House of Representatives Committees

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

Inquiry into the Auditor-General Act 1997

List of recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee suggests that the Privileges Committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives examine whether Australian National Audit Office draft reports and extracts of draft reports attract Parliamentary privilege, and if they do not, should they attract Parliamentary privilege.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Government amend section 19(3) of the Auditor-General Act 1997, to read:

After preparing a proposed report on an audit under sections 15,16,17 or 18, the Auditor-General may must give a copy or an extract of the proposed report to any person who, in the Auditor-General's opinion, has a special interest in the report.

The Government will need to ensure that all consequential amendments arising from this amendment are made.

Recommendation 3

Subsection 19(4) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 should be amended to read:

If the recipient of the proposed report gives written comments to the Auditor-General within 28 days after receiving the proposed report, the Auditor-General must consider, and include, those comments, in full, before preparing a in the final report and any summary documents.

Committee resolution

The Committee has resolved that, as part of its power to review and change the Annual Report Guidelines, it will require government agencies to include in their Annual Reports

a list showing all contracts by name, value, and the reason why the standard access clause, which provides the Auditor-General with access to the premises of Commonwealth contractors, was not included in the contract.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Government amend section 37(4) of the Auditor-General Act 1997 to read:

If When the Auditor-General decides to is required to omit particular information from a public report because the Attorney-General has issued a certificate under paragraph (1)(b) in relation to the information, the Auditor-General must state in the report:

  1. that information (which does not have to be identified) has been omitted from the report; and

  2. the reason or reasons (in terms of subsection (2) why the Attorney-General issued the certificate.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that the Government amend section 15(2) of the Auditor-General Act 1997to read:

As soon as practicable after completing the report on the audit, the Auditor-General must:

  1. cause a copy to be tabled in each House of Parliament; and

  2. give a copy to the responsible Minister; and

  3. to any other Minister who, in the Auditor-General's opinion, has a special interest in the report.

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