documents or information.

Note:          Section 19 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 deals with the duty of the accountable authority of a Commonwealth entity to keep the responsible Minister and Finance Minister informed in relation to the activities of the entity and any of its subsidiaries.

51  Subsection 54(3)

Omit “The”, substitute “The Minister or the”

52  Subsection 54(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  The requirement must be disclosed in the annual report prepared by the Auditor-General and given to the Minister under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for the period.

53  At the end of clause 6 of Schedule 1

Add:

             (7)  Section 30 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (which deals with terminating the appointment of an accountable authority, or a member of an accountable authority, for contravening general duties of officials) does not apply in relation to the Auditor-General.

Norfolk Island Act 1979

54  Subsection 48D(5)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (5)  In the annual report prepared by the Auditor-General and given to the responsible Minister (within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ) under section 46 of that Act for a period, the Auditor-General must include details of the basis on which the Auditor-General determined the audit fees that applied during that period.

55  Paragraph 48G(2)(f)

Omit “Commonwealth authority”, substitute “corporate Commonwealth entity”.

Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951

56  After paragraph 8(1)(k)

Insert:

                   (ka)  to consider the level of fees determined by the Auditor-General under subsection 16(1) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 ; and

Part 2 Application provisions

57  Annual financial statements audits

(1)       The amendments made by items 23, 24, 47 and 54 of this Schedule apply, subject to subitem (2), in relation to audits of annual financial statements for reporting periods that commence at or after the commencement time.

(2)       Section 14 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 (as inserted by this Schedule) does not apply in relation to a corporate Commonwealth entity that was, immediately before the commencement time, an Agency within the meaning of the FMA Act.

58  Annual performance statement audits

The amendments made by items 25 and 39 of this Schedule apply in relation to audits of annual performance statements for reporting periods that commence on or after 1 July 2015.

59  Performance audits and assurance reviews

            The amendments made by items 26 to 36 of this Schedule apply in relation to performance audits and assurance reviews:

                     (a)  that were commenced, but have not been completed, before the commencement time; or

                     (b)  that commence at or after the commencement time.

60  Auditing standards

            The amendment of paragraph 24(c) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 made by this Schedule applies in relation to audits for reporting periods that commence at or after the commencement time.

61  Annual reports

Despite the repeal of section 28 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 by this Schedule, that section as in force immediately before the commencement time continues to apply after that time in relation to the last financial year that ends before that time.

62  Delegations

The amendments of section 29 and subsections 32(5) and 33(4) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 made by this Schedule do not affect the continuity of any delegation or authorisation that is in force under those provisions immediately before the commencement time.

63  Parliamentary appropriations

            Section 50 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 as inserted by this Schedule applies in relation to appropriations for the 2014-15 financial year and later financial years.

64  Requirements to provide reports, documents or information

            The amendments of section 54 of the Auditor-General Act 1997 made by this Schedule apply in relation to any requirement made after the commencement time to provide reports, documents or information.